The disclosed invention is a device for adhering cells in a specific and predetermined position. The device comprises a plate defining a surface and a plurality of cytophilic islands that adhere cells which are isolated by cytophobic regions to which cells do not adhere and further is contiguous with the cytophilic islands. The islands or the regions or both may be formed of a self-assembled monolayer (SAM). Further, the cytophobic regions are wide enough such that less than 10 percent of the cells adhered to the cytophilic islands are allowed to form bridges across the cytophobic regions and contact each other. The device is used in a method for culturing cells on a surface or in a medium and also for performing cytometry. Furthermore, the device is used in immobilization of cells at a surface and for controlling the shape of a cell.