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FlexStation 3 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader

Fast-track even your most complex biochemical and cell-based assays

With advanced dual optical systems operating above and below your microplates, the FlexStation® 3 Reader measures absorbance, fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarization, luminescence, and time-resolved fluorescence.  But that's just the beginning, because this incredible benchtop system integrates multi-mode microplate optics with precision, programmable liquid handling for perfectly timed, automated biochemical and cell-based assays. The FlexStation 3 Reader requires that you give up nothing in assay design, because it adds your assay reagents from a 96- or 384-well source plate. Five optical detection modes with programmable plate-to-plate, well-to-well liquid handling. You'll create some fast, amazing new assays.

Five-mode reader with wide range of applications

  • The FlexStation® 3 reader’s optics are designed to easily adapt to changes in assay requirements while maintaining the optimal performance of a single-mode reader. Based on the SpectraMax M5e platform, this five-mode reader addresses multiple application technologies including: absorbance, fluorescence intensity, fluorescence polarization, luminescence and time-resolved fluorescence. Dual monochromators allow users to target the optimal assay excitation and emission wavelengths and eliminate the need to change expensive band pass filters between experiments.

Flexible liquid transfer enables more assay conditions

  • Using an 8- or 16-channel pipettor, the FlexStation 3 reader offers added assay flexibility over dispenser-based systems by transferring reagents from 96 or 384 distinct wells in asource plate to a read plate, simultaneously. In addition, users can define individual reagents and concentrations to be delivered to each well.

Comprehensive Reader Validation

  • SpectraTest® Absorbance and SpectraTest Fluorescence Validation Packages are available to determine the optical characteristics of the system. The FlexStation 3 Reader exclusively offers fluid transfer validation using Molecular Devices patented PathCheck® Feature to quantify the integrated 8- and 16-channel pipettor head performance. These tools can be used in conjunction with SoftMax® Pro Software.

Automating with Ease

  • The FlexStation 3 reader can be integrated with a variety of automation solutions. Our Automation Vendor Partners Program has streamlined the integration of our microplate reader systems with all leading partner robots. The “out-of-the-box” automation solution saves up-front integration time and resources.

Assay Kits

  • We offer a full line of assay kits optimized for use with the FlexStation 3 reader.

The FlexStation 3 Microplate reader supports a wide variety of assay categories including:

  • Fast kinetic calcium mobilization assays
  • Membrane potential assays
  • ELISAs   
  • DNA/RNA quantitation   
  • Protein assays  
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Protease assays
  • Fluorescent proteins and FRET   
  • Cell viability and cytotoxicity assays      
  • Reporter gene assays   
  • Cell migration assays    
  • Cell adhesion assays
  • Fatty acid uptake assay  
  • Neurotransmitter transporter uptake assays
  • ADME-Tox
  • Membrane permeability
  • Phosphotase/kinase assays
  • Microbial growth assays
  • Endotoxin assays
  • Low volume applications

The FlexStation 3 Microplate Reader is supplied with SoftMax® Pro Microplate Data Acquisition & Analysis Software, Molecular Devices' industry leading all-in-one data acquisition and analysis software. Among the various ready-to-read protocols, users will find pre-written SpectraDrop Micro-Volume protocols enabling micro volume applications measurement.


SoftMax Pro Software offers:

  • The most extensive library of supported application protocols to get you started faster
  • Optional tools for regulated labs with SoftMax Pro GxP Software to speed compliance
  • Advanced calculations including non-linear fitting metrics for in-depth analysis
  • The only Mac and Windows native application support for seamless exchange of data files between operating systems
  • Proven integrations with leading automation and LIMS platforms for partnered solutions

Compliance: Softmax Pro Software also enables the user to validate the integrated 8- and 16-channel pipettor head performance. The FlexStation 3 Microplate Reader offers this fluid transfer validation using the patented PathCheck® Pathlength Correction technology. These tools can be used in conjunction with SoftMax Pro Validation Package and IQ/OQ/PQ Validation protocols for FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance.

Technical Specifications

Plate formats 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 wells
Light source
Xenon Flash Lamp
(1 joule/flash)
2 photomultiplier tubes
Shaker time
0 to 999 seconds
Temp. control*
2°C above ambient to 45°C
Flex reading
Abs + fluidics
FI + fluidics
Lum + fluidics
Endpoint reading
All modes + fluidics
Kinetic reading
All modes + fluidics
Spectral scanning
All modes
Well scanning
Abs, FI, TRF, Lum
* Temperature is regulated in the Read Chamber.
Fluidics (96- & 384-Well Plates Only)
Max. volume
200 μL
Precision @ 50 μL
2% CV
Precision @ 5 μL
8% CV
Dispense max. rate
208 μL/sec.
Max. volume
30 μL
Precision @ 10 μL
3% CV
Precision @ 1 μL
5% CV
Dispense max. rate
52 μL/sec.
Absorbance Photometric Performance
Wavelength range
200–1000 nm
Wavelength selection
Monochromator, tunable
in 1.0 nm increments
Wavelength bandwidth
≤4.0 nm
Wavelength accuracy
±2.0 nm
Wavelength repeatability
±0.2 nm
Photometric range
0–4.0 OD
Photometric resolution
0.001 OD
Photometric accuracy
< ±0.006 OD ±1.0%,
0–2 OD
Photometric precision
< ±0.003 OD ±1.0%,
0–2 OD
Stray light
< 0.05% @ 230 nm
Fluorescence Intensity Performance
Reading capabilities
Top- or bottom-read
Wavelength range
250–850 nm
Wavelength selection
Monochromators, tunable
in 1.0 nm increments
Bandwidth (EX, EM)
9 nm, 15 nm
≤ 1 pM fluorescein in 96 wells
< 1.5 pM in 384 wells
Fluorescence Polarization Performance
Reading capabilities
Wavelength range
400–750 nm
Wavelength selection
Monochromators, tunable
in 1.0 nm increments
Bandwidth (EX, EM)
9 nm, 15 nm
≤ 3.5 mP standard deviation
at 1 nM fluorescein in 96 wells
Time-Resolved Fluorescence Performance
Reading capabilities
Top- or bottom-read
Wavelength range
Wavelength range:
Wavelength selection
Monochromators, tunable
in 1.0 nm increments
Bandwidth (EX, EM)
9 nm, 15 nm
Precision data collection
1–100 flashes, delay of
0–600 μsec. before read,
integration time-selectable
between 50–1500 μsec.
≤ 10 fM europium in 96 wells
Luminescence Performance
Reading capabilities
Top- or bottom-read
Wavelength selection
All wavelengths or with
selected wavelengths
Wavelength range
250–850 nm
≤ 43 pM ATP in 96 wells
≤ 75 pM ATP in 96 wells
< 0.3% in white 96- and
384-well microplates
Standard Read Times (minutes:seconds)*
96-wells  |  384-wells
0:18  |  0:49
Fluorescence Intensity
0:17  |  0:48
Fluorescence Polarization
0:42  |  2:03
Time-Resolved Fluorescence
0:17  |  0:48
2:00  |  7"00
* With 3 flashes/well in absorbance and fluorescence modes, and 1 sec./well integration in luminescence.

General Specifications

Dimensions (in.)
23 (W) x 19 (H) x 16 (D)
Dimensions (cm)
58 (W) x 49 (H) x 40 (D)
50 lbs. (22.7 kg)
Power consumption
500 VA
Power source
90–240 Vac, 50–60 Hz
**For properly functioning, operated and maintained equipment.

FlexStation® 3 Series Multi-Mode Microplate Readers


Part Number

FlexStation 3 Microplate Reader with SoftMax Pro Software
Includes: FlexStation 3 Base System, 1 year warranty covering parts & labor. 
**Does not include 8 or 16 channel pipettor head, must be purchased separately and MUST be ordered at the time of ordering the instrument.
SpectraDrop™ Micro-Volume Starter Kit 0200-6262
SpectraDrop™ Micro-Volume HTS Kit 0200-6267
FlexStation 3 Benchtop Multi-Mode Microplate Reader IQ/OQ Validation Protocols