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
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 41 publications.
- Wang J et al. Bax inhibitor 1 preserves mitochondrial homeostasis in acute kidney injury through promoting mitochondrial retention of PHB2. Theranostics 10:384-397 (2020). PubMed: 31903127
- Hawley SA et al. Mechanism of Activation of AMPK by Cordycepin. Cell Chem Biol 27:214-222.e4 (2020). PubMed: 31991096
- Yang L et al. Therapeutic efficacy of catalpol against apoptosis in cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. AMB Express 10:56 (2020). PubMed: 32198560
- Mao Y et al. The Overexpression of Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) in HaCaT Cells Promotes the Proliferation, Migration, Invasion and Transdifferentiation to Epidermal Stem Cell Immunophenotyping of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs). Int J Stem Cells 13:93-103 (2020). PubMed: 32114740
- Shi L et al. Exosomal miRNA-34 from cancer-associated fibroblasts inhibits growth and invasion of gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Aging (Albany NY) 12:8549-8564 (2020). PubMed: 32391804