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Advantages of the Compresstome®

  • More Live cells: Compression stabilizes the tissue, producing much more living cells on live tissues.
  • Smooth sections: tissue stabilization + Auto-Zero-Z® = No artifacts

Problems with traditional vibrating microtomes.

  • Variability in tissue texture: Lymph nodes contain different types of tissue, including fibrous connective tissue, lymphoid tissue, and blood vessels, which can have different textures and densities. This variability can make it challenging to produce uniform sections with a traditional vibratome, and dense regions may cause the blade to skip or produce uneven section thickness.
  • Presence of delicate structures: Lymph nodes contain several delicate structures, such as lymphatic sinuses and lymphoid follicles, that can be easily damaged during sectioning. The vibratome blade may tear or crumple these structures, leading to unusable or distorted sections.
  • Brittle nature of tissue: Lymph node tissue can be brittle and easily fractured, which can make it difficult to obtain high-quality sections. Traditional Vibratome sectioning may cause tissue fragmentation or produce sections that are uneven or distorted.

Recommended Models


Compresstome vibrating microtome

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Real lab examples

Using the Compresstome® in Immunotherapy Research

Dr Astero Klampatsa (PhD) is a Team Leader in Cancer Immunotherapy at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK and a Senior Lecturer in King’s College London, UK. She focuses on developing novel CAR T cell therapies for mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as the immunobiology of these malignancies for identification of markers of response to immunotherapy. In this webinar, Dr. Klampatsa will discuss how the Compresstome® was used to create precision-cut tumor slices (PCTS) as an ex vivo model for immunotherapy research.

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In Situ MHC-tetramer Staining & Quantitative Analysis of Antigen-specific CD8 T Cells in Tissues

Fresh tissue can vary wildly in its level of difficulty to cut, due to a variety of factors like tissue type, and maturity of the animal (myelination). Often with other vibrating microtomes, they struggle to handle highly myelinated tissue or very soft neonatal tissue. The compression effect, along with multiple points of adjustment (speed, oscillation, and agarose concentration) enables our instrument to better handle “difficult” to cut tissue. The Compresstome® isn’t just able to cut thinner than the competition, we believe that the evidence shows that we also provide higher quality cuts that preserve cell surface structures and help increase the number of healthy to dead cells. Researchers at University of Minnesota use a Compresstome® to section live tissue in their procedure to locate, quantify, and phenotype antigen-specific CD8 T cells.

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Slicing up the tumor: Lessons from attempted lung tumor slice cultures

Dr. Tsilingiri is working on tumor immunotherapy and using the Compresstome vibrating microtome to examine the interaction between tumor tissues and autologous lymph node cells in slice cultures. This work is being carried out in the frame of an EU-funded Consortium, Tumour-LNoC (Tumour-Lymph node on a chip), with the ultimate goal of mimicking the metastatic process on a chip and monitor metastasizing cells in real time.


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Li S, Folkvord JM, Kovacs KJ, Wagstaff RK, Mwakalundwa G, Rendahl AK, Rakasz EG, Connick E, Skinner PJ. Low levels of SIV-specific CD8+ T cells in germinal centers characterizes acute SIV infection. PLoS Pathog. 2019 Mar 21;15(3):e1007311. PMID: 30897187; PMCID: PMC6445460. Download PDF

Webb GM, Li S, Mwakalundwa G, Folkvord JM, Greene JM, Reed JS, Stanton JJ, Legasse AW, Hobbs T, Martin LD, Park BS, Whitney JB, Jeng EK, Wong HC, Nixon DF, Jones RB, Connick E, Skinner PJ, Sacha JB. The human IL-15 superagonist ALT-803 directs SIV-specific CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells into B-cell follicles. Blood Adv. 2018 Jan 23;2(2):76-84. PMID: 29365313; PMCID: PMC5787870. Download PDF

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