Microarray is a collection of microscopic spots of DNA, RNA, oligonucleotides, proteins, peptides, cells, tissues and other compounds which are attached to a solid substrate. Other microarray platforms include use of microscopic beads. With the help of array instruments, these microarrays are used to measure gene expression levels simultaneously in a single reaction and also genotype multiple regions of genome. The global array instruments market is driven by the large number of patients awaiting diagnosis of the exact type of cancer, metabolic diseases, and post natal diseases along with the research on the causes and treatment for such diseases. Disease diagnosis and detection has been the most critical and beneficial microarray application for the diagnosis and prognosis of different types of diseases, majorly cancer.
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At present, a broad range of microarray technologies are available in the market for research purpose. DNA microarray is the most traditional and widely accepted technology in the microarray field. Thus, it accounts for the largest share, in the total market, owing to improved accuracy and precision and wide acceptance by the end users. The advent of DNA microarray has accelerated the process of gene expression, disease diagnosis, drug discovery and SNP analysis. Protein microarray which is the second largest and the fastest growing technology is very effective in identifying protein-protein interactions, substrates of protein kinases and activities of proteins. Due to high throughput, high resolution and sensitivity, protein microarray is extensively used in proteomics for protein expression profiling. Gene expression is the largest application market followed by the drug discovery and diagnosis market. High cost associated with the instruments and need for expertise leads to decreased adoption of microarray technology, particularly in developing countries. Moreover, increase in awareness for disease diagnosis and introduction of cheaper instruments and reagents will together aid in maintaining the growing of microarray technologies.
Cellular microarray and tissue microarray technologies are currently in nascent stage and have their own limitations. The major factors that limit the use of tissue microarray are tissue heterogeneity and high cost. Expensive nature of array instruments limits the use in general practice in several countries. Hence, researchers are working on constructing cost effective tissue microarrays. Certain drawbacks with the use of cellular microarray are related to sensitivity. Moreover, there is further need for development of automated image analysis and data acquisition.
Geographically, North America dominates the global microarray instruments market. Large proportion of technological advancement first is introduced in the U.S. since majority of the prime market players are domiciled in North America. Europe accounts for second position in the total market. Rising incidences of cancers and autoimmune diseases drive the demand for diagnosis and treatment of such diseases in the region. Simplification of analysis process, increased market consolidation, and cost containment of instruments and reagents will result in rapid adoption of research in microarrays field in the emerging markets. Developing countries in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa would contribute to the growth of the global array instruments market. Advancement in technology leading to better specificity and sensitivity coupled with low cost and robustness would increase the demand for research using microarrays, which would boost the market growth.
The leading players in the market for microarray instruments are Affymetrix, Inc., Illumina, Inc., Agilent Technologies, Molecular Devices, ArrayIt Corporation, ThermoFischer Scientific and others which include Bio-Rad Laboratories, ArrayJet, and Sigma Aldrich. Greater benefits are expected to be achieved by various companies with huge investments in automation of systems with improved analysis in the near future.
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