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[Arabidopsis] Summary of replies on electrical drill for homogenisation in 1.5 ml tubes

P. Rocha via arab-gen%40net.bio.net (by procha_ac from yahoo.co.uk)
Sun Feb 8 23:05:59 EST 2009


Many thanks to those who have sent useful information regarding their choice of and experience with electrical drills for homogenisation of soft plant tissue in 1.5 ml tubes.

As several people have asked me to share any replies, here is a summary of them:

1) from Ketan Patel
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I have used this in the past.  The speed is a bit hard to control and you have to be careful about having too much liquid in your 1.5ml eppendorpf tube (liquid can splash out if there is too much).  Once you get the hang of it it is great for grinding tissue frozen in liquid nitrogen in a epp tube.  It worth a try as it is not very expensive.  You might be able to find it online through someone else other than fisher/vwr.
Let me know i you have any questions.

Fisherbrand* Disposable Pestle System
Low-cost alternative to mechanical or metal and glass tissue grinders

 Pestle Grinder System  03-392-106 

Go to fisher's website and search with the catalog number listed above.
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2) from Kelly Zimm
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I have used the "pellet pestle" to grind liquid-nitrogen frozen root samples for
protein extractions for MUG assays.  It works well and has all the features
you're looking for - small, simple pestle replacement, doesn't get stuck...

Here's a link from sigma:
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3) from Deane Falcone
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Hi Pedro:  Although it sounds like you want something smaller, my experience
is that, in the end, you might want to go for an inexpensive "bench top"
drill.  I've found that smaller portables, which I have mounted to a
ringstand, work okay but when using them for long periods at the lower
speeds for macerating tissue, the motors can burn out!

Thus, I now use a Ryobi "drill press" in which the drill speeds are set by a
belt position and the motor speed stays constant. It is a little on the
large side but it does fit on the lab bench and it quite useful.

Anyway, just my input from my experience with this.

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4) from Thomas Martin

We use handheld, rechargeable power drills from a hardware store. We did not spend a great deal of money on those and they work fine for fresh and powdered plant tissue.
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5) from Ben Holt
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We have had good luck with the Heidolph Overhead Stirrers – they have some pretty fancy models, but we find the stripped down RZR1 model works great for what you want to do. It isn’t a keyless chuck, but we do have people that use the plastic pestles all the time and it has tons of torque. I personally prefer to use a stainless steel bit that is cut to the interior shape (bit smaller for buffer and sample) of a 1.5ml Eppendorf tube. For proteins, a quick wipe down is enough between samples. For DNA that will be amplified, we clean the pestle with a kimwipe and water and just make sure we wipe if off while the bit spins with plenty of water and a couple of wipes with clean parts of the kimwipe. Works great.


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6) from Zhang Xiaoyu      [same as 2.]
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Hi Pedro - we use these battery-powered pestles and moter from Sigma:

Sigma Aldrich    Z359947-100EA
Sigma Aldrich    Z359971-1EA

Happy grinding,

Pedro Rocha


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