FAQs

Below is a selection of commonly asked questions. If you are not able to find the answers to your questions then please contact us at sales@microsurfaces.com.au.

Can I get free samples to test in my lab?

Yes we offer a free sample of the microgrid array that includes one array each of the 50, 125, 250 and 500μm arrays. Please submit the free sample request form to initiate the request. If the microgrid arrays are not suitable for your proposed imaging experiment please contact us at sales@microsurfaces.com.au to discuss alternative samples.

How do I order and pay?

If you have a distributor in your country please contact them to obtain a quote or place an order. For the contact information for a distributor in your country please look at the Contacts page. If there is no distributor listed for your country please contact us through the form on the Contacts page or email us directly at sales@microsurfaces.com.au.

We accept purchase orders from your company/University/Institute or if you wish to place an order for payment via credit card please contact us for a quotation. Once you accept the quotation we will process the order and an invoice with a link to pay via a credit card will be emailed to you when the order is shipped. The payment link will be from Paypal, however you do not require a Paypal account to pay the invoice.

What is the delivery time?

Most orders are processed and ready for shipping within 48 hours of receiving the order, with the exception of custom products. All orders are shipped via Fedex and typically take 3 - 5 business days. You will receive an order confirmation email once the order has shipped that will contain the Fedex tracking details.

What is the delivery time for the free samples?

The free samples are shipped via air mail and can take 7 - 10 business days to arrive. Please note that there is no tracking with the free samples.

Do you have a distributor in my country?

We have a number of distributors around the world and are always looking to add more. For the contact information for a distributor in your country please look at the Contacts page. If there is no distributor listed for your country please contact us through the form on the Contacts page or email us directly at sales@microsurfaces.com.au

Do the microcell arrays require adhesive?

No, the arrays are self-adhesive and will stick to polymer or glass surfaces.

Are the microcell arrays re-usable?

While it is possible to re-use the arrays we strongly discourage re-using the arrays. Small molecules and proteins can adsorb onto the polymer surface which can affect subsequent imaging experiments.

Can cells move between the wells in the microcell arrays?

Under normal conditions cells are not able to migrate between the wells. If a surface coating is applied to the array then it is possible for cells to migrate out of the wells.

Is it possible to perform independent experiments in the wells in a microcell array?

It is possible to perform independent experiments in individual wells by placing a lid on the top of the array to seal the individual wells. Once the cells have been introduced into the wells a glass coverslip can be used to seal the array. Gently press the coverslip onto the array using your finger to ensure that it is sealed against the array and squeezed out any excess media.

Which solvents and chemicals are compatible with the microcell arrays?

Below is a list of solvents and their compatibility with the microcell arrays. Please note that solvents with a high swelling ratio will likely cause the array to swell and detach from the surface of the imaging chamber.

Solvent Compatible Swelling ratio
Acetone Yes 1.06
Acetonitrile Yes 1.01
Chloroform Yes 1.39
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) Yes 1.00
Ethanol Yes 1.04
Hexane Yes 1.35
Iso-propanol Yes 1.09
Methanol Yes 1.02
Water Yes 1.00
What material are the microcell arrays made from?

The clear microcell arrays are manufactured in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), Sylgard 184 from Dow.

Is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) biocompatible?

Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) has been demonstrated to be a biocompatible polymer for use in imaging and culturing many types of mammmalian cells. It is one of the most common materials used in the production of microfluidic devices.

Which microcell array would you recommend for use with a high magnifaction objective?

For imaging experiments with an objective lens with a magnifcation of >60x then the micromesh arrays are the only suitable product. The wells in the micromesh arrays are complete through holes so the cells will be seeded onto the surface of the coverslip. The imaging experiments with a medium or low magnification objective (e.g. <40x) any of the products are suitable.

What products can the microcell arrays be used with?

The microcell arrays can be used with any standard cell culture ware or imaging chamber with polymer or glass surfaces. The following list provides examples of the typical products used with the microcell arrays for imaging experiments.

  • 35mm dish - Ibidi, Mattek, Wellco

  • Chamber slides - Ibidi, Mattek, Nunc, MerckMillipore, ThermoFisher Scientific

  • Multiwell plates (96, 48, 24, 12, 6) - Ibidi, Nunc, MerckMillipore, ThermoFisher Scientific

Do the microcell arrays produce fluorescence?

Under normal fluorescence microscyop conditions there will not be any fluorescence detected from the microcell arrays. When imaging cell autofluorescence the high laser power has been shown to generate autofluorescence in the standard clear polymer used for the arrays. If you are planning autofluorescence based experiments please contact us to discuss the micromesh arrays in a black polymer. It is not possible to offer microgrid, microwell arrays in the black polymer.

What is the shelf life of the microcell arrays?

The shelf life of the microcell arrays is 6 months. While the polymer used to manufacture the arrays does not degrade over time the self-adhesive ability of the array does reduce. It is possible to still use the arrays after 12 months assuming they are stored appropriately. If you are experiencing issues with the arrays not sticking to a surface have a look at the information listed under 'Tips & tricks' on the Instructions page.

How should the microcell arrays be stored?

The microcell arrays are shipped in a plastic container inside a vacuum sealed bag. Any unused arrays should be kept in the plastic container and vacuum bag (not under vacuum). The arrays can be stored at room temperature.