Roche, Basel, Switzerland, recently announced commercial availability of the Avenio Millisect system, a tissue dissection instrument that utilizes an automated digitally assisted process to isolate clinically relevant cells from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue slides.

The system aims to address challenges inherent in today’s tissue dissection practice in the clinical lab workspace, where manual dissection can lack consistency and precision, and laser capture microscopy may be cumbersome and costly.

Neil Gunn, Roche Sequencing Solutions.

Neil Gunn, Roche Sequencing Solutions.

“We recognize that streamlining and optimizing the preanalytical workflow is key to obtaining accurate results from complex testing methods, such as next-generation sequencing,” says Neil Gunn, head of Roche Sequencing Solutions. “Introduction of the Avenio Millisect system further exemplifies our commitment in creating a simplified workflow that delivers maximal medical value to clinicians and patients.”

In a study, sequencing samples prepared with the Avenio Millisect system identified mutations from 7 out of 32 (22%) pancreatic cancer tissues samples that were otherwise missed by manual dissection.1 The study further suggests that the technology helped reduce false-negative results and case rejection rates associated with low tumor content, thereby enabling efficient use of precious tissue samples.

The system is an in vitro diagnostic labeled medical device and is now available in the United States and countries accepting the CE mark.


  1. Geiersbach K, Adey N, Welker N, et al. Digitally guided microdissection aids somatic mutation detection in difficult to dissect tumors. Cancer Genet. 2016;209(1–2):42–49; doi: 10.1016/j.cancergen.2015.12.004.