Laser Microdisection Systems: Past, Present and Future

Modern devices, like the Leica Laser Microdisection System, make it a lot easier to decipher the different cell types within a sample. Yet, it was once a lot harder. It took years of science and industry to create the advanced systems researchers use today.

Leica Laser Microdisection System

Before Laser Microdisection Systems

The quality of research wasn’t as great.  The reason? Samples like eukaryotic tissue or ecological samples contain numerous different cells. For researchers to see a clear picture of the problems they intend to identify, they needed to isolate samples down to more granular levels.

In the time before laser microdisection systems, researchers often had to look at samples as a whole. This approach gave a good description of the general tissue makeup, but failed to identify underlying compositions and details.

 

Solving the Problem

The solution came with cancer research. Researchers looking at cells wanted a way to dissect small portions of tissue. The portions of tissue could then be tested separately and their unique compositions discovered.

Lance Liotta of the National Cancer Institute noted his team’s laser microdisection solution in a 1996 science paper. The method involved a transparent film placed over a sample tissue section. The specific cells would adhere to the film. An infrared laser would also aid in the removal of the sample portion. With the sample separated, the researchers could test it on its own.

 

Modern Laser Microdisection Systems

The use of microdisection systems have spread beyond cancer research.  Researchers use them for numerous areas: live cell research, climate research and cover-slip engraving for electron microscopy.  Modern systems can quickly isolate cells, have convenient laser manipulation and allow researchers to easily mark and track microscopic samples. Unique lasing within fluorescence is also available in Leica Laser Microdisection Systems.

 

The Future of Microdisection

There’s no telling for sure what will change when it comes to laser microdisection in the future, but chances are the process will become increasingly simpler for researchers, allowing them to advance mankind’s collective understanding of microscopic structures. To learn more about one of the most advanced systems available, check out the Leica LMD7000 and see exactly how far laser microdisection systems have progressed.