Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM)

The heterogeneity of histological and biological specimens often requires isolation of specific single cells or cell groups from surrounding tissue before analysis can be carried out. Laser capture microdissection, LCM, (or laser microdissection, LMD) is a selective technique that uses a focused laser beam for precise isolation of individual cells or cell populations for the analysis of DNA, RNA and proteins.

Leica LMD 6500

The Leica LMD uses an upright microscope and a UV pulsating laser to dissect individual cells or cell populations with no risk of contamination. The dissected cells fall into the PCR cap via the force of gravity alone. Tissue samples can be embedded, sectioned and stained according to conventional methods of preparation.

  • Paraffin sections, frozen sections, smear preparations are available for usage of the LMD 6500.
  • Investigators must provide their own materials. This includes but is not limited to the following: slides, PCR tubes, lysis buffer, isolation kit, etc.
  • The HTRC hosts a shared instrument for investigator use only and does NOT perform LCM as a service. Investigators should have a designated technician to learn and perform LCM for his/her own research.
  • Training and technical support by HTRC staff is provided for investigators on the Leica LMD 6500. See Training page for details.


Slides recommended for use for the Leica LMD:

  • Glass Membrane Slide and FrameSlide have a membrane mounted on the upper side of the slide. The membrane is glued on the glass at the edges in the central part of the slide. There is a space of 1um between the glass and membrane. The slide must be handled with care to prevent damage to the membrane. If moisture collects between the glass and the membrane, this will impede the laser and collection action.
  • FrameSlide (metal or plastic) contains an engraved Leica Microsystems logo. Only the back of the slide is foil mounted and only this side can be used for mounting tissue sections. Plexiglass FrameSupport contains a lifted surface that fits exactly into the cavity/front side of the FrameSlide. The FrameSupport aids the user in mounting the tissue section onto the FrameSlide.


Staining recommended for paraffin sections:

  • H&E (provided by the HTRC)
  • Quick Toluidine Blue
  • Quick Cresyl Violet
  • Quick Thionin

Staining recommended for frozen sections:

  • H&E (provided by the HTRC)
  • Quick Toluidine Blue
  • Quick Cresyl Violet
  • Quick Thionin
  • Rapid Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using Vectastain® ABC-AP Kit and Vector® Blue
  • Rapid Immunohistochemistry (IHC) using Streptavidin-HRP Conjugate

Click here to view Fee Schedule.

Click here to view Laser Capture Microdissection Brochure..

For all laser capture microdissection inquiries, please contact Danielle Rufo, 773-834-8392