Advantages of the Compresstome®

  • Large number of viable cells: More viable cells enabling better growth during slice cultures.
  • Easy to maintain: Auto-Zero-Z means Zero-Z with no calibration needed.
  • Easy to learn: Many labs get great slices with many viable cells on first or second try with the Compresstome.

Problems with traditional vibrating microtomes

  • Tissue/cell damage: Tissue tearing and shredding from the slow cutting can cause significant cell damage to tissues, hindering subsequent culture of the tissue.
  • 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 tissue preparation.

Organotypic culture slicesOrganotypic cultured slices preserve the 3D cytoarchitecture of cell populations, and are an accessible system that allows for short- and long-term experimental manipulations. Thus, organotypic slice cultures, especially brain slice cultures for neuroscience, have become an outstanding tool in physiology research.

Because organotypic slice cultures mean that tissue slices must be incubated in media and kept alive outside of the animal model, the survival of cells is the most important criterion to consider. For brain slices, neuron viability is crucial to allow for patch-clamp electrophysiology. Organotypic brain slices need to have a high ratio of viable neurons within the top few cellular layers that can be patch-clamped with ease. The process of cutting brain slices also needs to occur rapidly, to prevent neuron death before incubation of cultured slices. Therefore, the process requires a vibratome that can quickly make high quality acute brain slices without shearing neurons on the surface.

Recommended Models


Compresstome vibrating microtome

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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.

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.

Making Precision-Cut Tissue Slices for Ex Vivo Assay Services

Visikol is a contract research services company focused on leveraging advanced imaging, 3D cell culture assays and digital pathology to accelerate the drug discovery and development process. In this webinar, Visikol explains the need for in vitro liver models to study livery injury. They demonstrate the standard assay format for creating precision-cut liver slices (PCLS), and explain how the Compresstome® VF-310-0Z vibrating microtome helps create uniform tissue slices that can be meaningfully compared between treatments. Visikol goes through how to use the Compresstome® step-by-step for making PCLS.

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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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Precision cut lung slices (PCLS): A novel ex vivo model to study lung disease

Dr. Koziol-White showcased the versatility of the precision cut lung slice system that she has developed and utilized to study airway function for almost two decades.


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Ruiz-Garcia H, Zarco N, Watanabe F, De Araujo Farias V, Suarez-Meade P, Guerrero-Cazares H, Imitola J, Quinones-Hinojosa A, Trifiletti D. Development of Experimental Three-Dimensional Tumor Models to Study Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cells and Tumor Microenvironment. Methods Mol Biol. 2023;2572:117-127. PMID: 36161412. Download PDF

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