Homogenization is a chemical process where various insoluble substances are constantly and intensively mixed in order to create soluble suspensions or double emulsions. The homogenization process will depend on the materials that the user intends to mix and how he will use them.
A homogenizer is a laboratory instrument that is used to homogenize various samples. It is a simple device that is commonly used in laboratories to mix substances.
What does this equipment consist of?
It consists of an electric motor with the transmission shaft oriented vertically and connected to a cup-shaped rubber piece mounted slightly outside the center. The rubber part motor swings rapidly in a circular motion. When a test tube or other appropriate container is pressed into the rubber cup (or its edge is touched), the movement is transmitted to the liquid inside and a vortex is created. Most vortex mixers have a variable speed setting and can be configured to run continuously, or to work only when pressure is applied down to the rubber part.
It is an ideal instrument to mix gently and achieve a resuspension of the cells and components of chemical and biological liquids in tubes through the use of an eccentric mechanism. They usually have two modes of operation:
- Continuous operation
- Pulse operation (activated by pressing the cap with the bottom of the tube)
Vibration homogenizers are quite common in bioscience laboratories. In cell culture and microbiology laboratories that can be used to suspend cells. In a biochemical or analytical laboratory that can be used to mix reagents from an assay or to mix an experimental sample and a diluent.
When did they start to be employed?
The vortex mixer or homogenizer was invented by the Kraft brothers (Jack A. Kraft and Harold D. Kraft) while working for Scientific Industries (a laboratory equipment manufacturer). The patent was filed by the Kraft brothers on April 6, 1959 and was granted on October 30, 1962. The company continues to manufacture an original version of this vortex mixer.
What considerations should you consider?
Place the agitator on a stable and level surface near a grounded electrical outlet. The surface must be clean and dust free to ensure that the feet are firmly attached to the surface. Leave enough free space on all sides of the unit for adequate ventilation. With the switch in the OFF position, connect the power cord to a grounded electrical outlet.
What precautions should you take when using or working near a homogenizer?
- Never operate the unit if the agitation head is not firmly fixed.
- Always wear unbreakable eye protection.
- Do not use or mix flammable solvents on or near the agitator.
- Shake dangerous samples in appropriate retention containers.
- Repairs must be performed by qualified personnel.
- Deterioration of protection may be caused if used in a manner not specified by the manufacturer.
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