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Portable cell lysis device for DNA extraction

by ryneches, published

Portable cell lysis device for DNA extraction by ryneches Feb 28, 2012
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A 3D printable adapter to turn a Craftsman automatic hammer into a bead grinder for use with DNA extraction.

I call it the Smash-o-Tron 3000.


This thing is intended to replace the flange that holds down the retractable skirt on a Craftsman Nextec Cordless Hammerhead Auto Hammer. There are two parts; the base and the cap. The base should be screwed onto the body of the auto hammer with the screws that normally hold down the flange.

Once the base is attached, a 3ml tube can be pushed into the pocket on the cap, and then locked against the striker plate of the auto hammer. When the trigger is pulled the striker plate will pound the living daylights out of the tube. There is a hole in the top of the cap into which a bolt can be threaded to adjust how far the tube depresses the striker plate, and thus how hard the tube is pounded.

I based this design on the Xpedition Sample Processor from Zymo Research, and I use their lysis and stabilization buffer with zirconium beads. It also works very will with the Zymo DNA extraction kits, as well as DNA extraction kits from other companies (e.g., MoBio).

Here is a video I did showing how to use the Zymo version :


As you can see in the video, screwing on the cap is a bit of a hassle, and the threads tend to get gunked up with stuff in the field. That's why I designed this version with a quarter turn twist-lock instead of full threads.

Here is the Zymo version :

The lysis and stabilization buffer is here :

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Does this model need a spring like the Zymo head? We just printed one and I can't wait to try it out. I also noticed the spring loaded base plate at the bottom of the adapter doesn't seem to slide in quite as far as the zymo head, though this might be remedied by some sanding...

Hmm... I ended up getting kind of frustrated doing only one tube at a time, and so I've just been taping tubes to the blade of an oscillatory saw.

We were thinking about printing a head that would attach to a reciprocating saw.... one that would hold 2.0 mL tubes (8 or 24) and one that would hold a 15mL conical for uber extractions.

I'd like to get one made by Shapeways but asks if the dimensions are in millimeters or inches for all STL files. Any recent updates?
Thanks for a great gadget.

What? This would be interesting if a bit more information was given. Such as how it is used and what it does otherwise, such things just go away.

Don't worry. I've got a bunch of stuff to post about it, but it's part of a bigger project. Stay tuned.

Homogenization at the touch of a button!