Sneak Peek: Advanced Microscopy — Journey from 200nm to 20nm

Historically, microscopy was one of the first experimental techniques to be developed, with roots tracing back to the 17th century for the first compound microscopes. Despite the great age of the technology, it remains not just an important research tool, but perhaps more importantly, the potential for technological advances has not been exhausted. Fluorescence microscopy originated in the early 20th century, with confocal optics appearing mid-century.  Even today, new modes and applications arise, such as super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, the development of which was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for cryo-electron microscopy, furthering demonstrating that the development of new ways to “see” biological processes in high resolution is still incredibly important to life sciences research. The unending usefulness of one’s ability to see life and materials much smaller than is possible with the naked eye, combined with continuous innovation and recent leaps in technology, has led to an overall market demand for advanced microscopy products north of $476 million.

This report provides detailed market information and end-user insights for what we consider ‘advanced microscopy’ technologies, or technologies that consist of fluorescence-based techniques. Our data includes confocal microscopy, multi-photon microscopy, super-resolution microscopy, and other advanced microscopy methods (namely structured illumination microscopy, light sheet fluorescence microscopy, and deconvolution fluorescence microscopy). End-user perspectives on wide-field techniques are also explored for comparison to these advanced techniques.

Treating them collectively as advanced microscopy helps to separate this more exciting segment from the overall microscopy market. These tools help researchers to approach or break through the diffraction limit, which limits microscope resolution of traditional microscopes to a few hundred nanometers. As both life science and materials science researchers probe ever further into the realm of the nanoscale, greater resolution and capabilities from fluorescence microscopy are enabling new areas of investigation.

In addition to accurate data on the market size and demand of each technology, we gathered survey responses on:

  • Use of the different advanced microscopy technologies
  • Use of various microscopy software solutions
  • Brand Awareness, usage, and satisfaction
  • Users’ opinions on building better microscopes
  • Lab budgets and spending

Although the current market situation has become quite complex, with each technology having specific advantages and drawbacks that appeal to different researchers, a few brands stand out sharply from the rest in terms of awareness and usage:

Despite the apparent market domination of Olympus, Nikon, Carl Ziess, and Leica Microsystems, brand satisfaction sometimes skews in favor of more “runner-up” companies, such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and GE Healthcare. The current key players may also owe their dominance to the current market concentration for advanced microscopy products being located in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. However, the fastest future market growth is expected to occur in China, India and other up-and-coming Asian Pacific science hubs. This growth may increase the reach of current market leaders, or it may lead to adoption of other, more local suppliers and manufacturers, such as Zhejiang UB BioUpton Technology Co. (USBU), based out of China.

With multiple technologies offering different benefits, and with overall market demand continuing to climb, vendors need accurate market data and guidance on the preferences, needs, and opinions of  researchers in order to present a product portfolio to market that will be successful.


Interested? You can visit the product page for this report here, as well as download a brochure with additional sample data and a detailed table of contents by clicking here.