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Why use the comet assay?

The comet assay is...


  • Applicable to virtually any cell type from prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms
  • Can be applied to cultured cells or cells isolated from the organism
  • Can be used on cells that are proliferating or non-proliferating


  • Simple and inexpensive to perform
  • Reliable
  • Fast
  • Sensitive
  • Only a small number of cells are required (<10,000)


  • Generates data at the level of the single cell
  • Not only does it detect DNA damage but can determine which specific form it takes
  • Can be used to detect DNA repair and kinetics of repair
  • Already acceptable for regulatory approval e.g. new drug applications