NMR spectra of mammalian cells are taken using surface microprobes that are based on microfabricated planar coils. The surface microprobe resembles a miniaturized Petri dish commonly used in biological research. The diameter of the planar coils is 1 mm. Chinese Hamster Ovaries are immobilized in a uniform layer on the microprobe surface or patterned by an ink-jet printer in the centre of the microcoil, where the rf-field of the planar microcoil is most uniform. The acquired NMR spectra show the prevalent metabolites found in mammalian cells. The volumes of the detected samples range from 25 nL to 1 nL (or 50000 to 1800 cells). With an extended set-up that provides fluid inlets and outlets to the microprobe, the cells can be perfused within the NMR-magnet while constantly taking NMR spectra. Perfusion of the cells opens the way to increased cell viability for long acquisitions or to analysis of the cells response to environmental change.