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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.

  • Application-specific Consumables for Laser Microdissection

    There are many different types of consumables for laser microdissection instruments. They cover a wide range of applications from basic to highly specialized, enabling scientists to choose their own individual configuration whatever their field of research is. The most common consumables are various glass membrane slides in combination with standard caps or cap strips to collect the dissectate.
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  • The Basic Principles of Laser Microdissection

    In contrast to other systems which use a fixed laserfocus for dissection, Leica Microsystems' LMD systems guide the laserfocus for dissection. This unique feature allows highly precise laser dissection independent of the stage accuracy. This tutorial describes the basic principles of the laser guidance and how the laser can be adjusted for perfect cutting results.
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  • Video: How to Achieve Fast Precise Cutting Lines in Laser Microdissection

    This video explains the laser beam deflection principle of Leica Microsystems‘ laser microdissection systems (Leica LMD). The laser, the beam expander, motorized attenuator, motorized iris diaphragm for limiting the aperture for cutting and the scan unit are situated in the instrument’s special incident light axis. The scan unit consists of two prism wedges whose thickness and wedge angle are chosen so that the laser beam, after passing through the two prism wedges, is directed precisely through the center of the back focal plane of the objective.
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  • TED Talk of Allan Jones: Mapping the Human Brain

    How can we begin to understand the complexity of the human brain and the way it works? The same way we begin to understand a city: by making a map. In this talk, Allan Jones shows how his team is mapping which genes are turned on in each tiny region, and how it all connects up.
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  • Cell Cultures and Laser Microdissection

    Many of the discoveries that are now being made in cell division and differentiation, the relationships between single cells and cell organelles, treatments of cells with pharmaceutic substances, etc. would not be possible without live cell cultures. Allowing morphological and biochemical observations of single cells under different experimental conditions, they provide a unique source of information.
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  • An Introduction to Laser Microdissection

    Laser microdissection is a highly selective process for preparing samples for DNA, RNA and protein analysis. It is a microscope-controlled manipulation technique for the precise separation of samples and tissue using a focused laser beam.
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  • Applications of Laser Microdissection

    Laser microdissection and laser micromanipulation are suitable for gaining a differentiated insight into the function of genes and proteins, and are used for a wide range of applications in neurobiology and immunology as well as in the developmental and cell biology of animal and plant organisms.
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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
Social network for scientists
Online magazine and community for molecular and cell biology researchers
Resource for high-end scientific illustrations, images and animations

Search Engines and Data Bases
Public resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells
Bioinformatic meta search engine for genes and proteins
Search interface for pubmed
List of academic databases and search engines
Beta of Google's search engine for scientific article abstracts

Directory of open access journals
The EMBO Journal
CBE-Life Sciences Education – an ASCB online journal
Biweekly publication of exceptional research articles
Journal of Cell Science
The Journal of Experimental Biology
DMM Disease Models & Mechanisms
International Journal of Life Science Methods
Collection of Journals and Proceedings in Optics and Photonics
SPIE - peer-reviewed journals on applied research in optics and photonics
Journal of Biophotonics
International, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication
Proceedings B - the Royal Society's biological research journal
International Journal for microscopists

Microscopy Society of America
European Microscopy Society
Royal Microscopical Society
ASCB American Society of Cell Biology
the company of biologists

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