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Advantages of the Compresstome®

  • Lots of viable cells: More viable cells enabling better experiments.
  • Consistent slice thickness: Provide consistent experiment results with consistent thickness.
  • 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/cells, especially at the surface layers.
  • 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.

Precision-cut tissue slices (PCTS) are three-dimensional (3D) tissue explants that can be cultured ex vivo for additional studies of physiology, toxicology, and enzyme functions. Precision-cut tissue slices are typically made from human or animal organs, like lung, liver, kidney, etc. Tissue slices were first made by hand cutting with razor blades, but microtomes now help section PCTS that are consistent in thicknesses and have increased viability. Precision-cut tissue slices retain the anatomical architecture of the organ, cells in their original tissue-matrix configuration, metabolic activity, tissue homeostasis, and more. Thus, PCTS are a popular model for toxicological and pharmaceutical research because they closely recapitulate in vivo conditions. One area where PCTS is particularly useful is in respiratory research, where precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) allow for studying host-pathogen interactions.

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.

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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Immunology and Infection: The Compresstome® for Precision-Cut Lung Slices

The Compresstome® has been widely used by researchers worldwide for making precision-cut lung slices (PCLS). The Compresstome® uses agarose embedding prior to slicing to allow for the preservation of open alveoli and better tissue compliance. The video above shows Compresstome® sectioning PCLS for immunostaining to visualize the localization of various immune cell types in the lung. This protocol can be extended to visualize the location and function of many different cell types under a variety of conditions.

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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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Precision cut lung slices (PCLS) for probing mechanisms of pulmonary fibrosis

Dr. Claudia Loebel’s research involves the development of PCLS to probe mechanisms of early epithelial cell differentiation during lung injury and fibrosis.

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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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Liu P, Dodson M, Li H, Schmidlin CJ, Shakya A, Wei Y, Garcia JGN, Chapman E, Kiela PR, Zhang QY, White E, Ding X, Ooi A, Zhang DD. Non-canonical NRF2 activation promotes a pro-diabetic shift in hepatic glucose metabolism. Mol Metab. 2021 Sep;51:101243. Epub 2021 Apr 30. PMID: 33933676; PMCID: PMC8164084. Download PDF

Weidinger A, Dungel P, Perlinger M, Singer K, Ghebes C, Duvigneau JC, Müllebner A, Schäfer U, Redl H, Kozlov AV. Experimental data suggesting that inflammation mediated rat liver mitochondrial dysfunction results from secondary hypoxia rather than from direct effects of inflammatory mediators. Front Physiol. 2013 Jun 7;4:138. PMID: 23760194; PMCID: PMC3675332. Download PDF

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