Product overview

Olink Explore 1536

Explore the low-abundant plasma proteome

What is Olink Explore?

Olink® Explore 1536 is a high-multiplex, high-throughput protein biomarker platform that uses Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology coupled to an innovative new readout methodology based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) using the Illumina® NovaSeq instrument.

PEA uses matched pairs of antibodies (Abs) attached to unique DNA oligonucleotides. When the correct pair simultaneously binds to a target protein, their DNA oligonucleotides hybridize and serve as a unique template for DNA polymerase-dependent extension. This provides a double-stranded DNA molecule for each detected protein, providing a unique barcode for high-sensitivity, high-specificity readout. The well-established Olink Target 96-panels use qPCR for the readout step, but marrying our elegant PEA technology with NGS for readout in Olink Explore provides several advantages:

  • 4-fold increase in multiplexing (from 96-plex to 384-plex)
  • 16-fold increase in the number of assays per run (from 96 to 1536)
  • a 6.5-fold increase in throughput

To see more about PEA technology with NGS and qPCR readout and the quality controls (QC) builtin to the assays, please read our white paper.

View a new animated video explaining the principles of PEA with NGS and qPCR readout:

How was the protein library designed?

Olink Explore 1536 includes assays for 1472 proteins and 48 controls. This comprises 1463 unique proteins, as the assays for IL-6, IL-8 (CXCL8) and TNF are included for quality control purposes in each of the four 384-plex sections that make up the complete library.

Our long-term goal is to cover the low-abundant dynamic plasma proteome in the best possible way. The strategy is to rapidly and intelligently drive library expansion by selecting biomarkers that contribute the most to key research questions and cover as many biological pathways and functions as possible. Five main categories of proteins were defined during target selection, and each assay can be classified into one or more of these:

  • Low-abundant inflammation proteins
  • Proteins actively secreted into the circulation
  • Approved and ongoing drug target proteins
  • Organ-specific proteins that have leaked into the circulation
  • Proteins representing more exploratory potential biomarkers

Information from widely used open-access bioinformatic databases (including Uniprot, Human Protein Atlas, Gene Ontology (GO) and DisGeNET) and customer feedback was used as input in the target selection process. Olink’s strict validation requirements and quality standards constitute the final inclusion criteria.

Protein categories in Olink Explore 1536


What is it for?

Olink Explore enables our entire library of  protein assays to be measured in a 4 x 384-plex format using less than 3 µL of blood sample to identify actionable protein profiles that give meaningful insights into real-time human biology and facilitate the development of more effective, targeted therapies.

Who should use it?

Scientists involved in drug development, clinical research or basic life science research who are looking to run large-scale discovery studies to address the low abundant plasma proteome. Olink Explore is available as a fee-for-service offering to screen our entire library of more than 1460 proteins, for studies using plasma, serum or CSF samples only. Samples can be run by our Analysis Service labs in Boston, MA or Uppsala, Sweden.

For an overview of the practical details involved in ordering a study, sending samples and receiving results using Olink Explore 1536, PLEASE READ OUR GUIDE.

For those looking to run more targeted biomarker studies and/or sample matrices other than plasma, serum or CSF, we recommend our portfolio of well-established Olink Target panels (96-plex with qPCR readout). Please visit the main Olink website for more details (link below). Alternatively, if you have any questions about either of the Olink platforms, please contacts us (link below).