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Molecular Devices

SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Detection Platform

i3x 2
Explore a wealth of applications in one future-ready system.
The SpectraMax® i3x Platform from Molecular Devices is a multi-mode microplate reader system that evolves with your future needs and offers an unlimited breadth of application possibilities.



Future ready

The SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode microplate reader measures spectral-based Absorbance, Fluorescence, and Luminescence with the added functionality of modular upgrades for Western Blot, Imaging, and Fast Kinetics with Injectors. The SpectraMax i3x reader allows you to unravel the mysteries of science by exploring cellular pathways and protein activation and expression in one system.

Protect your initial investment — purchase a system with the flexibility to add novel detection capabilities without the need for service engineers or costly system downtime. The SpectraMax i3x reader grows with you as your research areas expand.


Be Future Ready with the SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Detection Platform.

Expanded dynamic range 
Engineered for performance with Spectral Fusion™ illumination for increased sensitivity across the entire excitation range and a cooled photomultiplier tube (PMT) for improved detection in extremely low light. Generate more data points without the need to dilute.

User-upgradeable applications 
User-exchangeable detection modules expand the system’s detection capabilities to include Time-Resolved Fluorescence, HTRF, Fast Kinetics with Injectors, and Western Blot detection. Future proof your discoveries and let the SpectraMax i3x reader evolve with your research.

One complete solution 
With available options such as the SpectraMax® MiniMax™ 300 Imaging Cytometer, ScanLater™ Western Blot cartridge, reagents optimized for high performance, and the industry-leading data acquisition and analysis tool SoftMax Pro, the SpectraMax i3x Detection Platform is the total solution for all your research needs. Let Molecular Devices® and the SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Detection Platform power your next landmark discovery.

Investigate every aspect of a cellular pathway 

From imaging of cell confluence and viability under different treatment conditions to quantitation of nucleic acids and protein to western blot analysis, a wealth of new knowledge is captured using a single instrument. One versatile software package powers data acquisition and analysis, from raw data to publishable results. See more and do more cellular to protein analysis using a single detection system.

Live cell imaging

The SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer option allows for live cell images and analysis (top, left). The ScanLater Western Blot Detection Cartridge enables protein detection (top, right).

Visualize cells with
your microplate reader

Imaging with the SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer mirrors the plate reading workflow on the SpectraMax i3x System. The plate is set up for reading and images are acquired according to specified parameters. Cells in each image are identified by SoftMax® Pro Software and cell-by-cell statistics are collected. Data are then analyzed and visualized in different graphical representations.

Technical specification of the SpectraMax i3x are identical to those of the SpectraMax i3

Műszaki specifikációk

General Specifications

(W x H x D)
12.63 (H) x 15.38 (W) x 23.38 (D) (in)
42.23 (H) x 39.05 (W) x 59.37 (D) (cm)
Weight 68.3 lbs (31 kg)
Power consumption < 200 watts
Power source 100-240 VAC, 2 A, 50/60 Hz
Robotic-compatible Yes

General Photometric Performance

Plate formats 6 to 1536 wells*
Light source Spectral Fusion Illumination (Xenon flash lamp + high-powered LEDs or laser diode in detection cartridges)
Reading capabilities Microplates, cuvettes (via adapter), low volume samples (via SpectraDrop, Micro-Volume Microplates)
Detectors PMT and/or photodiode
Shaking Linear and orbital
Dual Auto Injectors Available October 1, 2015
Temperature control 4°C above ambient to 45°C
Temperature uniformity ± 0.75°C
Temperature accuracy ± 1°C at 37°C set point
Environmental control Gas quick connect
Endpoint reading all modes
Kinetic reading all modes
Spectral scanning Absorbance, Fluorescence, Luminescence
Well scanning Over 20 by 20 in all modes
Wavelength selection 1.0 nm increments

Standard Read Times (minutes:seconds)**

  96 wells 384 wells
Absorbance 0:30 1:40
Fluorescence Intensity 0:25 1:25
Luminescence 0:30 1:15

Absorbance Photometric Performance

Wavelength range 230-1000 nm
Wavelength bandwidth 4.0 nm
Wavelength accuracy ± 2.0 nm
Wavelength repeatability ± 1.0 nm
Photometric range 0-4.0 OD
Photometric resolution 0.001 OD
Photometric accuracy < ± 0.010 OD ± 1.0%, 0-2OD
Photometric precision < ± 0.003 OD ± 1.0%, 0-2 OD
Stray light < 0.05% @ 230 nm

Fluorescence Intensity Performance

Wavelength range 250-850 nm
Wavelength selection 1.0 nm increments
Bandwidth Adjustable: 9/15 nm (ex), 15/25 nm (em)
Dynamic range > 6 logs
Top sensitivity (fluorescein)
96 wells 0.5 pM
384 wells 1 pM
Bottom Sensitivity (Fluorescein)
96 wells 5 pM
384 wells 5 pM

Luminescence Performance

Wavelength range 300-850 nm
Wavelength selection Choice of simultaneous detection of all wavelengths or selection in 1.0 nm increments
Dynamic range > 6 decades
Cross-talk < 0.4% in white 96- and 384-well microplates
Sensitivity (ATP-Glow)
96 wells 3 pM
384 wells 6 pM

* 1536 detection available via detection cartridges.

** With 6 flashes in absorbance and 3 flashes in fluorescence mode, and 0.1 sec/well integration in 96-well luminescence mode and 0.04 sec/well integration in 384-well luminescence mode.


With the SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Detection Platform, researchers are able to use a wide range of detection cartridges, like the ScanLater Western Blot System, that provide increased plate reader functionality. The SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer option is available for cellular imaging assays and the SpectraDrop™ Micro Volume Microplates for low volume DNA, RNA and protein sample prep. Now, all of your needs are covered with a single plate reader.

Representative Applications

  • AlphaScreen®
  • Apoptosis
  • BRET
  • Cellular imaging assays
  • Cell cycle analysis
  • Cell proliferation, viability, cytotoxicity
  • Enzyme activity
  • Epigenetics
  • Fast kinetic calcium mobilization assays
  • Fluorescent protein expression
  • FRET
  • Genotyping
  • GPCRs
  • GTP binding
  • Hormones
  • HTRF®
  • Immunoassays
  • Ion channels
  • Membrane potential assays
  • Micro Volume (Low volume) Applications
  • Molecular interactions
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Nucleic acid and Protein quantitation
  • Reporter assay
  • Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF)
  • Western blot detection
Tartozékok, kiszerelések

SpectraMax® i3x Multi-Mode Microplate Reader System


System Options

Product Part Number
SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Microplate Reader with SoftMax Pro Software i3x
SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer 5024062
SoftMax Pro 6.x GxP Software by license bundle
SpectraTest (ABS1) Absorbance Validation Plate 0200-6117
SpectraTest (LM1) Luminescence Validation Plate 0200-6186
SpectraTest (FL1) Fluorescence Validation Plate 0200-5060
SpectraDrop Micro-Volume Starter Kit 0200-6262
SpectraDrop Micro-Volume HTS Kit 0200-6267

SpectraMax Detection Cartridge Options

Product Name Part Number
AlphaScreen Detection Cartridge (384 STD) 0200-7017POS
AlphaScreen Detection Cartridge (384 HTS) 0200-7018POS
AlphaScreen Detection Cartridge (1536 HTS) 0200-7019POS
HTRF Detection Cartridge 0200-7011POS
TRF Detection Cartridges 0200-7008POS
Fluorescence Polarization Detection Cartridge
Fluorescence Polarization Detection Cartridge (Rhodamine) 0200-7010POS
Luminescence Detection Cartridge 
(Glow for 96-well plates)
Luminescence Detection Cartridge 
(Glow 96- and 384-well plates)
Luminescence Detection Cartridge  
(Glow 96-, 384-, and 1536-well plates)
Dual Glow Luminescence Detection Cartridge
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge 
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge 
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge
Fluorescence Intensity Detection Cartridge
ScanLater Western Blot Detection Cartridge 0200-7027


Scan Later Western Blot Detection System Western blot photo 150x.jpg

The ScanLater Western Blot Detection Cartridge is a user-installable option for the SpectraMax i3x and Paradigm® Multi-Mode Platforms. The ScanLater Western blot system simplifies the traditional western blot protocol by employing a europium-labelled secondary antibody which is then read by Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF). This substrate free detection method enables membrane scanning up to 30 days after the final wash step. The assay demonstrates sensitivity in the high femtogram, comparable to traditional chemiluminescence western blot methods. Leveraging this novel technology, researchers can:

  • Add western blot detection to their microplate reader within two minutes
  • Eliminate time-dependent substrate addition steps
  • Use one software platform, SoftMax® Pro Software to integrate both microplate and western blot detection assays


  • User-installable cartridge for the SpectraMax i3x and Paradigm Multi-Mode Platforms
  • TRF detection using Europium-labelled secondary antibody reduces background while increasing dynamic range.
  • Digital photon counting provides TRF counts unaltered for a high level of data integrity
  • Europium resists photo bleaching and is stable for weeks, enabling re-use of blots
  • Compatible with goat anti-rabbit, anti-mouse or streptavidin labeled antibodies
  • SoftMax Pro acquisition and analysis software that provides built-in protocols for Western Blot reads and easy-to-use image analysis and accurate quantification tools

SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer

MM 300.jpg

The SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer option, which is field-upgradeable for any SpectraMax i3x base system, provides researchers with cellular analysis capability without the need to invest in complex imaging systems.


  • Obtain cell-based data in addition to well-based intensity readings in the same instrument
  • Eliminate cell staining for cell counting and confluency with StainFree Technology
  • Perform multi-parametric assays and get rich, cell-by-cell statistics
  • Easily measure low cell concentration samples


  • Brightfield and fluorescent green and red detection channels
  • Cytotoxicity, protein expression and cell proliferation assays in addition to ratio-metric assays like live-dead and transfection efficiency
  • ANSI/SBS conformant plate compatibility
  • Quick cellular identification and segmentation with SoftMax® Pro Microplate Data Acquisition & Analysis Software

StainFree Cell Detection TechnologyCell_proliferation_HUVEC.png

The patent-pending StainFree Cell Detection technology on the SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer allows users to perform cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, and other assays without nuclear stains like DAPI or live cell dyes that are toxic to cells in the long term. Using StainFree Cell Detection Technology, users can:

  • Count cells and estimate confluence without fluorescent dyes
  • Monitor cell growth without disrupting cells
  • Set-up imaging assays quickly and easily with SoftMax Pro Software
Videók, ismertetők

Related Videos




  • Luminescent cell viability and cytotoxicity assays on
    the SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Microplate Reader

Related eBooks

  • Advance Detection of Cytotoxicity: A wide range of solutions for predicting cytotoxicity earlier in your drug discovery process

The resources listed below were created using the SpectraMax i3.  
Technical specifications for the SpectraMax i3x are similar to those of the SpectraMax i3.  For luminescence, the LLD specification for the SpectraMax i3x is 5x lower (better) than for the SpectraMax i3.



  • Compound effects upon calcium transients in beating Axiogenesis Cor.4U human iPS cell-derived cardiomyocytes
  • Complete cAMP workflow solution using the CatchPoint cAMP Fluorescent Assay Kit
  • Complete cGMP workflow solution using the CatchPoint cGMP Fluorescent Assay Kit
  • Assessing mitochondrial toxicity on the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Detection Platform with SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer
  • HTRF cAMP HiRange Assay on SpectraMax Multi-Mode Microplate Readers
  • Optimizing GFP transfection with the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Detection Platform
  • IMAP Phosphodiesterase Assays on SpectraMax Multi-Mode Microplate Readers
  • StainFree Technology for Cellular Image Analysis without Fluorescent Dyes
  • Detection and Quantitation of Protein with ScanLater Western Blot Detection System
  • Monitoring Cytotoxicity on the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Microplate Platform with SpectraMax MiniMax Imaging Cytometer
  • Cardiomyocyte Beating and Cytotoxicity Assays on the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Microplate Platform with SpectraMax MiniMax Imaging Cytometer


  • HTRF Technology on the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Platform
  • Complex Cell-based Assays with a Novel Imaging Cytometry System and Object Recognition Software

Related Webinars

  • StainFree Cell Detection Technology
  • Novel In Vitro Assay Tools for Cardiac Toxicity and Discovery


Number of Citations*: 50


A quantum dot nano-carrier system for targeted drug delivery

H Barry, R Gettens, A English - … Conference (NEBEC), 2015 …, 2015 -
... Scanning Electron microscopy (NanoScience Instruments, Phenom) and atomic force microscopy
(Veeco, NanoScope V). A calibration curve of fluorescence intensity versus particle concentration
was performed using a 96 well plate reader (Molecular Devices, SpectraMax i3). ...

Multiple Phosphatases Regulate Carbon Source-Dependent Germination and Primary Metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans

LJ de Assis, LNA Ries, M Savoldi… - G3: Genes| Genomes| …, 2015 -
... described previously (de Assis et al. 2013). Absorbance at 340 nm was detected
using a SpectraMax I3 spectrometer (Molecular Devices). Trehalose measurements
in germinating conidia. Trehalose was extracted from 5×10 ...

[HTML] Enhanced efficacy with azacytidine and oncolytic BHV-1 in a tolerized cotton rat model of breast adenocarcinoma

BP Cuddington, M Verschoor, A Ashkar… - Molecular Therapy— …, 2015 -
... days pi. Fluorescence was detected using a SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Microplate
Reader (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA) and the fold change in fluorescence
relative to untreated, uninfected controls was calculated. Data ...

[PDF] Benchmarks

TL Fowler, AM Bailey, BP Bednarz, RJ Kimple - BioTechniques, 2015 -
... The plate is then read on a SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader Platform with MiniMax
300 Imaging Cytometer (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA) using the included SoftMax Pro
software (v6.3). The software is set to utilize the imaging read mode and end-point read ...

Transcriptome Assessment Reveals a Dominant Role for TLR4 in the Activation of Human Monocytes by the Alarmin MRP8

SK Fassl, J Austermann… - The Journal of …, 2015 - Am Assoc Immnol
... 1 ng/ml). Luciferase assay readout was done by incubating cell supernatants with
coelentrazine (Promega) and subsequent measurement of luminescence with a
SpectraMax i3 plate reader (Molecular Devices). ER-Hoxb8 ...

Binding Characteristics and Protective Capacity of Cyanidin‐3‐Glucoside and its Aglycon to Calf Thymus DNA

C Zhang, X Guo, W Cai, Y Ma, X Zhao - Journal of food science, 2015 - Wiley Online Library
... The mixture was immediately measured at 260 nm by a UV-1800 spectrophotometer (Shimadzu
Corp.). Fluorescence spectra analysis. The fluorescence spectra of the samples were measured
by a SpectraMax® I3 (Molecular Devices LLC, Wals, Austria). ...

Circulating Muramyl Dipeptide Is Negatively Associated with Interleukin-10 in the Frail Elderly

CP Verschoor, A Naidoo, JG Wallace, J Johnstone… - Inflammation, 2015 - Springer
... Total DNA was extracted from plasma (50 μL) using the QIAamp DNA mini kit (Qiagen, CA, USA).
Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) was measured using the QuantiFluor dsDNA system (Promega, WI, USA)
and a SpectraMax i3 plate reader (Molecular Devices, CA, USA). ...

Equine platelet lysate as an alternative to fetal bovine serum in equine mesenchymal stromal cell culture–too much of a good thing?

KA Russell, TG Koch - Equine veterinary journal, 2015 - Wiley Online Library
... After 4 days, treatment media were completely replaced with 100 μl of assay master mix
consisting of PBS7 with 10% resazurin8. Plates were incubated at 38.5°C for 4 h and read
by plate reader (SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode microplate reader)9. ...

Synergistic effect of HMGB1 knockdown and cordycepin in the K562 human chronic myeloid leukemia cell line

X Chen, Y Wang, J Liu, P Xu… - Molecular …, 2015 -
... containing 10% Cell Counting kit-8 (CCK-8; Beyotime Institute of Biotechnology) reagent (v/v)
was added into each well and the cells were cultured for 1 h in 5% CO2 at 37˚C. Finally, optical
density values (OD) were read at 450 nm using a SpectraMax® i3x microplate reader ...

[HTML] A Yeast/Drosophila Screen to Identify New Compounds Overcoming Frataxin Deficiency

A Seguin, V Monnier, A Palandri, F Bihel… - … Medicine and Cellular …, 2015 -
... The chemicals were added at a final concentration of 10 μM. The plates were incubated
at 30°C for 3 days, and the cell density was measured by reading the optical density ( )
using a SpectraMax i3 microtiter plate reader (Molecular Device). ...

* as of June 25, 2015. Source: Google Scholar.  Search results include "SpectraMax i3" and "SpectraMax i3x".

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