Neural and skeletal communication is essential for the maintenance of bone mass and transmission of pain, yet the mechanism(s) of signal transduction between these tissues is unknown. The authors established a novel system to co-culture murine long bone osteocyte-like cells (MLO-Y4) and primary murine dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. Assessment of morphology and maturation marker expression on perlecan domain IV peptide (PlnDIV) and collagen type-1 (Col1) demonstrated that PlnDIV was an optimal matrix for MLO-Y4 culture. A novel matrix-specificity competition assay was developed to expose these cells to several extracellular matrix proteins such as PlnDIV, Col1, and laminin (Ln). The competition assay showed that approximately 70% of MLOY4 cells preferred either PlnDIV or Col1 to Ln. To co-culture MLO-Y4 and DRG, we developed patterned surfaces using micro-contact printing to create 40 μm × 1 cm alternating stripes of PlnDIV and Ln or PlnDIV and Col1. Co-culture on PlnDIV/Ln surfaces demonstrated that these matrix molecules provided unique cues for each cell type, with MLO-Y4 preferentially attaching to the PlnDIV lanes and DRG neurons to the Ln lanes. Approximately 80% of DRG were localized to Ln. Cellular processes from MLO-Y4 were closely associated with axonal extensions of DRG neurons. Approximately 57% of neuronal processes were in close proximity to nearby MLO-Y4 cells at the PlnDIV-Ln interface. The surfaces in this new assay provided a unique model system with which to study the communication between osteocyte-like cells and neurons in an in vitro environment.