FRAME researchers in the late 80s worked to produce effective methods for detecting cytotoxicity. One of the most prevalent and most widely accepted tests developed was the Kenacid Blue (KB) cytotoxicity test via a collaboration of laboratories from the University of Nottingham medical school, the Huntingdon Research Centre, the St. George’s Medical School, and the Robens Institute at the University of Surrey. The Kenacid Blue assay system measures total biomass by staining proteins with a specially developed dye creating a simple, accurate, and highly reproducible test. The degree of cytotoxicity caused by the test material is measured by an increase or decrease in the number of cells (total biomass) incorporated with the dye after they have been liberated from the remaining cells in an extraction solution. In other words, the test is able to detect if a compound has the ability to inhibit the growth rate of a population of cells. After its validation, the KB cytotoxicity test has established itself as benchmark test becoming a prominent and important tool for many subsequent laboratories worldwide.
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