March 15, 2018 (Vol. 38, No. 6)
The performance of the new SpiralPestle and 1.5 mL microtube tissue grinder is a major improvement over conventional smooth-walled polypropylene pestle-and-tube combinations. The surface of the pestle has a unique spiral pattern, with grooves that aggressively draw up to 100 mg of soft plant or animal tissue suspended in extraction solution down the sides of the microvial to the bottom. There, tissues and cells are macerated and mechanically dispersed between the walls of the pestle and the vial. The process can be further enhanced by the inclusion of a small amount of glass grinding beads and/or rotating the pestle at high rpm using a hand-held motor drive (such as the BioVortex).