A probe sonicator is laboratory equipment used for cell disruption, emulsification, homogenization, dispersion, and deagglomeration of particles in a liquid medium. The probe sonicator works by using high-frequency sound waves to break apart samples. It consists of a small probe that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies, typically between 20 and 70 kHz. The probe is immersed in the sample solution, and the resulting sound waves cause rapid pressure fluctuations that create cavitation bubbles, which collapse violently and generate intense shear forces that disrupt the cells or particles.
Probe sonicators are commonly used in life sciences research, including in the fields of microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology. They are used to prepare samples for downstream analysis, such as DNA or RNA extraction, protein extraction, or nanoparticle synthesis. They are also used for cell lysis and disruption, sample homogenization, and particle size reduction.
When choosing a probe sonicator, some important factors to consider include the frequency range, power output, probe diameter, and the type of sample container that can be used with the instrument. Some probe sonicators also have features such as temperature control and programmable settings for greater control and reproducibility.
Overall, probe sonicators are an essential tool for many types of laboratory research and are highly valued for their ability to efficiently and effectively disrupt samples without introducing excessive heat or other forms of stress that may alter the sample composition.