Screw Tissue Press
The Screw Tissue Press is a classic screw press, designed to efficiently macerate or mechanically disaggregate 5 to 50 grams of fresh, soft plant or animal tissue. By 'soft' we mean nonfibrous tissue like brain, liver, muscle, potato, callus, etc. Tough or fibrous tissues like leaves or skin will not pass through the stainless steel screen.
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The Screw Tissue Press is used as a mincing step for isolation of single cells or the extraction of intracellular components such as nuclei and mitochondria. Unlike other tissue dispersion/blending devices, no added water or buffer is required in its operation. See Narendra P Singh, et. al. for preparation of viable single cell suspensions [DNA double-stranded breaks in mouse kidney cells with age, Narendra P Singh et. al., Biogerontology 2, 261-270 (2001)].
Disaggregation of tissue for primary culture: A common method to isolate single cells from solid tissue samples involves digestion of extracellular connective matrix with proteolytic enzymes. The first step in most protocols is to manually chop the tissue into little pieces with a scissors or scalpel in order to increase access of the enzymes to the tissue surface. The Screw Tissue Press eliminates this tedious manual chopping and delivers a significant improvement by producing much smaller tissue pieces.
The incubation time needed for enzymatic tissue disaggregation is reduced and, because the size of tissue pieces are much smaller, diffusion of nutrients and gasses into the tissue mass is less limiting during the incubation period with digestive enzyme. This results in higher yields of viable cells. [see http://www.worthington-biochem.com/tissuedissociation/default.html for an excellent review on the method of Enzymatic Disaggregation]
Partially retract the piston cylinder of the Screw Tissue Press to make room for the tissue. Unscrew the brown 'cap' with its array of 2 mm holes from the bottom of the Screw Tissue Press and place the tissue sample into the cavity of the press.
Generally, the array of 2 mm diameter holes in the press cap is used. If your sample is soft, non-fibrous material with high water content, you can also use the 500 micron stainless steel wire sieve (included). Carefully center it on the end of the press cylinder after adding the sample tissue ans screw on the press cap.
Manually turn the piston to extrude the tissue. The dispersed tissue will exit the press having a paste- or granular-like texture. Depending on the amount of connective or fibrous tissue present in the sample, the yield of dispersed tissue will vary from 20-95%. Exruded tissue material can be easily removed from the end of the Screw Tissue Press with a scalpel or single edge razor blade.
Note: Acceptible tissue is soft, relatively non-fibrous and has high water content. Examples are muscle, brain, liver, plant fruits, some plant roots and tubers. If the tissue is partially fibrous, fatty or covered with a tough membrane, first manually trim off the tough or fatty parts. Fibrous tissue will interfere with the passage of the soft tissue through the press and lower the yield of dispersed cell material. Skin, hide, connective tissue, plant stems, wood and dried tissues cannot be processed.