Creative Biolabs has successfully developed a full range of integrated drug discovery service, from initial target identification to eventual cGMP manufacture. Particularly, we offer professional cytotoxicity estimation services by conducting multiple cell proliferation and viability assays.

As one major process responsible for controlling the status of life and disease in all living organisms, cell proliferation is an essential factor in various fundamental research as well as drug development. Generally, when exposed to compounds with different cytotoxicity, cells may react in diverse manners. The lethal insult may cause cell death, i.e. necrosis, apoptosis or autophagy. The sublethal insult, on the other hand, is likely to induce proliferation inhibition and other functional alterations. Therefore, the evaluation of cell proliferation and viability constitutes the first significant step in toxicological studies which are necessary for determining drug activity and pharmacological safety on the cellular and even molecular level.

With advanced technologies and seasoned scientific staff, Creative Biolabs is capable of conducting both in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity assays. Since cell proliferation is commonly regulated by various factors, different signal transduction pathways can be involved in drug treatment. We provide diverse measure criteria including redox potential of the cell population, ATP/ADP levels, the integrity of cell membrane, the activity of cellular enzymes, etc. These sophisticated molecular mechanism-oriented assays make it feasible to demonstrate the target specificity of a particular drug candidate, which proves exceptionally crucial for therapeutic development.

Cell proliferation/viability assays can be classified into 4 types:

Functional Assays

Creative Biolabs provides an accurate assessment of ATP, ADP, and ATP/ADP ratios, covering most ATP- or ADP-related events. As the central chemical molecule in all living organisms, ATP acts as a crucial indicator for cell proliferation, enzyme reaction activity, and low-level contamination. Changes in ATP/ADP ratios further help to distinguish different modes of cell death, such as proliferation inhibition, growth arrest, apoptosis, and necrosis. Moreover, we also utilize alternative functional assays, e.g. senescence detection, which histochemically analyzes SA-b-Gal activity in cells or tissues, to determine living status changes.

Cytology/Membrane Leakage Assays

Loss of membrane integrity is an important biomarker for cytotoxicity and cytolysis. Combined with high throughput screening technique, we can quantitatively measure the media level of ubiquitous intracellular enzymes, such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and adenylate kinase (AK), thus obtain reliable and accurate data of cell viability.

Mitochondrial Assays

Mitochondrial and related enzymes are tightly linked to cell viability, proliferation rate, and functional status. MTT, MTS, and XTT offer fast and efficient colorimetric assays for cytotoxicity analysis based on the measurement of mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity.

Genomic/Proteomic Assays

Creative Biolabs has brought series of genomic/proteomic assays for precise evaluation of multiple cellular events. For instance, BrdU assay, which employs a thymidine analog only incorporated into DNA of proliferating cells during S phase of cell division, enables quantitative measurement of DNA synthesis, and further estimates cell viability and functionality.

Scientists in Creative Biolabs can perform individual or multiple assays with various starting materials, including whole cells or subcellular components or organelles. With our comprehensive test portfolio, we can accelerate your drug discovery process by minutely analyzing the potential cytotoxic effects of the investigated substance on human cells and tissues.

For more detailed information, please feel free to contact us or directly sent us an inquiry.

Cell Proliferation and Viability Figure 1. MTS cytotoxicity assay results of sol-gel glasses. (Kaur G et al. 2014)


  1. Kaur G, Pickrell G, Kimsawatde G, et al. (2014) “Synthesis, cytotoxicity, and hydroxyapatite formation in 27-Tris-SBF for sol-gel based CaO -P2O5 -SiO2 -B2O3-ZnO bioactive glasses”. Sci Rep 4(4392):1–14. doi: 10.1038/srep04392.

For lab research use only.

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