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Laser Capture Microdissection

Capture and isolation of single cells are prerequisites for understanding these cellular variations. However, efficient single cell capture and isolation are complex tasks for any cell population. Therefore, many technologies for single cell capture and isolation have been developed.

Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM)

LCM is a single cell isolation method. In LCM sorting, cells do not need to be tagged by the specific antibody used for the genetic manipulation of the organism. Instead, LCM is based on selecting cells through the microscope from a part of the tissue.

Single cell isolation by LCM comprises three steps:

  1. A tissue is observed under a microscope and identified.
  2. The desired section is marked by drawing a line around it.
  3. A laser beam cuts the tissue along this trajectory and isolates the cells.

Then cells are transferred to the polymer film, and laser pulses activate this transfer film. Next, an infrared laser beam is used to heat the cells, which then bind to the transfer film by melting. Finally, the cells with the same morphology with intact nucleic acids and proteins are kept on the transfer film.

Principles of LCM.Fig.1 Principles of LCM. (Espina, 2006)

Advantages of LCM in Single-Cell Isolation

  • It avoids any intricate operator-dependent step.
  • The laser can ablate the adjacent rim of unwanted tissue, so non-specific adherence of tissue to the cap is avoided.

Limitations of LCM in Single-Cell Isolation

  • Low throughput.
  • Requires high skill levels.
  • It can be contaminated by neighboring cells.

At Creative Biolabs, we provide tailored LCM service for a better solution for single-cell isolation. If you have any requirements, please feel free to contact us for further communication about your project.


  1. Espina, V.; et al. Laser-capture microdissection. Nature Protocols. 2006, 1(2): 586-603.
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