Quantification of Adeno-Associated Virus with Safe Nucleic Acid Dyes

Jian Xu, Steven H. Devries, Yongling Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is the most commonly used viral vector for both biological and gene therapeutic applications. Although many methods have been developed to measure quantity attributes of AAV, they are often technically challenging and time-consuming. Here, we report a method to titer AAV with GelGreen-dye, a safe green fluorescence nucleic acid dye recently engineered by Biotium company (Fremont, CA). This method, hereinafter referred to as GelGreen method, provides a fast (30 min) and reliable strategy for AAV titration. To validate GelGreen method, we measured genome titer of an AAV reference material AAV8RSM and compared our titration results with those determined by Reference Material Working Group (ARMWG). We showed that GelGreen results and capsid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay results are comparable with each other. We also showed that GelRed-dye, a red fluorescence dye from Biotium, can be used to directly "visualize"AAV genome titer on a conventional gel imager, presenting an especially direct approach to estimate viral quantity. Finally, we showed that GelGreen and GelRed dyes can also be used to quantify self-complementary AAV (scAAV) and crudely purified AAV samples. In summary, we described a technique to titer AAV by using new generation of safe DNA dyes. This technique is simple, safe, reliable, and cost efficient. It has potential to be broadly applied for quantifying and normalizing AAV viral vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1099
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Gene Therapy
Issue number19-20
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • Aav
  • Aav8rsm
  • Adeno-associated virus
  • Gelgreen
  • Gelred
  • Titer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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