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SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Detection Platform

Be inspired by the most versatile and flexible microplate detection system available

Our SpectraMax® i3 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader Detection Platform evolves with your future research needs and inspires with a stunning breadth of application possibilities. Monochromator optics support standard absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence detection, while user-exchangeable cartridges expand the systems' capabilities to Time Resolved Fluorescence, HTRF, Fluorescence Polarization, AlphaScreen, and Western Blot detection. Advanced Spectral Fusion™ Illumination provides extended dynamic range. As new assays are developed or your needs change, simply add a detection cartridge like ScanLater™ Western Blot System or the SpectraMax® MiniMax™ 300 Imaging Cytometer option instead of buying a brand new system.
Read the customer story - Ionic Transport Assays, Inc.


  • Field-upgradability:  Expand the standard three modes, (spectral absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence detection) with additional application cartridges for FP, HTRF®, AlphaScreen® assays and more.
  • Western blot detection:  Add the ScanLater Western Blot System at any time to expand system functionality and enable Western blot detection and quantitation.
  • Cellular imaging:  Add the SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer at any time and simplify complex imaging workflows. Run cell counting and cell confluency measurements using StainFree Technology without the need for destructive stains or use green or red fluorescent detection to visualize marker expression, viability, and more.


  • Increased fluorescence performance:  Spectral Fusion™ Illumination is a powerful combination of Xenon flash lamp and LEDs that provides unmatched signal strength and superior sensitivity across the full spectrum.
  • Expanded dynamic range:  Sophisticated engineering delivers optimal sensitivity and maximizes signal range using a combination of optical and electronic components.
  • Streamlined complex data analysis:  Our industry-leading SoftMax® Pro Microplate Data Acquisition & Analysis Software includes over 140 built-in protocols. Now you can extend the ease-of-use of your plate reader applications to cell-based imaging and Western Blot detection. Additional tools for regulatory compliance are included in SoftMax Pro GxP Software.

Assay Kits

  • We offer optimized assay kits for use with the SpectraMax i3 reader.

With the SpectraMax i3 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
  • Fluorescent protein expression
  • FRET
  • Genotyping
  • GPCRs
  • GTP binding
  • Hormones
  • HTRF®
  • Immunoassays
  • Ion channels
  • Micro Volume (Low volume) Applications
  • Molecular interactions
  • Nuclear receptor
  • Nucleic acid and Protein quantitation
  • Reporter assay
  • Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF)
  • Western blot detection


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 i3 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 i3 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 CytometerMM 300.jpg

The SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer option, which is field-upgradeable for any SpectraMax i3 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 Technology Cell_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





General Specifications

Dimensions (W x H x D) 15.38" x 12.63" x 23.38"
39.05 x 42.23 x 59.37cm
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
Injectors Option available
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)
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 < 0.3% in white 96- and 384-well microplates
Sensitivity (ATP-Glow)
96 wells 15 pM
384 wells 30 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.


Related Videos

Learn about the SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Plate Reader capabilities and options in this short video.




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Related Webinars

SpectraMax® i3 Multi-Mode Detection Platform 

System Options

Product Part Number
SpectraMax i3 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader with SoftMax Pro Software i3
SpectraMax MiniMax 300 Imaging Cytometer 5024062
SoftMax Pro 6.3 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