Laser Capture Microdissection

  • Virginia Espina
  • John Milia
  • Glendon Wu
  • Stacy Cowherd
  • Lance A. Liotta
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 319)


Laser capture microdissection (LCM) is a technique for isolating pure cell populations from a heterogeneous tissue section or cytological preparation via direct visualization of the cells. This technique is applicable to molecular profiling of diseased and disease-free tissue, permitting correlation of cellular molecular signatures with specific cell populations. DNA, RNA, or protein analysis can be performed with the microdissected tissue by any method with adequate sensitivity. The principle components of LCM technology are (1) visualization of the cells of interest via microscopy, (2) transfer of laser energy to a thermolabile polymer with formation of a polymer-cell composite, and (3) removal of the cells of interest from the heterogeneous tissue section. LCM is compatible with a variety of tissue types, cellular staining methods, and tissuepreservation protocols that allow microdissection of fresh or archival specimens. LCM platforms are available as a manual system (PixCell; Arcturus Bioscience) or as an automated system (AutoPix™).

Key Words

Cancer DNA laser capture microdissection molecular profiling proteomics protein RNA tissue heterogeneity 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia Espina
    • 1
  • John Milia
    • 2
  • Glendon Wu
    • 3
  • Stacy Cowherd
    • 3
  • Lance A. Liotta
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular MedicineGeorge Mason UniversityManassas
  2. 2.Arcturus Bioscience Inc.Mountain View
  3. 3.Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer ResearchNational Cancer Institute, National Institutes of HealthBethesda

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