Lever Tissue Press
The Lever Tissue Press is a classic garlic press, enhanced by addition of a silicone-rubber gasket to the bottom of the lever press piston and the inclusion of an extra "can" to facilitate processing of multiple samples. It efficiently macerates or mechanically disaggregates 5 to 50 grams of fresh, soft plant or animal tissue. By 'soft' we mean nonfibrous tissue. Acceptible examples are muscle, brain, liver, plant fruits, some plant roots and tubers. Tough or fibrous tissues like leaves, skin or bone will not pass through the holes in the stainless steel can..
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The Lever Tissue Press prepares tissue as an initial mincing step preceeding mechanical homogenization (cell disruption) or preceeding single cells isolation from solid tissue by digestion of extracellular connective matrix with proteolytic enzyme. The press eliminates tedious chopping of tissue into little pieces with a scissors or scalpel and produces much smaller tissue pieces. Unlike many other tissue dispersion/blending devices, no buffer is added in its operation.
Disaggregation of tissue for primary culture benefits: Incubation time needed for enzyme-assisted tissue disaggregation is reduced and, because the much smaller size of tissue pieces, diffusion of nutrients and gases into the tissue mass is optimized during the incubation period with the digestive enzymes. The result is higher yields of viable cells. [See http://www.worthington-biochem.com/tissuedissociation/default.html) for an excellent review of the Method of Enzymatic Disaggregation].
Note that tissue processed in this press must be "soft", relatively non-fibrous and have high water content. Acceptible examples are muscle, brain, liver, plant fruits, some plant roots and tubers.
1) If the tissue is fatty or partially fibrous, manually trim off the tough or fatty parts before pressing. Fibrous tissue will interfere with the passage of the soft tissue through the press and lower the yield of dispersed cell material. Unacceptible tissues are skin, hide, connective tissue, woody or fibrous plant stems, many mature seeds and all dried tissues.
2) Retract the piston of the Lever Tissue Press from its stainless steel can. Add 1 to 10 g of fresh tissue to the cavity of the stainless steel can and swing the piston into position.
3) Grip the levers together, thus forcing the piston down the press can or barrel. Remove the dispersed tissue protruding from the bottom of the can with a single edge razor blade or scapel. Depending on the amount of connective or fibrous tissue present in the sample, the yield of dispersed tissue will vary from 20-95%.