Steroids are both natural and man-made. Natural steroids are often hormones the human body makes to carry out bodily functions. On the other hand, man-made steroids are either anabolic-androgenic steroids or corticosteroids. Anabolic-androgenic steroids are testosterone, a male sex hormone responsible for building muscles, and corticosteroids are similar to the hormone cortisol that fights inflammation. Hence, steroids are increasingly becoming important health and social issue.
Minimal toxicity and optimum efficiency are the pillars of therapeutic monitoring of steroids. Ideally, studies should measure steroid concentrations at the receptor level, the site of action. But as this active site is inaccessible, concentrations of steroids are quantified in bodily fluids. HPLC, LC-MS, GC-MS, and radioimmunoassays are some routine techniques employed for steroid quantification. Such methods are great at measuring steroid concentrations but are complex, expensive, and time and resource-consuming. However, the meso scale discovery electrochemiluminescence technique has the answer to all challenging questions.
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What is meso scale discovery (MSD)?
Meso scale discovery ELISA or meso scale discovery immunoassay is similar to a traditional ELISA platform, except it uses electrochemiluminescence as opposed to a colorimetric reaction as a detection component. MSD ELISA has both mesoscale multiplex and single assay formats for the detection of steroids in bodily fluids. Similar to a traditional ELISA, MSD single assay has various variations, like a sandwich, direct, or indirect ELISA. Multiplexing, the ability to monitor several samples is the most significant feature of MSD ELISA. A single mesoscale multiplex can provide an output similar to up to 10 ELISA plates and only with a minute amount of sample compared to what would be needed in traditional ELISA. Moreover, MSD PD and MSD PK assays are also available for evaluating the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of steroids and other drug products.
How does meso scale discoveryelectrochemiluminescence work?
In an appropriate experimental environment, electrochemiluminescent detection units emit light in response to an electrical stimulus. Such reaction apparatus present in the meso scale discovery immunoassays effectively measures all protein and biomedical molecules. MSD ELISA microplates are fitted with high binding carbon electrodes facilitating easy attachment. As the name suggests, electrochemiluminescent conjugated detection antibodies called SULFO-TAG, are used for the ultra-sensitive detection of biological compounds. The electricity is supplied to MSD plates which results in the light emission from the SULFO-TAG labels. Finally, the intensity of emitted light is correlated to measure the analyte of interest in the sample.
Moreover, the mesoscale multiplex has two kinds of products, V-Plex and U-Plex that further provide the much-needed freedom to perform complex biological quantifications. V-Plexhave pre-attached capture antibodies beaded in the MSD microplates. On the other hand, U-Plex allows the designing of multiplex panels by letting the users choose the primary antibodies and come up with tailored solutions.
With high-sensitivity, great flexibility, ease of use, broad range, and unsurpassed quality and performance, the meso scale discovery electrochemiluminescence platform has taken over traditional ELISA units in the detection and quantification of steroids and other biological compounds. It is just a matter of time when all laboratories will be employing MSD ELISA for routine detection of clinical and nonclinical analytes.