This paper presents a study in which different commonly used microchip materials (silicon oxide, borosilicate glass, and PDMS) were analyzed for their effect on human promyelocytic leukemic (HL60) cells. Copper-coated silicon was analyzed for its toxicity and therefore served as a positive control. With quantitative PCR, the expression of the proliferation marker Cyclin D1 and the apoptosis marker tissue transglutaminase were measured. Flow cytometry was used to analyze the distribution through the different phases of the cell cycle (propidium iodide, PI) and the apoptotic cascade (Annexin V in combination with PI). All microchip materials, with the exception of Cu, appeared to be suitable for HL60 cells, showing a ratio apoptosis/proliferation (Rap) comparable to materials used in conventional cell culture (polystyrene). These results were confirmed with cell cycle analysis and apoptosis studies. Precoating the microchip material surfaces with serum favor the proliferation, as demonstrated by a lower Rap as compared to uncoated surfaces. The Cu-coated surface appeared to be toxic for HL60 cells, showing over 90% decreased viability within 24 h. From these results, it can be concluded that the chosen protocol is suitable for selection of the cell culture material, and that the most commonly used microchip materials are compatible with HL60 culturing. © 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.