We demonstrate spatial control over cell attachment on biodegradable surfaces by flowing cell adhesive poly (D-lysine) (PDL) in a trifluoroethanol (TFE)-water mixture through microfluidic channels placed on a biodegradable poly (lactic acid)-poly (ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) substrate. The partial solvent mixture swells the PLA-PEG within the confines of the microfluidic channels allowing PDL to diffuse on to the surface gel layer. When excess water is flowed through the channels substituting the TFE-water mixture, the swollen PLA surface collapses, entrapping PDL polymer. Results using preosteoblast human palatal mesenchymal cells (HEPM) indicate that this new procedure can be used for facile attachment of cells in localized regions. The PEG component of the PLA-PEG copolymer prevents cells from binding to the nonpatterned regions.