Our Technologies

We have a wide range of techniques and technologies that can help you further your drug discovery project.

Mass Spectrometry

We can help you navigate through the complex space of current methods and instrumental platforms and find the right solution to advance your project. We can advise on protocols, design novel workflows and acquire and analyse data using the latest MS technologies and analysis tools available in our laboratories at Alderley Park. We specialise in the following areas:

  • Fast and reliable sample profiling (high-throughput, robust MS assays)
  • Needle in a haystack (targeted, sensitive MS assays)
  • Detailed tissue imaging and surface analysis (multiplexed, spatial MS assays)
  • Trace your target (time-resolved, isotope MS assays)
  • Protein structure and stability (large biomolecule MS assays)

Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) enables the analysis of molecular species directly from a tissue sample or any other biological surface. We aim to provide SME, academic and industrial access to both the technology and expertise required for the implementation of MSI.

Through leveraging Mass Spectrometry Imaging analysis of ex vivo tissues or surface deposited samples, we can perform label-free surface analysis for:

  • Small molecules
  • Metabolites
  • Lipids
  • Peptides/proteins

Digital Spatial Profiling

Advanced spatial transcriptomics and proteomics tools to better understand drug and disease.

Understanding the changes that occur in tissue, in disease and in response to drug treatment is critical to answering key biological questions. We use a state-of-the-art NanoString GeoMX Digital Spatial Profiler platform for spatial tissue analyses in our laboratory.

Advanced Microscopy

We have a variety of microscopes, from widefield and high-content imaging systems to more specialised confocal, multiphoton and super-resolution. Microscopy is a powerful tool to help evaluate cell phenotype, characterise multi-cell complex cell models and determine drug mechanism of action. Combining high-resolution microscopy capabilities with in vitro cell models and ex vivo tissue analysis provides a powerful insight into cell and disease biology.

Pre-clinical Imaging

The ability to perform non-invasive imaging to assess and study novel therapeutics requires significant investment in infrastructure and highly experienced staff. At MDC, we have both. We have unrivalled pre-clinical imaging capabilities to accelerate your drug development, utilising the appropriate technology to address the research question. Our technologies include:

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Gamma counting biodistribution analysis
  • Computed Tomography (CT)
  • High-Frequency Ultrasound (HFUS)
  • Bioluminescence/NIR imaging (IVIS)
  • Radiochemistry


At MDC, we have our own radiochemistry capabilities based in the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre. Here we have our cyclotron, which is capable of producing both 18F and 11C isotope-based production. In addition, radioHPLC and TLC analysis and a series of hot cells for our bespoke radiochemistry development. Work consists of radiolabelling various vectors from small molecules to large biomolecule development for PET imaging.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

We have a state-of-the-art Molecubes PET CT imaging system. This offers highly sensitive and 3D dimensional functional imaging read-outs to a picomolar concentration. We image a range of isotopes, such as 89Zr and 18F.

Our PET/CT system assesses complex physiological characterisation, such as the distribution of a candidate compound and biological read-outs, such as target engagement and physiological changes as a response to drug administration.

Bioluminescence / NIR Imaging (IVIS)

Our IVIS Lumina offers both bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging readout. The Near Infra-Red imaging system offers deep biological penetration with good signal-to-noise. Fluorescent-based imaging is typically assessing biodistribution, and our own in-house luciferase transduction capabilities offer a range of opportunities, such as orthotopic tumour model development and other luciferase-based expressing functional read-outs.

A Strategy for Success

Working in close collaboration with you, our team will define a bespoke project plan, using industry-leading insight and experience to address your project challenges and increase your chance of success.

We can provide guidance where you may need it, find the right partners to help you, fill gaps in your existing project plan and help manage your project delivery. It is what we do.

Lightening the Load

The advantage of partnering with others for some or all of your R&D is twofold: Firstly, you get to keep your internal team lean, agile, focused and cost-effective. Secondly, you gain access to specialist scientific experts and costly technologies in a flexible manner as you need them.

Whether you need to generate complex assay data, source samples or develop a novel biomarker as a potential companion diagnostic, we can offer seamless support.

Finding the Right Partners

The UK is rich with resources in medicines R&D, but the wealth of talent and technology available can feel overwhelming to those with limited time and resources to explore it. We will help you navigate this complex landscape, understand the skills and expertise that you require, and then connect with the people and organisations that can provide them.

Our network of partners spans both the private and public sectors, taking in CROs, universities, research institutes and the NHS. It is a network comprised of some of the sharpest minds that UK medicines discovery has to offer.