CometAssay Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis

Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis

Comet assay, or single cell gel electrophoresis assay, is a powerful technique for quantitating DNA damage in eukaryotic cells and some prokaryotic cells. This technique directly measures damage of DNA in individual cells. Cells are embedded into agarose and placed on a slide that is then lysed. After the cells are lysed, DNA is denatured and run through electrophoresis. The resulting image obtained resembles a comet that includes a distinct head and tail. The head of the comet is composed of intact DNA and the tail consists of the DNA breaks. Comet assay can be run under neutral conditions to detect double-stranded breaks or alkaline conditions to detect smaller amounts of damage in DNA that include single- and double-stranded breaks.

Due to the ease of use and ability to measure DNA damage in single cells, comet assay has rapidly gained importance in the fields of genetic toxicology as well as human and environmental biomonitoring. R&D Systems offers a complete line of comet assay products to provide reproducible and consistent results. Products include:

  • CometAssay®: designed to run a standard comet assay under neutral or alkaline conditions.
  • CometChip®: a high-throughput platform to simultaneously treat and measure DNA damage on a single slide using an array of non-overlapping cells.
  • FLARE (Fragment Length Analysis using Repair Enzymes) Assay: the ability to probe for oxidative DNA damage in conjunction with CometAssay® reagents.
  • CometAssay® Analysis Software: quickly analyze results created with CometAssay®, CometChip®, and FLARE products.



R&D Systems offers a complete system to run a traditional comet assay. Products include CometAssay Kits, CometSlides, and CometAssay Control Cells.

CometAssay® Kit
Kits include CometAssay LMAgarose, CometAssay Lysis Solution, EDTA, and CometSlide in a 2, 20, or 96 well format.

CometAssay® Electrophoresis System II
Designed to optimize and standardize alkaline and neutral comet assays. Accommodates 2, 20 and 96 well slides and maintains correct position during electrophoresis.

Specially treated slides to promote agarose adherence and easy application of cells directly to each well. 2, 20, and 96-well slides are available to allow for flexibility and scalability based on slide format.

CometAssay® Starter Kits
Starter kits come in 2,20, or 96 well format and contain the CometAssay Kit as well as the CometAssay Electrophoresis System II.

CometAssay® Control Cells
Standardize comet assay runs with cryopreserved cells containing different levels of DNA damage. CometAssay Control Cells are offered for both neutral and alkaline comet assay.

CometAssay® Silver Staining Reagents and Kit
Visualize using a standard light microscopy and stain slides permanently for archiving.

CometAssay Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis


CometChip is a high-throughput platform that utilizes a 96 well plate with specifically sized micron pores patterned into agarose. Cells in each well are captured by gravity into micropores and excess cells are aspirated, leaving an array of non-overlapping cells. Run and analyze hundreds of comet assays in a fraction of the time compared to standard comet assay.

CometChip® Kit
Kit includes the CometChip, Lysis Solution, and LMAgarose to run 96 samples.

96-Well CometChip® System
Creates 96 separate macrowells on the CometChip for ease of use. Includes a reusable cassette with a carrier base, a macrowell former, a lid and a key.

CometChip®, 30 micron
An array of spatially encoded micropores with 30 micron width, patterned on agarose. Designed to allow single cells to be analyzed with no overlap.

CometChip® Starter Kit
Kits contain the CometChip Kit and the 96-Well CometChip System. We also offer the option to include the CometAssay Electrophoresis System II.

CometChip Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis


FLARE™ Assay products provide the ability to assess the type of single cell DNA damage using DNA Repair enzymes when used in combination with CometAssay Kits. The type of DNA damage is inferred from the substrate specificity of the DNA Repair enzyme. R&D Systems offers FLARE Assay products that include Fpg or Human OGG1 enzymes to measure the different types of DNA damage.

FLARE Slides
A 3 well slide that promotes adherence of LMAgarose and creates rapid and reliable analysis of large numbers of samples in a standard format.

FLARE Sample Prep
Provides the necessary reagents to prepare samples for use in FLARE Assay. Includes CometAssay Lysis Solution, CometAssay LMAgarose, and FLARE Slides.

FLARE Module
Consists of the enzyme and buffers to probe for oxidative DNA damage.

FLARE Assay Kit
A complete kit that includes the FLARE Sample Prep and the FLARE Module.

FLARE Assay Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis

CometAssay® Analysis Software

CometAssay® Analysis Software allows users to rapidly evaluate a large number of cells by automatically locating and scoring images in seconds. The software has the capability to analyze both alkaline and neutral comet conditions. The CometAssay Analysis Software has been specially engineered to complement and operate as the computational component of R&D Systems CometAssay and CometChip Systems.

CometAssay Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis Software