Ultrasonic homogenizing is a mechanical process to reduce small particles in a liquid so that they become uniformly small and evenly distributed.  Sonicators work by generating intense sonic pressure waves in a liquid media. The pressure waves cause streaming in the liquid and, under the right conditions, rapid formation of micro-bubbles which grow and coalesce until they reach their resonant size, vibrate violently, and eventually collapse. This phenomenon is called cavitation. The implosion of the vapor phase bubbles generates a shock wave with sufficient energy to break covalent bonds. Shear from the imploding cavitation bubbles as well as from eddying induced by the vibrating sonic transducer disrupt cells.

There are several external variables which must be optimized to achieve efficient cell disruption. These variables are as follows:

  • Tip amplitude and intensity

  • Temperature

  • Cell concentration

  • Pressure

  • Vessel capacity and shape

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