Tissue pulveriser (was: Re: RNA from human skin)

Susan Jane Hogarth sjhogart at cc06du.unity.ncsu.edu
Wed Dec 9 18:50:22 EST 1998


In article <366EAAB9.388F at sickkids.on.ca>, Gail Otulakowski wrote:

>Buy a stainless steel mortar and pestle (used normally for crushing rock
>samples).

Are these the three-piece units sold with a lead hammer and also referred 
to as 'tissue pulverisers'? My husband made some for our lab (which uses 
them for smashing worms). He wanted to make some more to sell (he can 
make a decent profit for a much lower price than Fisher sells them at), 
but I told him that there probably wasn't much market for them. 

Do many people use these? I've found them very useful for smashing worms 
to a fine powder (which is hard to do in a ceramic m-and-p), but I 
thought people mostly used other methods of grinding samples.

>  Chill it well in dry ice.  Freeze your skin sample in liquid
>nitrogen.  Quickly transfer skin to mortar and pestle, and tap pestle
>with hammer several times.  Remove pestle, break up clump of smashed
>tissue quickly with a metal spatula, and hammer with pestle again.  This
>process should yield a frozen powder.

Yes, this is what we do for nematodes, too. Only we don't bother with 
'tapping', we go straight for a resounding "thwack!" The lab has a rule 
about shouting a warning -before- the pounding starts :-)

-- 
Susan 
"Slick 50 is to healthy bikes what Viagra is to healthy men." -PH
http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/s/sjhogart/public/home.html



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