Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is present in all living cells. It is also referred to as the “energy currency”. Because the level is strictly-controlled, ATP determination can be used as a indicator of viable cell numbers. ATP can detected rapidly by light emission through the combined use of luciferase and a luminometer.
ATP measurements are used to monitor raw materials, manufacturing plant or food, drugs and healthcare equipment for bacterial contamination, as well as for waste water analysis.
In the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, ATP measurements are used to evaluate cell proliferation, apoptosis and cytotoxicity. Cell viability assays, e.g. in tumour chemosensitivity assays and antibiotic susceptibility testing and determination of enzymes and metabolites in ATP linked reactions can be performed. The bioluminescent assay of ATP has become very popular because of its high sensitivity and convenience.