The viability of a cell or population of cells is an overall measure of the health of the cells. Viability assays are designed to assess the physical and metabolic state of the cell in order to determine the impact of treatment or culture conditions on cellular homeostasis.
The critical link between cellular health and disease underscores the necessity for assays that can measure cell viability in different experimental contexts and model systems.
Cell viability is measured using a variety of techniques and experimental platforms. Some techniques, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based viability assays, utilize spectral-based microplate readers for analysis. Other commonly used assays employ immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, or western blotting as a readout.
Cell viability vs cell proliferation assays:
|Assay||What is Measured|
|Detect metabolic activity from viable cells with active mitochondria|
|Cell viability dyes are used to monitor dye uptake into nonviable cells; the dyes are excluded from entering viable cells|
Phospho-histone H3 (western blot)
|Measure expression levels of proteins required for (or involved in) cell division.|
Ki-67 (D2H10) Rabbit mAb (IHC Specific) #9027: Immunohistochemical analysis of paraffin-embedded human colon carcinoma using Ki-67 (D2H10) Rabbit mAb (IHC Specific).