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Live quantification of cell viability via neutral red uptake using lens-free imaging



Brian J. Nablo, Jungjoon Ahn, Kiran Bhadriraju, Jong M. Lee, Darwin Reyes-Hernandez


We present the quantification of cell viability during neutral red (NR) uptake with a compact lens-free system utilizing two light sources. Conventionally, the NR uptake assay determines cell viability based on the accumulation of NR within lysosomes and is quantified spectrophotometrically after a destructive extraction process. Our NR uptake live imaging system offers in situ monitoring of cell viability while accentuating 3D morphologies, thus diversifying the assay's functionality. Combining the low-cost NR uptake assay with the compact architecture of lens-free imaging provides high-throughput, point-of-use, live monitoring of cell viability that eliminates extraction steps and preserves the culture.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of Micro Total Analysis Systems 2019
Conference Dates
October 27-31, 2019
Conference Location
Basel, CH
Conference Title
The 23rd International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (µTAS 2019)


Lens-free imaging, Cell Viability, 3D Culture, Hepatic Cancer Cells


Nablo, B. , Ahn, J. , Bhadriraju, K. , Lee, J. and Reyes-Hernandez, D. (2019), Live quantification of cell viability via neutral red uptake using lens-free imaging, Proceedings of Micro Total Analysis Systems 2019, Basel, CH, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created October 26, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021