Confine and study your cell behavior within a physiological rigidity range!

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AgarSqueezer is a microscope slide chamber equipped with a molded agar-based compression system. This innovation helps analyzing cell response to long-term mechanical confinement within a physiological rigidity range.

What is it intended for? 
Use if you want to analyze how your cells will react if we squeeze them for a prolonged period. Use it if you want to study how mechanical confinement affects drug cell resistance. Use if you want to perform immunostaining in situ.

 Kit description

Designed by Audrey Prunet, Gilles Simon, Hélène Delanoë-Ayari, Véronique Maguer-Satta and Charlotte Rivière

Published in Lab on a chip

The Test Program is open!

Registration is starting on: September 21, 2022
The campaign is closing on: December 20, 2022

The objectives of this 1st campaign are to test:
 Cell lines that have not been tested by the team of developers (they already tested hematopoietic TF1 cells, Parental TF1-GFP and leukemic BCR-ABL transformed TF1-BA cells, ML2 leukemic cells, adherent HS27A cells)
 Bilayers of cell cultures
 Spheroids or organoids


You are new to the Test Programs by Idylle? Discover them here!

A platine

the AgarSqueezer stage adapter to mount up to 2 AgarSqueezers on the microscope stage

A 16G or 20G flat-cut needle

To make holes in the agar gel, to allow the addition of culture medium or drug during the experiment

What you need

to easily perform your experiments

And a wafer

to mold pillars in the agar gel

We provide 3 heighs: 
. 2.5 µM to highly confine cells
. 5 µM to moderately confine cells
. 30 µm not to confine cells (negative control)


Tunable stiffness in a physiological range [1-150] kPa

Use of agarose as a cheap and biocompatible polymer


Permeability to small molecules &
Open access to the reservoir 

Easy medium renewal

Possibility to add drugs, and reagents for immunostaining in-situ

Long-term analysis of the cell adaptation to confinement

Up to several days, for time-lapse studies

  Compatibility with multiple microscopy techniques

Confocal, spinning, super-resolution)

Open access for microscope objectives

Use of optical glass coverslip to make cells grow

Easy to recover coverslip with cells for subsequent molecular analysis

FACS, qPCR, Western-Blot, Immunofluorescence (possible in situ) 

Easy to assemble and disassemble the system

Autoclavable & reusable systems


Study of the specific impact of mechanical forces on the biology of cells

Gas permeability of the system allows to get rid of the hypoxia conditions



Product information

Kits description

1-AgarSqueezer kit

Includes 1 AgarSqueezer device + 1 adaptor to the microscope platine + 1 * 16G flat cut needle + 1 * 20G flat cut needle

2-AgarSqueezer kit

Includes 2 AgarSqueezer devices + 1 adaptor to the microscope platine + 1 * 16G flat cut needle + 1 * 20G flat cut needle

1 wafer

Includes 1 wafer to mold agarose. Height to choose among 2.5, 5, 30 µ.

2 wafers

Includes 2 wafers to mold agarose. Height to choose among 2.5, 5, 30 µ.

AgarSqueezer's simplified protocol  

AgarSqueezer and us

"At the beginning, we, in Charlotte's team, wanted to analyze the effect of compression using a hydrogel with tunable rigidities, to analyze the influence of both stiffness and confinement on cells, mimicking highly confined situations such as those reported upon aging with fibrosis or during cancer. 
On their side, Veronique's team was looking for a way to analyze the effect of long-term confinement to perform time-lapse analysis, up to several days, with the ability to add a drug at any time.
We all wanted to find a device that would also meet the requirements of subsequent classical molecular analysis (easy cell culturing and cells recovery, qPCR, western-blot, in situ immunostaining) as well as biophysical image-based analysis (high-resolution microscopy and video-microscopy). But we could not find the perfect device for that.
So all together, we decided to collaborate to have back-and-forth feedback on the perfect set-up. We rapidly identified agarose as an interesting material to get medium and oxygen renewal, with no drug adsorption. We built several prototypes, improving precise control of the confinement, avoiding destruction of the gels and leakage of the culture medium! And then we came up with the Softconfiner device, that we published and decided to transfer.
Today, we believe that the AgarSqueezer could be of interest for many researchers willing to better understand how mechanics can regulate cell behavior. We hope that researchers from different communities will also find it a useful tool!"
Audrey Prunet, Gilles Simon, Hélène Delanoë-Ayari, Véronique Maguer-Satta and Charlotte Rivière

Odoo • Image and Text Esther Graudens
New projects at Idylle
"When Charlotte showed me for the first time their Softconfiner device, I got highly impressed by its level of maturity. The team of developers had managed to confine cells up to 8 days without affecting the cells viability, but had observed that mechanical confinement affected the cell proliferation of all the tested cell lines. Charlotte and the team were very clear on their motivation to make their Softconfiner easily accessible to the research community. In addition to being a pleasure to work together, it was quite obvious the technology would become a great product. 
If you want to know more about the journey that we followed together to turn Softconfiner into AgarSqueezer, then have a look at the
AgarSqueezer story of tech transfer . "

Contact us about the confinement you're interested in!