New publication: A stainless-steel mortar, pestle and sleeve design for the efficient fragmentation of ancient bone

By Agata T. Gondek*, Sanne Boessenkool* and Bastiaan Star* in BioTechniques


Different types of milling equipment – such as oscillating ball mills, freezer mills, mortar and pestle – can be used to fragment ancient bone prior to DNA extraction. However, each of these tools is associated with practical drawbacks. Here, we present the design for a stainless-steel mortar and pestle, with a removable sleeve to contain bone material. The tool is easy to clean, practical and its simplicity allows university workshops equipped with a lathe, boring tools and a milling machine to make these components at local expense. This design allows for the efficient fragmentation of ancient bone and improves sample throughput. This design is recommended as a useful, economical addition to existing laboratory equipment for the handling of ancient bone.

BioTechniques 64:266-269
June 2018
DOI: 10.2144/btn-2018-0008
Publication webpage.

* Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Tags: BioTechniques;
Published June 26, 2018 1:56 PM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2020 12:28 PM