Microbeam MOMeNT: non-contact laser microdissection of membrane-mounted native tissue

Am J Pathol. 1997 Jul;151(1):63-7.


The analysis of tissue-specific genetic alterations depends on the selective procurement of homogeneous cell populations. Microbeam microdissection of membrane-mounted native tissue (MOMeNT) permits the rapid, selective, and low-contamination procurement of tumor or other cells from histological sections by non-thermic non-contact laser microdissection. Tissue sections are mounted on a specifically designed ultrathin transparent supporter membrane. Tissue together with the membrane are then dissected with an ultraviolet (337-nm) pulsed laser microbeam coupled into a robot-stage microscope. The ultraviolet laser causes dissection by cold photolysis due to the high photon density of the microbeam rather than by local heating. The track of the laser microbeam can be preselected freely on a video screen, and the size and form of the dissectates can thus be adapted to the histological features of the section with a delineation accuracy in the micron range. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of DNA from the dissectates is not impaired, and tumor-specific loss of heterozygosity of the APC gene as well as homozygous deletion of the MTS1 gene are demonstrated in bladder carcinomas. Taken together, microbeam MOMeNT is a novel technique that utilizes membrane-based microdissection by an ultraviolet laser microbeam, thus providing a flexible, easy-to-use high-performance tool for the molecular pathologist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Dissection / methods*
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Lasers*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Tissue Embedding
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Membranes, Artificial