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Nat Biotechnol. 1998 Aug;16(8):737-42.

Identification of expressed genes by laser-mediated manipulation of single cells.

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Laser Laboratory and Molecular Biology, First Medical Department, Academic Hospital München-Harlaching, Germany.


We describe a rapid noncontact method for the capture of single cells or small tissue areas of any size or shape directly within the cap of a common microfuge tube. Prior to the laser-mediated transfer, the specimen is isolated by laser microbeam microdissection, forming a clear-cut gap around the selected area. Laser treatment does not impair subsequent RNA analysis. We have used this method to isolate a single cell from archival colon adenocarcinoma, and were able to detect point mutations within codon 12 of c-Ki-ras2 mRNA after nested RT-PCR analysis.

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