What is the Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays

The main difference between biochemical and cell based assays is that the biochemical assays are target-based whereas the cell based assays are physiology-based. Furthermore, biochemical assays are important in the detection, quantification or activity of biological molecules while cell based assays provide biologically-relevant information to predict the response of an organism to a particular substance.

Biochemical and cell-based assays are two types of assays used in research and development of drugs.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Biochemical Assays
     – Definition, Features, Importance
2. What are Cell Based Assays
     – Definition, Features, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Biochemical Assays, Cell Cultures, Cell-based Assays, Cellular Response, Drug Development, In vitro

Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays - Comparison Summary

What are Biochemical Assays

Biochemical assays are analytical procedures which allow the detection and quantification of cellular processes including metabolic reactions, apoptosis, and cell signaling. They are a type of common procedures that help in the characterization of the target while understanding its function. Generally, biochemists use hundreds of biochemical assays to analyze biomolecules qualitatively or quantitatively.

What is the Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays

Figure 1: Biochemical Assays

Furthermore, there are three main types of biochemical assays based on the method of detection. They are the colorimetric or chromogenic assays, fluorometric or fluorogenic assays, and luminescent assays. Here, a visible color change is the detection method in colorimetric assays. Also, the emission signals upon the excitation by a light source is the detection method in fluorometric assays. On the other hand, luminescent assays detect the light emitted by a chemical reaction.

What are Cell Based Assays

Cell-based assays are the physiological procedures which allow the detection of the response of living organisms to a particular substance. They are a type of in vitro procedures performed in cell cultures. Also, this type of assays plays a key role in drug development. It allows the regulation of gene expression, inhibition or induction of a biological process in response to a particular stimulus.

Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays

Figure 2: Cell Cultures

Moreover, some of the parameters checked in cell-based assays are apoptosis, oxidative stress, cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, cell adhesion, migration, invasion, cell transformation, and immortalization.

Similarities Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays

  • Biochemical and cell-based assays are two types of tests used to monitor the effect of substances on the biological systems.
  • Both are important in research and drug development.
  • Also, both are in vitro procedures.

Difference Between Biochemical and Cell Based Assays

Definition

Biochemical assays refer to the analytical in vitro procedures used to detect, quantify and/or study the binding or activity of a biological molecule, such as an enzyme while cell-based assays refer to the assays used to measure proliferation, viability, and cytotoxicity cells in culture after treatment with various stimuli. Thus, this is the main difference between biochemical and cell based assays.

Significance

Another major difference between biochemical and cell based assays is that the biochemical assays are target-based while the cell-based assays are physiology-based.

Type of Assays

Furthermore, biochemical assays are done inside test tubes while cell-based assays are done in cell cultures.

Purpose

Moreover, biochemical assays allow the detection, quantification, and the activity of biochemical molecules or drugs while cell-based assays allow the determination of the health of cells in response to biological molecules or drugs. This is another difference between biochemical and cell-based assays.

Conclusion

Biochemical assays are a type of tests performed for the detection, quantification, and the activity of biological substances or drugs. Therefore, they are target-based assays done in test tubes. On the other hand, cell-based assays are a type of tests performed for the detection of the response of cells to biological substances or drugs. Therefore, they are physiology-based assays done in cell cultures. However, the main difference between biochemical and cell based assays is the type of process and the type of measurement.

References:

1. “Biochemical Assays.” AAT Bioquest, Available Here
2. “Cell-Based Assays.” BioCat GmbH, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Chemistry-Science-Tube-Test-Tubes-Laboratory-3112333″ (CC0) via Max Pixel
2. “Cell Culture in a tiny Petri dish” By kaibara87 – originally posted to Flickr as Cell Culture (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia  

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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