Monday, January 21, 2013

PBI Shredder -- use pressure to extract your proteins?

I recently read about this instrument in The Scientist.  It is a permutation of your basic homogenizer systems.  While I'm not completely clear on its mechanism of operation, what I do get is that it uses a finely adjustable pressure to lyse cells with minimal shear pressure.  While it is marketed primarily for DNA extraction, the producers do mention that it can be used for proteins.  While it would probably have limited usefulness for most of us shotgun MS/MS people, particularly the membrane centric ones (like me!), I could see where it could be useful for others.  This might be a great way to get proteins out for top-down analysis of protein complexes, as sonication does tend to damage larger proteins more, who knows what it does to large protein complexes (probably bad things!).  You can read more about the PBI Shredder at the manufacturer's website, as well as watch a video!

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