• The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader is available from The Lab World Group, sellers of quality used lab equipment
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader covers 5 modes of detection
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader has no need to change filters
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader is dual monochromatic
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader has dedicated PMTs to reduce stray light
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader covers a broad spectrum of formats
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader is robot compatible
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader can be optimized in increments of 1 nm
  • The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Microplate Reader comes with 140 preprogrammed protocols
  • SpectraMax M5 Plate Reader on sale at The Lab World Group

Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 Microplate Reader


Microplate Readers


Molecular Devices

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The Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 is a multi-mode plate reader with a dual monochromator. The dual monochromator in the M5 Microplate reader allows for multi-detection of absorbance, fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarization, fluorescence polarization, time resolve fluorescence and luminescence. In addition, a common and favored use of the molecular devices Spectramax M5 is as an Elisa plate reader. The molecular devices plate reader has the functionality to run a variety of microplate sizes including a triple mod cuvette port, 6 well microplate strips, 96 well microplates and 384 well microplates. 

Optical performance in the Molecular devices multi-mode plate reader is second to none. The unit compares to a top of the line spectrophotometer and a spectrofluorometer. The advantage of the Spectramax M5 is that you can use multiple read modes without any diminishment in performance, thus allowing you to use one microplate reader to meet all your needs. 
The dual monochromators are where the microplate reader excels and allows you to read absorbance, fluorescence and luminescence all in one assay.  The molecular devices Spectramax allows you to run absorbance wavelengths between 200nm and 1000nm, fluorescence intensity readings between 250n and 800nm and time resolved fluorescence and luminescence between 400 and 750 nm. 

An excellent capability of the Spectramax M5 microplate reader is the ability to use SoftMax Pro to be able to combine the multi-mode readings into one assay. SoftMax Pro is an industry leading microplate reader software. The molecular devices microplate reader software includes reading functionality for all multi-modes including kinetic, endpoint, spectrum and multi-point scanning. The scanning of the various applications can all be combined into one assay split into multiple segments for easy reproduction and analysis. The goal of the Molecular Devices M5 is to simplify a scientist’s day to day use of a microplate reader by providing flexibility to be able to use the microplate reader in multi-modes seamlessly in the same assay. This allows the Molecular Devices M5 microplate reader to be able to be used for ELISA, protein analysis, microbial growth, nucleic acid, and endotoxin testing. 

The Spectramax M5 and M5e have the same performance specifications. The difference is the M5e is certified for use with Cisbio Bioassays’ HTRF. HTRF stands for Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence which is proprietary. Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence is valuable as it helps eliminate some of the drawbacks commonly associated with FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) techniques. FRET usually requires correction for autofluorescence and fluorescence contributions of unbound fluorophores, but HTRF does not. The Optics in the Molecular Devices M5 are outstanding compared to most microplate readers. Whether you are reading ELISA assays or fluorescence the system employs two holographic diffraction grating monochromators which can each individually optimize wavelengths for excitation and emission of fluorescence readings. Light is focused into the sample volume by mirrored optics. Filters are used as cutoffs to minimized background and reduce stray light interference for an optimal microplate reading. In addition, the system uses a long-life Xenon lamp which often outlasts the system itself and rarely needs to be replaced. Using the SoftMax Pro software the M5 microplate reader you can adjust the read speed, area and number of flashes. 

Molecular Device plate readers usually have a wide dynamic range without the use of filters, which is the reason they have been value for quite some time. The detection range varies from 10^-6 yo 10^-12 molar fluorescein. The photometric range has a resolution of 0.001 OD and  is 0-4 ODs. The system also employs internal detection using the detector sensitivity, photomultiplier tube, sensitivity and voltage. This all eliminates the commonly seen variations in measured fluorescence. Some other robust features that are always a nice to have are the following. The M5 can support a wide variety of microplates, including 6, 12, 24, 48, 96 and 384 wells. The system is capable of top and bottom reads in fluorescence, time resolved fluorescence and luminescence. For absorbance reads the system uses the top probe. Optical density reads at wavelengths below 340nm do require special microplates or quartz flow cells in order to get appropriate results. Regardless if reading microplates using the Molecular Devices M5 you should have a purple plate adapter for top microplate reads and remove the plate adapter for bottom microplate reads. 

The system also supports temperature control and auto mix technology. The temperature control is 2C above ambient to 60C. The auto mix technology can be used to mix microplate contents using linear shaking. To do so you must use the SoftMax pro software with the Molecular Devices M5. You can insert the shaking as a step before each read which allows the microplate reader to perform kinetic analysis of solid-phase enzyme-mediated reactions. This is specifically noted as mixing is not critical when analyzing liquid phase reactions with microplate reader, but if your assay calls for it the option is still there on all models.  Lastly the system has a PathCheck feature which is a unique feature to the Molecular Devices plate reader. This feature normalizes variable well volumes to 1-cm cuvette readings. This feature is valuable in multichannel pipettor validation and for experiment comparison between different days.  

The whole Molecular Devices M5 microplate reader is optimally controlled using a computer running one of the versions of SoftMax Pro. Most units are cross compatible with multiple version, though older readers do get deprecated and are no longer support in some newer version of the software. Current versions of SoftMax Pro you see on the market are between version 5 and 7. The software allows complete control over the Molecular Devices M5e from what wavelengths you are scanning, area scans, shaking, incubation and most importantly the display of the results. You can use the software for data reduction and plotting as well as displaying the data for collection.

Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 Microplate Reader Specifications:



Plate formats

6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 wells

Light source

Xenon Flash Lamp (1 joule/flash)


2 photomultiplier tubes (PMT)

Shaker time

0 to 999 seconds

Temp. control

2°C above ambient to 60°C

Temp. uniformity

< 1°C at 37°C set point

Temp. accuracy

±1°C at 37°C set point


Endpoint, Kinetic Spectral Scanning

Standard Read Times (minutes:seconds)* 96 wells 384 wells


Absorbance 0:18 0:49

Fluorescence Intensity 0:17 0:48

Luminescence 2:00 7:00

Absorbance Photometric Performance


Wavelength range

200–1000 nm

Wavelength selection

Monochromator, tunable in 1.0 nm increments

Wavelength bandwidth

≤ 4.0 nm

Wavelength accuracy

±2.0 nm

Wavelength repeatability

±0.2 nm

Photometric range

0–4.0 OD

Photometric resolution

0.001 OD

Photometric accuracy

(microplate) < ±0.006 OD ±1.0%, 0–2 OD

 (cuvette) < ±0.005 OD ±1.0%, 0–2 OD


Photometric precision

< ±0.003 OD ±1.0%, 0–2 OD

Stray light

< 0.05% @ 230 nm

Fluorescence Intensity Performance

Top or bottom

Wavelength range

250–850 nm

Wavelength selection

Monochromators, tunable in 1.0 nm increments

Bandwidth (EX, EM)

9 nm, 15 nm

Optimized sensitivity

≤ 1 pM fluorescein in 96 wells,

≤ 1.5pM in 384 wells

Guaranteed sensitivity

< 5 pM fluorescein in 96 wells or cuvette,

 < 20 pM in 384 wells

Luminescence Performance

Top or Bottom

Wavelength selection

Choice of simultaneous detection of all wavelengths or selection via monochromator, tunable in 1.0 nm increments

Wavelength range

250–850 nm

Optimized sensitivity

≤ 43pM ATP in 96 wells

Guaranteed sensitivity 

≤ 75pM ATP in 96 wells

Dynamic range

> 6 decades


< 0.3% in white 96- and 384-well Microplates


23 x 16 x 9 inches


36 lbs


< 420 watts, 100–240 VAC, 3.5 A, 50/60Hz

Time Resolved Fluorecesnce Performance

Top or Bottom of a Microplate

Wavelength selection Monochromators,

tunable in 1.0 nm increments

Bandwidth (EX, EM)

9 nm, 15 nm

Precision data collection

1–100 flashes, delay of 0–600 µsec. before read, integration time selectable between 50–1500 µsec.

Optimized sensitivity

≤ 10 fM europium in 96

Guaranteed sensitivity

≤ 100 fM europium in 96 or 384 wells

SpectraMax M5 Reader only

Certified to Cisbio Bioassays HTRF technology performance specifications

Fluorescence Polarization Performance


Wavelength range

300–750 nm

Wavelength selection

Monochromators, tunable in 1.0 nm increments

Bandwidth (EX, EM)

9 nm, 15 nm

Optimized Precision

≤ 3.5 mP standard deviation at 1 nM fluorescein in 96 wells

Guaranteed Precision

< 5 mP standard deviation at 1 nM fluorescein in 96 wells

  • Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5 Multi-Detection Plate Reader
  • Windows 7 Notebook with SoftMax Pro 6
  • Absorbance Validation Report
  • Fluorescence Validation Report
  • Spectramax M5 User Guide
  • Communication Cable
  • 115V Power Cord
  • 30-Day Warranty

This Molecular Devices Spectramax M5 Plate Reader has been fully tested and validated by our service team.  The Microplate Reader includes a flourescence and absorbance validation reports showcasing a clean bill of health.  The system is completely turn-key and ready to ship.

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