ZEISS PALM MicroTweezers

For Cells and Sub-cellular Structures – Precise, Contact-Free Cell and Particle Manipulation

Simple and Precise Micro-manipulation

PALM MicroTweezers by ZEISS is an optical tweezers system that allows for precise, contact-free cell manipulation as well as to trap, move, and sort microscopic particles.

With PALM MicroTweezers you manipulate cells and particles in the micro- and sub-micrometer range without contact. The highly focused laser beam allows you to trap, move and sort live cells, organelles and other large biomolecules. A simple mouse click on your target is sufficient to trap it.

You are able to complement PALM MicroTweezers with the Force Measurement software module and with high-end imaging and supplementary technologies from ZEISS, such as live cell imaging systems or PALM MicroBeam for laser microdissection.


  • Contact-free, non-invasive sample manipulation in 3D
  • Trap, position or sort microscopic objects
  • Intuitive dual-beam operation with click & trap functionality
  • Combined micromanipulation and high end imaging workstation
  • Compatible with other ZEISS solutions such as PALM MicroBeam
  • Applications range from micromanipulation, cell-cell interactions, cell sorting to quantitative force measurements
High-Precision Manipulation
click to enlarge


High-Precision Manipulation

PALM MicroTweezers are the ideal solution when you demand a high-precision tool for the separation and manipulation of particles at the cellular and sub-cellular level. They are very intuitive and allow you to trap, move and position microscopic objects, such as red blood cells or bacteria.

Optical tweezers use the force field of a highly focused laser beam to generate an optical trap. This allows for precise micro-manipulation without mechanical contact. Our system uses an infrared laser with a wavelength of 1064nm to minimize effects on your live samples.

Two erythrocytes (red blood cells) “dance” under the control of the light

PALM RoboSoftware Module Force Measurement

The software module Force Measurement allows not only the manipulation of microscopic particles with optical tweezers, but also the quantitative measurement of forces relevant to various disciplines of life science research. The intuitive software is easy to use and offers flexible functionality and experimental freedom ranging from sperm motility measurements to the characterization of plasma membrane properties, molecular binding forces, or cell elasticity measurements.

  • Ease of use with Click&Trap function
  • Automated trap stiffness calibration routines
  • No detector alignment necessary
  • Real-time visual representation of calibration and experimental data
  • All images and associated data are saved for complete documentation
Membrane tether extraction of a NIH 3T3 fibroblast with PALM MicroTweezers
Membrane tether extraction of a NIH 3T3 fibroblast with PALM MicroTweezers


The PALM Family - A New Dimension in Sample Purity

Integrated Laser Microdissection and Microscope Systems for Live Cells and Fixed Material

pages: 23
file size: 9523 kB

Laser Microdissection: A Key Technology for Microproteomics

Isolate a single cell population Isolate 30.000 cells in one step within seconds Seamless integrate LCM into your workflow

pages: 7
file size: 2197 kB

Results 1 - 2 of 2


Including MicroBeam, CombiSystem & MicroTweezers

Protocols of ZEISS Labs

The Unique Microdissection Service

LCM Protocols – Protein Handling for LC/MS
Non contact Laser Capture Microdissection - June 2011
(24 pages)
Download (7.630 kB)

PALM Protocols – RNA handling
Dos and Don’ts, slide preparation, archived samples, staining procedures, storage, laser microdissection procedure, collection devices and procedures. Downstream applications, RNA from FFPE and frozen sections, QIAGEN RNeasy FFPE kit, quality control, lab tips.
(28 pages)
Download (612 kB)

PALM Protocols – DNA handling
Preparation and treatment of slides, mounting samples onto slides, staining procedures, laser microdissection procedure, collection devices and procedures, cap check. Downstream applications, DNA from FFPE and frozen sections. QIAamp DNA procedure. PCR set up.
(26 pages)
Download (8.017 kB)

Chromosome Preparation
Chromosome preparation, staining, procedure of laser microdissection, collection procedures, collection onto AmpliGrid slide, consumables and components. Collection devices, lenses.
(20 pages)
Download (7.147 kB)

Cell Culture, non-contact Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) and Recultivation
Cultivation of cells, coating of Dishes and Slides, improvement of visualization, procedure of laser microdissection, recultivation, time lapse, incubators. Optical Tweezers.
(14 pages)
Download (500 kB)

Immunofluorescence on frozen sections
Tips before starting, microtome cutting, antibody staining.
(5 pages)
Download (437 kB)

FISH Hybridization
Chromosome preparation. Preparation of chromosome paints. Hybridization of painting probes. Preparation of centromeric probes.
(15 pages)
Download (389 kB)

AutoLPC from glass slides results in good quality RNA
For RNA experiments on microdissected samples we usually recommend the use of MembraneSlides. Sometimes only old archived slides are available. We show that even this kind of slides is useful for RNA preparation. After removing the coverslip the unique and proprietary software function of “AutoLPC” allows quick access to the desired tissue area. And we could prove that this method does not influence the RNA quality.
(6 pages)
Download (2.287 kB)

RNA extraction from FFPE sections
Short protocol. Tips and recommendations for using FFPE sections as source for RNA extraction.
(4 pages)
Download (568 kB)

RNA extraction from frozen sections
Short protocol. Especially helpful for RNase rich tissue. Tips for microtome cutting and special staining (cresylviolet).
(4 pages)
Download (179 kB)