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Biochips Based In vitro Diagnostics: Market Trends and Research | OMICS International
ISSN: 2153-0777
Journal of Bioengineering and Bioelectronics

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Biochips Based In vitro Diagnostics: Market Trends and Research

Chandra K. Dixit*
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Technion City, Haifa, Israel
Corresponding Author : Chandra K. Dixit
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Technion Israel Institute of Technology
Technion City, Haifa, Israel
Tel: +972-4-829-3463
E-mail: [email protected]
Received October 23, 2013; Accepted October 23, 2013; Published October 29, 2013
Citation: Dixit CK (2013) Biochips Based In vitro Diagnostics: Market Trends and Research. J Biochips Tiss Chips 3:e124. doi:10.4172/2153-0777.1000e124
Copyright: © 2013 Dixit CK. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Biochip, which is basically an assortment of multiple tests on one single chip, brings in multiplexing capacity to the analysis, thus increasing the test efficiency [1]. Notable technologies that comprise bio/tissue chips are biosensors, microarrays, and microfluidics-based systems; however, most important of them all is Lab on a Chip (LOC). This is where other technologies are married to microfluidics, enabling parallelism, multiplexing and ability to manipulate fluidic properties to design complete bioassay on a biosensor surface [2]. Applications of bio/tissue chips extend to almost every form of in-vitro diagnostics (IVD), few of the most promising are enlisted here [3]:
DNA applications: Gene expression, SNP genotyping, cancer diagnosis & treatment, genomics, agricultural biotechnology, drug discovery, and others.
Lab on chip applications: Drug discovery, genomics, diagnostics, proteomics, IVD & POC, high throughput screening, and others.
Protein microarray applications: Expression profiling, proteomics, high throughput screening, diagnostics, drug discovery, and others.
Other array applications: Expression profiling, cancer diagnostics, toxico-genomics, genomics, drug discovery, and others.
Thus, it is important to critically analyze their performance in terms of capital involved and competition against conventional approaches. To date, almost all the major key companies in IVD industry are involved in biochips manufacturing and research (Table 1).
In a report by Market and Market, biochip market across the world was $2.6 billion at the beginning of 2010 and is estimated to rise to $5.6 billion by 2015 at a moderate growth rate of 16.7%. Important contributors to the investment and growth of biochip field are DNA microarrays closely followed by lab-on-a-chip and protein microarray. This report indicated that protein microarray industry will grow fastest during this period with a CAGR of 19.9% [4]. Cell and tissue arrays are still in their infancy due to several complications involved in their development and storage. In another market analysis done by Reports n Reports, it was revealed that biochip industry will grow up to $11.6 billion by 2018 with a growth rate of 18.6% where biochiprelated instrumentation boast with a maximum CAGR of 20% globally [5]. Microarray was predicted to be the major contributor occupying approximately 70% of the biochip market while services contribute only to a small 15% market. These reports suggested that global leaders in the biochip industry are aiming for Asian markets owing to their friendly industrial and investment policies. Therefore, Asian markets are estimated to contribute a large 19% CAGR, which will be the maximum growth rate registered by any region for this period.
In my opinion, while following the concept of demand, the total investment in research and development sector is dictated by the platforms that have real world practical applications. For example, ELISA holds approximately 80% of the IVD industry and microplate, the most common platform to perform ELISA, holds 33% of the total ELISA market. Conventional microplate-based ELISA is time consuming in comparison to the biochip-based ELISA but it is still the first choice in clinical set-ups as a diagnostics platform. The reason is its accessibility, high-throughput and ease of performance. Noticeable is the capital involved in non-biochip-based conventional ELISA market, which was approximately $8.0 billion ($2.0 billion alone for microplates) in 2012 against that of a cumulative $5.6 billion for biochips, which include ELISA and non-ELISA applications, for the same period. This suggests that in its current form IVD industry is comprised of two components i.e. non-biochip-based ELISA with a major component of microplates and others. Therefore, if there is any possibility of competing with microplates then bio/tissue chips should also expand in the directions of high-throughput screening. Currently, only microarray, which holds 70% of the total capital of biochips market, provides high-throughput screening but is restricted only to DNA and protein-based diagnostics. Portability is an arguable issue that mostly favors bio/tissue chips but significant miniaturization that enables to perform ELISAs with a total volume of 2 to 4 μL is also taking place in the field of microplate technology [6]. However, delivery of results in significantly less time, considerably smaller sample volumes in the range of nanoliters (thus omitting the need to subject patients to invasive methods) and ability to deliver personalized diagnostics are few of the several advantages of biochips over microplates-based ELISA. These new biochip-based technologies have a tremendous potential to either challenge or even replace few microplate-based methods in the course of time.
Growing number of researchers in the field and increasing number of products are indicative of cumulative growth. Also, an increasing number of key players in the biochip industry (enlisted in Table 1) and increasing number of applications of bio/tissue chips in research and development sector shows a promising future. Public funding is also open to those interested in biochip research; however, there is a lack of a database that summarizes public money flux in this field. In their 2006 report, Frost & Sullivan’s research analyst described the promises that biochip industry makes and quoted “standardization of array platforms bolstered by robust infrastructure and their ability to prove clinical relevance will significantly give an edge to these highenabling technologies”. However, the major hurdle in achieving strong popularity among scientific community and commercial vendors encompasses high cost of chip-based solutions, limited returns and insufficient knowledge about their clinical utility [7]. Therefore, biochips have not gained the due popularity among clinicians given the market trends and capital influx. Much has changed since then in terms of increased involvement of major IVD players, and huge money influx in the biochip market. In my opinion, the problems foreseen in Frost & Sullivan’s report are still there. Although, biochips have managed to penetrate deep into the research market but when it comes to their routine use in clinical laboratories, clinicians seems fascinated by technology but reluctant to use it for replacing the conventional approaches.
On concluding remarks, biochips such as μTAS devices for diagnosis [8] and implantable devices such as trauma monitoring for efficient therapeutics [9] are few of the real world applications that are revolutionizing the field of IVD. However, in my opinion it is important to educate clinicians and general public about the benefits of bio/tissue chips if we need to transform the way we detect and treat diseases.
 
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