Ask the Expert – Everything you ever wanted to ask about Corning® Matrigel® Matrix

Sponsored by: Corning
Session ends: October 6th, 2017, 3:00pm MST
Answers by: Katie Slater and Paula Flaherty, Corning


For the past 30 years, Corning Matrigel matrix has been used by researchers across the globe in essential applications through to cutting-edge, life-changing research. The number of citations for Matrigel matrix recently climbed over 10,000 citations and spans applications areas from cancer research to stem cells, and from organoid cultures to neuroscience.

Researchers have turned to Matrigel matrix, a solubilized basement membrane, over and over again to create more in vivo-like environments, whether it be for 2D or 3D cell culture applications.

Matrigel matrix is available is several formulations and can be used in a variety of different ways. With this flexibility comes the opportunity for expert advice and guidance to optimize the product selection and protocols most appropriate for particular cell types or applications. Corning recently published “The Ultimate Guide to Matrigel matrix” to share some of the best tips, tricks and expert advice. We encourage you to request your copy of the guide, available in both electronic and hard copy versions. And if you have more specific questions, we have two Corning Matrigel matrix experts hosting this Ask the Expert Session this week.

Corning Life Sciences

This session is sponsored by

About our Experts

Katie Slater and Paula Flaherty are part of an extensive team of scientists that manufacture, test and develop products for applications that are used to modulate the in vitro behavior of cells via extracellular matrix proteins, cell culture surfaces, media and cultureware design.  Paula is a member of the Corning Life Sciences leadership team as Technology Manager and of the Discovery Labware R&D team since 1984.  She has extensive experience in developing cell based assays. Katie, a Senior Scientist since 2000, is a subject matter expert for the Corning extracellular matrix product line, focusing on the isolation, manufacture and testing of Corning Matrigel matrix and other clinically important extracellular matrix proteins.


ask the expert

Questions & Answers

Do all types of Corning Matrigel matrix support hESC culture?

Not always. Corning offers hESC-qualified Corning Matrigel matrix (Corning Cat. No. 354277) which is QC tested for hESC maintenance to ensure consistency, reproducibility, and reliability in performance. This product has been qualified for use with STEMCELL Technologies’ mTeSR™1 medium. It has been shown that human embryonic stem cells grown in mTeSR1 on Corning Matrigel matrix […]» Read More

I am getting ready to move my ES cells from MEF cells to Matrigel matrix. Do you have any recommendations for the best method, and are there any special requirements for the media?

Corning Matrigel hESC-qualified matrix has been used extensively as a substrate for culturing human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) with numerous hPSC culture media such as mTeSR™1, TeSR™2, E8, NutriStem®, and MEF conditioned media. Corning has published a protocol describing the use of Corning® Matrigel® hESC-qualified matrix-coated 6-well plate […]» Read More

Is there a set of best practices for imaging using fluorescent labeling with Corning® Matrigel® matrix? Is there a specific type of Matrigel I should be using or a protocol you can recommend?

There are many methods that can be used to fluorescently label and image cells in a Matrigel matrix system. Here we cover three topics: labeling cells in Matrigel matrix assays, immunofluorescence analysis for surface markers (such as those used in 3D culture and culture of pluripotent stem cells), and fixing and embedding cells in Matrigel […]» Read More

What analytical methods are used to evaluate 3D cultures in Matrigel matrix?

Cell viability, immunofluorescence analysis and advanced imaging technologies are frequently used to interrogate Matrigel matrix enabled 3D cultures. Viability can be measured via the detection of DNA synthesis in proliferating cells, based on the incorporation of 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine (EdU). A protocol can be found below: A chemical method for fast and sensitive detection of DNA synthesis […]» Read More

I am working on a cell invasion assay using melanoma cells. I have found mixed information online about the thickness of the Matrigel matrix I should use, how to load it, and how cells should be passaged for different cancer cell types. Could you please advise or provide a resource? Thanks.

Invasion assays for cancer cell analysis is an extensively studied and published application area where Matrigel matrix has been effectively used. To establish a reproducible assay many factors need optimization, some examples are: Cell seed Chemoattractant type and concentration Matrigel matrix protein concentration and volume (which relates to thickness) Duration of the assay Use (or […]» Read More

My question is about the future potential for Matrigel. Specifically, I’m interested in how Matrigel might be used as a bioink for 3D bioprinting. Have people been bioprinting with their cells in a Matrigel mixture? If so, what kinds of results have been seen (any publications I could read?) Besides bioprinting, are there any other new 3D cell culture techniques on the horizon?

Corning® Matrigel® is poised to play an integral role in many 3D cell culture techniques, including bio-printing. Scientists have been using it to print many different tissues types. Listed below is a table that summarizes articles that have been published in this space recently that use Corning Matrigel in 3D bioprinting. Other 3D techniques that […]» Read More

Our lab is using Corning Matrigel matrix to co-culture cells in 3D on a microfluidic chip. I read that we should be using a thick layer of Matrigel matrix, but I’ve noticed that the amount of Matrigel matrix keeps going down each day and I need to add more. Do you have any recommendations so I can avoid having to add Matrigel matrix or should I be adding something else instead?

Combining microfluidics and extracellular matrices (ECM) has shown to be a promising system to create more in vivo-like 3D environments. Some publications have shown different methods to craft such environments. For example: Bruzewicz, et al. (Lab Chip. 2008 May;8(5):663-71. doi: 10.1039/b719806j. Epub 2008 Mar 20) have shown that using a soft-lithographic molding gel such as […]» Read More

My lab has begun culturing MSCs at small scale. I saw that you have several choices when it comes to Matrigel matrix. Do you have a recommendation for which would be best?

The choice of substrate for mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in planar cultures is best determined in the context of the entire in vitro environment, including the media. For serum containing media, substrates such as tissue culture treated (TC) or Corning® CellBIND® surfaces are recommended.  If you are using xeno or animal free media then we […]» Read More

I am thinking about moving to pre-coated plates. Can you tell me the benefits and drawbacks of plates precoated with Matrigel® matrix?

Corning Matrigel matrix precoated plates are well suited in circumstances where a specific application protocol is being followed.  Test conditions necessary for optimal cell functionality, including Matrigel concentration and volume, have been empirically demonstrated and a protocol provided. Examples of such assays are angiogenesis tube formation, primary hepatocyte culture, tumor invasion and stem cell culture; […]» Read More

Can you thaw Matrigel® matrix overnight?

Yes, you can thaw Corning® Matrigel® matrix overnight in a refrigerator. First submerge Matrigel matrix vials in an ice bucket filled with ice at 2°C to 8°C. Place the covered ice bucket toward the back of the refrigerator where it will not be subjected to temperature change. Use an adequate amount of ice so that […]» Read More