The Surging Microarray Chip

Published - May 2001| Analyst - Valerie Kellogg| Code - BIO032A
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Report Highlights

  • While microarrays were invented during the 1980s, they have not come into significant use until the last couple of years. One of the biggest drivers of this market has been the completion of the Human Genome Project, probably one of the most important projects in science. The project was intended to map out the human genome, and this has been accomplished in parts with the use of microarray technology. What now remains to be done, and it is an enormous task, is to find the functions of all of these genes. Researchers estimate that this will take several years.
  • Microarrays are critical in the process of determining the function of the human genome. Because tens of thousands of spots can be placed on one array, and a different fragment of DNA can be affixed to each spot, this means that tens of thousands of tests can be run in parallel on one microarray biochip. To researchers, this has meant speeding up the discovery process many times over, making tasks that previously would have taken hundreds of machines many years, into jobs taking one machine perhaps only weeks of research time.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

The goal of this market research study is to determine the present market for microarray biochips, arrayers, scanners and microfluidics chips, and to predict the future revenues worldwide for these products and the average annual percentage growth rates. It also explains the current technologies in basic language, examines developments in each market, and discusses the present and future issues in the market.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

While microarrays were invented during the 1980s, they have not come into significant use until the last couple of years. One of the biggest drivers of this market has been the completion of the Human Genome Project, probably one of the most important projects in science. The project was intended to map out the human genome, and this has been accomplished in parts with the use of microarray technology. What now remains to be done, and it is an enormous task, is to find the functions of all of these genes. Researchers estimate that this will take several years.

Microarrays are critical in the process of determining the function of the human genome. Because tens of thousands of spots can be placed on one array, and a different fragment of DNA can be affixed to each spot, this means that tens of thousands of tests can be run in parallel on one microarray biochip. To researchers, this has meant speeding up the discovery process many times over, making tasks that previously would have taken hundreds of machines many years, into jobs taking one machine perhaps only weeks of research time.

This increased speed of research is affecting several scientific fields in a strong ripple effect. For example, microarrays, microfluidics, and related technology are revolutionizing drug discovery, leading to a new paradigm for the big pharmaceutical companies. Point of care diagnostics is poised to make a leap forward as microarrays and microfluidics chips become less expensive. Home diagnosis with disposable chips may become a reality within 10 years, leading some companies, such as Motorola, to formulate strategies based upon the prediction that microarrays will become a bigger market than that for semi-conductor chips.

Microarray biochips are, in a word, revolutionizing medicine, pharmacological research, laboratory testing and devices, and diagnostics. This research report illuminates the exciting possibilities of the surging microarray and microfluidics markets.

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM

The study contributes to the body of knowledge regarding this new and fast-growing field, by examining the numbers and reasons for the growth rates and revenues in each market segment. The report is intended for industry managers in drug discovery, biotechnology, and medical device and diagnostics companies.

It is also useful for national and academic research institutions, due to the overviews of developments in the field. It will also be of use by hospital administrators, country health care systems managers, health maintenance organizations, and insurance companies. They need to know how diagnostics and the prediction and prevention of medicine are likely to change in the near future, and how these changes will affect health care systems worldwide.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

The market is divided into microarray biochips, arrayers, scanners, and microfluidics. Arrayers and scanners are used, respectively, to make and to read microarrays. Although technologically different from microarrays, microfluidics have been included for two primary reasons: first, because of the intersection of functions performed by microarrays and microfluidics chips. Second, ongoing research may lead to development of a type of hybrid microarray/microfluidics chip.

Microarray biochips are further subdivided into high density (greater than 5,000 spots per array), low density, and custom arrays. Arrayers are subdivided into pin printers and non-contact arrayers.

The report covers:

  • the basic technology involved in producing and using these products;
  • the world markets for each segment;
  • the predicted growth rates and reasons supporting these predictions;
  • the impact of the technology upon pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms and medical device companies;
  • profiles of the current major players in the industry; and
  • an appendix for further information.
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METHODOLOGY

This report is the result of dozens of interviews with industry managers, as well as interviews with academicians and inventors in the field. Industry managers were asked their opinions of the current revenues and future growth rates of the various segments, as well as upcoming developments and the impact of these developments on the market. In many cases, as this is such a new market, the managers stated very impressive growth rates. The numbers in the report reflect a conservative view of this dynamic market, and yet still indicate impressive growth during the next five years.

INFORMATION SOURCES

Information sources include industry managers, academicians instrumental in the development of new technologies in microarrays, microfluidics and related equipment, and secondary sources such as the Internet, journals, and technical publications. The primary source in all cases, however, has been managers active in one market segment or another, around the world.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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