At Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation, the Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) microscopy core offers the ability to directly extract single cells from any tissue section, providing a pure cell population for subsequent quantitative analysis.
The second-generation LCM system, the Arcturus PixCell II, is available to all researchers at the foundation. It integrates a standard laboratory microscope with a low-energy laser and transfer film in a convenient one-step, aim-and-shoot method.
First, the area of the specimen of interest is identified through the microscope, the transfer film is lowered to the tissue surface and the laser is pulsed, activating the transfer film in the focal region of the laser beam. The cell(s) in the activated region adheres to the transfer film. When the transfer film is lifted, the selected cell(s) remains adherent to the film surface and is placed directly into the DNA, RNA or enzyme buffers.
The cellular material detaches from the film and is ready for subsequent molecular analysis. This system allows for collection of specimen as small as 7 mm in diameter. The tissue remaining on the slide is fully accessible for comparative molecular analysis of adjacent cells. Most important, the exact morphology of both the captured cells and the surrounding tissue is preserved.