Key features and details
- Assay type: Quantitative
- Detection method: Colorimetric
- Platform: Microplate reader
- Assay time: 3 hr 15 min
- Sample type: Adherent cells, Suspension cells
Product nameMTT Assay Kit (Cell Proliferation)
See all Cell viability/proliferation kits
Sample typeAdherent cells, Suspension cells
Assay time3h 15m
Species reactivityReacts with: Mammals, Other species
MTT Assay Kit ab211091 is an easy-to-use, non-radioactive, and high-throughput assay for measuring cell proliferation, cell viability and cytotoxicity.
The MTT assay protocol is based on the conversion of water soluble MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) compound to an insoluble formazan product. NB: MTT is also available as free molecule as ab146345 (Thiazolyl blue tetrazolium bromide).
Viable cells with active metabolism convert MTT into formazan. Dead cells lose this ability and therefore show no signal. Thus color formation serves as a useful and convenient marker of only the viable cells. The measured absorbance at OD 590 nm is proportional to the number of viable cells.
The MTT assay is a measure of the metabolic activity of the cells analyzed; the more metabolic activity in the sample, the higher the signal. This should be considered when interpreting the results of the assay.
MTT assay protocol summary:
- replace serum-containing media with serum-free media and MTT reagent in cell cultures
- incubate for 3 hr at 37ºC
- add MTT solvent and incubate for 15 min
- analyze with microplate reader
This product is manufactured by BioVision, an Abcam company and was previously called K299 MTT Cell Proliferation Assay Kit (Colorimetric). K299-1000 is the same size as the 1000 test size of ab211091.
Review our cell health assay guide to learn about our kits to perform a cell viability assay, cytotoxicity assay or cell proliferation assay. An alternative product, MTS assay kit ab197010, uses a similar principle to this kit, but without the need for the MTT solvent step.
How other researchers have used MTT Assay Kit ab211091
This MTT assay kit has been used in publications with a variety of cell types, including:
HUVEC cells1, U2OS cells and Saos2 cells2, human PBMCs3, rat primary hepatic stellate cells4, DBTRG glioblastoma cells5, SKOV3 human ovarian cancer cells6, mouse vascular smooth muscle cells7, human iPSC-derived neuronal cultures8, primary bladder cancer cells9
References: 1-De Felice F et al 2019, 2-Zhang X et al 2019, 3-Schotterl S et al 2018, 4-Huang W et al 2015, 5-Tang XJ et al 2016, 6-Zhu Q et al 2017, 7-Ma S et al 2018, 8-Rane A et al 2018, 9-Maj M et al 2018
Storage instructionsStore at -20°C. Please refer to protocols.
Components 1000 tests MTT Reagent 1 x 50ml MTT Solvent 1 x 150ml
RelevanceCell proliferation is the multiplication or reproduction of cells, as a result of cell growth and cell division, resulting in the expansion of a cell population.
- Cell Cytotoxicity
- cell tracking
MTT assay kit ab211091 was used by an Abcam customer (see product review) to assess the cell viability of myeloma cells which have acquired resistance to bortezomib (a proteasome inhibitor used as a cancer therapeutic).
Cells previously treated with 10 nM bortezomib for 1.5 months (RPMI8226-Bortezomib) had significantly improved viability, compared to the parental untreated cell line, when treated for 72 hours with varying concentrations of bortezomib.
HeLa cells were grown in DMEM media supplemented with 10% FBS, harvested using trypsin and counted using Trypan blue and a hemocytometer. Cells were then serially diluted in a clear cell culture plate and incubated for 3 hours with MTT Reagent at 37°C. After incubation, cells were treated with MTT Solvent for 15 minutes at room temperature. Absorbance was measured at OD = 590 nm. Inset graph is an expanded segment of the assay data at lower cell number per well.
ab211091 has been referenced in 90 publications.
- Lu T et al. Circular RNA circCSNK1G3 induces HOXA10 signaling and promotes the growth and metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma cells through hsa-miR-143-3p sponging. Cell Oncol (Dordr) 44:297-310 (2021). PubMed: 33118120
- Jirau-Colón H et al. Distribution of toxic metals and relative toxicity of airborne PM2.5 in Puerto Rico. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 28:16504-16516 (2021). PubMed: 33389579
- Chen X et al. Targeting the CtBP1-FOXM1 transcriptional complex with small molecules to overcome MDR1-mediated chemoresistance in osteosarcoma cancer stem cells. J Cancer 12:482-497 (2021). PubMed: 33391445
- Zhong B et al. Roflumilast Reduced the IL-18-Induced Inflammatory Response in Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes (FLS). ACS Omega 6:2149-2155 (2021). PubMed: 33521454
- Dominici C et al. Synergistic effects of type I PRMT and PARP inhibitors against non-small cell lung cancer cells. Clin Epigenetics 13:54 (2021). PubMed: 33691794