HomeMILLIPLEX® Multiplex for Luminex® ImmunoassaysComparison of Luminex® Multiplexing Platforms: Choose the Best Multiplexing Platform For Your Research

Comparison of Luminex® Multiplexing Platforms: Choose the Best Multiplexing Platform For Your Research

Luminex® xMAP® technology combines advanced fluidics, optics, and digital signal processing with proprietary microsphere technology to deliver both high density and high throughput multiplexed assay capabilities at the same time. As a Luminex® partner, we are a preferred distributor and offer the entire portfolio of Luminex® multiplexing instruments, including Luminex® 200™, FLEXMAP 3D®, and xMAP® INTELLIFLEX® platforms, covering the full range of multiplexing capabilities. Read below to learn more about xMAP® technology and see a comparison of the Luminex® multiplexing platforms.

Diagram showing how Luminex® multiplexing technology works for xMAP® bead-based immunoassays that can be analyzed using two types of instruments: flow cytometry-based analyzers and LED-based analyzer.

Figure 1.Luminex® multiplexing technology consists of xMAP® bead-based immunoassays that can be analyzed using two types of instruments: flow cytometry-based analyzers and LED-based analyzers. LED-based detection is used in compact multiplexing instruments like the MAGPIX® system (discontinued).

xMAP® Technology

xMAP® technology makes use of labeled beads to detect multiple analytes from the same sample. Combined with MILLIPLEX® assays, Luminex® instruments provide fast, reproducible, and reliable results which can be analyzed on Belysa® software.

Advantages of xMAP® Technology Compared to Other Immunoassay Methods

Advantages of xMAP® technology over other traditional immunoassay methods include:

  • Speed/High throughput: Simultaneously measure the concentration of a large number of different analytes in a single sample, enabling you to do your work faster, gaining early and comprehensive data so critical to your work.
  • Accuracy: xMAP® technology generates real-time analysis and accurate quantification of antibody-antigen and nucleic acid interactions.
  • Reproducibility: High-volume production of xMAP® microspheres allows assay standardization that solid-phased flat arrays cannot provide.
  • Low sample volume: With minimal hands-on time, you can screen more than 40 analytes in a single sample using as little as 25 μL.
  • Magnetic bead-based format: Responds rapidly and efficiently to a magnetic field, enabling better and faster washing techniques, including high-throughput options.

How xMAP® Technology Works

The Luminex® system is the combination of four core technologies:

1. xMAP® Microspheres

  1. xMAP® magnetic bead microspheres are a family of 80 fluorescently dyed 6.45 µm magnetic microspheres that act as both the identifier and the solid surface to build the assay.
  2. Traditional agarose microspheres are a family of 500 fluorescently dyed 5.6 µm polystyrene microspheres that act as both the identifier and the solid surface to build the assay.

2. Bead-Based Immunoassays

  1. MILLIPLEX® multiplex assays consist of analyte-specific capture antibodies conjugated to xMAP® beads, enabling multivariate analysis of complex biological states, including metabolic disease, immunology, neurodegenerative disease, toxicity, cancer, and more, using minimal sample volumes. MILLIPLEX® assays are analytically verified for sensitivity, specificity, reproducibility, and wide dynamic range.

    Learn more in our What Are MILLIPLEX® Multiplex Assays? article.

3. Luminex® Detection Platforms

  1. xMAP® INTELLIFLEX®, Luminex® 200™, and FLEXMAP 3D® systems: Flow cytometry-based instruments that integrate key xMAP® detection components, such as lasers, optics, advanced fluidics, and high-speed digital signal processors.

4. Software

  1. xPONENT® software package for data acquisition.
  2. Belysa® software package for sophisticated data analysis.

Comparing Luminex® Multiplex Platforms

Uncover which system is right for your research by comparing the Luminex® multiplexing platforms in Table 1.

Table 1.Luminex® instrument comparison.

Although the MAGPIX® instrument has been discontinued, we still sell the supporting products for this system such as the Drive Fluid PLUS, calibration kit, and performance kit.

For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.


The xMAP® INTELLIFLEX® system is the latest addition to Luminex® instrumentation. This compact system is a flow-based, multiplex platform that simplifies your workflow. By combining the established performance of xMAP® technology with advanced features, the new platform elevates your assay performance. There are two options for this system, the xMAP® INTELLIFLEX® model and the xMAP® INTELLIFLEX® DR-SE model that has a second reporter, allowing you to get more data from each sample.

INTELLIFLEX<sup>®</sup> instrument image of the xMAP<sup>®</sup> INTELLIFLEX<sup>®</sup> system, which has two models, the basic model and the INTELLIFLEX<sup>®</sup> DR-SE model.

Figure 2.xMAP® INTELLIFLEX® System


INTELLIFLEX® features include:

  • Extensive assay portfolio
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Smaller size
  • User-friendly, flexible software
  • Dual reporter functionality
  • Easy analysis

Luminex® 200™ System

The Luminex® 200™ system provides a complete mid to high-range solution for rapid, accurate biomarker quantification. The Luminex® XY Platform (Luminex® XYP™ platform) complements the Luminex® 200™ system by automating the sequential positioning of each well of a microtiter plate. This enables you to perform a total of up to 9,600 unattended tests per plate in less than one hour.

Image of the Luminex<sup>®</sup> 200™ system for rapid, accurate biomarker quantification.

Figure 3.Luminex® 200™ System

Luminex® 200™ Advantages

Advantages of the Luminex® 200™ system include:

  • Flexible - Run both magnetic bead and non-magnetic bead immunoassays
  • Multiplex - Up to 100 analytes per well of a 96-well microtiter plate in as little as 25 µL of sample
  • Easy to use - User-friendly programming functions
  • Scalable - Bar code reader included

FLEXMAP 3D® System

The FLEXMAP 3D® system combines differentially dyed fluorescent microsphere sets with an innovative instrument design to enable precise, flexible, rapid multiplexing of up to 500 unique assays within a single sample. With automated probe height adjustment, simplified routine maintenance operations, and an intuitive software interface, the FLEXMAP 3D® system allows high-throughput multiplex quantification of protein and nucleic acid biomarkers.

Image of the FLEXMAP 3D<sup>®</sup> system that enables precise, flexible, rapid multiplexing.

Figure 4.FLEXMAP 3D® System

FLEXMAP 3D® System Advantages

Advantages of the FLEXMAP 3D® system:

  • Automation/LIS compatibility - xPONENT® 4.3 Software controls the FLEXMAP 3D® system and offers automated maintenance routines as well as interfacing options for Laboratory Information Systems (LIS) and other automation platforms.
  • Ultra-fast - Run 48,000 analytes in less than one hour. Dual sample fluidics paths and increased syringe injection speed facilitate a faster sample injection rate.
  • 96- and 384-well capability - Greater sample volume flexibility and increased throughput.
  • Multi-functional – Perfect for running both protein and nucleic acid applications on the same instrument.
  • Highest multiplexing - Each microsphere is impregnated with different amounts of three dyes. Monitoring the relative intensities of the three signals enables the system to discriminate up to 500 different microsphere sets.

*The FLEXMAP 3D® system is a class 1(l) laser product.

For Research Use Only. Not For Use In Diagnostic Procedures.

Sign In To Continue

To continue reading please sign in or create an account.

Don't Have An Account?