xMAP® Technology

Flexible, open-architecture design that can be configured to perform a wide variety of bioassays.

Bead-based multiplexing of up to 500 analytes per well 

Multiplexing for Bioassays
Luminex’s xMAP Technology combines advanced fluidics, optics, and digital signal processing with proprietary microsphere technology to deliver multiplexed assay capabilities. Featuring a flexible, open-architecture design, xMAP Technology can be configured to perform a wide variety of bioassays quickly, cost-effectively and accurately.

How xMAP Technology Works
Luminex color-codes tiny beads, called microspheres, into 500 distinct sets. Each bead set can be coated with a reagent specific to a particular bioassay, allowing the capture and detection of specific analytes from a sample. Inside the Luminex analyzer, a light source excites the internal dyes that identify each microsphere particle, and also any reporter dye captured during the assay. Many readings are made on each bead set, which further validates the results. Using this process, xMAP Technology allows multiplexing of up to 500 unique bioassays within a single sample, both rapidly and precisely.

xMAP Basic Technology Demonstration Video

xMap Video

 

xMAP Technology Advantages and Benefits

  • Multiplexing reduces costs and labor
  • Generates more data with less sample, less labor and lower costs
  • Delivers faster, more reproducible results than solid, planar arrays
  • Focused, flexible multiplexing of 1 to 500 analytes meets the needs of a wide variety of applications — protein expression profiling, focused gene expression profiling, autoimmune disease, genetic disease, molecular infectious disease, and HLA testing
  • Open architecture platform allows leading partner companies to provide compatible kits and software for the xMAP Technology platform

How does xMAP technology compare to flow cytometry?
xMAP Technology was originally developed using the principles of flow cytometry and the Luminex 100/200™ and FLEXMAP 3D® systems share common components with general flow cytometry instruments such as lasers, fluidics, and optics. However, unlike other flow cytometer microsphere-based assays which use a combination of different sizes and color intensities to identify an individual microsphere, patented xMAP Technology uses a single 5.6 micron size microsphere and a proprietary dying process to create 500 unique dye mixtures which are used to identify an individual microsphere.

More recently Luminex introduced the MAGPIX® system which is based on the principles of fluorescence imaging. Lasers and Photo Multiplying Tubes (PMTs) are replaced with Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and a CCD camera to deliver a cost effective, compact, and reliable multiplexing platform.

Luminex developed and manufactured Luminex instruments to overcome the limitations of a general-purpose flow cytometer. This was achieved by increasing digital signal processing performance, optimizing fluidics for a single size microsphere and developing the powerful xPONENT® software in order to multiplex up to 500 analytes in a single well.

How does xMAP Technology compare with other bioassay products?
Due to robust multiplexing, xMAP Technology potentially delivers more data in less time than other bioassay products, with comparable results to ELISA and Microarray. The technology offers several other distinct advantages over traditional methods:

  • Speed/High Throughput — because each microsphere serves as an individual test, a large number of different bioassays can be performed and analyzed simultaneously
  • Versatility — a single xMAP Technology-based system can perform bioassays in several different formats, including nucleic acids and antigen-antibody binding, along with enzyme, receptor-ligand and other protein interactions
  • Flexibility — the technology can be customized for the user’s specific needs or updated periodically by attaching a specific probe to a uniquely colored microsphere
  • Accuracy — the technology generates real-time analysis and accurate quantification of the biological interactions
  • Reproducibility — high-volume production of xMAP microspheres within a single lot allows assay standardization that solid-phased flat arrays cannot provide

Importantly, no other solution addresses the needs of applications requiring both a high density and high throughput at the same time. Traditional ELISA, real-time PCR and other technologies that excel at high-throughput applications (greater than 1000 samples per day) lack the ability to multiplex more than 5 tests at a time. On the other hand, microarray technology excels in high-density screening (greater than 250-plex tests) — but lacks the reproducibility needed for high-throughput applications. For applications requiring a throughput of up to 1000 samples per day, multiplexing from one to 500 tests per sample, xMAP Technology stands virtually alone.