Applications of High-Shear Homogenizers in the Lab
by Christoph Schumacher on Apr 29, 2023
High-shear homogenizers are powerful devices that can be used in laboratories for various purposes. Their primary task is to homogenize mixtures or suspensions, i.e., to mix or emulsify, to ensure a uniform distribution of the substances contained within. Possible applications include:
- Biotechnology and Pharmacy: High-shear homogenizers can be used to break up cells for the extraction of intracellular components such as DNA, RNA, proteins, etc.
- Emulsions: They can be used to produce stable emulsions, which are widespread in cosmetics or pharmacy
- Nanotechnology: For the generation and primarily also dispersion of nanoparticles
The rotor-stator principle is the basic working principle of high-shear homogenizers. In such a system, there are two main components: the rotor and the stator.
The rotor is the rotating element that moves at high speed within the stator casing (the stationary element). These two parts are designed to be very close to each other without actually touching. The space between the rotor and the stator is referred to as the working space.
When a sample is introduced into the working space and the rotor is set in motion, very high shear forces are created due to the differential speed between the rotor and stator. These shear forces act on the sample and cause the particles in the sample to be crushed or mixed.
In addition, the rotation of the rotor creates a suction effect that pulls the sample into the working space. The treated sample is then pushed outward by the centrifugal force created by the rotation of the rotor and expelled from the working space.
This process enables very efficient homogenization, emulsification, or crushing of particles on a micro- or even nanoscale. Depending on the speed of the rotor and the size of the working space, different degrees of crushing or mixing can be achieved. Here you can find our high-shear homogenizers in various sizes.