In my last blog I wrote that I would be back with some Ultrasonic Homogenizer Applications and here I am, back again, trying to fill the Ultrasonic void.
Although Ultrasonic Homogenization is most widely known for disruption of cells and tissue, there are many other uses for it that covers a wide range of applications.
Water in oil emulsions are well suited for sonication because there is little danger of the sample being ruined by inversion and the process is considerably faster than traditional mixing methods. The cosmetic industry uses Ultrasonic Homogenization for liquid make-up in order to disperse the pigments uniformly. It is also widely used by lotion and toothpaste manufacturers as the final product has a much longer shelf life and is a higher quality product.
Sonication is used in environmental testing labs for testing of water, soil and sediment samples. Testing that was done prior to Ultrasonic Homogenization was very time consuming and required high volumes of solvents. The use of Ultrasonics cut the testing time by many hours down to 5-10 minutes making the environmental labs more efficient and reduced solvent waste products.
Pharmaceutical research covers a wide range of applications for Ultrasonics. Common uses are mixing of powders and solutions, the making of smaller crystals for drug compounds, and degassing samples. The production of liposomes or lipid vesicles that are used to study mechanisms for drug discovery are also critical in this industry along with putting complex compounds into solution for analysis via chromatography.
This may be the least well known application for Ultrasonic Homogenizers. In an Ultrasonic Bath the strength of the sonication waves are limited for this type of application. It takes much more time to clean items in a bath than it would if using a probe type Ultrasonic. The benefits of this are apparent when trying to clean items with very small openings such as needle or wire dies and electronic components as the energy can be focused and directed by moving the probe.
Check back in a few weeks for part III of the Ultrasonic Blog, “What Equipment in Right for You” and in the meantime have a Happy, Healthy and Safe Holiday and New Year!