In order to study development of embryos of Caenorhabditis elegans at an ultrastructural level, a new method of fixation has been developed. With a laser microbeam coupled to a microscope the impermeable eggshell is punctured to allow penetration of the fixative. At specific stages of embryogenesis further development can be arrested at will under visual control. As fixation occurs instantaneously, transient events (e.g. different phases of mitosis and cytokinesis) can be visualized.