Biosensors and Bioelectronics
Biosensors and bioelectronics refer to devices that incorporate a biological element into their functional properties. Biosensors use these biomolecues as recognition elements for detection of a particular analyte. Bioelectronics is an emerging field in which biological elements, such as proteins, are used in place of the doped inorganic semiconducting oxides and insulating nitrides (i.e. silicon chips).
The agriculture biosensor sector is expected to grow as use of plants for both monitoring and reclamation purposes gains acceptance in both the United States and abroad. The market in 2001 was a $76.2 million dollar market, which represented an 8% rate of growth over the 1990s, according to the USDA and industry sources. A similar rate of growth is expected over the next five years.
In 2001, the high throughput screening market had already topped the $1 billion mark, a number that is based on the revenue of companies within the sector. The market is expected to grow at a very rapid pace, and the 7.5% average annual growth rate figure in the above table is based on projections of the largest companies in the sector, the potential of the latest trends in the industry toward automation and increased efficiency, and on forecasts by biotechnology trade associations and industry analysts.
STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The objective of this study is to provide a thorough grounding in the field of biosensors and bioelectronics with in-depth market analysis of trends in this sector and forecasts of upcoming technologies and market growth.
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
This report is particularly timely, because the cloning of the human genome and recent advances in miniaturization of electronic circuits has created an urgent need for these devices. These advances have also provided the technological capability to utilize biological materials in the establishment of sensors and circuitry. In addition, the events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks have report_highlightsed the value of using biological sensors and bioelectronics in the detection of bioagents and field diagnoses using handheld devices.
There are over 150 companies currently working in the biosensor and bioelectronics arena. The strength of these technologies lies in their flexibility, but this flexibility can also result in some confusion when considering their market potential. This study will provide an analysis of the major players in this space by cataloguing and characterizing the various technologies, their major applications, and the industry leaders in each category. This will allow the reader to gain an understanding of the breadth of this field as well as the specifics of the industries in which these technologies are the most useful.
CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY AND FOR WHOM
The audience for this report includes all those interested in the emerging fields of biotechnology: investors, market analysts, product managers, development managers, fund managers, licensing strategists, and industry leaders.
SCOPE AND FORMAT OF REPORT
This report is organized primarily by application-the various biosensors and bioelectronic devices are placed in one of five categories: Agriculture, Medical Analysis, Food Analysis, High Throughput Screening, and Nanobiotechnology. These five categories further subdivide into specific applications, as will become clear in the following pages. For example, within the category of Agriculture, we have biosensors involved in the detection of genetic engineering, while other biosensors detect the level of herbicide in the soil and ground water, while still others are involved in the detection of heavy metals in the soil.
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
Information on sales figures and upcoming technologies are derived primarily from interviews with the companies that produce these technologies and their annual financial statements. Some information has been gleaned from press releases, particularly for technologies produced by companies that are still seeking patent protection and venture funding and are thus in "stealth" mode.
Forecasts were based on linear regression analysis of revenue figures over a minimum of five years. From this basic analysis, specific factors that could influence growth, such as new technologies, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, or, in the case of toxin detection, recent events, were considered in reaching the final figure for average annual growth rates. The specific factors considered are discussed within the text accompanying the data tables of the report.
Gargi Talukder has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University. She is a science writer and consultant who has assisted numerous intellectual property law firms and startup BioScience companies with the technical aspects of their corporate communications.