RE: Laser capture - nothing to do with Fawlty Towers

From:Todd Sherman <>

Hello Brett,

I've worked with the PixCell II unit (one of the early models sold) for LCM
and the unit works pretty well.  I have about 50-60 hours of "zapping-time"
on lung-tissue for RNA extraction/isolation studies...not comprehensive but
enough to give a brief overview.

	Effective isolation of tissue - performs its ultimate function
	Operational parameters quite adjustable
	Ergonomically sound design
	Simple to use / Shallow learning curve

	Expensive unit/upgrade
	LCM caps proprietary (expensive)
	Slide-securing vacuum inadequate
	Incomplete access to entire slide on stage
	Questionable reliability

I should probably comment a little more about the dislikes than the likes
because the unit does what it's supposed to do.  The slide stage had only
one vacuum hole which minimized the amount of usable stage area.  This was
significant because if the desired tissue was not perfectly centered on the
slide, accessing the peripheral areas became problematic.  An improved
slide-securing vacuum system would allow improved access.  As far as
reliability, I did not know how heavily used the unit was but I did notice
several items that needed attention.  The tracking-beam was rarely centered
properly on the observation monitor and the gross field-of-view microscope
ocular did not coincide with the observation monitor.  These might have been
simple, routine maintenance procedures but they were always out of sync.
The LCM cap holder seemed flimsy even though it was a metal
broke when someone did not use it properly (if you can believe that).

I hope this helps your decision process.  I don't know how many models
Arcturus produces now but the upgrade to the most current model (i.e..
smallest diameter beam) was on the order of $20,000 to $40,000 about a year
ago.  The diameter of the laser beam dictates the final unit price.  If I
recall correctly, that would make the total price of the unit over $120,000.

Regards, Todd

Todd Sherman
IT Student

-----Original Message-----
From: Connolly, Brett M []
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2001 12:36 PM
To: 'HISTONET' (E-mail)
Subject: Laser capture

I am looking for feedback, likes/ dislikes/ reliability/ flexibility, etc.
for laser capture microdissection apparatus.
I am looking at Arturus Pixcell II and Leica.


Brett M. Connolly, Ph.D.
Merck Research Laboratories
Dept. of Pharmacology
PO Box 4
West Point, PA 19486
ph. 215-652-2501
fax. 215-652-2075

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