Laser capture microdissection

Methods Mol Biol. 2006;319:213-29. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59259-993-6_10.


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 tissue-preservation 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).

MeSH terms

  • Cell Separation* / instrumentation
  • Cell Separation* / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lasers*
  • Microdissection* / instrumentation
  • Microdissection* / methods
  • Micromanipulation* / instrumentation
  • Micromanipulation* / methods
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Software


  • Polymers