Bead beating can be quite effective if done correctly, though traditionally it was a bottleneck due to the limited number of samples that could be processed. To remedy this limitation, several companies developed bead beaters (formerly called mixer mills) that could handle racks of tubes or even microwell plates.
Though simple in theory, bead beating can be quite complex as several factors must work together to effectively homogenize samples:
- The tube, or microwell plate, used in bead beating is not just a sample holder, but actively participates in the homogenization.
- The stroke length of the amalgamator or mixer mill is also critical, as is the physical motion it imparts on the sample tube.
- Finally, sample type, mass, volume, and extraction buffer all impact the effectiveness of the homogenization
In choosing a bead beater, the number of samples processed simultaneously should be taken into consideration, especially for laboratories processing hundreds of samples daily.
|HT Mini™||HT 6™||HT 24™||HT Homogenizer II™||1600 MiniG™||2010 GenoGrinder®|
|Low Speed/High Speed||2700/4000 rpm||2500/4250 rpm||2500/4250 rpm||300/1600 rpm||500/1500 strokes/minute||500/1750 strokes/minute|
|Ideal Sample types||Most samples, aside from elastic, hard animal tissue, and bark or seeds.||All Sample types|
|Disruption Tubes||3 (non-skirted)||6||24||24||50||100|
|4 ml Vials||-||-||-||24||48||96|
|15 ml Vials||-||-||-||5||10||20|
|50 ml Vials||-||-||-||-||5||10|
|Deep 96 Well Plate||-||-||-||1||2||4-6|
For more information on the homogenizer's capabilities refer to our Bead Beating Guide's section on Bead Beaters