Cell Lysis for Research Purposes
Cell lysis is the process by which the cell is torn/ broken open so as to release its contents. Cell lysis is used for research purposes when researchers want to use intracellular cell components like DNA, RNA or cell proteins.
Techniques Used for Cell Lysis
Cell lysis can be performed using chemicals, mechanical methods, detergents or enzymes to digest the cell membrane and (or) cell wall in the case of plant cells. Every one of these techniques has potential advantages and disadvantages, and researchers should decide which techniques are most suitable for their own experiments.. Below are the commonly used methods for cell lysis
Freezing and Thawing
This is a common method used to lyse both mammalian and bacterial cells. It involves freezing the cell colony in ethanol followed by thawing. The methodology behind this is that cell membranes will rupture as a result of the rapid change in temperature.. However, this method has a major disadvantage in that not all the cells will be lysed on the first try and therefore more attempts are required in most cases..
This utilizes high frequency sound waves to disrupt the cell membrane hence, releasing the cellular contents. It has a disadvantage in that, the ultrasonic waves may result to excessive heating and ultimate destruction of the cell lysate.
Mechanical Cell lysis Techniques
This is also a very popular method of cell disruption that utilizes shearing forces to disintegrate the cells. The advantage of this method is that it can be used to lyse very small volumes of cells. However, this can cause segmentation or destruction and loss of integrity of the individual cellular components being targeted..
Advances in Mechanical Cell lysis Techniques
Normally, mechanical lysing requires the use of large blenders and that occupy huge lab space. Advances have been made to develop mini-lysing kits that are as small as the size of the index finger. The advantage is the lots of lab space can be saved when storing the devices..
Unlike the use of lysing methods that use detergents, chemicals and enzymes; which could contaminate the cell lysate, advanced mechanical cell lyses methods have been designed to make ensure the lysing process does not utilize such solvents and fluids, therefore, reducing the chances of lysate contamination.
Rapid cell lysis kits are easy to use and require far less experience and training to be used correctly.. Currently, it is also possible to lyse hard-to-lyse cells in less than a minute’s time.
Jonathan regularly writes about the latest innovations in Cell Lysis and DNA Extraction and Purification. Learn more about rapid cell lysis technology by visiting Claremont Bio and requesting a free Cell Lysis and DNA Extraction kit.