Aims The use of surgical mesh for female pelvic floor reconstruction has increased in recent years. However, there is paucity of information about the biological responses of host stroma cells to different meshes. This study was aimed to establish an in vitro experimental model to study the micro-environment of extracellular matrix (ECM) with embedded mesh and the stroma cell behaviors to different synthetic meshes. Methods Matrigel multi-cellular co-culture system with embedded mesh was used to evaluate the interaction of stroma cells and synthetic mesh in a simulated ECM environment. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and NIH3T3 fibroblasts were inoculated in the system. The established multi-cellular Matrigel co-culture system was used to detect stroma cell recruitment and tube formation ability for different synthetic meshes. Results HUVEC and NIH3T3 cells were recruited into the mesh interstices and organized into tube-like structures in type I mesh material from Perigee, Marlex and Prolift 24 hr after cell inoculation. On the contrary, there was little recruitment of HUVEC and NIH3T3 cells into the type III mesh of intra-vaginal sling (IVS). Conclusions The Matrigel multi-cellular co-culture system with embedded mesh offers a useful in vitro model to study the biological behaviors of stroma cells in response to different types of synthetic meshes. The system can help to select ideal mesh candidates before actual implantation into the human body. Neurourol. Urodynam. 33:449-454, 2014. (c) 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.