• Product name

    Bacterial viability assay kit
    See all Cell Viability kits
  • Assay time

    2h 30m
  • Product overview

    Bacterial viability assay kit - (ab189818) utilizes two highly-specific, ultrasensitive fluorescent reagents to quickly and easily assess the percentage of live and dead cells within a bacterial culture. The total cell stain is permeant to all cells and thus all bacteria within the culture will be stained allowing the total number to be calculated. The dead cell stain is inpermeant to living cells and as such will only be able to enter and stain dead cells; this allows the number of dead cells to be calculated. The ratio of dead to live cells can then be quickly and easily calculated. 

    Although only validated with E. coli, results should be obtainable with a wide range of both gram positive and gram negative bacterial species including Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Pseudomonas sp and Bacillus sp.

    Exitation wavelength (nm): 490/536

    Emission wavelength (nm): 525/617

    Bacterial viability assay protocol summary:
     - harvest cells by spinning at 10,000 g for 10 min and resuspend in buffer
    - incubate for 1 hr
    - spin at 10,000 g for 10 min, resuspend and repeat
    - add total cell stain and dead cell stain
    - either incubate for 1 hr and analyze with microplate reader or incubate for 15 min and analyze with fluorescence microscope

  • Notes

    The ability to measure the viability of a bacterial culture has importance in many aspects of microbiology. Whether dealing with uncharacterized species or pathogenic strains, the ability to measure the effects of different media or the effect of drug treatment on bacterial survival is highly advantageous in advancing knowledge of these organisms.

    Kit size: 100 tests including dead cell controls using 1 µL Total Cell Stain and 1 µL Dead Cell stain for 1 mL sample.

  • Platform

    Microplate reader, Fluorescence microscope


  • Storage instructions

    Please refer to protocols.
  • Components 100 tests
    Dead Cell Stain 1 x 0.2ml
    Total Cell Stain 1 x 0.2ml
    Wash Buffer 2 x 30ml
  • Research areas

  • Relevance

    Cell viability is a determination of living or dead cells, based on a total cell population. Cell viability assess healthy cells in a sample, with no distinction between dividing or quiescent cells. An increase in cell viability indicates cell growth, while a decrease in viability can generally be interpreted as the result of either toxic effects of compounds/agents or suboptimal culture conditions.
  • Alternative names

    • cell tracking


  • E. coli JM109 were stained as described using the protocols, and fluorescence was measured using a plate reader and a microscope. Number of stained cells were quantified



ab189818 has not yet been referenced specifically in any publications.

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