The Mini-Beadbeater-1 violently agitates a sealed microcentrifuge vial containing cells or tissue, extraction solution and tiny glass, zirconia or steel beads. Even resistant yeast or fibrous tissues are completely homogenized in about 3 minutes in 0.1 to 1.0 ml of homogenization medium. The non-foaming, non-aerosol method preserves enzymes, nucleic acids and organelles. Ideal for PAGE, polymerase applications and diagnosis using antibody or oligonucleotide probes. Recover high yields of intact DNA or RNA by simultaneous disruption and extraction in phenol, Guanidinium-SCN solutions or commercial kit reagents . Sterile techniques are easily accommodated to recover intracellular virus and bacteria from plant and animal cells. Because the beads and vials are disposable, there is Absolutely Zero cross-contamination between samples – essential for PCR techniques.

The Mini-Beadbeater-1 can also be used for dry grinding.  Here, steel beads are added to hard samples such as hair, bone, teeth, seeds and minerals and are completely powdered in 10-60 seconds.  Softer materials such as biological tissue, rubber or plastics can be powdered by first pre-freezing the sample to liq.N2 temperatures (Cryo-grinding).



  • Rapid and highly efficient.
  • Totally Sealed – no dangerous aerosols.
  • Simple to use.
  • Disposable vials and beads – no sample cross-contamination.
  • Very high energy shaking – far superior to lab vortexers. Uses proven, near horizontal shaking in a compressed figure-8 pattern.
  • Versatile – use for up to 400 mg (wet weight) of bacteria, yeast, algae, tissue culture cells and plant and animal tissue.


  • Motor: 115 Volt A/C, 60 Hz, 0.6 amp, 3 wire grounded plug. (European 220 Volt version available)
  • Dimensions: 5 inches W, 10 inches D, 7 inches H, shipping wt. 10 lbs
  • Digital: Touch pad controls speed and length of homogenization.
  • Selectible Oscillations/minute: 2500, 4200, 4600, and 4800.
  • Throw or vial displacement 3/4 inches (in horizontal axis).
  • Time Setting: 0-5 minutes in 10 second increments.
  • Standard 2.0 ml screw-cap microvials with a sharp conical bottom. Not designed for skirted vials.
  • Cell or tissue capacity up to 400 mg (wet weight)

Selected Applications Using the Mini-Beadbeater

Extraction from Soil & Wastes

  • The Extraction and Purification of Microbial DNA from Sediments, Andrew Ogram et. al., J. Microbiol. Methods, Vol.7, p.57-66 (1987)
  • Methods for microbial DNA extraction from soil for PCR amplification, C. Yeates, et. al., Biological Procedures Online (1998)
  • Small-scale DNA Sample Preparation Method for Field PCR Detection of Microbial Cells and Spores in Soil, C.R. Kuske, et. al., Appl. Environ. Microbiology, Vol.64, p.2463-2472 (1998)
  • Evaluation and Optimistion of DNA Extraction and Purification Procedures for Soil and Sediment Samples, D.N. Miller et. al., Appl. Environ. Microbiology, Vol.65, p.4715-4724 (1999). Click for web copy
  • Rapid Method for Coextraction of DNA and RNA from Natural Environments for Analysis of Ribosomal DNA- and rRNA-based Microbial Community Composition, R.I. Griffiths et. al., Appl. Environ. Microbiology, Vol 66, p.5488-5491(2000)
  • Simultaneous DNA/RNA Extraction from Soil, a protocol based on a modified method of Griffiths et. al.(2000), from Eoin Brodie, April 2003.  References a Fast-Prep machine.  Call for MBB equivalent speed settings.
  • Improved Extraction of PCR-quality Community DNA from Digesta and Fecal Samples, Zhongtang Yu and Mark Morrison, BioTechniques, Vol 36, p.808-813 (2004).   Content: Bead beating gives “1.5 to 6 fold increase in DNA yield compared to other methods”
  • Comparitive analysis of fecal DNA extraction methods with phylogenetic microarray: Effective recovery of bacterial and archaeal DNA using mechnical cell lysis, Anne Solonen et al, J Microbiological Methods, Vol 81, p.127-134 (2010).  Content:  Four widely used methods are compared.  DNA yields varied up to 35 fold.  A modified protocol of Yu and Morrison was the best.
  • A  Methods Protocol for the Extraction of DNA from Sediment/Soil Samples

Virus & Spores

  • West Nile virus Epidemic in Horses, Tuscany Region, Italy, Gian L Autorino et. al., Emerg. Infect. Dis., Vol.8, No..12, (2002) (serial online),
  • Reexamination of the Role of Autolysis in the Development of Myxococcus xanthus, Kathleen A. O’Connor and David R. Zusman, J. Bacteriology, Vol.170, p.4103-4112 (1988)
  • A Field Investigation of Bacillus anthracis Contamination of USDA and Other Washington, DC Buildings during the Antrax Attack of October 2001, James A. Higgins, et. al., Appl. Environ. Microbiology, Vol.69, p.593-599 (2003)


  • Disruption of the Nematode Worm C. elegans, A procedural note, Christopher Hopkins, (June 2005).


  • Simultaneous Quantification of Opiates, Cocaine, and Metabolites in Hair by LC-APCI-MS/MS, Karl B. Scheidweiler and Marilyn A. Huestis, Anal. Chem., Vol.76 (15), p.4358–4363 (2004)

Pathogens in Plants

  • Comparison of Tissue-Disruption Methods for PCR-Based Detection of Plant Pathogens, Paul Vincelli and Bernadette Amsden, Plant Disease, Vol.97, No.3, p.363-368 (2013)


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