1.2. Need for Biosensor

Diagnostic Market. Diagnostics represent a very large and well established market that is continually expanding. Particularly in the current climate of prevention rather than remedy, the need for detection at increasingly lower limits is increasing in many diverse areas. Estimates of the market size and future projections tend to be difficult and inaccurate.

Clinical Testing. However, undoubtedly clinical testing iis one of the biggest diagnostic markets. A study of the European market suggests a clinical testing products market in excess of 4000 million US$ in the 1990s (Biomedical Business International). In the US, the current biosensor market is already reported to be 12 million dollars, and future prospects vary from 100 to 10,000 million dollars by the turn of the century. This compares with a world market in 1985 of 1.5 billion dollars with an estimated growth rate of 9.5%, achieving a world market of 2 billion in 1990 and then expanding upwards and outwards.

Other Markets. Among the market shares, nearly 50% belongs to the medical arena (Technical Insights Inc.) with veterinary and agricultural applications amounting to a figure of half the size (Table l. 2). Although the actual figures may differ between surveys, the relative proportions for different applications seem to be in agreement for the 1990s. Figure 1.5 (Business Communications Co.) plots the US market projection into the next century and identifies a changing emphasis in applications with the agricultural and environmental component becoming increasingly significant.

Table 1.2. Fifteen characteristics required in a commercial sensor

Table 1.3. Estimated markets in the 1990s
Market Value (million dollars)
Medical and surgical 220
Veterinary and agricultural 105
Environmental and monitoring and safety 67
Industrial process monitoring 59

Fig. 1.5. USA market projection for biosensors.