Microwave digestion is a technique used to break down the materials in a test sample. By adding strong acids and even bases and heating, the sample homogenization process is accelerated. This results in a solution in which there are highly solubilized organic materials and metal ions, suitable to perform a spectrophotometry analysis and know the components that make up the resulting solution.
This technique is preferred by most scientists, compared to other techniques, for its speed and effectiveness. For example, in methods such as incineration, where the sample is burned until only the ashes remain, many analytes necessary for further analysis are lost. In fusion decomposition, on the other hand, the reaction is more complex and labor intensive. Microwave digesters can break down samples in 20 to 40 minutes.
Microwave digestion is used to solubilize a wide variety of samples in many industries and branches, among which stand out agricultural, scientific, medical, environmental, geoscience, mining, metallurgy and pharmaceutical, among others. The only types of samples in which this technique cannot be used are explosives, perchlorates and propellants.
The aim of any microwave digester is to perform a complete decomposition of the sample into its most elemental components, which can be samples of pharmaceuticals, plants, food, soil or even tissues of the human body. Microwave digesters are known for their fast operation. They are based on the use of special closed containers, which are chemically inert, to which the sample and the acid to be used are added, to subsequently heat and decompose the sample until a solution can be analyzed in the spectrophotometer.
Heating the acid together with the sample in a closed container causes a rapid increase in temperature and internal pressure. This allows the rate of decomposition to be much higher. The temperature at which the microwave digesters work is usually above the boiling temperature of the acids, for this reason the containers where the sample is deposited must be inert, so that no additional reaction occurs that could damage the solution or harm the user.
Fields in which microwave digesters are used
Microwave digesters are extremely useful and vital tools in all branches of science where it is essential to know the components of various types of samples. Its operation allows the study of biological samples, such as tumor tissues or food samples to know their mineral components, among others. Below are some of their uses in different fields:
- In medicine: in the detection of diseases such as cancer or for heating contrast media.
- In biology: to fix tissues and know the components, in carrying out enzyme tests.
- In agriculture: to know the minerals of food.
- In chemistry: to prepare and heat samples, to evaporate solutions, among others.
Microwave digestion in cancer detection
In the field of medicine, microwave digestion is particularly important because it can be used to know the most basic elements of tissues, through spectrophotometry and therefore know if there are any abnormalities in said tissue that require some type of medical treatment. This technology has allowed it to be used as a tool to detect cancer.
For example, some authors have used microwave digestion with atomic absorption spectrophotometry to measure aluminum in breast tissue biopsies. According to these authors, it is possible to detect breast cancer according to the regional distribution of aluminum in the breast. This is just one example of the applications that microwave digestion has in this field.
Kalstein brand microwave digesters
Kalstein is a leading company in medical and laboratory instruments, we are MANUFACTURERS of a wide variety of equipment, within which, of course, we have the best microwave digesters, which are characterized by:
- Optional number of containers, up to 12 containers to meet different digestion requirements.
- Vertical design for uniform microwave distribution.
- Real-time monitoring of both the temperature and pressure of each vessel.
You can make your PURCHASE with us and we assure you that you will get the best equipment at the best PRICES. To view our catalog of microwave digesters go to HERE. For more information about our other equipment visit HERE