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J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Aug 15;173(1):20-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.05.007. Epub 2008 May 20.

Single-synapse ablation and long-term imaging in live C. elegans.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Box 351700, Seattle, WA 98195-1700, United States.


Synapses are individually operated, computational units for neural communication. To manipulate physically individual synapses in a living organism, we have developed a laser ablation technique for removing single synapses in live neurons in C. elegans that operates without apparent damage to the axon. As a complementary technique, we applied microfluidic immobilization of C. elegans to facilitate long-term fluorescence imaging and observation of neuronal development. With this technique, we directly demonstrated the existence of competition between developing synapses in the HSNL motor neuron.

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