Tissue pulverizer

Innovative tissue pulverizer design

The key design feature of the Cellcrusher is that it has curved inner surfaces.

Effective sample recovery
The recovery spoon is contoured to the curved inner surface of the Cellcrusher, so that minimal sample is wasted. This allows for fast effective sample recovery.  Frozen tissue samples are quickly and effectively pulverized and collected.

The sample size range is 20 mg to 5 g.

Fast cleaning
The curved inner surfaces of the Cellcrusher have no corners, facilitating easy cleaning.   The Cellcrusher is cleaned cold and dry, at liquid nitrogen temperatures, using the recovery spoon wrapped in tissue paper.  This avoids the tedious task of warming and then washing an extremely cold metal object in water.

tissue pulverizer

Sample types

Physically tough samples
A wide variety of tough sample types have been effectively pulverized using the Cellcrusher.  Cartilage, venous tissue and tumor samples are routinely disrupted.  Customers have reported cell disruption of zebrafish embryos, nematodes, coral and even gastropod suckerpads.

Extrememly physically tough samples
Crypulverization, in simple terms, relies on the fact that frozen water is brittle at liquid nitrogen temperatures. Therefore, drier samples such as seeds, bark or skin are very difficult to disrupt.  For these tissues we recommend using the Cellcrusher in conjunction with the Drill-bit accessory.  This accessory fits into any household drill and will result in tissue pulverization of even the most difficult samples.

RNA extraction
RNA extraction from tissue at liquid nitrogen temperature is a common technique employed to protect against RNAse activity.  A significant group of our customers use the device for RNA extraction from tissues which are not very physically tough, such as brain or muscle tissue, as well as from tougher samples such as leaf or root tissue.  One customer described the advantages as “In fact we even are using it on smaller tissues for DNA extraction and RNA analysis (arabidopsis roots/leaves etc) because it’s so much faster than a pestle and mortar, uses far less muscle work, saves liquid nitrogen and cleaning is so easy” (Lottie Chapman, Plant Sciences, University of Oxford).

RNAlater® is a proprietary solution used to stabilize and protect cellular RNA in tissue samples.  The Cellcrusher has been successfully used to extract RNA from skin biopsy samples that have been preserved in RNAlater®.

Other Sample types

The Cellcrusher has also been used for cell disruption of Lemna gibba (duckweed), for DNA testing and was been described by the researcher as being “Quicker and better than PCR-Beads method”.

Human and rodent bone samples are also routinely disrupted for RNA preparation using our tissue pulverizer.


A streamlined tethered chromosome conformation capture protocol

Idan Gabdank, Sreejith Ramakrishnan, Anne M. Villeneuve, Andrew Z. Fire

BMC Genomics. 2016; 17: 274

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains a C. elegans disruption protocol

MicroRNA-206: A Potential Circulating Biomarker Candidate for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Janne M. Toivonen, Raquel Manzano, Sara Oliván, Pilar Zaragoza, Alberto García-Redondo, Rosario Osta

PLoS One. 2014; 9(2): e89065

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains a muscle tissue disruption protocol

Examining the joint contribution of placental NR3C1 and HSD11B2 methylation for infant neurobehavior

Allison A. Appleton, Barry M. Lester, David A. Armstrong, Corina Lesseur, Carmen J. Marsit

Psychoneuroendocrinology.  2015 February; 52: 32–42

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains a placental tissue disruption protocol

Sex-specific associations between placental leptin promoter DNA methylation and infant neurobehavior

Corina Lesseur, David A. Armstrong, Megan A. Murphy, Allison A. Appleton, Devin C. Koestler, Alison G. Paquette, Barry M. Lester, Carmen J. Marsit

Psychoneuroendocrinology.  2014 February; 40: 1–9

Tissue-specific Leptin promoter DNA methylation is associated with maternal and infant perinatal factors

Corina Lesseur, David A. Armstrong, Alison G. Paquette, Devin C. Koestler, James F. Padbury, Carmen J. Marsit

Mol Cell Endocrinol.  2013 December 5; 381(0): 160–167

SH3BP2 Gain-Of-Function Mutation Exacerbates Inflammation and Bone Loss in a Murine Collagen-Induced Arthritis Model

Tomoyuki Mukai, Richard Gallant, Shu Ishida, Teruhito Yoshitaka, Mizuho Kittaka, Keiichiro Nishida, David A. Fox, Yoshitaka Morita, Yasuyoshi Ueki

PLoS One. 2014; 9(8): e105518

A Novel Neutralizing Antibody Targeting Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A Inhibits Ovarian Cancer Growth and Ascites Accumulation in Patient Mouse Tumorgrafts

Marc A. Becker, Paul Haluska, Jr., Laurie K. Bale, Claus Oxvig, Cheryl A. Conover

Mol Cancer Ther. 2015 April; 14(4): 973–981

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains an ovarian tumor disruption protocol

Placental FKBP5 Genetic and Epigenetic Variation Is Associated with Infant Neurobehavioral Outcomes in the RICHS Cohort

Alison G. Paquette, Barry M. Lester, Devin C. Koestler, Corina Lesseur, David A. Armstrong, Carmen J. Marsit

PLoS One. 2014; 9(8): e104913

Maternal Obesity and Gestational Diabetes are Associated with Placental Leptin DNA Methylation

Corina Lesseur, David A. Armstrong, Alison G. Paquette, Zhigang Li, James F. Padbury, Carmen J. Marsit

Am J Obstet Gynecol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2015 December 1.

Published in final edited form as: Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 December; 211(6): 654.e1–654.e9

Global and gene-specific DNA methylation across multiple tissues in early infancy: implications for children’s health research

David A. Armstrong, Corina Lesseur, Elisabeth Conradt, Barry M. Lester, Carmen J. Marsit

FASEB J. 2014 May; 28(5): 2088–2097. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-238402

β-Carotene-9′,10′-Oxygenase Status Modulates the Impact of Dietary Tomato and Lycopene on Hepatic Nuclear Receptor–, Stress-, and Metabolism-Related Gene Expression in Mice

Hsueh-Li Tan, Nancy E. Moran, Morgan J. Cichon, Ken M. Riedl, Steven J. Schwartz, John W. Erdman, Jr., Dennis K. Pearl, Jennifer M. Thomas-Ahner, Steven K. Clinton

J Nutr. 2014 April; 144(4): 431–439

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains a hepatic tissue disruption protocol

Small-Animal PET of Steroid Hormone Receptors Predicts Tumor Response to Endocrine Therapy Using a Preclinical Model of Breast Cancer

Amy M. Fowler, Szeman Ruby Chan, Terry L. Sharp, Nicole M. Fettig, Dong Zhou, Carmen S. Dence, Kathryn E. Carlson, M. Jeyakumar, John A. Katzenellenbogen, Robert D. Schreiber, Michael J. Welch

J Nucl Med. . 2012 July; 53(7): 1119–1126

Click here for a link to the paper, which contains a breast tumor disruption protocol