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Advantages of the Compresstome®

  • Smooth sections: tissue stabilization = No artifacts
  • No squishing: the agarose fills in the air space, preventing squishing.
  • Minimal tissue damage: Tissue stabilization preserves cellular level structural integrity and details.

Problems with traditional vibrating microtomes

  • Variability in tissue density: The heart is composed of multiple cell types with different densities, which can make it challenging to produce uniform sections. The dense regions of the heart may cause the vibratome blade to skip or produce uneven section thickness.
  • Variability in tissue texture: The texture of heart tissue can vary depending on the region of the heart being examined, which can affect the quality of the sections produced. For example, the myocardium is more fibrous and dense than other regions of the heart, which can make it more difficult to obtain high-quality sections.
  • Presence of delicate structures: The heart contains several delicate structures, such as the valves and blood vessels, that can be easily damaged during sectioning. The vibratome blade may tear or crumple these structures, leading to unusable or distorted sections.
  • Presence of air spaces: The heart contains air spaces that can cause the tissue to collapse or become distorted during sectioning. This can make it difficult to obtain sections that are representative of the tissue structure.

Recommended Models


Compresstome vibrating microtome

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Not sure which model is right for your needs?

Real lab examples

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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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