What Is a Soft Agar Assay?


Quick Answer

Cell BioLabs, Inc. explains that a soft agar assay is a laboratory test to see if cells have become cancerous. Normal, noncancerous cells cannot grow unless they are attached to a surface. The soft agar assay measures whether the cells are able to grow while suspended in agar, unattached.

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What Is a Soft Agar Assay?
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Full Answer

Agar is a gelatin-like substance. The University of Minnesota says that when performing a traditional soft agar assay the cells to be tested are mixed with molten agar and poured into dishes. The agar-cell suspension is incubated for 10 to 20 days. The number of cells that have proliferated and grown into colonies is measured by staining the cells with crystal violet and counting them under a microscope.

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