While new technologies in the fields of proteomics and genomics appear almost daily, histotechnology has remained largely unchanged since its development in the mid-1800s. Tissues are fixed, embedded in wax, sectioned, and stained as needed--a labor-intensive process that generates two-dimensional glass slides that must be viewed one at a time. An anatomical pathologist by training, Russell Kerschmann, founder and president of Corte Madera, Calif.-based Resolution Sciences Corp., is intimately familiar with this classical sample preparation method. As a research fellow at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Kerschmann found the traditional methods of sectioning and slide-making unsatisfactory for his studies of the damage done to blood vessels by lasers used to treat skin diseases. "Blood vessels are intrinsically three-dimensional structures .... I wasn't able to answer such questions as 'Does the earliest damage occur at the branch points?' because the two-dimensional sections didn't show enough of those structures to get...

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