Cell culture inserts and carrier plate

Discover the power behind culturing cells on a porous membrane

When your cell-based research calls for more than the standard culture vessel or dish, the porous membrane and unique structure of the Thermo Scientific™ Nunc™ Cell Culture Inserts offering—including the novel insert carrier plate option—enables the versatility you need by allowing the attached surface of your cells to be exposed to growth media and different conditions simultaneously, providing easier methods for procedures that require an air-liquid interface and media feeding. The carrier plate option makes it easier than ever to carry out these procedures with precision and time-saving convenience. See it to believe it.

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Why polycarbonate cell culture inserts?

Our polycarbonate cell culture inserts come packaged with their multiwell plate. Choose from 6-, 12- and 24-well sizes. Simply select the insert membrane pore size best suited for your application. For flexibility, ease of use and time savings, place your 12- and 24- well plates with inserts into our unique carrier plate

Polycarbonate (PC) inserts have high pore density to allow more exchange through the membrane for transport studies and other applications where optimal cell growth is desired. We tested various materials for a variety of applications, and PC inserts had the best cell attachment property among the materials tested. They’re also well-suited for barrier assays. Our study shows high, sustainable and consistent trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) values for longer periods of time over other membrane materials indicating successful establishment of a cell barrier.

polycarbonate cell culture insert

Select your insert membrane pore size by application
Applications 0.4µm  3µm  8µm

Transport studies

  • Molecules including hormones and growth factors
  • Drug transport across epithelial (Caco-2) and endothelial barriers
  • Drug transport across brain microvascular endothelial cells
X X  

Transport studies co-cultivation studies

  • Cell-cell interaction
  • Cell-substrate interaction
X X  

Tissue engineering

  • Angiogenesis
  • Dermal/epidermal and epithelial tissue models
X X  

Chemotaxis studies

  • Migration of cells including eosinophils and macrophages
  X X

Invasion studies

  • Tumor invasion and metastasis models
  • Invasion inhibitors
  • Extra cellular matrix effects
  X X

6-well cell culture inserts in multidish

Catalog # Pore size Pore density Porosity
Culture area
140640 0.4 <0.85 x 108 <6.8% 3.14cm2
140642 3.0 <1.7 x 106 <7.7% 3.14cm2
140644 8.0 <0.85 x 105 <2.7% 3.14cm2
140660 0.4 <0.85 x 108 <6.8% 4.1cm2
140663 3.0 <1.7 x 106 <7.7% 4.1cm2
140668 8.0 <0.85 x 105 <2.7% 4.1cm2

Bring your cell culture inserts to new heights

The unique design of Thermo Scientific™ Carrier Plates enables precise adjustment of height for added versatility and flexibility in your research.

Unique design carrier plate application note

An important consideration for cell culture researchers is the height of the growth surface of the insert within the well, and the resulting volume of media required to grow cells at each height. Media height and volume are variables which may need to be controlled to optimize such things as gas exchange, oxygen tension, availability of growth factors, or pH. Adjustment of the insert allows more than one position relative to the bottom of the carrier plate.

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What is a carrier plate?

The Thermo Scientific™ Nunc™ Carrier Plate for Cell Culture Inserts is an innovative "add on" that you can choose to include with our standard insert offerings. The carrier plate fits into our 12- or 24-well formats. It's the carrier plate that provides the carefully engineered height-adjusting grooves within each well for use with your inserts. When selecting, you can order with or without the carrier plate addition. For any application that requires a 12- or 24-well plate, your best option is to include the carrier plate to make your procedures easier, more precise and efficient.

  • Add the ability to adjust your inserts to various heights within each well; our carrier plate fits perfectly into our 12- or 24-well plates
  • Optimize the position of each porous membrane insert and volume of media required for your application
  • Save time when feeding cells; with the carrier plate pipetting into each well separately is no longer necessary
  • Conveniently adjust media volumes to extend feeding times (great for weekends!)
cell culture carrier plate diagram

As shown above, with the one-of-a-kind carrier plate, inserts can be height adjusted inside each well to achieve various, optimal positions relative to the media and bottom of the plate—adding precision and convenience that can be vital to your process.

12-well cell culture inserts and carrier plates

Catalog # Description Pore size Pore density Porosity
Culture area
140652 Inserts and multiwell dish 0.4 <0.85 x 108 pores/cm2 <6.8% 1.13cm2
140654 Inserts and multiwell dish 3.0 <1.70 x 106 pores/cm2 <7.7% 1.13cm2
140656 Inserts and multiwell dish 8.0 <0.85 x 105 pores/cm2 <2.7% 1.13cm2
141078 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate 0.4 <0.85 x 108 pores/cm2 <6.8% 1.13cm2
141080 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate 3.0 <1.70 x 106 pores/cm2 <7.7% 1.13cm2
141082 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate
8.0 <0.85 x 105 pores/cm2 <2.7% 1.13cm2

24-well cell culture inserts and carrier plates

Catalog # Description Pore size Pore density Porosity
Culture area
140620 Inserts and multiwell dish 0.4 <0.85 x 108 pores/cm2 <6.8% 0.47cm2
140627 Inserts and multiwell dish 3.0 <1.70 x 106 pores/cm2 <7.7% 0.47cm2
140629 Inserts and multiwell dish 8.0 <0.85 x 105 pores/cm2 <2.7% 0.47cm2
141002 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate 0.4 <0.85 x 108 pores/cm2 <6.8% 0.47cm2
141004 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate 3.0 <1.70 x 106 pores/cm2 <7.7% 0.47cm2
141006 Inserts, multiwell dish, and carrier plate 8.0 <0.85 x 105 pores/cm2 <2.7% 0.47cm2

Featured cell culture inserts and carrier plates

Cultivate most cell types without matrix coating when using polycarbonate membrane inserts in multidishes. Thermo Scientific™ Nunclon™ Delta-treated and tested for cell attachment. Tabs provide better grip and easy handling.

Use up to 24 inserts at a time with a carrier plate for cell culture inserts, for individual compartment cultures or cultures with shared media. Two formats available that correspond with our 12- and 24-well Nunclon Delta-treated dishes.

Discover a highly effective, time-saving method for skin tissue culture

The Nunc Cell Culture Insert System with cell culture inserts, multiwell plates and the unique carrier plate offers a highly reliable, effective and efficient solution for culturing 3D epidermal skin models for use in the development and testing of cosmetics products and other materials that potentially affect human skin.

 Learn more about skin tissue culture ›

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skin tissue culture models
cell culture cafe

Versatile is smart! The power behind culturing cells on a porous membrane.

  • Pros and cons of standard cell culture vs. porous membrane cell culture
  • Wide range of applications for cell culture inserts
  • Construction of artificial skin models at air-liquid interface on cell culture insert
  • Precise positioning of cell culture inserts in the wells of the carrier plate

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