A comparison of human brain dissection by drill versus saw on nucleic acid quality

Ross C. Buerlein, Thomas M. Hyde, Barbara K. Lipska, Wilton Robinson, Anchal Khosla, Joel E. Kleinman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study examined the effect of two dissection techniques on the quality of human brain specimens. Frozen cerebellar samples were obtained from postmortem brains of 10 subjects free from neurological and psychiatric disease. These tissues were tested for RNA and DNA concentration and quality after being dissected with either an electric dental drill or a small handsaw. RNA and DNA were extracted separately from each sample, and the concentrations and quality of each were measured. We found that dissection technique does not significantly affect RNA or DNA quality/yield. RNA and DNA yields, as well as RNA integrity showed no significant differences between the two dissection techniques. Therefore, these results support the use of a high-speed hand-held electric dental drill as an efficient and anatomically precise means of human brain dissection without compromising tissue quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 30 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebellum
  • DNA
  • Dissection
  • Postmortem
  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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