Cell Count & Viability Assay

Detection of Total and Dead Cell Populations Using Fluorescent Cytometry

  • Fast and convenient cell count and viability measurement
  • Consistency across instruments, users and sites
  • Objective analysis – no human error in sample preparation
  • Scalable system with 21 CFR Part 11 / GMP-ready software
  • Personal support by our dedicated experts
  • Specialized protocols for mammalian and insect cells
  • Automated PDF reports
  • Export data in FCS/ACS formats (for NC-3000™)

Overview of the Cell Count & Viability Assay

With the NucleoCounter® family of image cytometers, cells can easily be counted and their viability determined. The NucleoCounter® offers a range of protocols matching the needs for even the most specialized cell type and culture condition, including primary mammalian cells, cell lines, leukocytes, CHO cells, MSCs, iPSCs, PBMCs, hepatocytes, T cells, NK cells, CEFs, insect, yeast, whole blood, stromal vascular fractions, microcarriers, spheroids and aggregated cells.

Using fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, the NucleoCounter® instruments automate the quantification and viability analysis of cells. They visualize and quantify cells stained with acridine orange (AO) and DAPI, enabling you to identify total and dead cells, respectively. Using fluorescence rather than bright-field microscopy, provides a higher degree of precision, since the NucleoCounter® will not identify non-cells, as is possible in light microscopy.

The Cell Count & Viability Assay provides consistent and reproducible data due to its robust assay algorithms, which are subject to continuous development ensuring optimum results for the user.

Use the optimized cell counter for your specific needs:

Assay Principle

The Cell Count & Viability Assay relies on the fluorescent dye acridine orange (AO) for cell detection, and the nucleic acid stain DAPI for detecting non-viable cells. AO is a membrane-permeable dye, staining primarily nucleic acids i.e. all cells in a sample. DAPI cannot penetrate the cell membrane, hence it only stains cells with a permeable cell membrane i.e. the non-viable cells.

Both dyes are immobilized in a sampling cassette to prevent user interference during sample acquisition, staining and loading into the NucleoCounter® instrument. The cell counters perform a series of analysis checks to ensure optimal sample analysis and will tell you if there are too few or too many cells in the sample. Since the dyes are contained within the cassette, users are not exposed to toxic chemicals and the cassette can be safely discarded after analysis.

Assay Results

Whether presented as a simple cell count, as fluorescent images, or as a full dataset (with images, dot plots, histograms and adjustable gates), the Cell Count & Viability Assay is a robust protocol which always gives you the most reliable result.

Looking for cell count and viability using some of our other instruments? Find more information on these instruments:


Disease modeling of core pre-mRNA splicing factor haploinsufficiency

  • Wood KA, Rowlands CF, Qureshi WMS, et al. ,

  • Hum Mol Genet ,

  • 2019,

  • 28(22):3704-3723

  • Instrument: NucleoCounter® NC-250™
  • Cell Type: Mammalian Cells
  • Research area: Cell Biology

The craniofacial disorder mandibulofacial dysostosis Guion-Almeida type is caused by haploinsufficiency of the U5 snRNP gene EFTUD2/SNU114. However, it is unclear how reduced expression of this core pre-mRNA splicing factor leads to craniofacial defects. Here we use a CRISPR-Cas9 nickase...

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Application notes

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