A convenient, rapid colorimetric assay system has been developed in order to determine cell viability of populations of mammalian cells encapsulated using a poly-L-lysine/alginate encapsulation system. The method is based on the use of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiozol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and involves direct incubation of the capsules with the reagent. This is followed by direct solubilization of the resulting formazan product in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). In order to demonstrate that this assay method may be generally applicable to alginate-based carrier systems, viability of cells immobilized in alginate beads, as distinct from encapsulation in the poly-L-lysine/alginate system, was also determined using the in situ method.
Rollan, A., McCormack, D., McCormack, H., McHale, L., & McHale, AP. (1996). A rapid in situ, colorimetric assay for the determination of mammalian cell viability in alginate-immobilized and encapsulated systems. Bioprocess Engineering, 15(1), 47-49. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00435528