BioSpec Products was the first to introduce 'beadbeating' cell disruption to the scientific laboratory 35 years ago. This method of cell disruption for small samples has replaced many traditional methods.
Grinding time will vary, depending on the type of sample. Generally, 2-3 minutes will get you close to total cell lysis. If you are doing PCR work and can settle for less than 100% lysis, shorter periods of beadbeating may suffice. Also important for good cell disruption is the choice of bead size, bead composition, and bead load.
If native proteins or intracellular organelles are being recovered, temperature control will be essential. With most high energy beadbeaters the grinding process increases the homogenate temperature about 10º per minute of beadbeating. This is most easily done by removing the microvials after one minute of beadbeating and cooling them in crushed ice/water mix for one minute. Recycle this one minute beadbeat and cooling cyle as necessary. Temperature control is not as important for nucleic acid extraction in nucleic acid extraction media.
There are three equally important variables under the control of the user which determine efficiency of cell disruption: bead size, bead composition and bead load in the vial. These variables must be optimized by the user, not only for the 'beadbeater' machine which is in use, but for the type of sample being investigated. While there are commercially available vials prefilled with special bead mixes offering solutions for these three variables, one can usually get equivalent results and at the same time, save money by loading your own beads into vials. Only one kind and size of bead is usually needed.
Please note, the Mini-Beadbeater-96 is compatible with 96 deep well plates. When using deep well microplates possible leakage and subsequent cross contamination between wells is a concern. While the entire mat surface area is evenly clamped to the microplate during beadbeating in the Mini-BeadBeater-96, the user must first thoroughly press the mat onto the microplate during the initial sealing process. The best mats are made of EVA or silicone rubber. Mats made of other rubber-like polymers or adhesive- or heat-bonded or adshasive-bonded films - may not prevent leaking during intense shaking in the Mini-BeadBeater-96. Should microplate integrity not meet your expectations, turn to time-tested screw cap microvials. Mini-Beadbeater-96’s include a free microvial holder that holds up to 45 microvials.