Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) Core Laboratory allows researchers to obtain homogeneous cell types and multi-cellular structures isolated from whole tissue or cytology samples. The Arcturus PixCell II Laser Capture Microdissection system affords a rapid means to collect a selective population of cells that can then be subjected to an array of scientific analyses. This system ensures that biological molecules such as RNA and DNA, remain undamaged during the microdissection process.
A special thermoplastic film is coated onto to a small plastic cap that fits
into a microfuge tube. The cap is then placed on the tissue to be microdissected,
which becomes a part of the focal length of the microscope. When the targeted
cells are identified, a low-power infrared laser pulse melts and anneals the film
to the tissue. The cap is lifted and the tissue is captured for further analysis.
An archival workstation allows photographic documentation of every step.
(The diagram for the Laser Capture Microdissection process is credited to the Arcturus Engineering, Inc. website at http://www.arctur.com/products/pixcell_obtain_results.htm)
The LCM process does not alter sample chemistry or morphology of the cells or tissues. Neither the microdissected tissues nor the surrounding cells are damaged during microdissectiojn. For this reason, LCM is typically performed for DNA, RNA and/or protein analyses of the collected cells. Blood smears, cytologic preparations, cell cultures and aliquots of solid tissue have been utilized in cell lifting. Frozen and paraffin embedded archival tissue can also be used. DNA and RNA retrieval has been successful on formalin or alcohol fixed paraffin embedded tissues. Frozen tissue is still necessary for protein analysis.
Histochemical, immunohistochemical and fluorescent staining can be used on tissues to be microdissected. These techniques have not been shown to interfere with the scientific analyses.