Microfluidic devices enables the precise processing of micro liter (~0.01-10 µl) samples and allows to perform significant biological or chemical processing such as sampling, pre-processing and measurement involved in an assay within a single chip. Microfluidics aids in handling and examining very small fluid volumes, around micro- (10-6) to atto- (10-18) liter volumes of fluid, which provides several analytical and economic advantages over the conventional assays. Microfluidic devices typically requires 10x times less sample volume, thereby allowing less sample and reagent consumption. Microfluidic devices transfers such small amount of fluid volume through microfluidic channels, which provides higher surface area to volume ratio, which further enhance the heat transfer. Increasing advancements in microfluidics such as lab-on-a-chip device for DNA amplification, purification, separation and sequencing, and single cell gene-expression profiling is expected to aid in growth of the market. Microfluidic provides enhanced analytical sensitivity, enhanced temperature control, faster reaction time, cost efficiency and allows integration of lab routines in a single device.
The global microfluidic market was valued at US$ 2.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness a robust CAGR of 19.4% over the forecast period (2017–2025).
Figure 1. Global Microfluidic Market, by Region, 2016 (US$ Mn)
Rising demand for point-of-care testing to augment microfluidic market growth
Point-of-care testing (POC Testing) is medical diagnostic testing performed primarily outside medical care facilities and in close proximity that is at the time and place of patient care. Point-of-care testing is relatively expensive than regular lab testing; however, it offers appropriate and immediate results for further clinical management. Microfluidic technology primarily offers three advantages to POC diagnostic: smaller sample volume, lower test costs, and faster detection time. Point-of-care testing enables miniaturization and integration of complex functions facilitating their usage in limited resources.
Continuous innovation strategy adopted by manufacturers is expected to aid in accelerating growth of the microfluidic market
Adoption of microfluidics as a key technology in medical science and biosensing is increasing significantly in the recent past. Manufacturers are focusing on continuous innovation in microfluidic technology such as laboratory-on-a-chip, point-of-care testing, microfluidic enabled drug delivery systems, and microfluidic gradient generators to enhance their product portfolios. Introduction of thermoplastic as a new material for microfluidic device fabrication instead of conventional PDMS polymer, adoption of novel microfluidic flow rate detection method, and advancement in nanoparticle separation using microfluidic devices is further expected to boost the microfluidic market in the near future. Microfluidic techniques are being extensively used to separate micro sized particles such as blood cells, parasites, spores, tumor cells, and bacteria due to its advantages such as low sample volume, low cost, and miniature sample handing with precise control. However, to separate submicron particle, nanofluidics is emerging as a suitable technology for separation.
Some of the major players operating in the microfluidic market are Abbott Laboratories, Agilent Technologies, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Qiagen N.V., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Fluidigm Corporation, Danaher Corporation, PerkinElmer Inc., Siemens Healthcare GmbH, and Micronit Microfluidic BV
Microfluidic is a science of handling and manipulation of very small fluid volumes to study behavior of fluids through micrometer sized channels and technology, to manufacture microminiaturized devices. Microfluidic deals with very small volume of fluid at the femtoliter (fL) enabling several benefits over conventional laboratory cell culture assay such as lower fabrication costs, reduced reagent consumption, and improved performance. This is owing to the capacity of microfluidics to perform multiple analyses on a single chip. Various sample operations can be executed at same time due to compact size, while shortening the time of experiment.
Major factors influencing growth of the microfluidic market is rising demand for point-of-care (POC) testing and advancements in microfluidic technology to reduce cost of sample analysis and enabling higher efficiency. Moreover, increasing demand for home healthcare to address growing prevalence of diabetes is supporting to growth of the microfluidic market. For instance, in 2017 researchers at the Ewha Womens University developed an endocrine system on chip, based on microfluidic perfused 3D cell-culture chip which detect the drugs for the treatment of diabetes by measuring insulin release over time. According to the statistics published by International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the global prevalence of diabetes is around 424.9 million in 2017, which is expected to increase to 628.6 million in 2045. In addition, increasing innovation in microfluidics technology is further expected to bolster growth of the market. Researchers at the Brigham Young University, in April 2017, developed first 3D-print viable microfluidic device which has size less than 100 micrometers and employed to use in molecular biology, proteomics and cell biology diagnostic technologies.
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