DNA Microarrays and Their Materials

Published - Jan 2004| Analyst - Sam Brauer| Code - BIO049A
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Report Highlights

  • The total market for DNA microarrays and materials totaled $544.4 million in 2002. Rising at an AAGR (average annual growth rate) of 13.4%, this market is expected to just exceed $1 billion in 2007.
  • Microarrays themselves make up the bulk of the market and sales are expected to rise at an AAGR of 11.7% through 2007 to reach $744 million.
  • Materials sales will rise faster due to increasing complexity, reaching $275 million in 2007 at an AAGR of 18.8%.
  • Although DNA microarrays are entering a period of more modest growth (growth was at 30%/year just a few years ago), there are some dramatic changes taking place in the types of microarrays being produced.


DNA microarrays have their roots in the chemical methods for gene analysis that developed over the past four decades. But the transition from solution chemistry to a microarray has been confronted with a number of challenges. Coupled with the practical completion of the human genome project, there has been intense interest in characterizing the biological mechanisms that underlie human and animal physiology. While solution chemistry relied on characterizing one to perhaps a dozen genes at a time, microarrays focus on thousands of genes at once.

Needless to say, this has lead to an explosion of microarray data, and this field gives new meaning to the phrase “drowning in data.” Simply put, although there is a great deal of data being generated, tools to analyze it are not keeping pace. Consequently, it has become very difficult to fully analyze microarray data. This now is one of the major issues in the field. However, it has not stopped most laboratories from both purchasing and using microarrays.

While there have been a number of studies that have looked at the overall markets for microarrays, there has been a dearth of information concerning the materials used to make these goods. In some cases, material requirements for microarrays have been satisfied by using products of existing industries. Often, these products require modifications to make them suitable for use on a microarray, but the modifications generally are performed by the existing industry. For other materials, such as marker molecules, microarray requirements have forced development of new technology. Even in the field of existing technology such as the production of DNA oligomers, new producers have sprung up to fuel the DNA microarray market.

This BCC report focuses on DNA microarrays that now play a key role in pharmaceutical industry product development. Microarrays also are widely used in academic research involved with biology and biochemistry. Consequently, the markets for microarrays effectively are split between academe and industry.


The report contains:

  • An industry structure chapter, detailing the makeup of the firms that produce microarrays and those that produce materials used in microarray production, along with selected company profiles
  • An extensive technology overview, covering the relevant technology of DNA microarray production and materials, along with comparisons of various technologies
  • A thorough description of the available products for DNA microarrays, and the materials used to produce them
  • A concluding market applications section, discussing some of the relevant trends in the use and costs of DNA microarrays
  • Forecasts for microarrays and materials through 2007.


This report is the end result of five months of concerted effort by the author. Primary information sources were interviews with several dozen people in industry, academia and the government. Many of the people interviewed are recognized authorities in the field, and provided invaluable assistance and insight, and I would like to thank all who took the time to speak with me for their help with this project.

This study was not commissioned by any corporation or individual, and is thus as objective as is possible.

Secondary sources include a number of publications issued by the federal government, as well as items from the Internet, corporate literature and peer-reviewed publications.

Any time an estimate has been made, the underlying assumptions are discussed. Thus, if readers choose to interpret the raw data in a differing manner, it is possible to do so. Dollar amounts are in constant 2002 dollars, and average annual growth rates (AAGRs) are calculated using standard tables.


Senior research analyst Samuel Brauer is experienced in inorganic chemistry, forensic chemistry, and biochemistry, Dr. Brauer has written reports assessing current and future technology applications in a number of materials-related industries, the healthcare industry, and composites fabrication. He has also contributed to High Tech Ceramics News. Dr. Brauer has been with BCC for 8 years. B.A., Brandeis University; Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, Dartmouth College.

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