Fungal infections of the finger or toenails are common yet incredibly uncomfortable conditions. They can also be difficult to diagnose with absolute certainty due to the extensive range of influencing factors that can affect the health of our nails. Bacterial infection, poor nutrition, and side effects from medication can cause discoloration or deformation of the nails; the two main indicators of a fungal hyphae. Accurate diagnosis of a fungal nail infection typically requires a nail clipping to be homogenized, cultured, and microscopically observed for the presence of fungal cells.
Keratin is a crucial structural protein that assembles as a broad range of epidermal appendages in mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. It forms the primary constituent of tough biological tissue including human hair and nails. The resilience of keratinized tissue makes homogenization with conventional mixing products extremely challenging.
Grinding nail specimens in a handheld attrition mill is the leading method of sample preparation for dermatological cell culturing. It exceeds alternative mixing products in terms of its application specificity on several fronts. This blog post will explore the use of attrition mill mixing products for nail homogenization in more detail.
Dermatological Mixing Products
Glas-Col’s Nail Homogenizer is one of our specialised mixing products for dermatological testing applications. It is comprised of two separate stainless-steel holders with internal grinding surfaces, which fit together to form a mill cavity. The homogenizer weighs just 2lbs, supporting handheld grinding of sample tissue and providing a novel solution to the bottleneck of alternative sample preparation methods. It also features an adjustable clearance between cutting heads to offer finely-tuned homogenization for distinct cell culture methodologies.
Few mixing products can micronize keratinized tissue like a dedicated Nail Homogenizer. When nail samples are homogenized using the attrition mill, they interact more readily with 10% aqueous solutions of potassium hydroxide (KOH). This enhances the speed and accuracy of study and increases the chances of discovering fungal hyphae in a sample.
The success of cell isolation for dermatological testing hinges on the number of cell particles derived from a sample. Mixing products such as the Nail Homogenizer maximise the particle count from sample pulverization, breaking down keratin and the layers of dead cells forming a nail and to increase the likelihood of a viable fungal cell contacting the medium of the cell culture.
Mixing Products from Glas-Col
Glas-Col is a leading supplier of laboratory instrumentation and mixing products for a range of analytical and medical applications. We recently explored our range of Laboratory Rotators for Tissue Cultures in more detail. If you would like any more information about our Nail Homogenizer, please do not hesitate to contact us.