Multiplex technologies have reinvented the approach toward bioanalysis. Today researchers have a plethora of multiplex techniques, including the Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) platform and Luminex multiplex immunoassay. MSD-ECL assays have numerous assay types for regular bioanalytical studies such as PK bioanalysis. These assay types include MSD ELISA and MSD cytokine multiplex assays.

On the other hand, Luminex multiplex immunoassays are bead-based assays. They employ xMAP technology to detect up to 500 target analytes in a single assay run. xMAP stands for multi-analyte profiling, where “x” is any target analyte such as proteins, polysaccharides, or nucleic acids. xMAP technology has several advantages.

  • They can test more analytes
  • Uses less sample volume
  • Provides custom assay development
  • Saves time and resources
  • Helps in understanding complex biological pathways

Luminex assays employ labeled microspheres that simultaneously capture multiple analytes in a single assay volume. Moreover, microspheres are smaller in size and have low density. Hence, they exhibit virtual solution-type kinetics. These beads are read with an xMAP instrument. The current article describes the instruments used in Luminex assays.

Luminex Instruments

Luminex has different instruments to suit all assay budgets, multiplexing needs, and throughput. These instruments have several lasers and high-speed digital signal processors to detect and read individual bead regions. Let us explore these instruments in detail.


MAGPIX is one of the most affordable and simple Luminex instruments. It is a compact unit performing up to 50 tests in a single assay volume. Besides, the plates can be read in just 60 minutes. Each MAGPIX instrument has magnetic bead compatibility and self-cleaning routines to make it a lean and clean testing system.

The MAGPIX system has an innovative design to make it a robust yet compact system. Besides, each MAGPIX instrument is supported by several commercial assay kits and reagents.

Luminex 100/200 system

The Luminex 100/200 system is a flow cytometry-based unit that can multiplex up to 100 analytes in a single assay volume. It delivers low-cost and rapid results for different assay types, including receptor-ligand assays, nucleic acid assays, and enzymatic assays.

Also Read: Managing MSD Cytokine Assay Measurements in Clinical Trials

The Luminex 100/200 system incorporates three core technologies; xMAP microspheres, flow-cytometry-based instrument, and xPONENT software. Besides, they provide a dynamic range of greater than 3.5 logs and daily start-up and shutdown time of fewer than 30 mins.

FLEXMAP 3D system

FLEXMAP 3D Luminex instruments are the most versatile and advanced multiplexing tools. They offer rapid read times, compatibility with many  assay wells, and are easily integrated with automation systems, making it an ideal multiplexing platform. Moreover, they simultaneously employ magnetic and non-magnetic microspheres to  measure up to 500 analytes in smaller sample volumes.  Automated maintenance routines with  start-up and shutdown protocols make FLEXMAP 3D a remarkably robust and  handy instrument.


xMAP INTELLIFLEX Luminex system is a flow-based, compact multiplex platform. It combines the xMAP technology with modern advancements to enhance assay performance and simplify the user experience. Moreover, the xMAP INTELLIFLEX system can  acquire results for two different parameters per analyte with both high and low-plex capabilities.