FlexStation 3 Multi-Mode Microplate Reader

Fast track your most complex biochemical and cell-based assays

Flexstation 3 Multi-mode Microplate Reader

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 a source 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

SMP-7 Software

SoftMax® Pro Software is the most published microplate reader control and microplate data analysis software package available to scientists. The inclusive package of ready-to-run protocols, analysis algorithms, and 21 different curve fit options provides the full solution from data acquisition to analysis to publishing. The FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance tools available in SoftMax Pro GxP Software for regulated laboratories deliver a complete solution to minimize validation costs, provide end-to-end chain of custody, and eliminate the need to validate additional analysis software.

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.

Related Video

Learn about the Flexstation 3 Benchtop Reader key features and functionality in this brief video.

Related Collateral



Data Sheets

Application Notes



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

Number of Citations*: 4,060

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

Intracellular calcium measurements for functional characterization of neuronal phenotypes

T Glaser, ARG Castillo, Á OliveiraH Ulrich - Embryonic Stem Cell …, 2016 - Springer
... 2.3 Microfluorimetry. 2.3.1 Calcium Indicator Incorporation. Probenecid Stock Solution: Probenecid,
1 N NaOH, “Component B” buffer from FlexStation Calcium Assay Kit (Molecular Devices Corp.). ...
3.3 Calcium Microfluorimetry (FlexStation 3). 3.3.1 Calcium Indicator Incorporation ...

[HTML] The Pharmacochaperone Activity of Quinine on Bitter Taste Receptors

JD UpadhyayaR Chakraborty, FA Shaik, A Jaggupilli… - PloS one, 2016 -
... extracellular. Changes in intracellular calcium were measured after addition of quinine
or yohimbine by FlexStation-3 microplate reader (Molecular devices), at 525 nm emission
following excitation at 494 nm. Brefeldin A treatment. T2R4 ...

GPR119 agonist AS1269574 activates TRPA1 cation channels to stimulate GLP-1 secretion

OG Chepurny, GG Holz, MW Roe… - Molecular …, 2016 -
... Cells were exposed to this solution for 30 minutes at room temperature. Measurements of
[Ca 2+ ] i were performed in a 96-well format at room temperature using a FlexStation 3 plate
reader controlled with SoftMax Pro software (Molecular Devices). ...

Chemically induced hepatotoxicity in human stem cell-induced hepatocytes compared with primary hepatocytes and HepG2

SJ Kang, HM Lee, YI Park, H Yi, H Lee, BJ So… - Cell Biology and …, 2016 - Springer
... with 100 μl of fresh medium containing 10 % (v/v) 2-[4-Iodophenyl]-3-[4-nitrophenyl]-5-[2,4-
disulfophenyl]-2H-tetraxolium (WST) reagent (DoGEN, Republic of Korea) and again incubated
at 37 °C for 2 h. Absorbance was read using a luminometer (FlexStation III; Molecular ...

Evaluation of the role of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in insulin secreting beta-cells

S Patterson, N Irwin, H Guo-Parke, RC Moffett… - European journal of …, 2016 - Elsevier
... Invitrogen (Paisley, UK). 125 I-bovine insulin was purchased from Amersham
BioSciences (Bucks, UK) and FlexStation calcium and membrane potential kits were
obtained from Molecular Devices (Sunnyvale, CA, USA). (+)MK 801 ...

Probing Molecular Interactions in Erwinia Ligand-Gated Ion Channel (ELIC)

GS Tender, DA Dougherty… - Biophysical …, 2016 -
... amino acid changes to Ala and its pair. ELIC function was then probed following
expression in HEKT cells using a membrane potential sensitive dye in a Flexstation.
WT ELIC revealed GABA concentration dependent increases ...

Trp Channel Activation In Response To Hypertonic Saline Differs Between Human Pediatric Primary Bronchial Epithelial Cells And Airway Smooth Muscle Cells

PM Brown, F Rezaee, G Piedimonte… - B26. UPDATES IN …, 2016 - Am Thoracic Soc
... (TRPV4) and assayed for changes in [Ca ]i using Calcium 6 dye (Molecular Devices) and
Flexstation 3 plate reader to monitor changes. 2+ Results: Both HBE and ASM cells from asthmatic
patients exhibited greater [Ca ]i compared to non-asthmatic. HBE cells exhibited greater ...

[HTML] Membrane cholesterol depletion reduces breast tumor cell migration by a mechanism that involves non-canonical Wnt signaling and IL-10 secretion

FS Guerra, L da Silva Sampaio… - Translational …, 2016 -
... mg/ml in PBS) and 100 μl of medium were then added to each well and incubated for 4 h at 37
°C, 5 % CO 2 . The resultant formazan crystals were dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (100 μl) and
absorbance intensities were measured in a microplate reader (FlexStation® 3 Reader ...

[HTML] Quantitative Microplate Assay for Real-Time Nuclease Kinetics

J Eriksson, Ü Langel - PloS one, 2016 -
... Flexstation II multiplate reader with 8-channel microfluidics was from Molecular Devices. ...
The plates were incubated inside the Flexstation II for 30 min at 37°C prior to reaction
initiation for the plate to reach the desired temperature. ...

Differential effectiveness of selected non‐psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrheic skin and acne …

A Oláh, A Markovics, J Szabó‐Papp… - Experimental …, 2016 - Wiley Online Library
... The plates were then incubated at 37°C for 20 min, and fluorescence was measured on
FlexStation™ II384 fluorometer or FlexStation 3 multi- ... After 5 minutes of incubation, fluorescence
was measured at 490 nm excitation and 520 nm emission wavelengths using FlexStation ...

* as of December 6, 2016. Source: Google Scholar.