For months we attempted to obtain mechanically-dissociated neurons with adherent boutons but had no success. It was determined that perhaps our choice of vibratome was impeding the obtainment of our goals. At first, we used a microtome purchased from World Precision Instruments, and after repeated failure we purchased a tissue sectioning system from The Vibratome Company, but again we experienced continual failure. Then, we became familiar with a microtome manufactured by Precision Instruments, Inc (VF-200). Immediately we experienced success in obtaining mechanically-dissociated neurons with adherent pre-synaptic boutons using the microtome from Precisionary Instruments, Inc., and we also noticed cell quality was much higher when compared to neurons obtained using the other vibratomes. Also, cell survival rates were significantly higher when using the VF-200. Currently, we are able to routinely perform (on a daily basis) patch-clamp recordings from mechanically-dissociated neurons with adherent boutons only when using the VF-200, which was previously unobtainable using vibratomes purchased from other leading companies. As a result, we are able to successfully study pre-synaptic receptor function using single, dissociated neurons and help elucidate the mechanisms governing nicotine-induced reward and dependence. A sample of our results obtained using the VF-200 is provided below.