The MiniBeadbeater-96 disrupts cells and tissue by violently shaking a sample inside a classic 2 ml microvial or standard deep well microplate partially filled with tiny ceramic or steel beads.  Complete cell disruption is achieved in 1 to 3 minutes of beadbeating.  A common application is nucleic acid extraction.  Up to 400 mg of tissue is added to a vial containing glass or ceramic beads and a nucleic acid extraction solution…the later often being purchased as part of a nucleic acid extraction kit.  The synergy of simultaneous mechanical cell disruption and nucleic acid extraction in a chaotropic solution gives very high yields of high quality RNA or DNA.  Most protocols developed using smaller capacity models of the MBB are transferable with little if any modification.

The MiniBeadbeater can also be used for dry grinding. In this application, ceramic or steel beads are added to to vials containing hard, dry samples such as hair, bone, teeth, seeds and minerals. Softer materials such as biological tissue, rubber or plastics can be powdered by first pre-freezing the sample to liq N2 temperatures (called Cryo-grinding). Powdered material can be safely dissolved in an organic solvent in BioSpec’s XXTuff microvials, our stainless steel microvials or Porvair’s reinforced microplates, simplifying recovery of organic analytes. A solid aluminum vial holder can be utilized to maintain cryogenic temperatures during beadbeating (see the Accessories, below).


►  COOLING. Temperature control must be addressed when using a bead mill cell disrupter for the isolation of proteins, membranes or organelles.  The Mini-BeadBeater-96, like all other high-energy, shaking-type bead mill cell disrupters, will heat up a sample from collisional friction of the beads…about 10° for each minute of beadbeating. An important accessory for the MBB-96 is a 48 capacity 2 ml microvial holder and a 2 tube capacity 50 ml tube holder, both machined out of solid aluminum.  Cooled beforehand in a deep freezer or with liquid nitrogen, the mass of the aluminum vial holder and its excellent heat transfer properties maintain samples at their initial low temperature during the entire beadbeating run…something that some competitor’s bead mills offering flowing cold air accessories fail to accomplish.  The fact is that air is not an efficient media for the transfer and rapid removal of heat.  For this same reason, operating a bead mill cell disruptor in a cold room offers little regulation of heat buildup during beadbeating.

But this is not always a concern.  Strict temperature control is not a needed when cells or tissue are being disrupted in the presence of DNA or RNA extraction media.

►  ”DRY” GRINDING. The Mini-BeadBeater-96 can be used to powder most dried plant and animal tissues and, at  liquid nitrogen temperatures, fresh tissues. Exceptions to the rule are woody tissue and some tissues having high lipid or oil content.  Most dry grinding is done using steel beads.

When dry- or cryo-grinding plant or animal tissue use our stainless steel microvials with silicone rubber caps, special XXTuff microvials or special Porvair Sciences deep well microplates. Common plastic microvials and deep well plates will break when dry grinding with steel beads.

To the tubes or wells add either one 6.3 mm diameter chrome-steel bead, two 6.3 mm diameter zirconia beads or three 3.2 mm diameter chrome-steel beads.   Beadbeat for 5-30 seconds.  Note that steel beads can be used in common plastic vials and common deep well microvials for wet grinding, provided that the vial is completely filled with aqueous media and the amount of entrapped air is minimized..

►  DEEP-WELL MICROPLATES. When using deep well microplates possible leakage and subsequent cross contamination between wells should be concern. While the entire mat surface area is evenly clamped to the microplate during beadbeating in the Mini-BeadBeater-96, the user must first thoroughly press the mat onto the microplate during the initial sealing process. Rollers and mat presses help in this task (see accessories listed below). The best mats are made of EVA or silicone rubber. Mats made of other rubber-like polymers or adhesive- or heat-bonded films – may not prevent leaking during the intense shaking in the Mini-BeadBeater-96.  There is an easy way to check for this concern.  Give us a call.

►  SPEED CONTROL.  The Mini-BeadBeater-96 features digital variable speed control presets between 1400 rpm to 2400 rpm and three programmable time presets.  These presets allow for storage of your favorite speed and time settings for easy retrieval.

The MiniBeadbeater-96 is powered with a huge 1 hp induction motor.  No other beadbeater on the market offers higher shaking energies for cell disruption.  Power requirements for the 115 VAC MBB-96 is 20 amps, and for the 230 VAC machine it is 10 amps.

  • Sample Capacity: Holds one 2 ml deep-well microplate or two 1 ml deep-well microplates.  Also included is a microplate shaped vial holder wich can hold 4 to 45 microvials (0.5, 1.5 & 2.0 ml) each containing up to 400 mg (wet weight) of biomaterial.
  • Vial displacement distance or Throw: 1.25 in. (3.2 cm).
  • Shaking Speed: Variable speed.  1400 rpm to 2400 rpm (40 oscillations/second). Disruption efficiency has been engineered for equivalency with other MiniBeadbeater models having smaller vial capacities – thus developed protocols are interchangeable.  The “calculated M/sec performance” value is greater than competitive beadbeater-type cell disrupters on the market.
  • 3-D shaking pattern: Vial contents shake from the top to bottom of the vial or plate in a compressed figure-8 pattern.  Vials and microplates are held in a near-horizontal orientation rather than the less efficient vertical position.  This exclusive shaking pattern assures complete cell disruption in the shortest possible time.  No reorientation of plates in mid-cycle is required.
  • Timer: 0 – 5 minutes with automatic reset.
  • Recycle delay time: No motor cool-down time is required during or between sample runs.
  • Dimensions: Width: 16 in, Depth: 24 in, Height: 18 in, 120 pounds
  • Maintenance: None
  • Warranty: Two years.