Non-adherent Cultureware that Maintains Cell Viability


Tufts University investigator, Charles Mace,  has developed  a novel method that uses polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) to preserve cells in a cytostatic, yet metabolically-active state. This technology will support the development of alternative cultureware that “hold” cells in their metabolic state between steps during large experiments and reduce the need for unfavorable cell dissociation techniques when transferring cultures.


To conduct downstream experiments on anchorage-dependent cultures, cells must first be removed from these surfaces. Common dissociation techniques like enzymatic digestion of cell surfaces are unfavorable for studies requiring intact cell surfaces, and the use of chelating reagents to disrupt cell-cell/cell-surface cause mechanical sheering and break cell-cell junctions.


There is a substantial need for a system and method that allows for easy, quick dispensing of intact and viable cells for experimentation. Dr. Charles Mace has developed a method that uses PTFE to prevent adhesion  of cells to a cultureware surface while maintaining the viability and functionality of the cells.


Viability analysis using propidium iodide to determine if adherent cell lines were capable of surviving without normal adhesion was performed on several cell lines including MDA-MB-231, HeLa, and 3T3 cells. At least 80% viability was maintained for each of these lines.


The PTFE-coated cultureware is (i) reusable for long periods of time (up to months of repeated use), (ii) amenable to long-term (up to 5 days) maintenance of cells with adherent phenotypes, but without allowing the cells to adhere to container surfaces, (iii) able to preserve cells in a cytostatic, yet metabolically-active, state, and (iv) allow quantitative recovery of cells.  Reusable, preserves cell surface structures, adherent cells maintained in  non-adherent state


•       Cell surface chemistry experiments

•       Functional assays


IP status

US Publication No. 2018-0155666 (June 7, 2018)


Licensing Contact

John Cosmopoulos