Maintenance Tip: Homogenizers
The most important component of homogenizing is your generator probe—the item that actually goes into your sample. You’ll know it’s time to do maintenance on your homogenizer when your sample is getting hot and the generator probe or motor unit is hot to the touch, or there is black residue in your sample. Wearing or discoloration on the internal components, such as PTFE bearings, or your generator probe seizing up, are also signs that it’s time for service.
How does sample or material type determine which type of homogenizer is ideal?
The sample or material type will directly affect the type of homogenizer used. Homogenizers come in a variety of configurations, including handheld and bench-mounted models with a variety of probes to match the correct sample type, and test tube strikers for clinical and tissue applications. These models strike the bottom of the tube vigorously in order to homogenize the sample, allowing for increased throughput and less risk of cross-contamination.
Will the size of the samples have an effect on which style of homogenizer should be used?
The size of the sample, and also the vessel used to hold it, will impact the type of homogenizer used. Homogenizers come in a variety of models, along with different generator probe types. If the sample and vessel size changes frequently, purchasing a more robust model capable of various probe sizes may be ideal. In the case of blender-style homogenizers, ensuring proper rotor setup and the ability to change out for different sizes will help streamline the purchase process.
How will temperature-sensitive samples or materials affect which type of homogenizer is ideal?
The friction generated by a homogenizer will cause an increase in temperature during operation. By choosing the correct generator probe and unit, the time spent homogenizing the sample can be decreased, reducing the effect of temperature. Alternatively, samples can be placed in a cool water bath to negate the temperature effect. Many manufacturers, including those of blender-style homogenizers, have begun creating built-in cooling systems to combat temperature increases as well.
Find more homogenizer resources at LabManager.com/homogenizers