Life on a microarray: assessing live cell functions in a microarray format

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Aug;69(16):2717-25. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-0947-z. Epub 2012 Mar 4.


Microarray technology outgrew the detection of simple intermolecular interactions, as incubation of slides with living cells opened new vistas. Cell-based array technology permits simultaneous detection of several different cell surface molecules, allowing the complex characterization of cells with an amount of information that is hardly assessed by any other technique. Furthermore, binding of cells to printed antibodies or ligands may induce their activation, and consequently the outcome of these interactions, such as phosphorylation, gene expression, secretion of various products; differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis of the cells are also measurable on arrays. Moreover, since cells can be transfected with printed vectors, over- or under-expression of selected genes is also achievable simultaneously, creating a nice tool for assessing the function of a given gene. The enormously high-throughput cell-based microarray technology enables testing the effect of external stimuli on a scale that was earlier unthinkable. This review summarizes the possible applications of cell-based arrays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays*
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Tissue Array Analysis