Cytotoxicity is one of the most important indicators for biological evaluation in vitro studies. In vitro, chemicals such as drugs and pesticides have different cytotoxicity mechanisms such as destruction of cell membranes, prevention of protein synthesis, irreversible binding to receptors etc. In order to determine the cell death caused by these damages, there is a need for cheap, reliable and reproducible short-term cytotoxicity and cell viability assays. Cytotoxicity and cell viability assays are based on various cell functions. A broad spectrum of cytotoxicity assays is currently used in the fields of toxicology and pharmacology. There are different classifications for these assays: (i) dye exclusion assays; (ii) colorimetric assays; (iii) fluorometric assays; and (iv) luminometric assays. Choosing the appropriate method among these assays is important for obtaining accurate and reliable results. When selecting the cytotoxicity and cell viability assays to be used in the study, different parameters have to be considered such as the availability in the laboratory where the study is to be performed, test compounds, detection mechanism, specificity, and sensitivity. In this chapter, information will be given about in vitro cytotoxicity and viability assays, these assays will be classified and their advantages and disadvantages will be emphasized. The aim of this chapter is to guide the researcher interested in this subject to select the appropriate assay for their study.
Part of the book: Genotoxicity