A homogenizer is an essential piece of laboratory or industrial equipment used for the mechanical homogenization of various types of material, such as biological cell, tissue, plant, food, soil, and many others. Many different homogenizer models have been developed using various physical technologies for disruption. The mortar and pestle, already used for thousands of years, is a standard homogenization tool even in modern laboratories. More modern solutions are based on blender type of instruments, bead mills, ultrasonic treatment (also called as sonication), rotor-stator mechanical, high pressure, and many other physical forces. In addition to the method of homogenization used, some other features to look for in a laboratory homogenizer are whether multiple samples can be run simultaneously, ease of sample loading, and footprint.
Mechanical homogenizers can be used for a wide range of laboratory applications. Homogenizers are a good choice for cell fractionation to release the organelles from cell. Whereas older technologies just focused on the disruption of the material, newer technologies also address quality or environmental aspects, such as cross-contamination, aerosols, risk of infection, or noise. Homogenization is a very common sample preparation step prior to the analysis of nucleic acids, proteins, cells, pathogens, and many other targets.