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Comparison of the Effectiveness and Recovery of DNA Extraction Methods: Manual Homogenization vs the Spex Genomax® Homogenizer

Application Notes SP033: Tissue Homogenization and Cell Lysis
Apparatus: Genomax®
Application: Pharmaceuticals and Biomedical Research

The ability to effectively homogenize biological tissues and disrupt cells is essential to produce sufficient quality and quantity of nucleic acids for DNA and RNA studies. In addition, many samples require homogenization or particle size reduction to create representative samples usually due to their overall heterogeneous nature or state as received by a laboratory. Homogeneity is the state of being of uniform composition throughout the sample, whereas heterogeneity lacks uniformity in one or more characteristics.

Laboratory or analytical samples must be processed into a form which allows for extraction, processing or digestion for further testing. In biological samples, homogenization can aid in the speed of processing by disrupting the biological tissue and lysing the cells, thereby allowing for the extraction of genetic material. The most common method for obtaining a homogeneous sample is grinding or comminution, which leads to an increase in accuracy and decrease in uncertainty. In the laboratory, some scientists use manual or semi-automated methods for tissue processing which can be time consuming and produce samples that are not thoroughly homogenized. The implementation of automated homogenization and processing allows for higher throughput of samples, as well as faster and improved recovery of DNA/RNA from biological materials.

This study will demonstrate the efficiency of using an automated homogenization method as a function of time savings, as well as an improvement in the recovery and extraction of genetic material. In previous studies using the Spex Geno/Grinder®, pesticide extraction of agricultural and environmental products was found to greatly increase recovery, while the processing time for sample preparation was significantly reduced.

In this new study (a joint project conducted by Spex and HoppeSyler), a manual pellet mixer and automated homogenizer (Spex Genomax) were used to disrupt a variety of biological tissues prior to genomic DNA (gDNA) isolation. The isolated gDNA was then used for downstream sensitive applications to determine the effectiveness of manual versus automated homogenizers for use in analytical and molecular biology research.