AAT Bioquest

How does the ATP bioluminescence assay work?

Posted September 16, 2022


The ATP bioluminescence assay is based on the firefly luciferase enzymatic reaction and works by exposing a sample of cells to the enzyme luciferase and the substrate luciferin.

Luciferase is an enzyme that produces light or luminescence when it oxidizes its substrate. This reaction requires energy derived from ATP to proceed. Because only living cells in the exposed sample would produce a bioluminescent signal, providing researchers with valuable insight into cellular metabolism and overall cellular health. It also allows researchers to quantify the amount of living or dead cells within a sample based on the presence or absence of ATP.

Additional resources

Effectiveness of ATP bioluminescence assay for presumptive identification of microorganisms in hospital water sources

ReadiUse™ Rapid Luminometric ATP Assay Kit

Amplite® Gaussia Luciferase Reporter Gene Assay Kit *Bright Glow*

PhosphoWorks™ Luminometric ATP Assay Kit *DTT-Free*