Your project of experiment with PRIMO

“My research work consists in understanding how microenvironmental cues influence, guide and shape cell-cell contacts. We are currently particularly interested in determining the role of the biophysical environment in the establishment of apico-basal polarity in mammary gland cells and in liver cells.

The use of PRIMO in this context proved absolutely essential since it allowed us to create artificial microniches in 3D where we could control up to 150 combinations of environmental cues.

By printing our protein of choice and microfabricating intricate structures under the microscope, we are gradually uncovering how the geometrical and biophysical parameters drive the elongation of lumen into tubes in the context of hepatic development and diseases.”

micro-pillars base layer
Combining topographical cues and biochemical cues at cell aggregate level by addition of a micro-pillars base layer. Patient-derived head and neck cancer cell aggregates (HN cells) were grown into 60 µm diameter and 30 µm height micro-niches with Laminin (green) homogeneously coated on the pit walls, and fibronectin (red) coated on the NOA 73 micro-pillars (2 µm height and diameter).

C. Stoecklin et al., BioRxiv: (preprint)


Before using PRIMO I had a couple trials with protein microstamping and UV printing using masks. These techniques work well for flat 2d surfaces. However, our goal was really to perform 3D microniches with texture. In this all the trials we had with the existing solution were non-conclusive.


  • Rapidly prototype different patterns and test which one works best for your cells. You do not need any mask of microfabrication. It really helps “creativity on the spot”.
  • Perform mutl-protein printing. PRIMO can reach an impressive ~500nm precision in aligning patterns of 2 different proteins. The cross talk is really minimal. We use this approach to extensively study the combined role of Extra-cellular matrix proteins and E-cadherins.
  • Print proteins on 3D substrate. This was the original challenge when we received our PRIMO. We had a couple grad students working with the PRIMO team and we now have superb printing capabilities in microwell, curved surfaces with many different kinds of proteins and hydrogel.

Little extra which makes all the difference

Performances :

PRIMO is unique in its capabilities, and for us it is the perfect tool. Submicron-resolution, flexibility and versatility in terms of the proteins you can deal with. It is a very reliable tool to print proteins on surface.

Support provided by Alvéole team:

We were among the first to use PRIMO, even as beta testers and the interaction were incredibly fruitful and efficient. After we got the final version of the product, the interactions remained the same. We organized a PRIMO workshop in the lab and I could see how professional and passionate the Alvéole team is. They just love their instrument and they want it to work for you and that you love it too.

“We are working on the generation of 3D cellular microenvironments to reproduce Hematopoietic Niches. PRIMO will be used to generate 3D photo-polymerized microenvironments and to pattern them to localize different cell populations involved in the hematopoiesis.”

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“Our aim is to develop in vitro experimentation to decipher guiding mechanisms involved in vivo. PRIMO technology is particularly adapted to design in vitro microdevices patterned with controlled patches of the signaling proteins relevant for white blood cell migration.”

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“My research focuses on the mechanical aspects of cell division. With the PRIMO system we wanted to control cellular geometry to impose spatial constraints during mitotic progression.”

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“We are interested in imaging subcellular localization of certain cell-surface receptors and check whether they colocalize with focal-adhesion complexes. For this purpose, we are interested in making different types of patterns of Fibronectin with subcellular dimensions.”

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“My research project aims at unravelling how a T cell switches from a fast migratory state to a stationary state upon activation. To do so, I perform live cell imaging of T cells migrating inside micro-fabricated channels coated with activating molecules. However, with this approach, I do not control when and where a T cell encounters the activating molecules.”

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“Protein micropatterning represents an excellent tool to probe the behavior and functions of cellular systems. PRIMO is specially suited for our experiments, in which the cell-substrate interaction needs to be precisely adjusted both throughout the substrates and in time, in order to control the dynamic behaviour of cell monolayers.”

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the cellular

Alvéole has developed innovative solutions adapted to all standard cell culture substrates, rigid or soft, in 2D or 3D.

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Resource Center

Our team gives you all its tips you need to carry out your experimental manipulations and go even further!

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Our users describe their research projects and explain why they chose to use PRIMO!

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