Adhesive micropattern arrays permit the continuous monitoring and systematic study of the behavior of spatially confined cells of well-defined shape and size in ordered configurations. This technique has contributed to defining mechanisms that control cell polarity and cell functions, including proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation and migration in two-dimensional cell culture systems. These micropattern studies often involve isolating a single cell on one adhesive protein micropattern using random seeding methods. Random seeding has been successful for isolated and, to a lesser degree, paired patterns, where two patterns are placed in close proximity. Using this method, we found that the probability of obtaining one cell per pattern decreases significantly as the number of micropatterns in a cluster increases, from 16% for paired micropatterns to 0.3% for clusters of 6 micropatterns. This work presents a simple yet effective platform based on a microfludic sieve-like trap array to exert precise control over the positioning of single cells on micropatterns. We observed a 4-fold improvement over random seeding in the efficiency of placing a pair of single cells on paired micropattern and a 40-fold improvement for 6-pattern clusters. The controlled nature of this platform can also allow the juxtaposition of two different cell populations through a simple modification in the trap arrangement. With excellent control of the identity, number and position of neighbouring cells, this cell-positioning platform provides a unique opportunity for the extension of two-dimensional micropattern studies beyond paired micropatterns to organizations containing many cells or different cell types.
You have access to this article
Please wait while we load your content...
Something went wrong. Try again?