Tissue homogenization is a critical process for pharmacological analysis, especially when using a LC/MS/MS system. The ease and efficiency of homogenization, reduced cross-contamination, analyte recovery, and stability are important factors that affect data quality and high-throughput productivity.
Traditionally, tissue homogenization involves a mechanical shearing force, for example, blending or grinding. These processes produce high temperatures that may cause analytes in the matrix to become unstable. In addition, some small tissues such as rat or mouse lymph nodes and tumors are often difficult to handle with mechanical blenders. Such tiny pieces often must be manually grinded, which is time and labor intensive.
Bertin Technologies (www.bertin.fr) designed a new homogenizer featuring a bead-beating technology. This system, Precellys-24 (Figures 1 and 2), allows homogenization of a wide range of biological samples from soft to hard, and even elastic, and specializes in small-size tissues. This adaptability is made possible by adjusting the type of beads (ceramic or metal) and the speed of the homogenizing motion.
Precellys-24 uses a figure-eight motion to rapidly gyrate beads to grind up to 24 samples at one time. Moreover, each of the 24 sample tubes are single-use, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination between trials and facilitiates storage.
In a recent application, Precellys-24 was used to homogenize rat brain, gonad, heart, kidney, lung, spleen, lymph node, and tumor tissue samples for pharmacology and ADME studies.