At Children's Hospital Research Foundation of Cincinnati, 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 LCM System, is available to all researchers at CHRF. 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 which activates the transfer film in the focal region of the laser beam. The cell(s) in the activated region adhere to the transfer film. When the transfer film is lifted off, the selected cell(s) remain adherent to the film surface, and are 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 specimens 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.