Transwells with microstamped membranes produce micropatterned two-dimensional and three-dimensional co-cultures Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Coculture Techniques
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • This article describes a simple and rapid cell patterning method to form co-culture microarrays in commercially available Transwells. A thin poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) layer is printed on the underside of a Transwell using a PDMS stamp. Arbitrary cellular patterns are generated according to the geometric features of the thin PDMS layer through hydrodynamic forces that guide cells onto the membrane only over the PDMS-uncoated regions. Micropatterns of surface-adhered cells (we refer to this as two-dimensional) or non-surface-adhered clusters of cells (we refer to this as three-dimensional) can be generated depending on the surface treatment of the filter membrane. Additionally, co-cultures can be established by introducing different types of cells on the membrane or in the bottom chamber of the Transwell. We show that this co-culture method can evaluate mouse embryonic stem (mES) cell differentiation based on heterogeneous cell-cell interactions. Co-culture of mES cells and HepG2 cells decreased SOX17 expression of mES cells, and direct cell-cell contact further decreased SOX17 expression, indicating that co-culture with HepG2 cells inhibits endoderm differentiation through soluble factors and cell-cell contact. This method is simple and user-friendly and should be broadly useful to study cell shapes and cell-cell interactions.

publication date

  • August 10, 2010



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC3011919

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/ten.tec.2010.0305

PubMed ID

  • 20673133

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 61

end page

  • 7


  • 17


  • 1