Olympus, in combination with MMI Molecular Machines & Industries, now offers the CellCut laser microdissection system for life science professionals undertaking molecular biological analyses in a wide variety of fields. Interfaced with Olympus inverted microscopes and using UV laser and unique patented isolation technologies, CellCut ensures the fast, reliable and precise dissection and manipulation of paraffin and frozen tissue sections, and even smears and cell cultures. It also eliminates any direct specimen contact, thereby ensuring totally contamination-free samples.
Utilising the Olympus IX51 and IX71 inverted microscopes the CellCut is a highly versatile research level system which delivers outstanding image quality for quickly and easily pinpointing cells for isolation. By simply drawing freehand or via predfined geometric shapes using intuitive operating software and a Pen Touch monitor, as many single cells or groups of cells as required can be encircled. Selected cells or even cell compartments are then cut out automatically using a high-precision UV laser.
Due to the unique optical bench design of the Olympus IX2 inverted microscopes, coupling of the UV cutting laser is achieved without limiting any fluorescence applications. Up to 6 fluorescence filter modules are available and can be used according to users' specific needs and requirements.
The solid-state, diode pumped UV laser at 355nm ensures complete stability and provides exceptional cutting accuracy, as it is focused through the Olympus UIS2 objective to a beam spot size of less than 1µm. In addition, since laser cutting is a highly precise ablative process it produces a totally clean break between the required sample and surrounding tissue.
Specimens are mounted on a special membrane-covered frame and a glass slide placed underneath. This effectively protects the sample against impurities in the environment, which is particularly crucial for any application involving DNA, or even RNA extraction, where it is essential to minimise contamination.
Microdissected samples are cleanly removed using the unique patented IsolationCap. This cap rests on the membrane and has no direct contact with the specimen, again effectively avoiding any form of contamination. In addition, only the parts of the specimen that have been cut out adhere to the lid. For higher throughput of extracted targets, a MultiCap collecting unit together with MultiSlide functionality are also available. The MultiSlide option permits the simultanuous use of up to three membrane-mounted samples, while MultiCap encompasses a strip of up to 10 different IsolationCaps.
A key advantage of CellCut is its sophisticated, yet user-friendly software. Its intuitive graphical user interface provides access to the control of all specific laser microdissection functions, as well as easy to use process and scanning routines. Multiuser handling and multi grouping of selected targets is also possible. The software also ensures full documentation of all processes by creating a picture and text file with every new slide or microdissection job. As an optional extra, the CellExplorer image recognition software package will automatically recognise and cut out specific targets set and defined by the user.
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