ArcturusXT™ LCM Instrument

The ArcturusXT™ microdissection system offers a unique combination of infrared (IR) laser–enabled laser capture microdissection (LCM) and ultraviolet (UV) laser cutting in one platform. The ArcturusXT™ LCM instrument and reagents, combined with our downstream analysis platforms like those for Sanger sequencing, next-generation sequencing, and quantitative PCR, provide a complete solution for microgenomics research.

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Enables isolation of pure cells from a mixed population

The ArcturusXT™ LCM instrument has a proprietary combination of a gentle IR laser and a powerful UV laser that work in conjunction to efficiently isolate cells without changing morphology or integrity of the biological content. The IR laser helps to capture the cells of interest, and the UV laser microdissects the captured cells. This is done without affecting the morphology of the cells, and allows for visual inspection of the remaining specimen to help ensure the quality of the sample collected. In addition to the flexibility that the dual laser system provides, there is the flexibility of multiple stage inserts for various sample types. A wide-slide stage format is available for neurobiology researchers working with very large sections of brain tissue. The petri dish stage insert has opened the door for live-cell microdissection applications such as stem cell research and other rare-cell isolations.

With the ArcturusXT™ system, the LCM technique can be used on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections, allowing the use of archival pathological material. In addition, frozen sections of tissue and cytological specimens are also suitable for laser microdissection. The technique causes no apparent alteration to the morphology of the chosen cells, which can be directly visualized after microdissection.

Key features

  • Dual laser system—enables a wide range of applications ranging from single-cell isolation to large biopsy extractions
  • Exclusive, gentle IR laser capture microdissection—preserves morphology of isolated samples and integrity of biological material for downstream applications
  • Intuitive software—enables rapid isolation of specific cells in five simple steps, provides quality control feature that allows users to visualize collected sample
  • Flexible sample prep—wide range of slide types and sample preparation formats supported

Video: Simple 4-Step Process to Capture Cells and Recover Biomolecules

Watch this short video to see how you can maintain custody of your sample with CapSure® LCM caps.

A unique offering of laser capture and laser cutting microdissection

The solid-state IR laser—exclusive to the ArcturusXT™ LCM system—is a gentle capture technique that preserves biomolecular integrity and is ideal for single cells or a small number of cells. The solid-state UV laser offers superior speed and precision and is well-suited for microdissecting dense tissue structures and for rapidly capturing large numbers of cells.

Rapidly isolate pure cell populations for microgenomic analysis

Laser capture microdissection allows for rapid isolation of specific cells in four simple steps. After locating the cells of interest, the CapSure® LCM Cap is placed over the target area. Pulsing the ArcturusXT™ System laser through the cap activates the film on the cap to adhere to the target cells. Lifting the cap removes the target cells attached to the cap. The isolated cells are now available for extraction of biomolecules.

Modular flexibility to fit your needs

The ArcturusXT™ LCM instrument is modularized to suit any dynamic research need. The system utilizes a Nikon Eclipse® Ti-E inverted research microscope with a variety of options available at the time of purchase or post-purchase. Each instrument has IR-enabled LCM, an interactive pen–display monitor, and a trackball-actuated stage for easy and ergonomic navigation. Additional modules that may be added include LED bright-field illumination or high-intensity halogen illumination, enabling phase contrast and differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy applications.

The ArcturusXT™ system may be purchased with or without UV laser cutting and attenuable fluorescence. Objectives are available in a wide range, including a 2x–100x dry objective and a 100x oil-immersion objective. For ultimate image quality and analysis, a high-resolution megapixel camera may be added.

Complete LCM System  

Figure 1. Complete LCM system: harvest single cells or tens of thousands of cells in seconds.

Simplified workflow through streamlined user interface

The simple, intuitive user interface places the focus on research (Figure 2). From loading of samples to extraction of biomolecules, the uncomplicated workflow maximizes experimental efficiency.


Figure 2. Operation made easy. The simple, intuitive user interface places the focus on research. From sample loading to extraction of biomolecules, the uncomplicated workflow maximizes experimental efficiency.

Ultimate fexibility in sample source and preparation

The unique combination of IR laser capture and UV laser cutting permits the use of many slide types including glass, glass membrane, and framed membrane slides for contact or non-contact microdissection. In addition, a variety of specimen preparations may be used (Figures 1-3).


Figure 1. Superior optics for subcellular microdissection. Versatile enough to handle many sample types, the ArcturusXT™ system optics can be used to visualize your samples for microgenomics research.


Figure 2. Rapidly isolate pure cell populations for microgenomics research. Different tissue types are shown before and after laser capture microdissection to identify cells of interest, isolate them, and prepare them for microgenomics analysis.


Figure 3. Isolate different cell types for microgenomics research. Arcturus® labeling kits can be used to identify cellular components of interest for further analysis.


Instrument specifications
Microscope Standard: Nikon Eclipse® Ti-E microscope base
Standard: Standard microscope operation outside of LCM operating software
Optional: Binoculars, CFI 10x eyepieces
Lasers Standard: Infrared (IR) Capture Laser: solid-state, near-IR (810 nm)
Optional: Basic UV Cutting Laser: solid-state, passive Q-switched, diode-pumped (355 nm)
Optional: Enhanced UV Cutting Laser: solid-state, diode-pumped Q-switched (345 nm) with adjustable laser current (0 –100%) and pulse frequency (10 – 5000 Hz)
Illumination Standard: High-intensity LED illumination system
Optional: Nikon Diascopic Illumination Tower for contrast imaging (100 W halogen lamp)
Objectives Standard: 2x, 10x, and 40x Nikon CFI60 objectives
Optional: 4x, 20x, 60x, 100x dry and 100x oil Nikon CFI60 objectives
Stage Standard: Motorized, trackball-actuated in X and Y axes with 1 μm precision
Standard: Stage insert for three 75 mm x 25 mm slides
Optional: Stage insert for large-format slides;
two positions, adjustable to 75 mm x 25 mm, 75 mm x 38 mm, 75 mm x 50 mm
Optional: Stage insert for petri dish: 50 mm x 7 mm
Contrast Methods Standard: Bright-field
Optional: Phase contrast (PhL, Ph1, Ph2)
Optional: Differential interference contrast (DIC), Senarmont method (rotating polarizer)
Dimensions 30" (D) x 22" (W) x 29" (H)
Work Surface Required 36" x 72" (92 cm x 183 cm), 33" (80 cm) vertical clearance
Power 100 – 240 VAC, 50 – 60 Hz; 600 W
Operating Temperature 18 – 30°C
Operating Humidity <60% relative humidity (non-condensing)
Altitude  For use up to 6,600 ft (2,000 m)
Computer Requirements
  • 3.0 GHz Intel Core 4 (min)
  • 4 GB RAM (min)
  • 2 x 500 GB hard drives-RAID 1
  • DVD±RW drive
  • Windows 7 Pro
  • 1280 x 1024 dpi resolution monitor
  • Interactive pen display monitor
Other Features For a full list of features and specifications, see the ArcturusXT™ Product Brochure