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What is Laser Microdissection?

Laser Microdissection, also known as LMD or LCM (Laser Capture Microdissection), is a contact- and contamination-free method for isolating specific single cells or entire areas of tissue from a wide variety of tissue samples. The thickness, texture and preparation technique of the original tissue are relatively unimportant. The dissectate is then available for further molecular biological methods such as PCR, real-time PCR, proteomics and other analytical techniques. Laser microdissection is now used in a large number of research fields, e.g. neurology, cancer research, plant analysis, forensics or climate research. The method is meanwhile also applied for manipulation of cell cultures or for microengraving of coverslips.

  • Laser Microdissection Publication List

    This monthly updated reference list demonstrates the major application fields for laser microdissection in life science research.
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  • Correlation of Phenotype and Genotype – microscopic samples and their biomolecular backgrounds

    Seeing is believing, this is what makes microscopes, imaging systems, or box-type imagers so important for researchers in many different fields like pathology research, cancer research, neuroscience, and developmental research. Correlation of phenotype (what you can see) and genotype (genetic background) is highly desired but often biased by whole tissue approaches as no real solution is available to reliably separate the single cells of interest and surrounding tissue. Thus, results of DNA mutation analysis (sequencing), gene expression profiling (quantitative real-time PCR, qPCR, microarray, digital PCR), next generation sequencing (NGS) or mass spectrometry (MS) approaches can give mixed results as no pure starting material for the biomolecular methods of choice is available.
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  • Workflows & Protocols: Plant Laser Microdissection

    During Leica workshops for LMD users in Brazil, hosted by the Federal University of Paraná/UFPR (UFPR) at the Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura/USP (CENA), the power of laser microdissection using the Leica LMD systems was demonstrated. One special focus was on plant dissection which needs a high laser power.
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  • Workflows & Protocols: Laser Microdissection for Pathology and Cancer Research

    Tumor development results from mutations in our DNA. For their deeper analysis, cancer researchers have to dissect the relevant tissue areas. Here we report the reason why laser microdissection is a perfect tool for this purpose and how this was taught in the course of a workshop held in Brazil. With the Leica LMD system pure tumor material can be selected and dissected for downstream analysis to ensure 100% pure starting material without any risk of cross contamination with healthy cells.
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  • Workflows & Protocols: Connecting Microscopy and Molecular Biology in Neuroscience

    The main topic during this course was how to apply laser microdissection in neuroscience. Leica specialists demonstrated why laser microdissection is a suitable techniques for brain investigation as it allows to separate distinct brain layers or even to isolate individual neurons.
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  • Workflows & Protocols: How to Isolate Individual Chromosomes with Laser Microdissection

    During the first Leica Workshop in Brazil, at the Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura/USP (CENA), the participants learned how to prepare samples for laser microdissection (LMD) using a cryotome. Another topic was the dissection of individual chromosomes from chromosome spreads. Leica specialists held a short training session with the LMD. After this, new LMD users were able to run the system and practiced how to dissect chromosomes and collect single chromosomes for downstream analysis.
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  • Workflows & Protocols: How to Use a Leica Laser Microdissection System and Qiagen Kits for Successful RNA Analysis

    Laser Microdissection (LMD) allows isolating individual cells or chromosomes and is a well established technique for sample preparation prior downstream analysis of the nucleic acid content via PCR or sequencing techniques. Here we describe the successful combination of the Leica Microsystems LMD system and Qiagen kits for purification of nucleic acids even from little amounts.
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  • Preparation of Laser Microdissected Plant Cell and Tissue Material for Microchemical Analysis

    Secondary plant metabolites are involved in various plant physiological and biochemical processes, allowing plants to interact successfully with their biotic and abiotic environment. Distribution patterns of these compounds at the tissue and cellular level show how plant defense systems are organized to manage environmental challenges in a targeted and precise way.
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  • The Morbus Parkinson Puzzle

    A characteristic sign of M. Parkinson is the deterioration of dopaminergic neurons in the mid-brain, specifically in the substantia nigra (SN, black substance). Different causes and forms of this disease have been identified. In the case of the genetic familial form, for example, it has been possible to identify various genes that have a causal influence for M. Parkinson.
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  • Laser Microdissection (LMD) and Fancy Applications

    New and far-reaching applications have recently been opened up in the field of laser microdissection. In addition to conventional dissection, the laser microdissection system (LMD) of Leica Microsystems is an excellent tool for marking relevant structures, offering highly specific laser manipulation of selected areas. This laser marking function is useful for applications such as CLEM, NanoSIMS as well as in the live cell sector.
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  • History of Laser Microdissection

    Modern laser microdissection technology has its roots in the early 20th century. It has been steadily advanced and modified over the years. The following article is a summary of the history of laser microdissection from its origins to today’s state of the art.
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  • Quantitative One-Step Protocol to Detect Transcripts in Laser Microdissected Samples

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are an essential feature of the biology and ecology of most terrestrial plants and, as biofertilizers, AM fungi are an emerging issue in many projects focused on low-input agriculture practices. The identification of the events that lead to the formation of an AM, including the mechanisms involved in nutrient transfer, will be a challenging objective for a better exploitation of AMs in agricultural programs.
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  • Stem Cells in the Aging Process – the Signal Protein p53 as "Guardian of the Genome"

    The physiological process of aging is an elementary part of life. The processes responsible for the aging process and the effect they have is one of the key focuses of biomedical research. Dr. Yvonne Begus-Nahrmann researches molecular mechanisms in stem cells and their role in aging and tumor development at the Göttingen University Medical Center. Signal proteins such as p53 and p21 appear to play an important role in this context. To investigate these proteins in specific cell types, the cells are isolated from organ tissue with the aid of laser microdissection.
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  • Comparison of the RNA Quality of Native Tissue Samples with Tissue Samples after UV Laser Microdissection

    Due to its instability, RNA is generally more difficult to work with than DNA. RNA does not have the stability of the DNA double helix. To obtain the best results when dealing with RNA it is essential to start out with high-quality material and to carry out particularly careful quality control before and after processing. The so-called RIN (RNA Integrity Number) is an indicator of the quality of RNA. On a scale of 1–10, a RIN value of 1 indicates that the RNA is completely degraded and a RIN value of 10 that the RNA is fully intact. The higher the RIN number, the better the RNA quality. Wherever possible, material with high RIN numbers should always be used.
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  • Region-Specific Gene Expression in Adult Mouse CNS Tissues

    Different areas of the Central Nervous System (CNS) display a specific and selective gene expression profile. Here, we used the Laser Microdissection system Leica LMD6500 to study region-specific mRNA expression in the adult mouse retina and hippocampus.
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  • Users Report on the Relevance of Laser Microdissection for Their Research Results

    Laser dissection is used in a large number of research fields, e.g. neurology, cancer research, plant analysis. Here, user report on the research results they have attained by using laser microdissection.
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  • The Mitochondrial Hypothesis of Ageing

    Why do we grow old? Research scientists have been looking for an answer to this question for many years – particularly against the background of the increase in neurodegenerative diseases among older people such as Morbus Parkinson.
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Useful Links

LMD Software

Video Tutorials on Leica LMD Software

Publication List

LMD reference list for major application fields in life science research

Communities and Web Sources

www.researchgate.net/
Social network for scientists

bitesizebio.com
Online magazine and community for molecular and cell biology researchers

www.somersault1824.com
Resource for high-end scientific illustrations, images and animations

Search Engines and Data Bases

www.cellimagelibrary.org
Public resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells

harvester.fzk.de/harvester
Bioinformatic meta search engine for genes and proteins

www.gopubmed.com
Search interface for pubmed

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_academic_databases_and_search_engines
List of academic databases and search engines

scholar.google.com
Beta of Google's search engine for scientific article abstracts

Journals

www.doaj.org/
Directory of open access journals

emboj.embopress.org/
The EMBO Journal

www.lifescied.org
CBE-Life Sciences Education – an ASCB online journal

www.sciencemag.org/
Science

www.nature.com/
Nature

www.cell.com/
Biweekly publication of exceptional research articles

jcs.biologists.org/
Journal of Cell Science

dev.biologists.org/
Development

jeb.biologists.org/
The Journal of Experimental Biology

dmm.biologists.org/
DMM Disease Models & Mechanisms

www.biotechniques.com/
International Journal of Life Science Methods

www.opticsinfobase.org/
Collection of Journals and Proceedings in Optics and Photonics

spie.org/x576.xml
SPIE - peer-reviewed journals on applied research in optics and photonics

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1864-0648
Journal of Biophotonics

www.plosone.org/home.action
International, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/
Proceedings B - the Royal Society's biological research journal

www.microscopy-analysis.com/
International Journal for microscopists

Organizations

www.microscopy.org/
Microscopy Society of America

www.eurmicsoc.org/
European Microscopy Society

www.rms.org.uk/
Royal Microscopical Society

www.ascb.org/
ASCB American Society of Cell Biology

www.biologists.com/cob_activities.html
the company of biologists

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