Cell Sensitivity Assays: The MTT Assay

  • Jane A. Plumb
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 88)


The clonogenic assay described in the  Chapter 13 is not suitable for all cell lines. Many adherent cell lines do not form colonies, and clearly it is not applicable to nonadherent cell lines. Furthermore, it is slow and time consuming. This chapter describes an alternative cytotoxicity assay that has a number of advantages when compared with a clonogenic assay. It is quick and easy and allows a large number of assays to be carried out in one batch. This is an important consideration when making comparisons between cell lines, between cytotoxic agents, or when evaluating combinations of drugs. No one cytotoxicity assay is ideal, and it is always advisable to support results with those obtained from alternative assays where possible.


Drug Solution Clonogenic Assay Glycine Buffer Fresh Growth Medium Control Absorbance 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane A. Plumb
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity of Glasgow, Cancer Research UK Beatson LaboratoriesGlasgowUK

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