Meso Scale Discovery® Electrochemiluminescence (MSD-ECL)

Ultra-Sensitive Detection to Support Your Multiplexing Needs

BioAgilytix leverages the Meso Scale Discovery Electrochemiluminescence (MSD-ECL) platform and its plate-based electrochemiluminescence technology to provide reliable, high-quality data for a diverse variety of biological assays used for the development of biologics and cell and gene therapies. MSD is particularly well-suited for those assays with high sensitivity and high tolerance to circulating antigen.

BioAgilytix is one of the first labs with the experience to successfully leverage the Mesoscale Discovery (MSD) S-Plex Proinflammatory Panel 1 platform to measure a validated panel of immune-derived biomarkers. The panel was already validated in both human serum and plasma, providing sponsors with accelerated access to sample results and time savings for their programs. The increased sensitivity of the S-Plex platform allows shifts in the dynamic range of assays, resulting in low detection limits. This enables detection of multiple analytes in samples not readily detected by other assay formats.

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The MSD-ECL platform uses electrochemiluminescent labels that are conjugated to detection antibodies. These labels generate light when stimulated by electricity in the appropriate chemical environment, which can then be used to measure key proteins and molecules.

The detection process is initiated at electrodes located in the bottom of the platform’s microplates, and only labels near the electrode are excited and detected. Electricity is applied to the plate electrodes, leading to light emission by SULFO-TAG labels, which are electrochemiluminescent labels that allow for ultra-sensitive detection. Light intensity is then measured to quantify analytes in the sample. The MSD-ECL platform employs buffers with high concentrations of Tripropylamine as a catalyst for a dual redox reaction with Ruthenium, emitting light at 620 nm.

Why BioAgilytix for Small and Large Molecule Bioanalysis?

Our passion for the science of small and large molecule bioanalysis drives our ability to deliver premium, tailored services for biomarker, immunogenicity, pharmacokinetics (PK), and cell-based assays.


BioAgilytix’s scientists most frequently utilize Meso Scale Discovery (MSD-ECL) in our work with biomarkersimmunogenicitypharmacokinetics (PK)cell-based assays, and lot release testing, as well as for the bioanalysis of cell and gene therapies – which could include evaluation of antibodies to specific HLA haplotype expressed by allogenous cell therapy and immunogenicity assessments for the vector, transgene, and lipid nanoparticle used in these compounds. We are able to run MSD assays in support of non-GLP, GLP, and product release testing under GMP.


Although similar in many respects to the traditional ELISA method, the Meso Scale Discovery platform (MSD-ECL) uses non-radioactive electrochemiluminescent labels for ultra-sensitive detection, yielding higher sensitivity and broader dynamic range, all at lower sample volumes.

Electrochemiluminescence offers significant advantages over traditional ELISA assays including low background, signal amplification, improved sensitivity, and dynamic range. In a multiplex array, the MSD platform facilitates the detection of up to 10 analytes from a single sample. The MSD catalog includes a large selection of single and multiplex kits for profiling biomarkers, cell signaling pathways as well as other applications.

Additionally, this immunoassay method decouples the stimulation – electricity – from the signal – light – so that only labels near the electrode surface are detected, ensuring low background. This gives our scientists the ability to quickly derive quality data in a variety of sample types, including cell supernatant, serum, plasma, and whole blood.

The MSD-ECL platform offers great flexibility with stable, non-radioactive, and easily conjugated labels. Because of these factors, it makes a strong alternative to conventional colorimetric methods like ELISA when higher sensitivity and multiplexing are critical. We have also found MSD assays are optimal for complex matrices as they typically yield low interference from components like serum or plasma. MSD is particularly advantageous in that its bridging formats are not specific for species or antibody subclass.

Top Benefits of MSD Assays:

  • High Sensitivity
  • Broad Dynamic Range
  • Robust & Rugged
  • High Throughput
  • Adaptability to Automation
  • Small Sample Volumes
  • Multiplexing

Improve Biomarker Data Utility with Ultra-Sensitive Validated Inflammatory Cytokine Panel

Mesoscale Discovery (MSD) S-Plex

Biomarkers are becoming increasingly important in the development of therapeutics. In addition to informing efficacy and safety, biomarker data can also be used as a tool for patient enrollment and stratification in clinical trials to better target the responsive population. Depending on the context of use, it may be necessary to measure these biomarkers in combination at low concentrations to evaluate the therapeutic benefit. These data are historically challenging to generate, as ELISA and other conventional platforms require large volumes of matrices, typically measure single analytes, may perform with low accuracy and precision, or are unable to resolve low concentrations of analytes to sufficiently distinguish relevant clinical cutoffs.

  • High utility across therapeutic areas including oncology, HIV, depression and others.
  • Examine up to 9 analytes with a single, low volume patient sample.
  • Especially beneficial for pediatric studies or studies with extensive sampling timepoints.
  • Ultra-sensitive to more accurately and efficiently resolve biomarker data involving inflammatory pathways.
  • Reduces the lower limit of detection (LLOD) by 10- to 1000-fold over other assay methods.
  • Data will help better define ranges between normal and disease states with higher confidence.
  • Improved biomarker data will help transition therapeutics from clinical trials to approval to benefit patients in need.

MSD In Action:

Evaluation of MSD-ECL Multiplex Immunoassay for the Determination of Cardiac Toxicity Biomarkers in Rat Serum


BioAgilytix’s scientists are proven experts at multiplexing on the Meso Scale Discovery platform (MSD-ECL), and our Durham, NC lab was selected as the first to validate MSD’s Human Cytokine 30-Plex V-PLEX Kit. Our scientific team in Boston, MA also has significant experience in leveraging MSD for receptor occupancy assays such as free uninhibited Btk target site occupancy in human B cell lysates.

We currently operate Imager 6000, Sector S 600, and QuickPlex SQ 120 systems from MSD, all of which are GLP-compliant, within our labs in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Germany.

We have particular expertise using MSD-ECL for complex matrices, and have had proven success meeting the demands of even the most challenging bioanalytical assays.

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