Bullet Blender Tissue Homogenizer

Overview

The coolest way to lyse cells, homogenize tissue . . . and more.



The Bullet Blender® enables you to homogenize, disrupt, or lyse up to 24 tissue or cell culture samples at a time. Load the samples into standard polypropylene tubes, then place them in the Bullet Blender. The "bullets" in the instrument vigorously strike all of the tubes and homogenize your sample in minutes. The Bullet Blender homogenizer Gold models keep samples at 4°C!

Why choose the Bullet Blender Tissue Homogenizer?

Consistent and High Yield Results

The Bullet Blender tissue homogenizer prepares up to 24 samples in just minutes. All of the samples are automatically homogenized in the same manner, with high yields, so there is very little variation from sample to sample. See the Protocols tab for preparation times and speeds.

Samples Stay COOL

No cool down periods needed. The Bullet Blender tissue homogenizer applies rapid bursts of agitation with minimal sample heating, by utilizing ambient air circulation. Competing bead mill homogenizers require cool down periods as their designs result in heated samples from minimal air circulating past the sample tubes and/or continuous high frequency agitation. In comparison, the Bullet Blender’s unique and elegant design maximizes the efficiency of the motor, which does not need to agitate any heavy platforms or plates. Such efficiency allows the Bullet Blender motor to require little power, in turn keeping the samples cooler and our tissue homogenizers in use for many years. If fact, early units from 2006 remain in use today!
Learn more about cooling in the Bullet Blender!

So Many Uses, So Easy To Use

In addition to homogenizing tissue, plant matter, small organisms and microorganisms, the Bullet Blender tissue homogenizer can also isolate live bacteria from organs, generate nanoparticles, and isolate organelles from cells.

It’s so easy to use. Simply place your sample, beads and buffer in standard tubes, and load the tubes into the Bullet Blender tissue homogenizer. Tune the extent of disruption by adjusting the run time and speed. Afterwards, place the sample tubes in a centrifuge to separate the lysate. No special holders are needed. There are no clamp plates nor locking rings to fiddle with.
Learn more about how easy the Bullet Blender is to use!

No Cross-Contamination or Sample Loss

There are no probes or blades that directly contact samples in the Bullet Blender tissue homogenizer to cause cross contamination or sample loss. The sample tubes are kept closed and self-contained during homogenization. For the user, this also means there are no parts to clean between runs.

Risk Free Purchase

All Bullet Blender tissue homogenizers come with a 30 day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty (an extended, 4 year warranty is also available). The simple, reliable design enables the Bullet Blender to sell for half the price of other agitation based instruments, while providing an easier, quicker, and cooler homogenization.

Mouse femur before and after homogenization
Saccharmoyces before and after homogenization
Citrust leaves before and after homogenization

Download the Bullet Blender brochure.


A comic of a frustrated woman homogenizing samples by hand in the first panel and the same woman, now happy, using the Bullet Blender in the second panel

You are running state-of-the-art tests on your samples. Why not use the latest technology?


Testimonials

“We love our blenders, after hand homogenizing 20-30 tissues everyday, for about 20 years we now could not live without them.” Shari Kohut, Kaleida Health Women & Children’s Hospital Laboratory
“We use the (Bullet Blender) to homogenize C. elegans tissue, and it has proven to have the ability to homogenize the tissue much better than anything we have used in the past. As a result, the reproducibility of our experiments has increased drastically. We really couldn’t be happier with the functionality. Also, thanks to the team at Next Advance for OUTSTANDING customer service.” Wes Edmonds, University of Alabama Birmingham
“We’ve seen this thing in action. It’s amazing.” Nancy Faith, University of Wisconsin – Madison
“We have been getting a lot of use out of our Bullet Blenders, and we still love them! They do a great job homogenizing for us, and save our techs from repetitive motion injuries, and help with time management. We love them!” Chantry Clark, ARUP Laboratories
“Our throughput doubled because I was able to get twice as many samples prepared with the Bullet Blender than a spice grinder.” Josh Sutherland, Simplot

Features

Features

Bullet Blender® Gold Models with 4°C Cooling

Bullet Blender Gold for Tissue Disruption Homogenization

The Bullet Blender Gold model Bullet Blender combines dry ice cooling to keep samples at 4°C, insulation to keep homogenization quiet, and extra-powerful homogenization to give you the excellent results.

  • Samples kept at 4°C
  • Quiet

Features in all Models

  • Agitation: Vigorous agitation at a range of frequencies and in multiple directions, for thorough homogenization of even the toughest samples.
  • Capacity: Process up to 24 samples in 1.5 mL tubes, 12 samples in 5 mL tubes, or up to 8 samples in 50 mL tubes.
  • Cooling: Air Cooling™ (all models except the basic Bullet Blender) reduces heating up of samples with ambienat air. Sample tube oscillation in open air ensures good convective cooling.
  • Easy To Use: Just set the speed and time and press start.
  • Speed Control: Adjustable to handle gentle vortexing to homogenization of bones.
  • Worldwide: Power supply can be used anywhere worldwide.
  • CE Certified: CE Certified models available.
  • Risk Free: 2 year warranty and 30 day money-back guarantee.
  • Made In The USA

Models

Models

There are several Bullet Blender models for different purposes and different size samples, using microcentrifuge tubes (0 – 300 uL samples), 5 mL tubes (0.1 – 1 mL samples), and 50 mL tubes (0.1 – 3.5 mL samples).

The microcentrifuge tubes models include:
  • Basic Bullet Blender, a lower power model with the lowest cost and works only with snap cap tubes
  • Bullet Blender Blue has Air Cooling™ which forces ambient air past the samples to keep them cooler and also works with only snap cap tubes.
  • Bullet Blender Storm, the most popular model, because it has a more powerful motor that can handle the toughest samples and Air Cooling, which forces ambient air past your samples. The Storm model works with snap cap and our RINO® screw cap tubes, made from an extra tough material.
  • Bullet Blender Gold, the best model for working with RNA because it has the powerful motor found in the Storm model, works with snap cap and our RINO screw cap tubes, and incorporates dry ice 4°C Cooling™ to keep samples at 4°C. Using a temperature sensor in the instrument, monitoring the motor and using an algorithm, a fan is modulated to blow the right amount of air past dry ice and then mixed with ambient air in the instrument and past samples to keep them near 4°C.
  • Bullet Blender Gold Plus, similar to the Gold, with a color graphics user control screen. This model has an updatable library of protocols with color photographs and a user guide with instructions for preparing samples.

Bullet Blender Models: Microcentrifuge Tubes

(samples 0-300 µl)

Feature
Standard
BBX24
Blue
BBX24B
Storm
BBY24M
Gold
BB24-AU
High Throughput- Homogenizes up to 24 samples at a time
Range of speeds allows for gentle vortexing, vigorous homogenization, or anything in between
Can be used in temperatures ranging from 4°C to 40°C*
With 4°C Cooling™
With Air Cooling to keep the inside of the instrument near ambient temperature
Can homogenize samples in RINO screw-cap tubes
Can homogenize samples in Eppendorf® Safe-lock™ snap-cap tubes
Extra-powerful homogenization for tough samples
Made in the USA

 

The 5 mL tube models work with samples from 100 uL – 1 mL, or 100 mg to 1 g. They include:

  • Bullet Blender 5 Storm, ideal for dry grinding of seeds and grains
  • Bullet Blender 5E, which has Air Cooling and works well on most types of samples
  • Bullet Blender 5 Gold, which is similar to the 5E, and has 4°C Cooling.

The 50 mL tubes models work with samples from 100 uL – 3.5 mL, or 100 mg to 3.5 g. They include:

  • Bullet Blender 50 DX, the lowest cost model for these larger samples
  • Bullet Blender 50 Gold, which has 4°C Cooling.

Bullet Blender Models: Larger Samples in 5 and 50 mL Tubes

(samples over 300 µl)

Feature
5E
BBY5E
5 Storm
BBY5M
50-DX
BB50-DX
5 Gold
BB5E-AU
50 Gold
BB50-AU
Homogenization of up to 12 samples from 100 mg – 1 g (100 µl – 1 mL for plant tissue, insects and cell culture) in 5 mL Eppendorf tubes
Homogenization of up to 12 samples from 100 mg – 1 g (100 µl – 1 mL for plant tissue, insects and cell culture), for wet or dry grinding in 5 mL Axygen® tubes
Homogenization of up to 8 samples from 100 mg – 3.5 g (100 µl – 3.5 mL for plant tissue, insects and cell culture) in 50 mL tubes
Range of speeds allows for gentle vortexing, vigorous homogenization, or anything in between
Can be used in temperatures ranging from 4°C to 40°C*
With Air Cooling to keep the inside of the instrument near ambient temperature
With 4°C Cooling
Made in the USA

*avoid condensation, which will damage electronics and void the warranty.

Specifications:

  • Size: All BBX and BBY models are 9 in. (23 cm) wide by 11 in. (28 cm) deep by 8.5 in. (21.5 cm) high The BB50-DX model is 15 in. (38 cm) wide by 14 in. (35 cm) deep by 15 in. (38 cm) high The BB24-AU and BB50-AU models are 18 in. (46 cm) wide by 14 in. (35 cm) deep by 15 in (38 cm) high.
  • Weight: 8.5 to 33 lbs (4 to 15 kg), depending upon model
  • Run Times: Up to 5 minutes (15 minutes for the 50-DX and 50-AU). The Bullet Blender will automatically stop after the selected time is up.
  • Power Requirements: BBX24 and BBX24B models: 24 VDC, 0.75 Amp BBY24M and BBX5MB models: 24 VDC, 2.5 Amp BB24-AU, BB25-AU and BB50-DX: 100-240 V, 2.5-4.5 A Plug configurations for international wall outlets available
  • Operating Temperature: 4 – 40°C
  • Relative Humidity: 5 – 90% non-condensing
  • CE certified instruments with upgraded configuration available
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • 2 year warranty (extended warranties available)

Applications

Applications of the Bullet Blender






What can you homogenize in a Bullet Blender?

Homogenize Tissue

Adipose, Adrenal Gland, Aorta, Bladder, Blood Vessel, Bone, Brain, Cartilage, Cecum, Colon, Cranium, Diaphragm, Duodenum, Ear, Epithelium, Eye, Feces, Fish Organs, Gallbladder, Genital Warts, Heart, Hypothalamus, Intestinal Mucosa, Intestine, Jaw, Jejunum, Kidney, Larynx, Liver, Lung, Lymph Node, Marrow, Meconium, Mouse Femur and Tibia, Muscle, Nasal, Olfactory Mucosa, Oropharynx, Pancreas, Peritoneal Macrophages, Pharynx, Pituitary Gland, Placenta, Polyp, Salivary Gland, Skin, Spleen, Stomach, Tail Snips, Teeth, Testes, Thalamus, Thymus Gland, Thyroid Gland, Tongue, Trachea, Tumor, Umbilical Cord, Uterus, Wound Tissue


Lyse Cells

Bacteria, Yeast (C. albicans), E. coli, Mammalian cell culture, Stem Cells, Yeast (S. cerevisiae)


Homogenize Plant Material and Fungi

A thaliana, Algae, Beans, Blueberry, Cannabis, Corn, Fungi, Ginger Rhizome, Horseradish Root, Leaves, Leek, Malanga (Tuber), Microsporidia, Moss, Mycelia, N. benthamiana, Conifer Needles, Pine Nut, Potato (Tuber), Tomato Root, Tomato Seeds, Sugar Cane Pulp, Tobacco, Soy Bean Plant


Homogenize Small Organisms

Caterpillar, Crayfish, Crickets, Fruit Fly (Drosophila), Honeybee, Hookworm, Mosquito, Nematode (B. xylophilus), Plankton, Roundworm (C. elegans), Shrimp, Ticks, Zebrafish (D. rerio), Zooplankton, Xenopus Tissue


Dry Grind Samples

Dried soybeans, mung beans, corn, rice, surghum, cloves, barley, spelt, sunflower seeds, wheat berries, chickpeas and many more!


Forensic Applications

Results

Click to See Results

Beads and Accessories

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Accessories

Publications

Publications Citing the Bullet Blender

We’re proud to say that the Bullet Blender has been cited in more than 800 publications! Researchers all over the world have used the Bullet Blender® for extracting molecules, isolating live cells, and even generating nanoparticles.

Use the tables below to find publications for specific samples or applications.


Protocols

Protocols for the Bullet Blender

Before you start. Please read the General Guidelines before using the Bullet Blender® in any application.

Download our User Guide. It contains instructions on using the Bullet Blender, preparing samples including procedures for special cases, bead selection, and special considerations.

Need help? E-mail our tech support at support@NextAdvance.com and we’ll do our best to assist you.

Share protocols! If you have developed a protocol with the Bullet Blender that is not listed on this page, please share it with everyone! E-mail it to us at support@NextAdvance.com or send it using our support form and we’ll review it and add it to our list of protocols.

PLEASE NOTE: The protocols used with the Bullet Blender are different than protocols used with other bead-mill homogenizers. Protocols for other bead-mill homogenizers will not work with the Bullet Blender. Does the protocol use a different kind of bead than the type you currently have? Click here for pricing and ordering.

Bullet Blender Protocols

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Sample nameProtocol link

Browse all protocols

FAQs

Bullet Blender FAQs

Reference Manual with helpful suggestions and pictures

4°C Cooling™ in the Bullet Blender:

What is 4°C Cooling?

4°C cooling uses a compartment filled with dry ice to keep samples near 4°C. When the instrument is in operation, cold air from the compartment is drawn into the instrument, cooling the samples. Some users prefer to pre-cool their Bullet Blenders before use. To pre-cool, fill the compartment with dry ice and run the instrument with no tubes inside for 5 minutes or until the "4°C" light comes on.

Which models have 4°C Cooling?

The 4°C cooling feature comes on Gold models of the Bullet Blender®. The BB24-AU which homogenizes samples in 1.5 mL microcentrifuge tubes, the BB5E-AU which homogenizes samples in 5 mL tubes and BB50-AU which homogenizes samples in 50 mL tubes.

How does 4°C cooling work so well?

The dry ice cooling system in the Bullet Blender Gold models is fully integrated with the instrument. (Most or all other homogenizers with cooling, have separate cooling modules or use cooling packs.) The Bullet Blender Gold models use temperature sensors and also monitor the homogenization conditions, so they can compensate for these factors and provide the precise amount of cooling to keep samples at or very near 4C, within a degree or two. Also, the operating principal of the Bullet Blender is different than other bead mill homogenizers, so samples are not subjected to as much heat, and therefore, do not need to be cooled as much.

How much dry ice do I need to use 4°C Cooling?

It takes at least 2 lbs of dry ice for the instrument to achieve maximum cooling. We recommend filling the chamber with 3 lbs of dry ice- depending on how heavily the instrument is used, this should keep samples at 4°C for an entire day of homogenization.

Can I use regular ice with 4°C Cooling?

You can use some regular ice from a -80 Freezer, however, it will not be as effective or last as long as dry ice. Secondly, the melt water will block the flow of air for cooling the samples. The meltwater, if spilled, could damage the Bullet Blender and void any warranty. Drawing moist air into the unit may also cause damage to the electronics over time.

Why is the 4°C light not lighting up on my Bullet Blender Gold unit?

Frost from condensation may be blocking the air passage. Remove the inner dry ice compartment and gently agitate it or replace the ice. If your dry ice has been stored for a long time, it may also contain some water ice from condensed humidity in the air and will be less effective in cooling the unit.

What will happen if I operate my Bullet Blender Gold unit with no dry ice?

When there is no dry ice in the compartment, you should operate the instrument with the lid of the dry ice compartment open so that the instrument can operate using Air Cooling™.

Air Cooling™:

What is Air Cooling?

Most models have Air Cooling. These models exchange air with their surroundings; they do not have refrigeration units. Air Cooling draws cool air into the instrument if you are using the Bullet Blender in a cold room or a refrigerated cabinet keeping samples below room temperature. Air Cooling is also useful if you’re running several sample cycles in a row or if your samples are extra sensitive to heating up. Normally, the samples in the Bullet Blender only heat up a few degrees and stay quite cool. However, if you’re running a second batch of samples soon afterward, they will heat up a little more because the Bullet Blender is starting out slightly warmer. The Air Cooling keeps the Bullet Blender cooler so that the first batch of samples heat up a little less and subsequent batches are kept just about as cool as the first batch.

Which models have Air Cooling?

The Air Cooling feature comes on all models of the Bullet Blender except the standard Bullet Blender for microcentrifuge tubes (BBX24). Gold models not running with dry ice can be run in Air Cooling mode if the dry ice compartment lid is left open to enable air exchange.

Use and Operation:

How is the Bullet Blender different from other high-throughput homogenizers on the market?

The Bullet Blender is similar to other bead mill style homogenizers in that it processes each sample in its own tube using homogenization beads. Therefore, there is no chance of cross-contamination and there are no parts that need cleaning after each sample.

A unique feature of the Bullet Blender is the way it agitates the sample tubes. Other bead-mill homogenizers vigorously shake the sample tubes, which requires a great deal of energy. The large motors required tend to make these homogenizers large and expensive: many are 2-3 times the cost of the Bullet Blender.

The Bullet Blender, on the other hand, uses a patented striking technology. Strikers impact the sample tubes. These bursts of energy force the sample tubes to oscillate vigorously in 3 dimensions, at a range of frequencies, up to several thousand cycles per minute. We find that a range of frequencies is more effective than a single frequency. This energy-efficient approach requires a much smaller motor and avoids the need to clamp tubes into a holder, so loading the sample tubes in the Bullet Blender is much easier and quicker. The Bullet Blender is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than competitors’ equipment while working just as well.

Also unique to the Bullet Blender, the sample tubes rapidly oscillate in a stream of rapidly flowing air. They are not clamped into a holder, preventing air exchange. Therefore, convective cooling is very effective and sample heating is minimal, especially in models with Air Cooling or 4°C Cooling. The Bullet Blender can also be used in a cold room, unlike many of the other instruments on the market.

What types of tubes can be used?

Microcentrifuge models: The Bullet Blender Storm and Gold models work with our RINO® tubes or 1.5 mL Eppendorf® Safe-Lock tubes (not the LoBind version though). The standard Bullet Blender and Bullet Blender Blue work with 1.5 mL or 2.0 mL Eppendorf Safe-Lock tubes. When using 2 mL tubes in the the Bullet Blender or the Bullet Blender Blue we recommend using a minimum of 2 tubes per homogenization cycle. The obsolete screw cap models (BBX24W and BBX24BW) use Axygen® 1.5 mL screw-cap tubes.

5 mL tube models: The Bullet Blender Storm 5 units work with 5 mL Axygen brand screw top transport tubes. We also offer the Bullet Blender 5 E that works with Eppendorf 5 mL snap-cap conical tubes. As these are different in size than the Axygen tubes, these 5mL models can handle one type of tube or the other, but not both in the same instrument.

50 mL tube models: The Bullet Blender 50-DX and 50-AU (DX and Gold models) work with 50 mL skirted (self-standing) polypropylene tubes, such as TPP® brand or Corning® brand. Generally high quality tubes work better (rather than bargain brand tubes which are not as strong).

How do you set the Bullet Blender to mix, disrupt, or homogenize different types of samples?

You can adjust the speed and the duration of a cycle. Adjusting the speed affects the momentum applied by the strikers to the sample tubes, and thus the force applied to the sample by the beads. The "speed" setting is a relative measure of homogenization power. A direct measure of speed (such as RPM or mps) would be misleading because the sample tubes oscillate at a range of frequencies. Adjusting the duration affects the total number of impacts. Homogenizing tough tissue requires longer durations at full speed, while mixing or cell dissociation requires lower speeds and duration.

How easy is it to operate the Bullet Blender?

Simply place up to 24 sample tubes in the holders, set the desired duration and speed, and push start. All the samples will be processed simultaneously, without any chance of cross contamination.

How much sample can be homogenized in each microcentrifuge tube?

General tip: Tubes should be filled no more than 75% full (50% for 50 mL tubes). The air volume inside the tube is critical to allow the sample to be ground up inside the tube, so if the tube is overfilled the efficiency of the homogenization is reduced.

For microcentrifuge model Bullet Blenders, we recommend using 10-300 µL of sample. Less than 10 µL will work, but it requires careful attention to the amount of beads and volume of homogenization buffer. The 5 mL tubes can hold up to about 1 mL of sample. The 50 mL tubes can hold up to about 3.5 mL of sample. Note that for most wet organ tissue an easy approximation of volume is 1 mL≈1 g.

Do sample tubes need to be placed symmetrically?

No. There are no restrictions as to which holes to place your sample tubes in, however you may get better results if you space them apart as evenly as possible.

How do you retrieve the sample from the tubes?

After the Bullet Blender stops, simply remove the tubes and draw off the liquid with a pipet. If a clear lysate is desired, the sample may be centrifuged to clarify the lysate prior to use in your applications. Tubes may be centrifuged with the beads in them for ease of handling.

Which beads should I use?

The protocols page contains suggested beads, speeds, and durations for processing many types of tissues and cells. The two basic rules for bead selection: (1) use denser beads for tougher samples, and (2) use beads of a comparable size to the size of your samples to maximize the effectiveness of collisions between beads and samples. For example, if you wanted to lyse mammalian cells with a soft membrane, use small beads. If you want to homogenize larger pieces of tough tissue, use large steel beads. "”UFO" beads are excellent for homogenizing fibrous or resilient samples. You can also contact our technical support staff at techsupport@nextadvance.com if you have any questions.

I am trying to process tough samples in the Bullet Blender and the homogenization is incomplete. How can I improve my results?

  • Examine the shape of your samples – long thin samples will homogenize faster than cube-shaped or round samples.
  • Try cutting your samples into smaller pieces.
  • Ensure your tubes are not overloaded.
  • If you are running many samples at once in the standard or Blue models of the Bullet Blender (BBX24 or BBX24B), try running fewer tubes at a time. If a sample is extremely tough (e.g. mouse femur) you may only be able to achieve complete homogenization with 2-4 tubes at a time.
  • If you are using the BB50-DX or BB50-AU, make sure that all of the sleeves are removed except for the sleeves containing tubes.

I previously owned another bead mill homogenizer. Can I use the same protocols that we developed for the other homogenizer with the Bullet Blender?
 

Yes, if your previous homogenizer was a Bullet Blender. Each speed setting provides relative homogenization performance across all models.

No, if your previous homogenizer was not a Bullet Blender. The mechanism of action is different from all other homogenizers on the market. Our patented striking technology makes the Bullet Blender both highly efficient and effective. If you use another product’s protocol with the Bullet Blender, you are very likely to experience different results. Please use one of our established protocols, or empirically determine a protocol that works best for your samples. We also offer free protocol development services.

Is it possible to homogenize tissue that has been frozen in liquid nitrogen?

It is possible to homogenize tissue that was frozen in liquid nitrogen. Immerse the frozen tissue in cold buffer and allow it to thaw, then treat it as you would any other sample. If the tissue was dried before it was frozen, you can pulverize the tissue by homogenizing with beads only (no buffer), then adding the cold buffer and running again to complete the homogenization. You cannot homogenize "wet" tissue while it is still frozen, as it will effectively be a block of ice and homogenization efficiency will be very poor.

What is the “Key-Switch Lock Out” option for Bullet Blenders?

This key switch option incapacitates the electronics, preventing others from operating your Bullet Blender. Thereby, others are discouraged from working in your area, using your supplies, and upsetting your experiments.

Contact us if you have any more questions.

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