Understanding how mammalian cells function requires a dynamic perspective. Recent improvements in our abilities to perform fluorescence microscopy on primary cells, coupled with advances in pipelines for quantifying and extracting data, have made possible a better understanding of the temporal complexity of cell signalling pathway. Due to the heterogeneity seen in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell populations, study at the single cell resolution with living cells is currently the best solution to understand the dynamics between environmental conditions and cellular behaviour.
However as living cells don’t stay still, classical imaging and studying methods present some drawbacks for single cell analysis and tracking such as:
- Limited analysis as cells migrate in/out of view
- Aggregation of cells limits tracking of single cells
- Limited view of entire cell population
To overcome all these issues, Microsurfaces (Melbourne, Australia*) have developed cell culture surfaces for imaging and functional analysis at single cell level. This technology enables the tracking of dynamic processes across multiple generations at the single cell resolution without fixing cells: the microcell array.
Watch the difference between without (left), and with microgrid arrays (right):
With use of a non-adhesise polymer patterned inserted in cell culture ware, the microcell array technology allows living cell visualization over long periods by physically confining them without isolation.
With this innovative polymer insert, the microcell array brings many advantages over “classical” cell study technology:
- No new protocols or new procedure development required to run your experiments
- Easy tracking and live imaging of single / multiple cells from hours to day (No artefact due to neutral polymer)
- Study of dynamic changes or processes across multiple generations possible on the same cells
- Increased data collection by separating cells into sub populations
- Microcell technology can easily be incorporated into a large range of imaging or cell culture platforms without adhesive
To allow you to easily obtain high resolution single/multiple cell spatial and temporal data working with living cells and notably with single cell populations, Microsurfaces offer four arrays based on the microcell technology.
The microgrid array consists of square bottom nano and pico litre well arrays that are very successful in confining adherent and non-adherent cells, and also suitable for medium and low resolution imaging of living cells.
The microstructured surfaces enables you to confine sub-populations of cells for experiments such as: High content imaging and analysis, Fluorescent Live cell imaging, Cell tracking, Cell-Cell interactions, Lineage trees, Cell proliferation and also Immunofluorescence.
The microwell arrays are nano and pico liter well arrays with a flat bottom profile that is perfectly adapted to confining adherent and non-adherent cells.
The size, shape and density of the individual wells in the microwell arrays enable you to perform Single cell sequencing, High content imaging and Fluorescent Live cell imaging, Cell tracking, Imaging Cell-Cell interactions, Lineage trees, Cell proliferation and also Immunofluorescence.
As for for the microgrid, the size and shape of the microwell arrays are suitable for medium and low resolution imaging of cells over extended periods of time ranging from hours to days.
The micromesh arrays contain circular or square hole arrays through a thin polymer membrane that can be used to create nano liter wells. The mesh format can be used with cell culture ware that contains biologically treated surfaces resulting in a micro-well with an active base and hydrophobic walls.
The microstructured mesh of the micromesh arrays enables you to confine sub-populations of cells for high content imaging and fluorescent live cell analysis, Cell tracking, Cell-Cell interaction, Lineage trees, Immunofluorescence, and also Cell Membrane imaging.
In addition to their capacity of allowing high, medium and low resolution imaging the through holes in the micromesh arrays, they are perfect as a micro stencil for producing micropatterned protein arrays.
The microEB arrays have a parabolic profile that are extremely useful in growing three-dimensional spherical embryoid bodies. Each individual well has a nano litre volume.
The size and shape of the microEB arrays enable medium and low resolution imaging, Embryoid body formation, High content imaging and analysis and cell tracking.
Custom microcell array
If your experimental parameters require a custom designed microgrid, micromesh or microwell array for cell culture and imaging applications or a unique stencil shape for protein micropatterning, Microsurfaces can manufacture custom designs upon request. If this is of interest to you, get in touch with me through the form below to look at the details of your project.
Leave your questions and comments below, I’ll be pleased to get back to you!
* Microsurfaces products are available in Europe through tebu-bio.
All these different arrays based on the microcell technology are already well accepted, validated and used by the scientific community as reflected by all the recent publications and videos available:
- ‘Combination of imaging flow cytometry and time-lapse microscopy for the study of label-free morphology dynamics of hematopoietic cells’, J. Cosette et al., Cytometry Part A (91) 254-260, doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23064.
- ‘Asynchronous combinatorial action of four regulatory factors activates Bcl11b for T cell commitment’, H. Kueh et al., Nature Immun. (17) 956-965, doi:10.1038/ni.3514, 2016.
- ‘Elimination of HIV-1 infected cells by broadly neutralizing antibodies’, T. Bruel et al., Nature Comm. (7) 10844, doi:10.1038/ncomms10844, 2016.
- ‘Individual human cytotoxic T lymphocytes exhibit intraclonal heterogeneity during sustained killing’, Z. Vasconcelos et al., Cell Reports (11), 1474-1485, doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.002, 2015.
- ‘Real-time tracking of cell cycle progression during CD8+ effector and memory T-cell differentiation’, I. Kinjyo et al., Nature Comm. (6) 6301, doi: 10.1038/ncomms7301, 2015.
- ‘Stretched cell cycle model for proliferating lymphocytes’, M .Dowling et al., PNAS (111) 6377, doi10.1073/pnas.1322420111, 2014.
To optimally use the micro cell arrays, you might also be interested in…
- Primary Cells
- Cell Line engineering
- Fluorescent Live Cell Imaging
- Media and Growth factors
- Chemical compound and libraries
- Cell Viability assay
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