Wig-L Bug User Guide


This protocol describes the process to use the Wig-L bug to homogenize samples (muscle, liver, etc) to prep for analyses (e.g. bulk C/N). Samples are generally freeze dried beforehand. May be preferable for samples with smaller quantities. 


Ethanol is considered an acutely toxic chemical. Ethanol can induce dizziness and shortness of breath. Ethanol is flammable. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment, including gloves and eye protection. Familiarize yourself with the MSDS and SOPs for all chemicals prior to starting this protocol.


  • Wig-L machine (FSH 333)
  • Wig-L (in drawer below ball-mill grind- labeled “Ballmill capsules- Please return to drawer when done” -> parts are in a tin tray).
  • Ethanol (or acetone) in squeeze bottle
  • Kimwipes
  • Gloves
  • Microspatula
  • Vials


Be sure there is sufficient ethanol or acetone.

Wig-L Bug usage 

  1. Gather samples to be ground 
  2. Turn on machine by pressing the switch on the left side of the machine
  3. Before beginning, be sure all capsules, grinding balls, and caps are clean and free of all previous sample residue. If cleaning is needed, use gloves, kim wipes and ethanol to wipe all exposed areas to sample.
  4. Use metal spatula to place all unground samples into capsule (can grind one at a time)
  5. Place one grinding ball in capsule with sample 
  6. Screw on cap.
  7. Place in fork of machine
  8. Set timer on control panel to desired time of grinding (most tissue samples homogenized in 1 minute). Press start 
  9. Once grinding is complete, remove capsule. 
  10. Remove cap, check if sample is a fine powder (some fattier samples may need more than one grinding session)
  11. If sample is fine enough, use metal spatula to scrape out sample and place into desired vial.
  12. Use ethanol and kim wipes to clean all components of capsule. Make sure they are clean of all sample reside before moving on to next sample
  13. Repeat steps 3-12 for all subsequent samples 
  14. Clean up station by wiping down capsule components and counter area for the next user 
  15. Return supplies to appropriate drawers

Author: HyeJoo Ro

Last Updated: 20 November 2019

Download a PDF version of this protocol (with pictures!)