Recent Business Developments in Advanced Microscopy

 The past year has been exciting for the field of advanced microscopy technologies, which includes confocal, multiphoton, light sheet fluorescence and other super resolution techniques. The continued growth of this market was fueled by both innovative technologies brought to market and companies establishing new partnerships. Our latest report from SDI, Advanced Microscopy: A Journey from 200nm to 20nm Resolution, explores the size, growth and market share of leading vendors in this exciting segment. In this article we’ll look at some of the business developments of microscopy we’ve seen over the last year.

From as early as May of last year, Luxendo, now a Bruker company, established itself as a light sheet microscopy leader, especially in Europe. They introduced a unique Single Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) technology that Bruker hopes to use to increase global market reach and next generation development to benefit life science researchers. SPIM reduces sampling times, limits the damaging effects on living specimens, and provides fast scan speeds. 

Since last June, many companies, including BioTek Instruments, Nanopsis, Oxford Instruments, and Nikon, have showcased new technologies with increased process efficiencies.

  • BioTek Instruments introduced a multi-mode cell imaging reader, which automates the digital quantitative microscopy system in conjunction with multimode microplate detection.

    Dragonfly- High Speed Confocal Platform by  Andor (Oxford Instruments)

  • Nanopsis announced their Super-resolution Microsphere Amplified Lens (SMAL) optical nanoscope, which is a lower cost alternative to super resolution microscopy and has a working distance of 50nm.
  • Nikon announced a new microscope to be shipped by the end of 2017; the CFI90 20XC Glyc, a biological microscope that will support a wide range of observation lengths for whole brain imaging: from 90mm (large field of view) to 8.2mm (ultra-long working distance).
  • Oxford Instruments introduced the Dragonfly high-speed confocal imaging platform, which is up to 20x faster than current conventional confocal microscopes and can be operated at dual wavelength. (Our report discovered that ­­­­­2 lasers/wavelengths are used by 37% of researchers.)
  • Leica Microsystems introduced the DM6 LIBS microscope, which allows researchers to analyze microstructure and composition in one work step, eliminating the need for sample transfer and preparation for further steps.


Thermo Fisher Scientific took a different strategy to maintain their competitive advantage. Bolstered by their recent acquisition of FEI, the company has rapidly been advancing within the microscopy market. Their revenues from analytical instruments jumped by 46.8% during their second quarter and another 32.5% within their third quarter. As a result, Thermo Fisher has now established itself as a top ten analytical instrument company in addition to their continuing strong presence in life science instrumentation. Additionally, Thermo announced their acquisition of Phenom-World, a desktop SEM company, this past December.

Signing the letter of intent for the Imaging Technology center collaboration

The last few months of 2017 saw the formation of strategic partnerships to advance several technologies. DataDirect Networks announced a partnership with Gatan to combine their expertise of data storage platforms and high-performance cameras. Leica, one of the world’s largest microscope vendors, and Canada’s CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center have partnered to establish a microscope facility in Montreal. Furthermore, Leica as well as Thermo Fisher Scientific and Zeiss Microscopy will together contribute the equivalent of €10 million to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) that plans to open its Imaging Technology center in 2021. The facility will be devoted to advanced microscopy, including correlative light and electron microscopy, and open to both EMBL and visiting scientists.

In addition to the EMBL Imaging center, Zeiss additionally signed an exclusive strategic partnership agreement with Xnovo in October. Their collaboration seeks to establish and expand a module that nondestructively obtains 3D crystallographic information from polycrystalline samples.

With all the recent developments in this constantly evolving market, scientists have more choices than ever when it comes to advanced microscopes, both in terms of brand and technique. However, several players still dominate overall market share. Our report shows that Leica and Zeiss are the top players in the advanced microscopy market with over 50% combined overall market share.

As our report shows, microscopy is still a field of constant instrument improvement. Whether your company is already a market leader, or is hoping to carve out a bigger piece of the pie, knowing where the market is growing and how you can fulfill scientists’ unmet needs with new products is a winning combination.

A helpful mix of survey data and carefully collected and segmented market data, our Advanced Microscopy report provides the information marketing executives and product managers need to be successful within this space.

For more information about report license pricing and our survey and data collection methodologies, please click here to download a free report brochure or click here to visit the report’s product page.

For more information on our other life science, analytical instrument, and marketing reports, please visit our website.