Following on from the recent series of articles on the subject of industries you probably didn’t know exist, this latest one is on molecular extraction from biological samples. There are many reasons that molecules may need to be extracted and this technology is used by many different industries such as the nuclear industry (for example, in a radiation monitoring system); the defence & security industry; life sciences, safety; and environment & recycling.
How is this done?
The most common method of sample preparation involves initially disrupting the sample with a tissue homogenizer before extracting the molecules of interest. Machines such as the Precellys Tissue Homogenizers are used here to provide a good range of fast and reproducible solutions to achieve any type of sample preparation. These products are designed to avoid cross-contamination with optimal tissue grinding or cell disruption. Sample preparation is critical to master molecules extraction from biological samples.
When is this used?
This is used for many different purposes such as the following:
In cancer research
Hard tissues such as those from tumours can be particularly difficult to homogenize, and animal models are often used in cancer research. molecule extraction and tissue homogenisation is used here to facilitate the creation of samples used in analysis and research.
Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production. Sample preparation is currently a major part of research into new GMO foods, food allergies and plant studies. These often require ground, hard samples such as seeds, roots or frozen food, which are particularly hard to grind.
Samples of very hard materials such as bone, teeth, and hair are commonly analysed in forensic laboratories. These samples are analysed in order to extract, for example, DNA from bone or teeth or drug extraction from hair.
Pharmaceutical research is currently big business but begins with molecule identification from a natural or artificial model. Animal toxicology model analysis requires the homogenization of tissues.
In environmental analysis
Soil and environmental analysis often focus on microbiology studies and pollution impact on wildlife. Microorganisms included in a biological matrix are often a particularly difficult challenge to analyse.
The study of microorganisms is critical in industries such as bio-production and health research. And they are often very difficult to analyse due to their thick cell walls, which makes nucleic acid extraction difficult.