SpectraMax 190 Microplate Reader

A microplate reader for exploring the mysteries of life

Quantify DNA and perform endpoint, kinetic, and spectral scanning analyses with the UV-Vis SpectraMax 190 Microplate Reader. The multichannel design for 96-well microplates uses separate sample and reference beams for each sample — just like a dual-beam spectrophotometer — to eliminate error due to variations in optical fiber light output. Monochromator-based wavelength selection from 190 nm to 850 nm keeps you on the road to discovery, instead of tracking down and changing out filters.


The patented multichannel optical design of the SpectraMax 190 Absorbance Microplate Reader mimics a dual beam spectrophotometer, measures each sample in the plate directly, and eliminates measurement error due to variations in light output between optical fibers on other instruments for more reliable data reporting.


  • Eliminate the need for purchasing and changing out filters for wavelength optimization with a monochromator-based wavelength selection for UV-visible absorbance between 190 nm and 850 nm
  • Read up to 6 wavelengths in endpoint or kinetic mode for 96-well plates, and perform spectral scans to determine wavelength peaks
  • Measurement accuracy is increased due to narrow bandwidths that deliver increased and linearity over the widest range of assays, including DNA quantitation in the UV range
  • Better experimental signal discrimination using narrow absorbance bandpass for superior peak resolution and increased accuracy
  • Quickly quantify DNA, RNA, and protein samples as low as 2 µL with the SpectraDrop Micro-Volume Microplate


  • Ability to monitor temperature-sensitive reactions with consistent temperature regulation from ambient to 45°C
  • Correction for varying microplate well volumes and the elimination of standard curves based on PathCheck® Technology, the only temperature-independent pathlength correction method
  • Thorough mixing of samples in microplate wells by user-programmable Automix feature
  • Seamless automation coupling with the StakMax Stacker, Molecular Devices' own integrated microplate stacker designed exclusively for the SpectraMax Reader


Comprehensive Reader Validation


Molecular Devices microplate readers have the most variety of tools available for users to meet their diverse hardware and software validation needs. Molecular Devices provides complete solutions with:

The SpectraMax 190 Microplate Reader supports a multitude of absorbance assay categories including:

  • Cell viability, proliferation, and cytotoxicity
  • ELISAs and immunoassays
  • Endotoxin detection
  • Enzyme assays
  • Microbial growth
  • Micro volume applications
  • Nucleic acid (DNA) quantitation
  • Phosphotases/kinases
  • Protein quantification
  • Reporter gene assays


SoftMax Pro Software simplifies setting up your assays by providing:

  • Simple set-up and automatic instrument recognition
  • Pre-defined protocols for endpoint and kinetic ELISA protein plus quantification assays such as Bradford, Lowry, BCA, and DC protein assays
  • A wide variety of scan types: Endpoint, Kinetic, Spectrum* and Well Scanning*
  • Standard data reduction settings are preselected as default
  • Automatic data recovery feature

Softmax Pro Software Setup

SoftMax Pro Software offers a variety of customizing options:

  • Predefined calculation options for common data analysis functions    
  • Automatic export to Microsoft Excel
  • Instrument settings and plate read area can be adjusted to suit your experiment's needs
  • Custom data reduction settings can be selected for optimal signal selection
  • Full reports, with font flexibility, and live mini-tables and graphs are now available within the Notes section to simplify the result sharing experience      
  • Contemporary user community enabling protocol exchange and expertise
    sharing among our numerous users

Softmax Pro Software Data Analysis




* available in select instrument models

General Specifications

Dimensions (in) 8.6 H x 22.8 W x 15 D
Dimensions (cm) 22 H x 58 W x 38 D
Weight 30 lbs (13/66 kg)
Power Source 90-250 VAC, 50/60 Hz

Performance Specifications

Wavelength Range 190-850 nm
Wavelength Selection Monochromator, tunable 1/0 nm increments
Wavelength Bandwidth 2.0 nm
Wavelength Accuracy ± 1.0 nm
Wavelength Repeatability ± 0.2 nm
Photometric Range 0.0 to 4.0 OD
Photometric  Resolution 0.001 OD
Photometric Accuracy < ± 0.006 OD ± 1.0%, 0.0 - 2.0 OD
Photometric Precision < ± 0.003 OD ± 1.0%, 0.0 - 2.0 OD
Stray Light ≤ 0.07% at 340 nm
OD ≥ 3.15
Light Source Xenon flash lamp
Microplate Read Time - Endpoint 9 seconds
Microplate Read Time - Kinetic 9 second minimum interval
Temperature Range Ambient + 4 °C up to 45 °C
Temperature Uniformity ± 0.5 °C @ 37 °C


 SpectraMax® 190 Microplate Reader



Product Number

SpectraMax 190 Microplate Reader with SoftMax Pro Software 190
SpectraTest ABS1 Absorbance Validation Plate 0200-6117
Quartz 96-well Microplate for UV Measurements R8024
Quartz 96-well Half-area Microplate for UV Mmeasurements R8028
SpectraDrop™ Micro-Volume Microplate Starter Kit 0200-6262
SpectraDrop™ Micro-Volume Microplate HTS Kit 0200-6267
StakMax Microplate Handling Stacker StakMax
Microplate Reader Shelf 9000-0756


Number of Citations*: 8,720

Latest Citations:
For a complete list, please click here.


Anti-oxidative and hepatoprotective effects of lithospermic acid against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver oxidative damage in vitro and in vivo

KWK Chan, WS Ho - Oncology reports, 2015 -
... The plate was gently shaken, and the absorbance was measured at 540 nm on a microtiter plate
reader (SpectraMax 190; Molecular Devices). LDH assay. ... The absor- bance at 490 nm was
measured by a microtiter plate reader (SpectraMax 190; Molecular Devices). ...

[HTML] Intravaginal Lactic Acid Bacteria Modulated Local and Systemic Immune Responses and Lowered the Incidence of Uterine Infections in Periparturient Dairy …

Q Deng, JF Odhiambo, U Farooq, T Lam, SM Dunn… - 2015 -
... tetramethylbenzidine (TMB). After adding the stop solution, the plate was read at
450 nm on a microplate spectrophotometer (Spectramax 190, Molecular Devices
Corporation, Sunnyvale, CA) within 10 min. The optical density ...

Measurement of total iron in Helicobacter pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells

SE Flores, AS Day, JI Keenan - BioMetals, 2015 - Springer
... H. pylori were resuspended in RPMI-1640 medium supplemented with 10 % (v/v) heat-inactivated
fetal bovine serum and bacterial numbers were quantitated by density, based on a standard curve
measured at an absorbance of 620 nm (SpectraMax ® 190, Molecular devices ...

[HTML] The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of 25 plant species used traditionally to treat pain in southern African

SA Adebayo, JP Dzoyem, LJ Shai… - … and alternative medicine, 2015 -
... After incubation, the absorbance was read at 450 nm in a microplate reader (SpectraMax 190,
Molecular devices). Quercetin (10 mM) was used as a standard. ... The absorbance of the reaction
mixture was recorded at 593 nm (SpectraMax 190, Molecular devices) after 5 min. ...

DCLAK11, a multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, exhibits potent antitumor and antiangiogenic activity in vitro

X Guo, X Chen, L Tong, X Peng, M Huang… - Acta Pharmacologica …, 2015 -
... The reaction was terminated by the addition of 50 μL of 2 mol/LH 2 SO 4 as the color
changed, and the absorbance at 490 nm was analyzed using a SpectraMax 190
Microplate Reader (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). ...

Digestive enzyme activities are higher in the shortfin mako shark, Isurus oxyrinchus, than in ectothermic sharks as a result of visceral endothermy

KC Newton, J Wraith, KA Dickson - Fish physiology and biochemistry, 2015 - Springer
... well microplate to measure the change in absorbance of the sample (relative to a negative control
using 50 mM Tris–HCl homogenization buffer substituted for tissue supernatant) in a
SPECTRAmax 190 microplate spectrophotometer (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). ...

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles exacerbate the risks of reactive oxygen species-mediated external stresses

C Luo, Y Li, L Yang, X Wang, J Long, J Liu - Archives of toxicology, 2015 - Springer
... spectrophotometer (SPECTRAmax 190, Molecular Devices Corporation, USA). ... C0016,
Beyotime Biotechnology) and was recorded at 490 nm using a microplate spectrophotom-
eter (SPECTRAmax 190, Molecular Devices Corporation, USA). ...

[HTML] BMI1 Is Expressed in Canine Osteosarcoma and Contributes to Cell Growth and Chemotherapy Resistance

MH Shahi, D York, R Gandour-Edwards, SS Withers… - PloS one, 2015 -
... 2hrs. Absorbance at 490nm was measured with a spectrophotometer (Spectramax
190, Molecular Devices LLC). Each group contained 6 wells and mean absorbance
is expressed as a percentage of untreated control cells. ...

[HTML] Effects of Benzo [a] pyrene Exposure on Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Angiogenesis, Metastasis, and NF-κB Signaling

Q Ba, J Li, C Huang, H Qiu, J Li, R Chu… - Environmental health …, 2015 -
... The attached cells were incubated with CCK-8 in medium for 4 hr and quantified
by measuring the absorbance at 450 nm with a SpectraMax 190 microplate reader
(Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). Animal husbandry. ...

Activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress is involved in the activity of icariin against human lung adenocarcinoma cells

S Di, C Fan, Y Yang, S Jiang, M Liang, G Wu, B Wang… - Apoptosis, 2015 - Springer
... the plates were incubated at 37 °C in a 5 % CO 2 /95 % air humidified incubator for 2 h. Then,
optical density (OD) values were assessed at 450 nm using a microplate reader (SpectraMax
190, Molecular Devices, USA), and the cell viability was expressed as the OD value [ 30 ]. ...



* as of June 26, 2015. Source: Google Scholar