As the light microscopes market approaches maturity, the market for electron and scanning probe microscopes appears set to grow at a steady pace. Nanotechnology applications in bioscience and material science research will likely boost demand for microscopic imaging and analysis systems. In addition, a wide spectrum of emerging end-user opportunities in bioscience and genome research, hold promise for future market growth.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (testandmeasurement.frost.com), World Microscopes Markets, reveals that revenues in this market totaled $1.87 billion in 2006, and estimates this to reach $3.54 billion in 2013 due to sustained demand from end-user industries such as biomedical research and material science research in nanotechnology applications.
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Increased investment and research in the biomedical industry will likely heighten the need for more accurate and higher-resolution microscopes. Apart from scientific research and nanotechnology, emerging opportunities in bioscience and genome research also drives the market for microscopes. In order to keep pace with changing end-user needs, vendors have also begun developing advanced microscopes with imaging software to track living cells in biomedical applications and genome research.
“With the continued miniaturization of semiconductors and electronic products, there exists a growing need for easier and more accurate material inspection,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lakshman Koundinya. “Consequently, there has been a significant increase in funds allocated for research into fields such as nanotechnology and nanosciences, thereby creating significant demand opportunities for microscopes.”
However, physical limitations and lack of technological innovation, especially in the light microscope segment, have led to other analytical techniques gaining more prominence thereby restricting market growth. Additionally, high manufacturing costs and the need for considerable investment in research and development restrict the entry of new participants in the market.
“Since financial limitations hamper manufacturers’ response to the industry's continued technology advancements, consolidation in certain industries such as the disk drive industry has resulted in fewer manufacturers with high financial stability,” explains Koundinya. “Companies must identify opportunities for technology innovation by proactively monitoring the changing needs of customers in various end-user industries.”
Considering the decline in technical expertise, it has become imperative for vendors to make microscopes more user-friendly and easy to operate. Techniques that require minimum sample preparation and enable the safe inspection of samples will be well received. Additionally, vendors need to also focus on incorporating new softwares, integrating instruments with others, and improving flexibility.
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