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Advantages of the Compresstome® vibratome

  • Viable cells:  Up to 6X more viable cells with longer recording time.
  • Fast: Tissue stabilization with compression allow much faster sectioning
  • Great for young AND old animal tissues:  Viable cells for both soft prenatal to tough older animals tissues (24+ month old rodents patched at multiple labs)
  • Easy to maintain:  Auto-Zero-Z means Zero-Z with no calibration needed.
  • Easy to learn:  Many labs get great patchable slices on first or second try with the Compresstome.

Problems with other vibratomes

  • Lack of viable cells: Slow speed and lack of support causes tissue damage, altering the structural and functional properties of the specimen, leading to inaccurate experimental results.
  • Slow: Slow speed a problem in time-sensitive experiments or when high throughput is required.
  • Slice thickness variability: Inconsistent thickness can affect the quality of electrophysiological recordings.
  • Maintenance and calibration: Need time consuming maintenance requiring specialized knowledge or could lead to degrading performance.
  • Steep learning curve: Requires A LOT of practice to perfect, particularly for users who are new to electrophysiology and tissue preparation.

Compresstome® produces brain slices with higher neuronal viability: This study demonstrates significantly higher proportions of live neurons in many brain regions from slices cut with a Compresstome® vibrating microtome, compared to other vibratomes.

Recommended Models


Compresstome vibrating microtome

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Real lab examples

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Neuroscience at the Allen Institute

For over a decade, researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science — often heralded as leaders in the field — have been using the Compresstome® vibrating microtome to help give them better brain slices with increased longevity and reduced damage to surface neurons.

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Reflections on a decade of patching in adult brain slices

Jonathan T. Ting is an Assistant Investigator at the Allen Institute, where he joined in 2013 to provide electrophysiology expertise for the Human Cell Types program, and to develop functional assays on human ex vivo brain slides. In this webinar, Dr. Ting discusses which key steps in the brain slice process is most important and why, and challenges our conventional beliefs of slicing solutions and methodologies.

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Using electrophysiological methods to examine e-cigarette flavors’ effect on dopamine neuron function

Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Henderson and his focus on the role tobacco and vaping flavors play in addiction-related behaviors, and uses the Compresstome® vibrating microtome to make all of their acute brain slices for patch-clamp electrophysiology.

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Compresstome® for sectioning live myocardial slices for cardiac research

The Smyth Laboratory, led by James Smyth, Ph.D., studies cardiomyopathy at a subcellular level, searching for potential targets for therapeutic interventions to help restore normal cardiac function to diseased hearts. Here, Dr. Smyth shows how to section live myocardial slices with the Compresstome®, and uses them for tissue culture and calcium imaging.


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