A sensitive and reproducible cell viability assay is essential for monitoring cell health in cell culture laboratories. Moreover, viability assays are a fundamental tool in the drug discovery process as well as in the assessment of cytotoxicity. Assaying cell viability typically involves biochemical methods, such as dye exclusion stains to probe membrane intactness, DNA intercalating agents or metabolic assays that emit fluorescence based on enzymatic activity. However, this involves additional incubation and handling steps of mostly cytotoxic reagents leading to additional error sources, and prolonged experimental time.
In contrast, the fluidlab R-300 detects viability based on morphological and foremost compositional changes occurring during cell death. The change in composition e.g. reflects protein turnover and can be assessed due to the quantitative nature of the phase signal in the fluidlab R-300’s innovative holographic microscope. This technological novelty makes additional handling and staining steps unnecessary and the percentage of viable cells is directly accessible from a cell suspension.