Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenizers

  • Ultrasonication is a safe & efficient method of tissue homogenization.
  • Ultrasonic applications include the preparation tissue and suspensions, the extraction of proteins, DNA/ RNA and active compounds, as well as the activation / inactivation of enzymes and yeasts.
  • The precise controllability of probe-type ultrasonic homogenizers allow for a reliable preparation of tissue samples.

Tissue Homogenization using Ultrasonic Probes

Tissue homogenization is a sample preparation process where animal and plant cells or microorganisms are prepared prior to the extraction of intracellular matter such as proteins, DNA, or RNA. The cell membran must be ruptured to release the cell contents. After breaking the cell wall, the intracellular macromolecules float in the buffer solution so that organelles, proteins and DNA/ RNA become available. Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers and cell disruptors are very efficient tools for cell disruption, lysis and extraction.

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Probe-type ultrasonicators such as the UP200St are reliable tissue homogenizers and cell crushers widely used for sample preparation.

Probe-type ultrasonicators (e.g., the 200 watts powerful UP200St) are reliable tissue homogenizers and widely used for sample preparation.

Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenizers vs Alternative Lysis Techniques

You might ask yourself what technique of cell disruption and which tissue homogenization equipment is the best option for your laboratory. Below, you can find a few arguments that speak for ultrasonic lysis and tissue homogenization since ultrasonication has several advantages over alternative homogenization methods:

  • Efficiency: Ultrasonic homogenization is a fast and efficient method for disrupting tissues and cells. Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers use the working principle of acoustic cavitation. This method is highly efficient and can disrupt cells in a matter of seconds. As the intensity level can be adjusted from mild to intense, sonication is particularly effective for hard or fibrous tissues that are difficult to homogenize using other methods.
  • Complete VialTweeter setup: VialTweeter sonotrode at ultrasonic processor UP200St

  • Avoid cross-contamination: Hielscher offers powerful ultrasonic tissue homogenizers that prepare the sample in an indirect sonication treatment. With the UIP400MTP (ideal for microtiter and multiwell-plates), as well as the VialTweeter and the CupHorn (Ideal for vials, tubes and beakers) Hielscher offers ultrasonic cell disruption equipment for non-contact homogenization, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination between samples. It also minimizes the risk of introducing contaminants from grinding surfaces or other homogenization equipment.
  • Flexibility: Ultrasonic homogenization can be used with a variety of sample sizes and volumes, from small volumes to large tissue samples. Furthermore, ultrasonic homogenization also suitable for a wide range of sample types, including plant tissues, animal tissues, and microbial cultures. The intensity and duration of the ultrasonication can be adjusted to optimize the level of disruption for different types of tissues.
  • Reproducibility: Ultrasonic homogenization provides consistent results and allows for the precise control of homogenization parameters, such as power output and sonication time. This helps ensure reproducibility and accuracy of experimental data.
  • Preservation of biomolecules: Probe-type ultrasonication is a non-thermal treatment. This means its impact is not based on heat. However, every mechanical treatment generates heat in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. This means that the sample gets warmer over longer sonication times. Hielscher state-of-the-art ultrasonicators are equipped with temperature sensors and smart temperature monitoring software. Sophisticated cooling options allow to prevent heat degradation and helps to preserve the activity of heat-sensitive biomolecules, such as enzymes and proteins.
  • Time-saving: The high efficiency of probe-type ultrasonication allows for rapid tissue homogenization, which saves time compared to other methods that require more extensive physical manipulation of the tissue.

Ultrasonic tissue homogenization offers several advantages over alternative homogenization methods. That is why ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are the preferred cell disruption technique in various research and industrial applications.

This video clip shows the Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizer UP100H, an ultrasonicator widely used for sample preparation in laboratories.

Ultrasonic Homogenizer UP100H

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This tutorial explains what type of sonicator is best for your sample preparation tasks such as lysis, cell disruption, protein isolation, DNA and RNA fragmentation in laboratories, analysis, and research. Choose the ideal sonicator type for your application, sample volume, sample number and throughput. Hielscher Ultrasonics has the ideal ultrasonic homogenizer for you!

How to Find the Perfect Sonicator for Cell Disruption and Protein Extraction in Science and Analysis

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Example for a Tissue Homogenization Protocol using an Ultrasonic Probe:

Ultrasonicators facilitate tissue homogenization by simple operation and a quick homogenization procedure. At the same time, the ultrasonic process parameters can be recisely controlled and monitored so that results are reliable and reproduicble.

  • Tissue sample (e.g. liver, brain, muscle)
  • Buffer (e.g. PBS, Tris-HCl)
  • Protease inhibitor cocktail
  • Ultrasonic homogenizer (probe-type)
  • Ice
  • Microcentrifuge tubes
  • Pipettes


Protocol for Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenization:

  • Collect the tissue sample and place it in a microcentrifuge tube containing ice-cold buffer with protease inhibitor cocktail (at a ratio of 1:10).
  • Homogenize the tissue using an ultrasonic homogenizer equipped with a sonotrode. Tip size should be selected in accordance to the sample size. For the volume of microcentrifuge tubes a microtip would be suitable. Dip the probe into the microcentrifuge tube containing the tissue sample and sonicate the sample by applying short pulses (for example, 10-20 sec pulses with 1-2 sec intervals) at maximum power output, while keeping the sample on ice to prevent heat-induced damage.
  • After sonication, centrifuge the homogenate at 4°C for 10-15 minutes at 10,000 x g to remove any remaining debris and collect the supernatant.
  • Store the supernatant at -80°C until further use.
  • If required, determine the protein concentration using a suitable assay, such as the Bradford or BCA protein assay.
  • Note: The duration and intensity of sonication may need to be optimized depending on the tissue type, age, and health status, as well as the specific downstream applications. It is also important to carefully select the buffer, protease inhibitors, and other additives to optimize the yield and quality of the homogenate.

    Ultrasonicator UP200Ht with microtip S26d2 for ultrasonic lysis of biological samples

    Ultrasonic tissue homogenizer UP200Ht with a 2mm horn / probe for cell disruption, lysis, cell homogeniaztion and solubilization as well as protein extraction.

    The video shows the ultrasonic sample preparation system UIP400MTP, which allows for the reliable sample preparation of any standard multi-well plates using high-intensity ultrasound. Typical applications of the UIP400MTP include cell lysis, DNA, RNA, and chromatin shearing as well as protein extraction.

    Ultrasonicator UIP400MTP for multi-well plate sonication

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    Major Advantages of Hielscher Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenizers

    • rapid and efficient grinding, homogenization, lysis & cell disruption, or extraction by powerful ultrasonic cavitation
    • easy and intuitive use and operation (select the analog or digital version)
    • easy cleaning of product-contact surfaces by flushing the sonotrode under sonication (CIP clean-in-place/ SIP sterilize-in-place)
    • sound protection box (the sound protection box for the lab devices are completely made from acrylic glass for full visibility from any angle)
    • full control over the process parameters via digital touch-display at the device (digital ultrasonicators) or powermeter (for analog devices)
    • integrated temperature control (important for heat-sensitive, labile tissue samples)
    • pauses in the homogenization run can be individually defined and pre-set in the digital menu
    • all digital devices are equipped with automatic data recording (on an integrated SD/USB-ComboCard), plugable temperature sensor and browser remote control.
    • multi-sample treatment with the VialTweeter, CupHorn or by the use of 4- or 8-finger sonotrodes (e.g. for integration in laboratory robot processes)
    • for small scale and large scale applications


    Ultrasonic homogenizer UP100H for the sample preparation of cell culture plates.

    Sample preparation with the ultrasonic probe UP100H.

    The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonic tissue homogenizers for cell disintegration, lysis and extraction:

    Batch VolumeFlow RateRecommended Devices
    multi-well platesn/aUIP400MTP
    vials, small beakern/aUltrasonic CupHorn
    up to 10 vialsn/aVialTweeter
    1 to 500mL10 to 200mL/minUP100H
    10 to 2000mL20 to 400mL/minUP200Ht, UP400St
    0.1 to 20L0.2 to 4L/minUIP2000hdT

    Contact Us! / Ask Us!

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    Please use the form below to request additional information about ultrasonic tissue homogenizers, lysis protocols and prices. We will be glad to discuss your process with you and to offer you an ultrasonic system meeting your requirements!

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    The ultrasonicators UP200Ht and UP200St are both powerful 200W homogenizer models for sample prep, emulsification, dispersing, extraction and chemistry.

    UP200Ht - Handheld Ultrasonic Homogenizer

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    Ultrasonic cuphorn for the uniform and intense sonication of up to 5 closed tubes and vials for uniform and rapid sterile sample homogenisation.

    Ultrasonic cuphorn for the intense sonication of closed tubes and vials for sterile homogenization of samples.

    Find the Optimal Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenizer for Your Application

    Hielscher ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are available with an ultrasound output range between 50W to 16,000W (16kW).
    Laboratory workers are pleased by the simple and intuitive operation of Hielscher ultrasonic lab homogenizers. Depending on the specific requirements, Hielscher devices come with digital or analog control.

    1. The VialTweeter is a powerful ultrasonic homogenizer that allows the simultaneous sonication of up to 10 vials or test tubes at the same intensity. Due to the indirect sonication, cross-contamination and sample loss is completely avoided. The cleaning and sanitizing is reduced to a minimum due to the use of disposable vials. The block sonotrode is autoclavable.
    2. The UIP400MTP Plate-Sonicator is ideal when you work with microtiter and multi-well plates such as 96-well plates. Simply place your multiwell plate or your petri dish in the UIP400MTP and all samples get uniformly sonicated. With the UIP400MTP Plate-Sonicator, high-throughput sample processing gets simple and efficient!
    3. In the range of probe-type lab ultrasonicators, homogenizers can be selected with 50 watts, 100 watts, 200 watts, and 400 watts.
      UP50H (50W)
      UP100H (100W)
      UP200Ht / UP200St (200W)
      UP400St (400W)

    Application and Utilization of Ultrasonic Tissue Homogenizers

    Ultrasonic homogenizers are commonly used for tissue grinding, cell disruption & lysis and homogenization of biological samples prior to the extraction of intracellular matter in the molecular range. By the controlled sonication of the samples, all steps from lysis to extraction and homogenization can be carried out using the same ultrasonic cell disruptor.
    The great advantage of ultrasonic homogenizers lies in the easily adjustable power input and sonication intensity. Hielscher ultrasonic cell disruptors (lysers) allow to control sonication intensity by adjusting the amplitude from 20% to 100%.
    Alternatively to the continuous operation, the ultrasonic homogenizer can be set to cycle mode, e.g. for the sonication of heat-sensitive tissue. Sonication in pulse mode means the ultrasonicator generates high intense ultrasonic waves in periodical cycles. The duration of the sonication period and the rest time can be individually set by the user.
    At pulsed sonication, during the rest period, the sonicated material can return to its resting state and the sample can cool down (using the rest time for heat dissipation). Thereby, processing intensity can be set accurately in accordance to the tissue and unwanted sample heating is reduced.
    Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are robust and user-friendly whilst producing reliable results assuring reproducibility due to full control over all important process parameters.
    Common applications fields of ultrasonic tissue grinding, cell disruption, lysis, extraction and homogenization are found in biological and pharmaceutical laboratories, microbiology, proteomic and genomic research (e.g. protein release before Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA), but also in the production of botanical extracts and bioactive compounds for the food, pharma and cosmetic industries.

    Literature / References

    Facts Worth Knowing

    Ultrasonic tissue homogenizers are often referred to as probe sonicator, sonic lyser, ultrasound disruptor, ultrasonic grinder, sono-ruptor, sonifier, sonic dismembrator, cell disrupter, ultrasonic disperser or dissolver. The different terms result from the various applications that can be fulfilled by sonication.

    Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

    Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

    We will be glad to discuss your process.

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