By using a chromogenic substrate for an ubiquitous lysosomal enzyme, hexosaminidase to estimate cell numbers, a sensitive and simple procedure has been developed in which microtiter reaction wells are directly scanned in a spectrophotometer. This method has been adapted to several cell biological assays. Quantitation of the biological activities of T cell growth factor and interferon can be performed on large numbers of samples. Adhesion of dispersed solid tissue cells to fibronectin coated substrates may be quantitated with little expenditure of reagents. By use of a panning procedure in microtiter plates a sensitive and very simple assay for the binding of monoclonal antibodies to cell surface antigens has been developed.