The use of dielectrophoresis for the construction of artificial skin tissue with skin cells in follicle-like 3D cell aggregates in well-defined patterns is demonstrated. To analyse the patterns produced and to study their development after their formation a Virtual Instrument (VI) system was developed using the LabVIEW IMAQ Vision Development Module. A series of programming functions (algorithms) was used to isolate the features on the image (in our case; the patterned aggregates) and separate them from all other unwanted regions on the image. The image was subsequently converted into a binary version, covering only the desired microarray regions which could then be analysed by computer for automatic object measurements. The analysis utilized the simple and easy-to-use User-Specified Multi-Regions Masking (MRM) technique, which allows one to concentrate the analysis on the desired regions specified in the mask. This simplified the algorithms for the analysis of images of cell arrays having similar geometrical properties. By having a collection of scripts containing masks of different patterns, it was possible to quickly and efficiently develop sets of custom virtual instruments for the offline or online analysis of images of cell arrays in the database. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.