Clonogenic assay or colony formation assay is an in vitro cell survival assay based on the ability of a single cell to grow into a colony. The colony is defined to consist of at least 50 cells.

This assay essentially tests every cell in the population for its ability to undergo “unlimited” division.

Clonogenic assay is the method of choice to determine cell reproductive death after treatment with ionizing radiation, but can also be used to determine the effectiveness of other cytotoxic agents.

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