Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 13, pp 4481–4489 | Cite as

Material surface engineering for multiplex cell culture in microwell

  • Ophélie I. Berthuy
  • Céline A. Mandon
  • Benjamin P. Corgier
  • Guillaume G. Octobre
  • Giacomo Ceccone
  • Valentina Spampinato
  • Loïc J. Blum
  • Christophe A. MarquetteEmail author


In this study, we develop a new concept for multiplexed and localized cell co-culture. This cell chip consists of a polystyrene spin-coated solid support bearing gold-bottomed microwells. The cell-chip support is fabricated as follows: (i) electrosputtering of a thin layer of gold (40 nm) onto a polycarbonate substrate, (ii) spin coating of a polystyrene thin film (500 ± 50 nm) over the gold layer, followed by (iii) polystyrene etching through the spotting of toluene nanovolume (300–900 pL). In each gold-bottomed microwell, a small population of adherent cells (approx. 100 cells) can be cultured. In this miniaturized system, different cell lines can be co-cultured on a 1-cm2 surface, opening the way to multiplexed cell-chip development. In order to keep the cells in a properly hydrated environment and to physically retain them before they adhere, a biocompatible alginate polymer was used during the robotized micropipetting. This approach allows for the encapsulation of the cell in a very small volume (50 nL), directly in the microwells. After 24 h of culture, the cells adhered on the gold bottom of the microwells, and the alginate matrix was removed by addition of calcium-free culture medium.

Graphical Abstract

Multiplex culture of cells was obtained using in situ produced microwells and encapsulated cells. The microwells are produced by organic solvent etching (nanovolume spotting) of a spin-coated polystyrene thin film, and the living multiple cell line deposition is obtained using on-site encapsulation in an alginate bead.


Alginate Bare Gold Alginate Capsule Microwell Array Microspectroscopy Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10853_2014_8145_MOESM1_ESM.docx (999 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 999 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ophélie I. Berthuy
    • 1
  • Céline A. Mandon
    • 2
  • Benjamin P. Corgier
    • 2
  • Guillaume G. Octobre
    • 1
  • Giacomo Ceccone
    • 3
  • Valentina Spampinato
    • 3
  • Loïc J. Blum
    • 1
  • Christophe A. Marquette
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Génie Enzymatique, Membranes Biomimétiques et Assemblages Supramoléculaires, Institut de Chimie et Biochimie Moléculaires et SupramoléculairesUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1 – University of Lyon – CNRS 5246 ICBMSVilleurbanneFrance
  2. 2.AXO ScienceVilleurbanneFrance
  3. 3.Européen Commission, Joint Research CentreInstitute for Heath and Consumer ProtectionIspraItaly

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