Patterning Cell Using Microcontact Printing

The ability to pattern proteins and other biomolecules on a substrate is important for capturing the spatial complexity of the extracellular environment. Microcontact printing was initially achieved by using polydimethylsiloxane stamps to create patterns of functionalized chemicals on the surface of the material. An important part of the microcontact printing process is the topological master, from which stamps are projected; the raised and lowered areas of the master are mirrored into the stamps and define the final pattern. Typically, the master consists of a silicon wafer coated with photoresist, which is then patterned by photolithography.

Because microcontact printing is more suitable than lithography to precisely control the direction of signal propagation at single-cell resolution, microcontact printing has emerged as a well-established method for single-cell analysis that can be used to create selective extracellular matrix environments for cell adhesion and growth. In addition, microcontact printing can be applied to cell proliferation studies, such as the use of micropatterning to study the proliferation of individual cells on cell-adhered micro-islands. Patterning through microcontact printing facilitates advances in biosensors, cell biology research, and tissue engineering. Currently, microcontact printing has been used to advance the understanding of how cells interact with substrates. This technique helps to improve the study of cell patterns that are not possible with traditional cell culture techniques.

Layout configurations of PLL patterned by microcontact printing.Fig.1 Layout configurations of PLL patterned by microcontact printing.

Our Microcontact Printing

Creative Bioarray has made some improvements based on traditional microcontact printing methods. The capture efficiency of single-cell patterns is about 95%. Because studies of individual cells are independent of background noise from other cells in the vicinity and phenotypic heterogeneity between cells, we can accurately characterize tissue microenvironments such as polyclonal tumors, while providing single-cell genomes and proteome analysis. Additionally, we offer automated microcontact printing methods to generate biomolecular microarrays composed of extracellular matrix proteins. Under this operation, we can achieve uniform printing of biomolecular patterns. The process is efficient, fast, and robust, and large-scale cellular microarrays can be obtained. In conclusion, our microcontact printing can be used for single cell analysis, cell proliferation studies, cell adhesion studies, controlled cell co-culture, etc. If you want to achieve efficient cell patterning quickly, please feel free to contact us.

Related Services


  1. Dike LE, et al. Geometric control of switching between growth, apoptosis, and differentiation during angiogenesis using micropatterned substrates. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 1999, 35(8):441-448.
  2. Buzanska L, et al. Patterned growth and differentiation of human cord blood-derived neural stem cells on bio-functionalized surfaces. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2009, 69(1):24-36.
  3. Hondrich TJJ, et al. Improvements of Microcontact Printing for Micropatterned Cell Growth by Contrast Enhancement. Micromachines (Basel). 2019, 10(10):659.
For research use only, not intended for any clinical use.
  • (USA)