Homogenate

Definition

noun, plural: homogenates

Material that has been homogenized or obtained through homogenization.


Supplement

For example, a liver homogenate is a liver tissue in which its cells have been mechanically disrupted, releasing the organelles and cytoplasm.

The word homogenate was introduced by VR Potter in1941 (J. Biol. Chem 141:775) to refer specifically to suspensions or animal tissues that had been ground in the all-glass "homogenizer"as described by Potter and CA Elvehjem in 1936 (J. Biol. Chem114:495) In the inaugural volume of Methods in Medical Reseach (Vol 1, Van R. Potter, editor-in-chief Yearbook Publishers Chicago:1948) Potter notes that the term had since been used by various investigators to refer to tissue preparations that have been "ground in mortor, with or without sand, or disintegrated in a Waring blendor, or produced by methods not described." (p. 317) Although these preparations are probably no less appropriately called homogenates, Potter says, in line with the stated goals of Methods in Medical Research, "it seems desirable to promote a nomenclature that is as meaningful as possible, and it is suggested that the method of preparation be specified." (p.317) The chief significance of the term, he continues, is that "it serves to distinguish the preparation from slices, minces and extracts....the homogenate technique accepts the fact that the cells in the tissue are no longer living and attempts to obtain surviving groups of enzymes [word "enzymes" emphasized] without loss of in vivo properties."


Related forms: homogenize (verb), homogenization (noun).


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