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AquaBluerTM is a proprietary redox indicator. Viable cells turn AquaBluer from its oxidized form (nonfluorescent, blue) to the reduced form (fluorescent, red). The fluorescence intensity of AquaBluer at 540ex/590em is proportional to the number of viable cells in the sample. It can be used to assess cell viability, cell proliferation, and cytotoxicity. It is nontoxic, simple to use, sensitive, reproducible, and has a broad assay range. Most importantly, it reduces your assay cost 3 folds over Alamar Blue and 26 folds over MTT.



  • Colorimetric and fluorescent redox indicator for cell viability assay
Perform viability assay with a fluorescence plate reader or absorbance plate reader.

  • Simple to use and assay is performed in culture medium
Just add AquaBluer to the culture, incubate and read. No PBS, no SDS and no DMSO.

  • Nontoxic, sensitive, reproducible, and with a broad assay range
Not a terminal assay. AquaBluer-treated cells may still be used in other analyses.
  • Costs 3X less than Alamar Blue assay and 26X less than MTT assay
More saving means more research to you.

Comparison of Alamar Blue, AquaBluer and MTT Assays


 Alamar Blue



 Detection mechanism

 Redox indicator

 Redox indicator

 Redox indicator


1. Replace culture medium with PBS-based Alamar Blue.

2. Incubate for 4 hrs
(Your cells are not happy to be fasting in PBS for 4 hrs and their metabolism may be altered artificially!)

3. Read.

1. Replace culture medium with medium-diluted AquaBluer or just add undiluted AquaBluer to the culture. 

2. Incubate for 4 hrs (Your cells remain in their accustomed culture medium.).

3. Read

1. Replace culture medium with medium-diluted MTT.  

2. Incubate for 4 hrs.

3. Add SDS-HCl and pipet to lyse the cells. 

4. Incubate for 4 hrs to solubilize the formazan dye.

5. Pipet to mix thoroughly and read.

 Price per kit

 $400 /100 ml

 $199 /15 ml

 $340 /10 ml

 # of assays per kit




 Assay range

 600-75,000 cells

 600-150,000 cells

 2,000-250,000 cells


AquaBluer has a wider dynamic assay range than Alamar Blue

Brief Protocol

1. Set up a cytotoxicity assay

Seed the cells at 6000-8000 cells/100 ul/well in 96-well culture plates and let the cells grow overnight. Add serially diluted test compounds to each well. Include 4 “No-cells” and 4 “No-drug” wells as 0% and 100% viability controls. Return the plate to the CO2 incubator for 48-72 hrs.

2. Start AquaBluer assay

Add 100 ul AquaBluer solution (15 ml in the kit for 15,000 assays) to 10 ml culture medium in a dispensing reservoir. Pipette up and down to mix well. Replace the culture medium in each well with the 100X diluted AquaBluer medium. Alternatively, directly add 1 ul of undiluted AquaBluer solution to each 100 ul well, convenient for viability assay of fresh suspension cultures. Return the plate to the CO2 incubator for 4 hrs.

3. Raw data acquisition

Remove the plate from the incubator. Place the plate in a fluorescence plate reader and read the fluorescence intensity at 540ex/590em.

4. Viability and IC50 calculation

Subtract the average of fluorescence value (RFU) of the No-cell control (background) from all other RFU values. Convert the test RFU values to % viability using the formula:

% Viability = (RFUtest / RFUveh) x 100,

where RFUveh is the average RFU of the No-drug wells. Enter the % viability values and corresponding log test compound concentrations into a non-linear regression program such as Prism and use the Four Parameter Model to obtain the IC50 values and dose-response curve of the test compounds.

 Ordering Information

Product Name:    AquaBluerTM Kit

Product Number:   6001, 6015

Application:    Assessing cell viability, cell proliferation, and cytotoxicity.

Size:    The kit is sufficient for performing

    • 6001: 1,000 assays in 96-well format using 1 ul AquaBluer in 100 ul medium
    • 6015: 15,000 assays 

Kit Contents:  The AquaBluer Kit includes the following items        

  • 60011 ml AquaBluer solution, Instruction Manual
  • 601515 ml AquaBluer solution, Instruction Manual


    • 6001: $10 each
    • 6015: $199 each

Ordering:    To order, please click the "BUY" button below. 



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MultiTarget Pharmaceuticals, LLC - All rights reserved