Biochip is one of the examples of technical development of bio-microsystem. Biochip is a collection of microarrays arranged on a solid substrate which allows hundreds or thousands of complex biochemical reactions such as decoding genes in few seconds. Biochips are used in variety of applications such as research application in biotechnology such as genomics and proteomics, drug screening and development and molecular diagnostics. It also offers other diagnostic applications such as microfluidic technologies, microarray and biosensors.
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Biochip is also used to analyze organic molecules associated with living organisms. Biochip helps in identifying gene sequences, airborne toxins, environmental pollutants and other biochemical constituents. There are various types of biochips such as DNA chips, lab-on-a-chip and protein chips. Chip based analysis is mainly used in on-site diagnostics.Bio-microsystem is a group of miniaturized and integrated devices for biological or biochemical reactions in diagnostics, monitoring, therapy, and research and development. Some of the advantages of bio-microsystems are parallelism, integrated intelligence, low cost, speed, complexity and redundancy.
North America dominates the global market for biochips due to large number of aging population and broad technical applications of biochips. Asia followed by the Europe are expected to show high growth rates in the next five years in global biochips market. China and India are expected to be the fastest growing biochips markets in Asia-Pacific region. Some of the key driving forces for biochip market in emerging countries are increasing R&D investment, large pool of patients and rising government funding.
In recent times there is increased use of biochips due to increasing cancer treatment and diagnostics. Rise in personalized medicine, drug discovery and life science research, need for high speed diagnostics and increased government funding are some of the key factors driving the growth for global biochips market. In addition, increasing healthcare awareness is also fuelling the growth of global biochips market. However, limited technical knowledge related to biochips, low acceptance due to high cost and availability of alternative technologies are some of the major factors restraining the growth for global biochip market.
Increasing R&D investment and outsourcing of pharmaceutical companies would lead to growth in biochips market in Asia. In addition, broaden application of biochips products would develop opportunity for global biochip market. However, high cost involved in manufacturing of biochips could lead a challenge for global biochips market. Some of the trends for global biochips market are outsourcing of biochips technology, which would help in reducing labor cost and capital requirement.
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Some of the major companies operating in the global biochips market are Affymetric Inc, Illumina Inc, GE Healthcare Ltd, Agilent Technologies Inc. Roche NimbleGen, Life Technologies Corporation, EMD Millipore., Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc, Abbott Laboratories and Fluidigm Corporation.
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