A starting point in many biological, microbiological and immunological investigations is the disruption of the structural integrity of cells and tissues. Chemical, enzymatic, physical and mechanical methods have been used and of these the latter has often been shown to be the most efficient.

Freeze-pressing with BIOX X-press is an excellent method for the release of components from organisms with a rigid cell wall, such as bacteria and plants, but is also suitable for extracting heat-labile substances from organisms without a rigid cell wall, such as animal tissue.

The material to be disrupted may be in the form of a tissue or suspension. When it is put into the pressure cell precooled to -25 to 30°C it immediately freezes; the pressure cell is then subjected to a pressure of 200 Mpa. At this pressure there is a sudden phase shift from “Ice I” to water, “Ice II” or “Ice III”, with a resultant sudden flow of material. This rapid shearing process ensures efficient cell disintegration. The efficiency of the process is such that about 90% of most organisms are broken in four pressings.