Laser-assisted microdissection: applications in molecular pathology

J Pathol. 1999 Oct;189(2):150-4. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199910)189:2<150::AID-PATH451>3.0.CO;2-G.


Tissue microdissection is potentially one of the most useful techniques in molecular pathology. Laser-assisted microdissection has been developed to procure precisely the cells of interest in a tissue specimen, in a rapid and practical manner. Together with multiplex molecular approaches, it is now feasible to study genetic alterations and isolate genes and proteins in defined cell populations from complex normal and diseased tissues. The fundamental advantage of this technique is the possibility of capturing single cells from which high-quality DNA and mRNA can be isolated for analysis of sequence and quantitation of expression. Moreover, the integration of laser-assisted microdissection and proteomic analysis could identify novel protein markers for disease. The advent of laser-assisted microdissection is likely to have a profound impact on molecular pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Separation
  • Dissection / methods*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Lasers*
  • Proteome


  • Proteome