Sampling Tools

EMS-Core Sampling Tool

EMS-Core is an all new revolutionary multi-purpose sampling tool, designed with retractable cutting cannulla for easy operation. Efficient, safe, fast and precise, the EMS-Core consists of a razor sharp stainless steel cutting tip, designed to cut, retrieve and store cored samples from source materials such as skin, tissue, gels, paper, cloth, leaves, paint chips, films or other thin, soft substrates. The EMS-Core is well known and recommended as the special DNA sampling tool and is ideal for forensic and laboratory sampling purposes. Each EMS-Core is individually packaged and ethylene oxide sterilized.

Technical Data Sheet

EMS-Core Sampling Tool variety


  • Pen-like Actuator mechanically extends the cannulla from the protective casing
  • Self-contained Plunger effortlessly ejects the tissue sample out of the tip


Sizes:0.35, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0 & 8.0mm
Material:PP – body, 304 stainless steel – cutting cannula (tip)
Packaging:Each piece in an individual pouch.
Sterilization:EO (Ethylene Oxide)

Ordering Information

Brain Punch Kitarrow11Brain Punch Kit

For Microdissection of Frozen Brain Sections.

The kit is available in 2 different sets: Complete with either 3 punches or 5 come complete with spring loaded nylon expellers, and a convenient handle, facilitates the “Palkovits Punch” technique of dissecting out specific brain nuclei for neurochemistry.

The nuclei are punched from frozen brain sections on glass slides, and expelled into the reagents. The spring-loaded expellers avoid risk of contamination that might be caused by expelling with breath.

Each punch has an electro polished sharp end for smooth cuts and minimal tissue adhesion. Punch sizes are 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75 and 2.00 (± 5%, slight variation due to electro polish etching to sharpen). The smaller tubes are reinforced by an outer layer of concentric tubing except at the tip.

Replacement punches available individually.


The Brain Punch Kit is a set of electropolished and sharpened punches for the Palkovit’s punch technique. Note that the smaller punches are reinforced, as these can tend to bend under the force of the punching action. The set includes a handle and 5 sizes of punches. Sizes are shown in the table below. Each punch consists of the stainless steel punch column, the holder body, and a button which operates a spring loaded expeller to force the micro dot of tissue from the punch.

Select the punch to be used and install it in the handle so that the black body holder on the punch is flush with the lower surface of the handle. Tighten the locking screw. If the punch body holder extends below the handles bottom surface, the action of the expeller may be blocked. Check that the expeller end can be seen when the button is pressed, and then proceed.


To prevent deterioration of the proteins, the tissue must be kept frozen as much as possible. The brain or other tissue to be punched is dissected from the anesthetized animal and dropped into liquid nitrogen. The frozen specimen is mounted on a sectioning pedestal, placed in a cryostat, and allowed to equilibrate to the cryostat temperature. At this time, glass slides for collection of the sections are also placed in the cryostat to equilibrate to the temperature.

The specimen must be adjusted to the correct plane of section, taking preliminary sections to check the angle, and then the critical sections from the desired region are collected.

Thick (~200 micron) are taken and placed on the prechilled glass slides. The frozen slices will lie on the frozen glass without adhering, so care must be taken not to spill them. When the slide is full, press a finger against the bottom of the slide to cause the tissue to partially thaw into contact with the slide, and refreeze promptly in the cryostat.

Remove the slides from the cryostat and place on a cold plate or petri dish chilled with dry ice. Select the punch needed, position the tip over the area to be removed, and press down. The dot of tissue, whose volume can be calculated, will pull away from glass slide and stay in the punch. Press the spring loaded button on top of each punch to expel the tissue into the collection media.

Ordering Information

Harris Uni-Coresarrow11Miltex® Biopsy Punch with Plunger

The Miltex® Biopsy Punch with Plunger is a single-use, disposable multi-purpose sampling tool for soft substrates. The plastic exterior is ribbed for comfort and control. The stainless steel cutting tip is seamless and razor sharp to avoid tearing or pulling of the sample. The plunger easily expels the specimen from the barrel. These sterilized punches come in color-coded blister packs with a 5-year shelf life. In addition to the color-coding, the size is also clearly marked on each punch.

These tools are perfect for tissue processing or forensic applications. For applications where contamination is not an issue, the Miltex® Biopsy Punch with Plunger is reusable after cleaning. To clean the cutting edge, rinse with ethanol or spray with compressed air to remove any contaminants.

Sterile, Disposable Skin Biopsy Punches.arrow11Accu-Punch

The only disposable punch made in the USA!

Sterile, Disposable Skin Biopsy Punches.

Available in 14 different sizes as well as assortment packs.

  • Always Sharp, Always Sterile
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Ribbed for Maximum Control
  • Available in Dispenser boxes of 25 or 50 pieces

Harris Uni-Coresarrow11Harris Uni-Cores

See EMS-Core Sampling Tools (top) for possible replacement of Harris Uni-Cores.
The Harris Uni-Core™ is a disposable multi-purpose sampling tool for soft substrates. They are made from polypropylene, including a hollow body with built-in tool steel razor sharp cutting tip, with a plunger for the expelling of the punched sample. Uni-Core comes individually wrapped and sterilized by ethylene oxide. Uni-Core can also be reusable by rinsing the tip with ethanol after each use and autoclaving for 20 minutes at 250°F/15 psi.

EMS punch kitarrow11EMS Aluminum Punch Kit

The EMS Aluminum Punch Kit is designed to serve research scientists with a dissection tool for small, pre-defined regions of the tissue or the specimen.


  • Forensic – Punch cut, retrieve, store and preferentially eject cored samples from source materials such as paper, gels, cloth, leaves, paint chip, films, etc.
  • Electrophysiology – Punch dissection of discrete regions prior to acute dissociation for patch recording
  • Biomedical Pharmacology – Punch removal of discrete brain regions for analysis of neurotransmitters and metabolite changes in response to different pharmacological agents.
  • Anatomy – Punch out small brain regions for analysis of neurotransmitter concentrations of mRNA levels or for subsequent use in electron microscopy.
  • Others – Positioning samples inside the quartz pyrolysis gel tubes, or on FTIR diamond cell sample stages.


For most forensic samples, position source of materials (i.e. blood cards, paint chips, paper, leaves, gels, etc.) on the self-healing cutting mat. Remove the protective cover cap from the punch. Firmly grip the punch. The tip is then positioned at a right angle above the target area – DO NOT DEPRESS THE PLUNGER. The tip is pushed downward into the source material until it makes contact with the cutting mat. Lift the punch kit away from the source material with the cored sample stored in the cutting tip.

For most biology samples – Typically tissue to be punched is first sliced into 1-2mm thick sections. (Our Tissue and Brain Matrices are specially designed for this purpose. The section to be punched is then placed on a saline-soaked filter paper disc (EMS #70662 – Petri dish with absorbent paper) on an ice-cold dissection plate (EMS #62536-01 – Cold Plate) Then follow the above procedure.

Sample Storage and Ejection

After coring, the sample is temporarily stored in the hollow cutting tip ready for the preferred ejection. The punch kit can be rested on its side without loss of sample from the hollow tip. To eject sample, position tip over target area and depress plunger.


Clean the tip between each sample extraction by coring blank filter paper, rinsing with ethanol or spraying with compressed air to remove dried artifacts. Rinse mat with ethanol after each sample extraction.

Aluminum barrel is machined from high grade 6061-T6, light-weight, seamless, aluminum tubing and anodized to form a protective, chemically resistant long lasting surface for easy handling. Deluxe plastic case included.

Specifications (mm) and Ordering

Cat #Dot size
Vol ml

Replacement Cutting Tipsarrow11Micro-Punch Replacement Cutting Tips

Compatible replacement cutting tip, fit for Micro punches. Full CNC machined, razor sharp and durable. Recommended for repeated and mass sampling application.


Size (ID):0.5, 1.0, 1.2, 2.0, 3.0 mm
Material:440C stainless steel, heat treatment HRC58°

69039-90arrow11EMS-Core Cutting Mats

Five layer composite cutting mat will let you cut cleanly through an object and into the mat. Great for protecting both cutting tip and working surface. Ensures the cored sample comes out completely without burrs and bits. These cutting mats are reversible, inert, self-healing and can be sterilized with ethanol. 1.5mm thick.

69039-90Large Cutting Mat, Size 6 x 8″each30.00 
69039-100Small Cutting Mat, Size 2 x 3″each10.00 

69037arrow11Cutting Mats

These cutting mats are inert, self-healing and can be sterilized with ethanol. Available sizes 6 x 8″ and 2½ x 3″

EMS Skin Puncharrow11EMS Skin Punch

This skin punch will pierce dense skin with ease. The rotating hole template offers five (5) different hole sizes.

  • Dimensions: Overall length 6.5″ Long (165 mm)
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Hole sizes can be adjusted to: 1 mm, 1.2 mm, 1.4 mm, 1.7 mm, and 2 mm

Ear Puncharrow10Ear Punch

Made from stainless steel. Allows for you to make a 2mm hole through the animal ear in just one second. It also can be used as a specimen puncher.

Ear Punch for Animalsarrow10Ear Punch for Animals

Easily punch an animal ear quickly with this ear punch.
Size: 50 mm

Ear PuncherEar Puncherarrow10Ear Puncher

This ear puncher is small and efficient and features spring action. It allows users to come closer when marking an animal, and also has a sloped edge for clean cuts. It is autoclavable, but should be lubricated afterwards for long and trouble-free usage. It measures 11 cm long and has a 2 mm diameter hole.