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 COHR: Center for Oral Health Research | Oral Histology & Digital Imaging Core | Laser Capture Microdissection

Laser Capture Microdissection

The state-of-the-art technology of laser capture microdissection (LCM) provides researchers with the ability to accurately analyze DNA, RNA and protein from pure populations of cells, such as tumor cells that are captured from complex heterogeneous tissue samples. Protocols have been developed and optimized for acquisition of high-quality RNA and DNA from both frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Care is taken to preserve the integrity of the samples at all times, ensuring high quality retrieval of molecular targets.

The method is extraordinarily gentle and ideal for microdissection of single cells or small numbers of cells. The LCM system utilizes a laser microbeam that melts a thermoplastic membrane that sticks to the selected cells, which can then be lifted and secured in a microfuge tube containing the appropriate extraction solutions. The transferred tissue on the film retains its original morphology, thereby allowing microscopic verification of the specificity of the captured material. Using this strategy, a single small cluster up to thousands of cells can be procured safely and without contamination.

To schedule time for LCM use, please use the iLab system (  System use is charged in 15 minute increments.  User is responsible for supplying all reagents.


James Cray Jr, PhD
Assistant Professor

Lixia Zhang, PhD
Research Specialist
BSB 129