Novel Cell and Tissue Acquisition System (CTAS): microdissection of live and frozen brain tissues

PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41564. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041564. Epub 2012 Jul 24.


We developed a novel, highly accurate, capillary based vacuum-assisted microdissection device CTAS-Cell and Tissue Acquisition System, for efficient isolation of enriched cell populations from live and freshly frozen tissues, which can be successfully used in a variety of molecular studies, including genomics and proteomics. Specific diameter of the disposable capillary unit (DCU) and precisely regulated short vacuum impulse ensure collection of the desired tissue regions and even individual cells. We demonstrated that CTAS is capable of dissecting specific regions of live and frozen mouse and rat brain tissues at the cellular resolution with high accuracy. CTAS based microdissection avoids potentially harmful physical treatment of tissues such as chemical treatment, laser irradiation, excessive heat or mechanical cell damage, thus preserving primary functions and activities of the dissected cells and tissues. High quality DNA, RNA, and protein can be isolated from CTAS-dissected samples, which are suitable for sequencing, microarray, 2D gel-based proteomic analyses, and Western blotting. We also demonstrated that CTAS can be used to isolate cells from native living tissues for subsequent recultivation of primary cultures without affecting cellular viability, making it a simple and cost-effective alternative for laser-assisted microdissection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain*
  • Freezing
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microdissection / economics
  • Microdissection / methods*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar