Cut and Capture
Molecular Devices (www.moldev.com) provides the Veritas™ Microdissection Instrument, which combines a solid-state UV laser for cutting with an IR laser for LCM.
“This is the first such system on the market,” notes Jan Hughes, vp of worldwide marketing. “Many companies use only a UV laser to cut cells out of a sample. However, we found a sample-dependent problem in this type of laser; it generates heat and can damage RNA. So, we developed instruments that combine both the unprecedented speed and flexibility of a UV laser and the gentle, precise capture of an IR laser. This type of approach does not affect the chemistry or morphology of the cells or tissues that are microdissected.”
At the heart of the system is a thin, thermoplastic film fixed to the bottom of a tiny CapSure® LCM Cap that is placed over the target area. As the laser is pulsed, the film softens, extends down, and adheres to the specific region of interest, as outlined by the user. As the film resolidifies and the cap is lifted away from the slide, so is the sample. Following microdissection, the cap may be coupled to a microcentrifuge tube, in which only a few mL of lysis buffer is needed to extract RNA, DNA, or proteins from the microdissected material.
“One of the major advantages of this system,” Hughes says, “is that you can observe the sample collected before and after the microdissection process. This allows a high level of quality control since you can verify that what you microdissected is what you wanted.”
While the company only offers two LCM instrument systems, it also provides a full solution of microgenomic reagent products that support and complement the LCM technology from staining kits to nucleic acid extraction and RNA amplification kits. “We’re like a one-stop shop,” says Hughes. “The obvious advantage here is that we can offer reagents that have been quality controlled and easily work with our instruments.”