02/25/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/26/2021 09:17
It's clear why multiplex immunoassays play a prominent role in many modern laboratories. In addition to saving time, labor, and resources, multiplexing provides simultaneous quantification of multiple targets within small sample volumes.
Different multiplex platforms have individual strengths, and in a recent study, scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany compared two commonly used technologies: an xMAP® Technology bead-based assay and an electrochemiluminescence (ECL) planar assay. Their goal was to compare the analytical performance characteristics of both multiplex systems when measuring 16 cytokines in identical human plasma samples. They assessed each platform based on quantification limits, dynamic range, detection rate, and hands-on time.
While both systems were found to have strong reproducibility and a similar dynamic range, there were key differences in the reported results. For example, the xMAP assay detected many cytokines that the ECL assay missed entirely.
'While comparative standard and quality control (QC) sample data suggested more sensitive cytokine detection with [ECL] vs [xMAP], these findings did not translate to results obtained with actual human plasma samples,' the scientists report in the study. '[xMAP] markedly outperformed [ECL] when assessing actual human plasma samples.'
The authors further clarify that the ECL assay classified most cytokine levels at less than half of what was found with the xMAP assay, suggesting that this contributed to the lower detection rates for the ECL assay.
In addition, the xMAP bead-based assay reduced hands-on time by more than a third compared to the ECL assay. It also offers greater multiplexing capacity. The use of beads makes it possible to query up to 500 analytes per well, while ECL assays are typically limited to just 10 analytes per well. Three different ECL 10-plex assay kits were used in this study to evaluate the same 16 cytokines, resulting in increased hands-on time.
'The potential cost, labor, and time savings associated with a larger multiplex set might be advantageous for certain applications, particularly with rare, expensive, or limited volume samples,' the scientists conclude.
xMAP-based immunoassay kits offer significant benefits to researchers who need to get more data from less sample, as noted by the results of this study. For a catalog of over 1,300 available off-the-shelf kits, take a look at the xMAP Kit Finder. Over 1,300 kits are available from Luminex Partners. The Kit Finder allows you to filter by analyte, species, and vendor. Or, you are interested in exploring our custom assay development services, connect with our LuminexPLORE Lab-and see how our experts can help your lab reach its goals.