Despite its confusing title, Laser Capture Microscopy (LCM) is an easy way of visualising cells of interest which can then be cut out on an individual cell basis and catapulted into a cap. This system is one of the most user-friendly systems within our area. LCM is most useful for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis, but there are many other applications.
LCM enables cells of interest to be visualised as with any light microscope coupled to a Charged-Couple Device (CCD) camera. Cells of interest are identified and can be drawn around on the monitor. An ultra-violet (UV) laser then cuts around the marked cells and can finally catapult it into a cap. This leaves the cells intact. Cells can then be exploited for PCR analysis with undesired cells left on the slide.
Samples can vary from live, cultured cells (which can be catapulted and re-cultured to isolate cells and propagate rare cell populations), to tissue sections (where rare cells can be catapulted for PCR analysis).
Contact: Peter O'Toole