2.4. Determining the viability of cultured cells

Cultured primary cells or non-permanent cell lines need to be tested for viability, because sometimes it is difficult to correctly differentiate between small cells and cell foci attached to the plate and cell debris or clumps of cell debris also adhering to the plate. This is especially important when no data on the healthy morphology of this cell type exist. Two commonly used methods are outlined below, the MTT test and the MitoTracker test, a fluorescence based viability test. In comparison to the MitoTracker test, the MTT test is less time consuming and less expensive. It can serve as a fast and reliable method to analyse cell proliferation of cell populations and it is suitable for identification of cytotoxic substances. With the help of the MitoTracker test the viability of cell populations can be analysed with special emphasis on single cell analysis and visualization.