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In particular, the Compresstome® helps to section acute brain slices that are healthier, with a greater number of live neurons for electrophysiology, optogenetics, and calcium-imaging experiments. Brain slices cut with the Compresstome® are viable for up to twice as long as those made by other tissue slicers.

For fixed tissue experiments such as immunohistochemistry (IHC) or in-situ hybridization (ISH), the Compresstome® can section some slices as thin as 4um. Fresh slices may be cut down to as thin as 40um in thickness for organotypic culture or tumor slice studies.

Recommended Models


Compresstome vibrating microtome

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Rotary microtome

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Not sure which model is right for your needs?

Real lab examples

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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.

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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Preparation of Acute Brain Slices Using an Optimized N-Methyl-D-glucamine Protective Recovery Method

Often heralded as leaders in the field, the Allen Brain institute performs pioneering research on all manner of brain tissue. Working with brain tissue can often be as frustrating as it is rewarding. Slicing brain tissue presents many challenges. The tissue is a combination of soft and fibrous regions. For over a decade, researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have been using the Compresstome® vibrating microtome to help give them better brain slices with increased longevity and reduced damage to surface neurons. This enables neuroscientists to have healthy neurons for patch-clamp electrophysiology experiments.

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Genetic Manipulation of the Mouse Developing Hypothalamus Through In Utero Electroporation

Researchers have used the Compresstome® in their procedure to section mouse embryo hypothalamus that has been injected with DNA and electroporated. This procedure demonstrates how it is possible to transfect nuclei in the hypothalamus region which are less accessible than those in superficial regions. Following this procedure additional experiments can be performed such as immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.

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Lipophilic dye, in situ Hybridization, Immunohistochemistry, and Histology

Explore how scientists use the Compresstome® vibrating microtome to create tissue slices that combine lipophilic dye tracing, whole mount in situ hybridizationimmunohistochemistry, and histology to extract the maximal possible amount of data.

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From two-dimensional to three-dimensional histopathology using a Compresstome®

Dr. Wong shares how he built a custom-made Compresstome® for high-speed histological 3D imaging of whole organs like brains.

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Spatiotemporal Coordination of Stem Cell Behavior Following Alveolar Injury

Dr. Chioccioli:

  • Described motility of alveolar stem cells as a new injury response mechanism in the lung and reveal properties of stem cell motility at high cellular resolution
  • Explained early highly dynamic behavior of AT2 cells post injury, including migration within and between alveoli
  • Characterized the emergence of at least three distinct morphokinetic AT2 cell states associated with AT2 stem cell injury response
  • Shown how small molecule-based inhibition of Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) pathway significantly reduced motility of AT2 stem cells following injury and reduced expression of Krt8, a known marker of intermediate progenitor cells
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Interactions between Saturated Fat, Cytokines, and Microglia in the Ventral Striatum

Dr. Fordahl will highlight how proinflammatory cytokines alter dopamine terminal function, and how increasing dietary fat intake may enhance microglial activity.

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The locus coeruleus (LC) mediates behavioral flexibility

Dr. Greta Vargova is going to present their most recent publication, in which they show the link between locus coeruleus activity and behavioral flexibility.

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Investigating how sodium channels regulate the firing of cerebellar Purkinje neurons requires healthy brain slices

Dr. Ransdell explores how the Compresstome vibrating microtome is used to produce healthy brain slices for electrophysiology. He studies adult Purkinje neurons in mouse cerebellar brain slices.

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Using calcium imaging and electrophysiology to explore the interaction between neurons and astrocytes in addiction

In this webinar, Dr. Wang will:

  • Discuss to quantify nascent silent synapses using electrophysiology
  • Explore how to perform ex vivo calcium imaging on brain slices
  • Share tips & tricks of brain sectioning to help reduce frustration for electrophysiology recordings


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Li L, Durand-de Cuttoli R, Aubry AV, Burnett CJ, Cathomas F, Parise LF, Chan KL, Morel C, Yuan C, Shimo Y, Lin HY, Wang J, Russo SJ. Social trauma engages lateral septum circuitry to occlude social reward. Nature. 2023 Jan;613(7945):696-703. Epub 2022 Nov 30. PMID: 36450985; PMCID: PMC9876792. Download PDF

Wang C, Hyams B, Allen NC, Cautivo K, Monahan K, Zhou M, Dahlgren MW, Lizama CO, Matthay M, Wolters P, Molofsky AB, Peng T. Dysregulated lung stroma drives emphysema exacerbation by potentiating resident lymphocytes to suppress an epithelial stem cell reservoir. Immunity. 2023 Mar 14;56(3):576-591.e10. Epub 2023 Feb 22. PMID: 36822205. Download PDF

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