What are the limitations of colorimetric assays of cell viability and cytotoxicity?
Posted June 21, 2023
Although colorimetric assays are easy to perform and relatively economical, they have a few limitations. The exact limitation depends on the dye being used for that specific assay. Limitations of colorimetric assays of cell viability and cytotoxicity may include:
- MTT is highly toxic to cells.
- MTT is insoluble in water, necessitating an additional formazan dissolution step.
- MTT may interfere with cell culture medium, compromising the results.
- Crystal violet staining assay is insensitive to changes in cell metabolic activity.
- The measurements in LDH assay may be affected by serum or other compounds that have inherent LDH activity.
- The measurements in XTT assays may be affected by cellular ion concentration, enzymatic regulation, cell cycle variation, pH, or other environmental factors.
- The measurements in SRB assay may be affected by cellular aggregates or clumps.
- The measurements in MTS assays may be affected by cell type, incubation time, and cell count.
- The measurements in WST-8 assay may be affected by changes in intracellular metabolic activity that has no direct impact on cell viability.