Living cell microarrays are a highly efficient cellular screening system. Due to the low number of cells required per spot, cell microarrays enable the use of primary and stem cells and provide resolution close to the single-cell level. Apart from a variety of conventional static designs, microfluidic microarray systems have also been established. An alternative format is a microarray consisting of three-dimensional cell constructs ranging from cell spheroids to cells encapsulated in hydrogel. These systems provide an in vivo
-like microenvironment and are preferably used for the investigation of cellular physiology, cytotoxicity, and drug screening. Thus, many different high-tech microarray platforms are currently available. Disadvantages of many systems include their high cost, the requirement of specialized equipment for their manufacture, and the poor comparability of results between different platforms. In this article, we provide an overview of static, microfluidic, and 3D cell microarrays. In addition, we describe a simple method for the printing of living cell microarrays on modified microscope glass slides using standard DNA microarray equipment available in most laboratories. Applications in research and diagnostics are discussed, e.g., the selective and sensitive detection of biomarkers. Finally, we highlight current limitations and the future prospects of living cell microarrays.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited