The BioPulverizer quickly fragments hard frozen tissue samples into tiny pieces the size of grains of sand or course powder. The primary benefit of pulverizing pieces of tissue is to optimize subsequent rapid and complete cell lysis using lytic solutions or mechanical homogenizers. For difficult tissues such as tendon, skin, and tumors it is an essential step (see https://www.invitrogen.com/site/us/en/home/References/Ambion-Tech-Support/rna-isolation/tech-notes/isolation-of-total-rna-from-difficult-tissues.html).
There are four different hand-operated BioPulverizers for quickly pulverizing 10 mg to 10 g of frozen tissue.
Cat. No. 59012N, BioPulverizer, capacity 10-100mg
Cat. No. 59013N, BioPulverizer, capacity 0.1-1g
Cat. No. 59014N, BioPulverizer, capacity 1-10g
Cat. No. 59012MS, MultiSample BioPulverizer, 12 wells, capacity 10-100mg per well*
*Twelve pestles are included with each 59012MS.
The BioPulverizer reduces tissue hard-frozen in liquid nitrogen to a fine powder. Because of the high water content, most fresh tissue becomes as brittle as glass at liquid nitrogen temperatures. A sharp blow with a hammer will shatter it into tiny pieces. Called freeze-fracturing or cryopulverization, the method is especially useful for preparing tough, fibrous tissues such as skin, cartilage, cornea, etc. for subsequent rapid cell disruption using other techniques. The Bio-Pulverizer consists of a hole machined in a stainless steel base into which fits a special piston, or pestle. In a typical procedure, up to 10 g of animal or plant tissue is hard-frozen in liquid nitrogen and placed in the pre-chilled BioPulverizer. The piston delivers a blow to the brittle tissue reducing it to powder.
Cryopulverization with the Bio-Pulverizer is also useful for extracting labile tissue metabolites. And, for affinity proteomics studies, cryogrinding with a bead mill such as our MiniBeadbeater is the preferred way to disrupt cells for recovery of native protein complexes (see Biotechniques 58:103-119 (Mar 2015)).
How The BioPulverizer Works
- Place the BioPulverizer in a shallow container and cool thoroughly with either liquid nitrogen (preferred) or a dry-ice/alcohol mixture (next best).
- Place pre-frozen tissue in the well of the mortar.
- Remove the mortar from the shallow container, place it on the lab bench and pulverize the tissue with one or two blows to the pestle with the provided hammer. The mass of the stainless steel will preserve the cold long enough for you to complete your pulverization without adding additional liquid nitrogen.
- Empty the powdered contents for subsequent homogenization or extraction procedures.
- Type 316 stainless steel.
- Four sizes available.
- Hammer provided.
- Requires access to dry ice or, preferably, about 200 ml of liquid nitrogen.