Medical Definition of Plaque assay
1. Assay for virus in which a dilute solution of the virus is applied to a culture dish containing a layer of the host cells, convective spread is prevented by making the medium very viscous. After incubation the plaques, areas in which cells have been killed (or transformed), can be recognised and the number of infective virus particles in the original suspension estimated.
2. Assay for cells producing antibody against erythrocytes or against antigen that has been bound to the erythrocytes. The cell is surrounded by a clear plaque of haemolysis. Basic principle behind the assay is the same as for the virus plaque assay.
This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology
(11 Mar 2008)
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