Laser Capture Microdissection

  • C. Robert BagnellJr


ances in our understanding of disease mechanisms have resulted in the need for single-cell analysis. Analytical technologies have become available to accommodate such interrogations. Typically, molecular diagnostic assays begin with a nucleic acid extraction procedure during which tissue architecture and cellular morphology is lost. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) is a technology that enables scientists to examine the processes of individual cells. Whether one is investigating a cell’s internal messages or its proteins, isolating that particular cell(s) from a mixed cellular environment is the function of LCM (Fig. 1). This chapter briefly describes the LCM technique by reviewing the current instrumentation and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about LCM. There is now a vast literature on LCM, which this chapter will not attempt to review. A well-organized listing of the primary papers as well as contemporary work can be found at the Arcturus website Conn is editor of perhaps the best compilation to date on LCM (1). There is a new methods book on LCM, edited by Murray and Curran (2). LCM was introduced by the National Institutes of Health investigators Liotta, Bonner, and Emmert-Buck in 1996 (3) and 1997 (4). The first commercial instrument was produced by Arcturus Engineering, Inc. (Mountain View, CA) as a result of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with NIH. To date, there are four companies that produce LCM equipment.


Mouse Cursor Acid Extraction Procedure Laser Capture Microdissection System Lens Numerical Aperture Laser Capture Microdissection Technique 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Robert BagnellJr
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of North Carolina School of MedicineChapel Hill

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