Cell viability assays: introduction

Methods Mol Biol. 2011:740:1-6. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-108-6_1.


The measurement of cell viability plays a fundamental role in all forms of cell culture. Sometimes it is the main purpose of the experiment, such as in toxicity assays. Alternatively, cell viability can be used to -correlate cell behaviour to cell number, providing a more accurate picture of, for example, anabolic -activity. There are wide arrays of cell viability methods which range from the most routine trypan blue dye exclusion assay to highly complex analysis of individual cells, such as using RAMAN microscopy. The cost, speed, and complexity of equipment required will all play a role in determining the assay used. This chapter aims to provide an overview of many of the assays available today.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Survival
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase