Laser Capture Microdissection
One method being used to minimize cellular damage and capture accurate protein patterns in cancer and normal cells is laser capture microdissection. Researchers use a low-energy laser beam and special transfer film to lift a desired cell out of the tissue section, leaving all unwanted cells behind. They can then collect all the proteins that were present in the selected cells, map the protein pattern, and store the information in a computer database.
Laser capture microdissection offers several advantages for studying proteins. For example, with this technique researchers are able to capture separate sets of cells from normal, precancerous, cancerous, and even stromal tissue, all from the same patient's biopsy sample.