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Problem Addressed

Cell survival assays are commonly used to monitor the effects of drugs or other agents on cell viability. These assays include colony forming assays and methods that measure metabolic activity as a surrogate endpoint for cell viability. Colony forming assays measure the ability of a cell to give rise to a daughter cell while metabolic activity methods measure the end process of a cellular activity, such as cellular respiration, etc. Colony forming assays are the most sensitive cell viability assays, but they are labor intensive and time consuming, which can be costly. In addition, relatively large culture dishes and high volumes of media are required, making the assay incompatible with high-throughput screening. Metabolic activity assays, such as XTT, MTT, and CellTiter-Glo (CTG) are commonly used high-throughput assays, but they are not as sensitive and/or robust as colony forming assays. Metabolic activity can be susceptible to culture conditions where cellular activity can be affected without causing cell death. Importantly, results from metabolic activity methods are often validated by colony forming assays. This invention overcomes limitations from other assays by miniaturizing colony forming assays. Growing cells on a chip, staining the DNA, and subsequent imaging reduce the handling time.