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A sonicator, also known as an ultrasonic homogenizer, is used to homogenize, emulsify, and mix a variety of samples by subjecting them to intense ultrasonic energy. It works by generating high frequency sound waves, typically in the range of 20-200 kHz, that create microscopic bubbles in the liquid sample. These bubbles rapidly expand and collapse, generating high-energy shockwaves that break up large particles and mix the sample thoroughly. Sonication is commonly used in the field of biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, and materials science. Other examples of applications include cleaning and inducing cell lysis.
Cleaning: Sonication can be used to clean various laboratory equipment such as
glassware, pipettes, and even small electronic devices. The ultrasonic energy induces a scrubbing action that helps to remove dirt and other contaminants from the surfaces of the objects. This is an effective method for removing even hard-to-remove
contaminants, such as biological material.
Cell lysis: As far as cell lysis is concerned, it helps release intracellular components such as proteins, nucleic acids, and organelles. This is useful for downstream applications such as PCR, Western blotting, and flow cytometry.