Creative Biolabs

Viral Tracer Tools

Non-viral conventional tracers are effective tools for visualizing a large number of neural connections. The only specified parameter is the position of the cell body or axon end. They usually come in a form that is easy to inject and can be tested in any target animal because they do not require specific genetically modified strains or genetic methods. However, the use of non-viral conventional tracers is mainly limited to mapping global connections. Most conventional tracers do not have sufficient resolution to reveal connectivity at the level of molecularly defined cell types. They also did not reveal whether axons that terminate in specific locations are in contact with specific cell types or synapses connected to other cells. Conventional tracers can remain outside the cells at the injection site, and they usually mark the injection site or all cell bodies projected at the injection site.

Instead, genetic strategies can be used to target viruses to specific cell types, for example, through specific expression of viral receptors or through expression of recombinase proteins in specific cells to direct productive infection or payload delivery to these cells. In some cases, the virus can be modified to express a small molecule tracer in the target cell type of interest.

Creative Biolabs offers a variety of viral vectors to replace chemical tracers with targeted viral genetics methods.

Properties of Commonly Used Transneuronal/Trans-synaptic Viral Tracers. Table 1: Properties of Commonly Used Transneuronal/Trans-synaptic Viral Tracers.

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For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.

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