Biosensors and Bioelectronics

Published - Apr 2005| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - BIO039B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for biosensors and other bioelectronics is projected to grow from $6.1 billion in 2004 to $8.2 billion in 2009, at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of about 6.3%.
  • Biosensors, particularly glucose sensors, accounted for nearly all of the market in 2003. Sales of other bioelectronic devices are projected to increase significantly over the next five years.
  • Continued success in commercializing nonsensor bioelectronic technologies largely will depend on the extent to which more major companies focus their attention on bioelectronic technologies.
  • Biomedical and life sciences applications dominate the market, accounting for 99%, with environmental monitoring and remediation applications a distant second.


Biosensors sometimes are broadly defined as any device designed to gather biological information, such as the presence of a particular biomolecule, and convert it into an analytical signal. This report uses the stricter definition of biosensors used by The National Research Council (NRC), part of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The NRC has defined a biosensor as a detection device that incorporates a) a living organism or product derived from living systems (e.g., an enzyme or an antibody) and b) a transducer to provide an indication, signal, or other form of recognition of the presence of a specific substance in the environment.

New markets for biosensors and other bioelectronic devices are developing. For example, heightened security concerns in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have focused attention on the development of new sensors to detect dangerous chemical and biological agents. The first protein-based optical memory media have begun appearing on the market.

This BCC report identifies and describes segments of the biosensors and other bioelectronics markets with the greatest commercial potential in the near to midterm, projects future demand in these segments, and evaluates the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its full commercial potential.


The report contains:


  • Definitions covering the industry and technologies
  • Milestones in the development of biosensors and bioelectronics
  • Existing biosensor and bioelectronic technologies and technologies under development
  • Detailed discussion of intellectual property and patent portfolios
  • Analysis of applications and end-user segments with the greatest commercial potential through 2009
  • Analysis of biosensor and bioelectronic market trends, through 2009
  • Industry structure and market shares.



The specific methodologies and assumptions used to develop the market projections are described below under Detailed Market Estimates and Projections in the Market Forecast section. This section includes some general observations concerning the report's approach to estimating the market for developmental technologies whose commercial potential generally has not been demonstrated.

Projecting the market for emerging technologies such as many biosensor and bioelectronics applications, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. This report uses a multi-phase approach to identify the applications with the greatest commercial potential and to quantify the market for these applications, as described below.

In the first phase of the analysis, we identify a "long list" of biosensor and bioelectronic technologies (including technologies that are still under development) and map them against potential applications, such as the biomedical industries, environment, defense and homeland security.

In the second phase, we use the result of a literature review and statements by industry sources to divide these technologies into three groups, i.e.:


  • Technologies that that have the best potential to make it into commercial production in the next 5 years.
  • Technologies that may be commercialized in the next 5 to 10 years.
  • Technologies that are unlikely to be commercialized in less than 10 years, if at all, through a literature review and statements by industry sources.


The third phase focuses on quantifying the potential market for each biosensor/bioelectronic technology in the first group and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. We use various methodologies and data sources to develop the projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis, and estimates of future demand from industry sources.

All market figures are in shown in constant 2004 U.S. dollars.

Analyst Credentials

The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. Mr. McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author of a number of other Communications Company studies. In particular, he has written several other biosensor- and bioelectronics-related opportunities, particularly GB-310 Nanosensors. Other studies by Mr. McWilliams that relate to biosensors and bioelectronics include B-186 Patient Monitoring Devices, B-127R Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies and Opportunities, and GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment.

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Sep-2002| Analyst - Gargi Talukder| Code - BIO039A

Report Highlights

  • 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.


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