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The majority of bead assay manufacturers use Luminex® xMAP® Technology. This technology creates assays that are very similar to standard ELISA tests with the major difference being the locations of the solid-phase (where the analytes stick to). In standard ELISA, the binding of analytes occurs in the bottom of a 96-well plate uniformly coated with a single antibody. In bead assays, a polystyrene bead is coated with antibody instead, making the bead the solid-phase, and remains free flowing in assay. This allows for some beads to have different coatings of antibody than others and thereby bind different analytes while in the same solution. Each different analyte bead is fluorescently dyed specifically so that, as they are read, they can be identified. In the case of magnetic beads, a magnetic substance is also attached to the polystyrene bead allowing for easier, more trustworthy, and more efficient handling both during the assay and reading steps. While many companies will provide screening assays that will detect up to 100 different analytes in a single well it is important to note they are not usually validated that way and can frequently have interference between analytes. There are also many customizable options of mixed analytes available. BCL testing fees and reader fees are per plate. Reader fees are included with testing fees. When searching for kits, one should seek out analytes that have been validated together as one panel for the type of sample being tested so that results can be accurate, trustworthy, and repeatable.

To read the bead fluorescence and calculate a concentration, the BCL uses a Bio-Plex® 200, manufactured by Luminex, with Bio-Plex Manager™ Software which is able to read both polystyrene and magnetic bead assays and can perform up to 100 different analytes in a single well.