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Live mammalian cell arrays


High-content assays have the potential to drastically increase throughput in cell biology and drug discovery, but handling and culturing large libraries of cells such as primary tumor or cancer cell lines requires expensive, dedicated robotic equipment. We developed a simple yet powerful method that uses contact spotting to generate high-density nanowell arrays of live mammalian cells for the culture and interrogation of cell libraries.

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Figure 1: A method to array live mammalian cells.
Figure 2: Applications of the arraying method.
Figure 3: Human mesenchymal stem cell array.


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We thank D. Hacker (Laboratory of Cellular Biotechnology, Institute of Bioengineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) for kindly providing GFP-expressing CHO and HEK cells, and V.M. Mangoua, A. Ranga and A. Negro for help with the project. The work was funded by a Marie Curie fellowship (FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IEF 252457), by a Research, Technology and Development grant: DynamiX (2008/005), a Swiss National Science Foundation Pro-Doc grant (PDFMP3 137065), a European Young Investigator grant PE002-117115/1 to M.P.L. and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

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L.M.F., K.W., M.P.L. and S.J.M. designed experiments and developed the method. L.M.F. and K.W. performed experiments. S.G. assisted with cell culturing and image processing and provided transfection reagents. L.M.F., K.W., M.P.L. and S.J.M. wrote the paper. S.J.M. conceived the idea.

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Correspondence to Sebastian J Maerkl.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Woodruff, K., Fidalgo, L., Gobaa, S. et al. Live mammalian cell arrays. Nat Methods 10, 550–552 (2013).

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