xMAP Technology

Bead-based multiplexing of up to 500 analytes per sample

The Most Trusted Multiplexing Technology


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 protein or nucleic acid assays quickly, cost-effectively, and accurately. xMAP Technology is used extensively in clinical diagnostics for applications in infectious disease, molecular genetics, pharmacogenetics, HLA, and autoimmune diseases. Diagnostic products are available from Luminex and our Diagnostic Partners.

How xMAP Technology Works


Open-architecture xMAP Technology enables multiplexing of biological tests (assays), reducing time, labor, and costs over traditional methods such as ELISA, western blot, PCR, and traditional arrays. Systems using xMAP Technology perform discrete assays on the surface of color coded beads known as microspheres, which are then read in a compact analyzer. Using multiple lasers or LEDs and high-speed digital-signal processors, the analyzer reads multiplex assay results by reporting the reactions occurring on each individual microsphere.

xMAP Technology Advantages and Benefits


  • Multiplexing reduces costs and labor
  • Generates more data with less sample
  • Delivers faster, more reproducible results than solid, planar arrays
  • Focused, flexible multiplexing of one to 500 analytes meets the needs of a wide variety of applications

How does xMAP Technology compare with ELISA and planar assays?


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 planar arrays cannot provide


Importantly, no other solution addresses the needs of applications requiring both a high plex 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 five 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.