As we enter the post-genome sequencing era and begin to sift through the enormous amount of genetic information now available, the need for technologies that allow rapid, cost-effective, high-throughput detection of specific nucleic acid sequences becomes apparent. Multiplexing technologies, which allow for simultaneous detection of multiple nucleic acid sequences in a single reaction, can greatly reduce the time, cost and labor associated with single reaction detection technologies.
The Luminex® xMAP™ system is a multiplexed microsphere-based suspension array platform capable of analyzing and reporting up to 100 different reactions in a single reaction vessel. This technology provides a new platform for high-throughput nucleic acid detection and is being utilized with increasing frequency. Here we review specific applications of xMAP technology for nucleic acid detection in the areas of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, genetic disease screening, gene expression profiling, HLA DNA typing and microbial detection.