Single cell gel electrophoresis assay: A new technique for human biomonitoring studies

Fekadu Kassie, Wolfram Parzefall, Siegfried Knasmüller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations


Human biomonitoring using the single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) or comet assay is a novel approach for the assessment of genetic damage in exposed populations. This assay enables the detection of various forms of DNA damage in individual cells with ease and speed and is, therefore, well suited to the analysis of a large group in a population. Here, application of SCGE assay in the identification of dietary protective factors, in clinical studies and in monitoring the risk of DNA damage resulting from occupational, environmental or lifestyle exposures is reviewed. Also, the comparative sensitivity of SCGE assay and conventional cytogenetic tests to detect genetic damage is discussed. Finally, strengths and shortcomings of the SCGE assay are addressed. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-31
Number of pages19
JournalMutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a European Community grant to S.K.


  • Comet assay
  • Dietary supplementation
  • Environmetal pollution
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Lifestyle
  • Occupational exposure


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