Cells are cultured in a substrate patterned with adherent micrometer-sized domains of predefined geometric features. When cultured on this, cells adhere specifically to the patterned area, acquiring for example, the geometry of the pattern.
Different covalently bounded surface chemistry (pattern life time, cell nature):
> Standard anti-adhesive polymer
Same anti-fouling effect than traditional PLL-g- PEG, but with a more stable bonding to the glass slide (covalent). After plated, you can keep you cells in the patterns for a few days. Non used substrates can be stored for 1 month.
> Oxidation resistance anti-adhesive polymer
Less sensitive to oxidation and has the same type of covalent bonding to the glass slide. After plated you can keep your cells in the patterns for more than a week. Non used substrates can be stored up to 6 months.
Different pattern shapes and dimensions (lines, squares, triangles, grids, etc.)
Adaptable to any cell culture substrate (from Petri dishes to 96 well plates)
Compatible with high-resolution optical microscopy systems
Fluorescently labeled fibrinogen – Alexa Fluor 488
Cell shape control and standardization, characterization of organelle positioning, cell maturation and differentiation, restriction of the migration area, etc.
HeLa cells in lines of 100 to 10 µm width
Explore examples of applications
- Actin flows mediate a universal coupling between cell speed and cell persistence
Maiuri P, Piel M. et al. Cell. 2015 Apr 9;161(2):374-86.
- ESCRT-III assembly and cytokinetic abscission are induced by tension release in the intercellular bridge
Lafaurie-Janvore J, Piel M et al. Science. 2013 Mar 29;339(6127):1625-9.
- Triggering cell adhesion, migration or shape change with a dynamic surface coating
van Dongen SF, Piel M. et al. Adv Mater. 2013 Mar 25;25(12):1687-91.
- External forces control mitotic spindle positioning
Fink J, Piel M. et al. Nat Cell Biol. 2011 Jun 12;13(7):771-8.
- Protein micropatterns: A direct printing protocol using deep UVs
Azioune A, Piel M. et al. Methods Cell Biol. 2010;97:133-46.
- Simple and rapid process for single cell micropatterning
Azioune A, Piel M. et al. Lab Chip. 2009 Jun 7;9(11):1640-2.
- What is 4DCell?
4Dcell is a biotech company which provides solutions for cellular microenvironment control.Innovation in cell culture methods requires new tools to control the cell microenvironment, like microfluidics and micropatterning. Developing and spreading these technologies for research laboratories and industry is our ambition.
- What are micropatterns and how can I use them?
Micropatterns allow you to control the shape of your cells and to have single cell imaging. You can choose between several shapes and sizes, depending on the cell type and on your experimental needs. 4Dcell provides various micropatterned products. Discover them on the Micropatterns page.
- What is the standard 4Dcell photomask?
Our mask is 2.5 inches, and allows the microprinting of 4 coverslips (24-25mm diameter) at the same time. Our standard designs consists of 8 areas, with approximately 42 sub-areas fully observable with a 10x objective field. For one slide you have thousands of printed micropatterns. Sizes of the patterns range from 10 to 100 µm. You can see all the features on the standard 4Dcell photomask page.
Yes, it is possible. You can order a customized photomask with the features you want. Either you already have the design of the customized photomask and you can directly send it to us (in GDS, DXF, EPS or PDF format) or you can precisely describe what you want and we will take care of the customisation.
Yes, the patterns are organized in such way that you can get all the micropatterns sizes no matter the size of your slides.
To make micropatterns, 4Dcell provides a micropatterning station with the equipment needed. Basic laboratory materials, such as tweezers or micropipettes, are then mandatory to perform the experiment. Working in a clean environment is necessary to have good results.
The stability of the micropatterns in presence of cells depends on the cell type. Typically, standard PEG treatment used in the 4Dcell micropatterns fabrication kit lasts about 24h. 4Dcell precoated slides and pre-patterned slides use improved anti-adhesive polymer treatments which are more stable (several days of culture). The most stable treatment allows up to weeks of culture in certain conditions. Before usage and stored at room temperature, precoated or prepatterned consumables are stable for months.
The quality of the micropatterns depends on the precautions taken during the experiment. We also provide already coated slides ready to be printed with micropatterns. The coating is of very high quality and you can choose from 3 different molecules.You can have a look at the webpage of the pre-coated slides.
Yes, it is possible to use a matrix other than fibronectin. We can adjust the content of the kit for you. Contact us so that we can find a solution which fits your needs.
In proper conditions, the photomask can be used many times. The most important is to handle it gently during the experiment and to avoid scratching it.
The solutions used at 4Dcell are all sterile so if you manipulate in sterile conditions, the slides will remain sterile too.
Yes, you can micropattern other biological objects but you have to adapt the matrix for this specific object (bacteria, for instance).
The micropatterned dishes are of standard size (35mm diameter, 11mm height), with a glass bottom (between 0.13mm and 0.17mm thickness), adapted to most high magnification objectives of confocal and fluorescence inverted microscopes.We also offer pre-coated and micropatterned slides which you can adapt to your imaging system.
In order for you to first try the 4Dcell products, we provide affordable starter packs (with either 20 or 50 articles). Therefore, you can have a first impression and confirm your experimental needs before ordering the appropriate products.
When you have decided which products you want to order, you can send us an order form. We will send you an invoice so that you can pay by bank transfer or with a Paypal account.If you have a special request concerning the payment method, contact us and we will find an appropriate solution.
We send the products in a delay of one month from the day we receive the order form.
All 4Dcell products can be sent worldwide. 4Dcell works with a Chinese distributor for the Asian market.