AAT Bioquest

What are the pros and cons of CVS assay (crystal violet assay)?

Posted June 21, 2023


CVS assay (crystal violet assay) is used for studying cell viability, assessing the cytotoxicity of chemicals, and for the indirect quantification of cell death. It is based on loss of adherence of dead cells, resulting in a decrease in the amount of CVS in the cell culture.  

Pros of CVS assay include: 

  • It is a quick, versatile, sensitive, and reliable assay for screening cell viability under a wide range of stimulation conditions. 
  • The procedure is simple, safe, precise and accurate. 
  • It is applicable to both, adherent cells as well as cell suspensions. 
  • It is relatively inexpensive. 

Cons of CVS assay include: 

  • It is insensitive to changes in metabolic activity of cells. 
  • While the assay is suitable for examining cell survival and growth, it is unable to measure the rate of cell proliferation.
Additional resources

Crystal Violet Assay for Determining Viability of Cultured Cells

Cell Viability Assays

Cell Cytotoxicity