Modernizing Luminex Multiplex Immunoassays

Luminex multiplex

Accurate detection and measurements of biological analytes in complex matrices are crucial for the success of biomedical and pharmaceutical projects. Single-plex assays have helped researchers discover several physiological processes of diseases and healthy states.. However, they lack throughput and require a relatively large volume of study samples. On the other hand, multiplex immunoassays such as Luminex assays have been a boon to the drug development life cycle. Luminex multiplex immunoassays can collect more data than conventional ELISAs and require lesser sample volumes. 

Drug development focuses on developing robust drug products against disease conditions. Hence, Luminex multiplex assays are vital from the early stages of drug development to the later stages of clinical trials. But with any technology, Luminex assays will require continued planning, modernization, and optimization. The following article highlights the ways researchers can modernize Luminex multiplex assays.

Assay panels

Selecting the right assay panel can be a challenging task. However, researchers can narrow down to the right assay panels by considering the target analytes necessary for specific experiments.  Luminex assays help in measuring target analytes without increasing the sample volume. Hence, an ideal assay panel will have additional analytes related to your target. Such features are particularly beneficial with discovery studies that can maximize the potential of your Luminex assays. Besides, it is mandatory to consult vendor-provided product data sheets. Considering the complexity of biological samples, these sheets are vital as they provide performance parameters for the reagents and target analytes.

Study controls

Sample controls are crucial for any immunoassay. Moreover, there are several types of study controls. However, the main concern is understanding the parameters researchers want to control in their experiment. Many multiplex kits have control samples within them. These controls are efficient at monitoring variation among different kit components. Moreover, they can establish measurement consistencies between different study samples.

Besides, sample matrices may pose different problems to Luminex assays. Hence, researchers must identify a study sample and aliquot it separately to be run with each assay plate. This sample will represent the analyte concentration during assay runs.

Appropriate collection and handling of study samples

Careful sample handling and collection can avoid inconsistencies among assay results. Practices such as blood collection at the same time of the day can help researchers achieve consistency.

Besides, sample consistency is also crucial..  Different anticoagulants within the same experiment can further give rise to variation among study results. For example, serum and plasma can give different results. Hence, researchers must always adhere to predefined workflows, which help them achieve consistent results.


Replicates are vital for reliable results. It is possible to run samples in only a single well. However, duplicates allow the calculation of sample variation, thus providing precise data. Moreover, assays run in triplicates can also help identify technical errors. These technical errors are usually outliers that can later be removed from the experiment. Not to mention, standard curves are critical for measuring analyte concentrations. Hence, blanks and standards run in replicates further ensure precision in experimental data.