Microfluidics Technology

Published - Sep 2006| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - SMC036C
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for microfluidic technologies was worth an estimated $2.9 billion in 2005. This figure should grow to $3.2 billion in 2006 and $6.2 billion by 2011, i.e., an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 14.1% over the next five years.
  • Inkjet printing is by far the largest application of microfluidics, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total market. Despite its size, inkjet printing is the slowest-growing application segment with a projected AAGR of under 8%, and by 2011 is expected to account for slightly over half of the market.
  • Smaller application segments, particularly chemical analysis and synthesis and proteomics are growing at a slower pace than healthcare-related applications. The market for defense and public safety applications should remain small throughout the forecast period.


Microfluidics is a set of technologies that deal with the movement of small amounts of fluid. The field has been developing for more than a decade, but most of that development, while intense, has been in isolated modules. Now scientists are beginning to put the pieces together into systems, setting the stage for new applications and rapid market growth.


This report contains:


  • A thorough evaluation of the technical and business environment surrounding the emerging microfluidic systems market
  • Detailed reviews of the technologies, related sub-technologies and alternative technologies in light of the emerging needs of the relevant markets
  • An examination of the current and potential applications of microfluidic technologies and an assessment of their importance in the context of emerging market paradigms
  • The trends that will shape the future of microfluidics technologies and markets, and their impact
  • Detailed company profiles as well as a patent analysis for new and emerging technologies.



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

In the first phase of the analysis, we identified a "long list" of microfluidic technologies (including technologies that are still under development) and mapped them against potential applications and end-user industries, such as life sciences research, drug discovery, and medical diagnostics.

In the second phase, we eliminated those technologies that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial production in the next 5 years, through a literature review and statements by industry sources. The result of phase two was a "short list" of technologies and applications with the greatest near- to mid-term commercial potential.

The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each short-listed technology and application and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Various methodologies and data sources were used to develop the market projections, including trend line projections, input-output analysis, and estimates of future demand from industry sources.


This report is an update of an earlier report prepared by Maura Lane, a BCC analyst with over 15 years of experience conducting technology and market assessments in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The analyst responsible for updating the report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author of a number of other BCC studies, including a number of microfluidics-related studies such as: MEMS Technology: Current and Future Markets (SMC051B); Nanosensors (NAN035A); and Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies, and Opportunities (HLC016B).

Table of Contents & Pricing

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Published - Mar-2004| Analyst - Maura Elizabeth Lane| Code - SMC036B

Report Highlights

  • The worldwide market for microfluidic-based systems and devices is expected to climb at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 15.5% to nearly $2 billion in 2008, from $950 million in 2003.
  • New developments in fluidics, microelectronics and detection systems have enabled microfluidics to move from theory to commercial reality in only a few years.
  • The major impact of such systems and devices is likely to be in the $10 billion analytical laboratory instrumentation market.
  • With the high cost of drug development and the pressure to reduce the development cycle time, high throughput screening and lab-on-a-chip have garnered the most attention. Hence, 37% of the total current revenue comes from these areas.


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