Tracy Worzella1, Andrew Niles1, Chad Zimprich1, Blake Anson2, Maya Fuerstenau-Sharp2, Cris Cowan1, and Eric Vincent1
1Promega Corporation, Madison, WI, USA; 2Cellular Dynamics International, Madison, WI, USA
Evaluating cell health is a necessary step in the biobanking process while preparing samples for storage and when propagating cells after cryopreservation. Membrane exclusion dyes are commonly used to evaluate cell viability, but one drawback to this method is the lack of distinction between viable and apoptotic cells with an intact membrane. In addition, the visual scoring of a viable cell is subjective and can vary among users. Homogeneous (add-mix-read) assay reagents are user-friendly alternatives to traditional methods of monitoring cell viability. Reagents have been developed to monitor various aspects of cell health, including viability, cytotoxicity, and apoptosis. The assay reagents can be used individually, or in some cases multiplexed to generate a multi-parameter readout of cell health in the same assay well. The process of performing these cell-based assays is simple: reagent is added directly to cells in an assay plate, or to cells in a tube, and incubated for a period of time. Luminescent or fluorescent signal is quantified, depending on the assay.
Shown here are data generated with these cell health assays using an iPS cardiomyoctye cell model. Cells were subjected to various treatments in order to elicit an effect for the parameter being measured. Multiplexing assays conserves cell usage and enables a more complete cell health profile of biorepository samples compared to using a single parameter methodology. Incorporating a quantifiable assay signal removes subjective visual scoring of viable and non-viable cells.