Inaccuracies in MTS assays: Major distorting effects of medium, serum albumin, and fatty acids

Kuang Tzu Huang, Yen Hao Chen, Ameae M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soluble formazan assays are widely used for cell number assessment. However, in our hands, we observed frequent occasions in which the actual cell number was at odds with the assay reading. In this study, we have determined that (i) a large proportion of the reading obtained in commonly used culture media can be caused by media component amplification of formazan production in a way that cannot be corrected for by media-only controls; (ii) the albumin present in 10% serum can reduce the assay absorbance by 50% so that an actual doubling of cell number can be obscured; and (iii) this latter effect is dependent on the concentration of fatty acids. To counter these problems, we have developed a protocol that gives consistent readings that are fully representative of cell number while retaining some of the original advantages of soluble formazan assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalBioTechniques
Volume37
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Inaccuracies in MTS assays: Major distorting effects of medium, serum albumin, and fatty acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this