BioSpec MicroMincer

Category Mortar & Pestle / Dounce
Manufacturer BioSpec
Country of manufacture the United States

The MicroMincer is a compact, hand-operated screw press which macerates 0.3 grams or less of soft* fresh plant or animal tissue (e.g. muscle, liver, brain, epicotyl and pulpy leaf tissue) without sample loss, heat generation, foaming or aerosol problems. Much of the sample, without added buffer, is pushed through a 250 micron stainless-steel sieve under thousands of pounds force. In the case of plant tissues, fibrous, cellulosic pulp is left behind while cell juice and intracellular products are extruded. The resultant extract can be deposited directly in microtubes.

The Micromincer eliminates re-concentration of sample extract, as no additional buffer is required for use.

The stainless steel MicroMincer utilizes disposable polypropylene liners. Thus, multiple samples can be quickly processed without a need to clean or risk of contamination between samples.
Applications include:

  • Microanalysis of cellular constituents.
  • Direct sample extraction for PAGE and agar gel analysis.
  • Preparation of single-cell suspensions from tissue

The isolation of single cells from tissue samples commonly involves enzymatic digestion of the extracellular connective matrix.  The first step in the process is to increase access of added digestive enzymes to the tissue by chopping the tissue into pieces with a scissors or sharp blades.  The MicroMincer offers a significant improvement to this process, yielding much smaller tissue pieces of tissue. This greatly speeds up the rate of enzymatic disaggregation and maximizes the yield of undamaged, viable cells.  The MicroMincer reduces the tissue to pieces so small that diffusion of nutrients and gases are not limiting during the prolonged incubation with digestive enzymes.

*Highly fibrous animal tissue containing collagen (e.g., skin, some tumors, cartilage) cannot pass through the screen.  Likewise, highly fibrous plant tissue cannot be processed.

How it Works:

  1. Put 100 to 500 mg of tissue into the barrel of the disposable liner. It is usually not necessary to pre-chop soft tissue.
  2. Partially insert the piston/screw into the barrel of the liner and slide the assembly into the press cylinder.
  3. Screw down the press. Extract exits from the pointed end of the liner.  Continue screwing down the press until all of the sample has been extracted. More pressure beyond this point will shear the plastic tip and force it out of the press cylinder. However, because the liner is a disposable item no harm is done.  With very small samples, some of the extract may remain in the liner tip but can be removed with a micropipette or small spatula.
  4. Unscrew the press and remove the used liner and the used piston seal. The white plastic poker is provided to assist in this process.


  • Directly macerates small samples of soft tissue (e.g., liver, muscle, brain) - without dilution with added buffers or solvent.
  • Simple to operate - no need for compressed gases or high pressure electro-mechanical pumps.
  • No heat, foam, or aerosols formed.
  • The only parts in contact with the sample are the polypropylene cylinder liner containing a 250 micron stainless steel screen and the rubber piston seal (all disposable).
  • Develops thousands of pounds/square inch to mince the entire sample. No Product is lost.
  • Disposable parts eliminate cleanup and contamination between samples.
Key Attributes
Homogenizer Type Mortar & Pestle
Sample Throughput 1 sample
Sample Volume (min) 100 µl
Sample Volume (max) 500 µl
Usage / Placement Handheld
Cooling No
Warranty 2 years
Noise Level
Weight 0.6 lb
Width 0.8"
Depth 0.8"
Height 4.3"
Manufacturer Specifications
  • Sample is pressed at a controlled speed through a screen having 250 micron openings.
  • Working capacity of 100 to 500 mg fresh, frozen or rehydrated plant or animal tissue.
  • 316 stainless steel body, piston/screw and screen.
  • Cylinder liner and piston seal made of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber, respectively.
  • All parts can be autoclaved.
  • Size: 2 cm diameter, 11 cm high, weight 300g.

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BioSpec MicroMincer Accessories