Beads for BeadBeater Homogenizers

Category Homogenizer Accessories
Manufacturer BioSpec

Beads are the components that strike and grind your samples resulting in tissue homogenization and cell lysis. We provide a variety of beads suitable for a wide array of samples. The general rule of thumb is to choose larger, denser beads for larger and / or tougher samples.

All BeadBeater beads are sold by the pound.

There are a number of bead styles and materials to choose from:


2.5 g / cc


3.7 g / cc


5.5 g / cc

Chrome Steel

7.9 g / cc

Garnet Shards*

~ 3.8 g / cc

Silicon Carbide*

3.2 g / cc

0.1 mm

0.1 mm

0.7 mm

1.3 mm

0.3 mm**

0.1 mm

0.5 mm

0.5 mm

1.0 mm

2.3 mm

1.0 mm**

1.0 mm

1.0 mm

1.0 mm

2.0 mm

3.2 mm

2.0 mm**

4.0 mm

2.7 mm

2.3 mm

*Garnet shards and silicon carbide are sharp particles. Sharp particles should not be used with the original BeadBeater (BS:1107900).

**The size of garnet shards is an average and may vary by +/- 20% within a given lot. 

Washing Beads

In most cases, cleaning new glass or ceramic beads is unnecessary.  Most researchers use them straight out of the bottle.  The only contaminate - carbon black - is so inert that its presence in your prep has no effect and it is removed upon centrifugation or filtration in the steps that usually follow cell disruption.  Do not acid wash beads.  It is a waste of time.

Clean used glass or ceramic beads by soaking in a solution of laboratory detergent (the kind used to wash labware).  Now and then, agitate the beads by swirling. Then rinse away all detergent with several changes of tap water and then with RO or distilled water.  Dry the beads in an open stainless steel or glass tray at 40 to 70ºC.  If the dried beads do not pour freely (i.e., they are caked together), then they were not cleaned or rinsed well enough.  Repeat the cleaning protocol.

Cleaning chrome steel or stainless steel beads requires a modified procedure.  The washing and rinse steps must be short - lasting only a few minutes.  Following the rinses, promptly remove all water from the surface of the beads by washing the beads with three changes of absolute (100%) ethanol, pure (100%) isopropanol or acetone.  Air dry at RT or in a warm oven to flash evaporate the solvent.  Store clean, dry beads in a sealed bottle.

If you are isolating nucleic acids from disrupted cells, an alternate cleaning method is to immerse the beads in a 1:10 dilution of ordinary household bleach (Clorox or equivalent) for 5 minutes.  This not only cleans and sterilizes the beads, but completely destroys contaminating nucleic acids (see Biotechniques, Vol 12, 358-360 (1992)) and nucleases. Thoroughly rinse the beads with water afterwards.

All beads can be autoclaved with steam.  But first make sure the beads are clean.  Note a recent report in Biotechniques (Vol.55, Issue 6, p.296-299, Dec 2013):  "Autoclaving at standard conditions (121º C for 20 min) does not sufficiently remove the template activity of contaminating DNA.  Autoclaving at 121º C for 80 min is recommended.  The presence of air during autoclaving also facilitates nucleic acid decomposition."

Finally, a successful procedure to sterilize and also destroy residual nucleic acids on clean ceramic or steel beads is baking the beads at 550º C for 2h or 400º C for 4 h.

You should be able to reuse beads about ten times before they wear down to the point of being unusable.


Can I use use the chrome steel beads with the beadbeater chambers?

You cannot use the chrome steel beads with the beadbeater chambers as they will break the container. If you would like to use the glass or zirconia or zirconia/silica beads, that will work.



select from options below to see SKU

Green Leaf
All shipments originating from Laboratory Supply Network are carbon neutral!

Do you need assistance?

We have experts standing by to assist you with your purchase. Call now at +1 603-652-1395 or contact us by clicking the button below.

Customer reviews

No reviews yet