Which Mixing System is Right for Your Application?

Laboratory mixing systems are generally expected to perform an array of different experiments, but standard parameters are rarely suitable for proprietary applications. Off-the-shelf mixing systems have intrinsic settings with regards to agitation speed (RPMs) and loading capacity (maximum weight, sample container type, etc.). These capabilities combine to present different throughput capabilities and operational considerations, from the size of the instrument footprint to the amount of noise generated during use.

In this blog post, Glas-Col offers a brief introduction to our mixing systems to help you decide which one is right for your application.

Homogenizers & Stirrers

Homogenizing samples with direct application of mechanical force is one of the oldest methods of sample preparation available to the analytical scientist. Although time-consuming, mixing systems operating on this tried-and-tested principle are used in some of the most advanced biochemical and life sciences applications today. Homogenizers and stirrers are routinely used in research and development (R&D) cycles for commercial, industrial, and pharmaceutical formulation. They are also trusted for cell disruption and lysis applications, from DNA sequencing to metagenomics.

Rotating Mixing Systems

Rotators are ideal for benchtop mixing of heterogeneous samples in test and centrifuge tubes. Samples are either suspended in a chamber or attached to a disc, which continuously rotates with 360° of freedom in a vertical axis. This continuous motion prevents various particle migration phenomena, ensuring that immiscible components are fully dispersed. Due to the high degree of design versatility, rotating mixing systems are used ubiquitously in research applications, from preparing homogenous samples to mixing blood samples.


At a basic level, shakers are designed to replicate the motion of shaking by hand. This simple back-and-forth motion is sufficient for many mixing applications but is time-consuming and difficult to replicate. Reciprocating and nutating shakers are useful in heavy-duty, high throughput workshops and laboratories.

Vortex Mixing Systems

A vortex mixer introduces external kinetic force, rather than applying internal stress with a pestle or stirrer. The principle is similar, although vortexing typically offers higher degrees of homogeneity with both orbital mixing and pulse functionalities. It also provides a method for mixing samples in closed containers, a prerequisite for chemically-sensitive organic samples.

Vortex mixing systems ideal for a broad range of biology and life sciences applications, from immunochemical research to enzyme and protein expression studies. If you are interested in this type of mixing system, read our previous blog post Vortex Mixer for Bacterial Protein Expressions.

Mixing Systems from Glas-Col

Glas-Col is one of the world’s leading suppliers of laboratory equipment. We offer a broad range of standard mixing systems and custom solutions if your application requires a tailor-made product.

If you have any questions about our range of mixing systems, simply contact a member of the Glas-Col team today.