Soft culture plates for pleased cells

Soft culture plates for pleased cells

In vitro cell culture and cell-based assay are recognized as important contributors to persistent failures to translate promising preclinical drug candidates into clinical success. A cell culture device should not only allow the cell survival and growth, but allows the cells to express the same characteristics that they have in vivo. And in vivo, cells are parts of “soft” organs where they receive and interpret biochemical signals but also physicals signals, which they are sensitive to 1.





Our organs are one billion times softer than plastic, and they are mechanically textured.
a) Mean elastic Young’s moduli of human organs, and b) zoom on the local stiffness of a human pituitary gland (hypohysis) tissue, measured by force indentation atomic force microscopy. Adapted from 2.

Cells sense and respond to matrix stiffness, an effect named mechano-sensing. The mechanical properties of the micro-environment deeply impact cell behaviour, including transcriptional regulation3, protein synthesis4, endocytosis5, and malignant progression6. The failures of standard culture dishes to maintain the phenotype of many primary cells, or by appearing as wrong predictors to translate promising in vitro results into in vivo clinical and industrial models and clinical success support the evidence than these standard tools have now reached their limits. Then, now,


let’s reinvent cell culture…

…with using soft, mechano-mimetic culture plates!


  1. Discher DE et al. Tissue cells feel and respond to the stiffness of their substrate. Science. 2005 310:1139.

  2. Bouchonville N et al. AFM mapping of the elastic properties of brain tissue reveals kPa/μm gradients of rigidity. Soft Matter. 2016 12:6232.

  3. Mammoto A et al. Mechanosensitive mechanisms in transcriptional regulation. J Cell Sci. 2012 125:3061.

  4. Tilghman RW et al. Matrix rigidity regulates cancer cell growth by modulating cellular metabolism and protein synthesis.PLoS One. 2012 7(5):e37231.

  5. Missirlis D. The effect of substrate elasticity and actomyosin contractility on different forms of endocytosis. PLoS One. 2014 9(5):e96548.

  6. Mouw JK et al. Tissue mechanics modulate microRNA-dependent PTEN expression to regulate malignant progression. Nat Med. 2014 20:360.



Cell&Soft soft bottoms are made of polyacrylamide, bound to a 150µm thin glass coverslip.

Consistent mechanical properties
The hydrogel is photo-polymerized, to ensure uniform rigidity and reproducibility.


Consistent surface chemistry
The culture plates are pre-coated with adhesive molecules. Cell&Soft guarantees that the surface density of the coating is independent of the rigidity.

Surface coating of the polyacrylamide hydrogel.
a) The human truncated recombinant vitronectin (VTN-N) is covalently grafted to the surface and does not penetrate into the hydrogel. Horizontal bar: 50µm. Vertical bar: 10µm.

b) The surface density of the VTN-N is independent of the rigidity of the hydrogel.



Meeting high quality standards
Cell&Soft culture plates are manufactured in dust free, ISO7, clean room environment.


Lot number traceability
A lot number is attributed to every product to ensure traceability. Series can be booked.


Cell&Soft provides uniformly soft or rigidity-textured cell culture plates, with an adhesive coating.
The culture plates offer mechanical features as close as possible to those found in vivo in animal or human tissues.

Uniform rigidity

Choose your rigidity


Choose your coating

Fibronectin (human plasma)
Collagen I (rat tail)
Vitronectin (human truncated recombinant)
Laminin (mouse EHS sarcoma)

Choose your format


The surface density of the coating is independent of the rigidity.

Textured rigidity: the MecaChips

The MecaChips are culture dishes with several rigidities on the same dish. Two designs are presently available, with adhesive coating:

     Millimeter scaled rigidity steps                    Micron wide rigidity stripes


              0,5 – 2,6 – 4,5 – 9 – 15 kPa

Visit our on line catalogue and contact us for more information.



Cell&Soft is a young French Biotech, located in the Auvergne Rhone Alpes region, in Grenoble City. Born from a joint project between LTM Lab (CNRS) and CEA, Cell&Soft is specialized in the development, production and sale of soft and biomechanical substrates for in vitro cell culture. Cell&Soft offers solutions to enhance the physiology and the relevance of cell culture and cell-based assays.



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Cell&Soft SAS

Tél : 33 (0)4 38 78 48 10


17 av des Martyrs38054 Grenoble cedex 9, France

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