A ninhydrin-based assay to quantitate the total protein content of tissue samples

Anal Biochem. 2001 May 1;292(1):125-9. doi: 10.1006/abio.2001.5050.


Quantitation of small tissue samples for total protein content is essential for many biochemical analyses. In this study a ninhydrin method for measuring the total protein content of tissue hydrolysates is presented. The ninhydrin reagent is stable at room temperature for up to 1 month in the ethylene glycol-sodium acetate solvent system without the requirement for a nitrogen atmosphere. The reaction was very accurate and precise, with intra- and interassay variations of less than 3% when 5 microg of protein was assayed. All proteins that were investigated contributed the same color intensity per microgram protein as bovine serum albumin. This assay was several times more sensitive than the Coomassie reaction and linear over a greater range of protein concentration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Ninhydrin / chemistry*
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Reference Standards
  • Rosaniline Dyes / chemistry


  • Proteins
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • Coomassie blue
  • Ninhydrin