Published on 24 Mar 2016:

Microscopy forms an important research and quality control tool in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and biopharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, microscopy plays an important role in the diagnostic applications in the healthcare industry.

The analysis of solid state properties of the biologically active molecule in research, characterization of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), study of API—excipient physico-chemical interactions in various formulations, and examination of size and quantity of sub-visible particulates in final products are some of the microscopy applications in life sciences industry. For instance, the combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) with Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (EDS) act as a powerful analytical technique for the evaluation of APIs, finished products, and particulate contaminants.

The complete knowledge about the physical properties of pharmaceuticals or biotechnology products is crucial to the success of development process. The presence of foreign particles or particulate matter in drug powder products is an area of extreme concern as contamination lead to quality and safety problems. In addition, the life sciences industry is highly regulated with stringent quality control guidelines. Thus, the companies must adhere to high quality standards leading to high requirement for quality control products such as microscopes.
The healthcare comprises hospitals, pathological and diagnostics laboratories, and outpatient facilities, among others. Hospitals are the major end user of the surgical microscopes. These microscopes are used in varied areas such as oncology, ophthalmology, euro & spine surgery, plastic & reconstructive surgery, gynecology & urology, ENT, and dentistry, among others. The need for high speed diagnostics, increase in the number of surgeries, advancement in the healthcare facilities, and increase in the demand for minimally invasive surgeries (MIS) are major factors driving the growth of microscopes in healthcare sector.

Microscopes are used in diagnostics/pathological laboratories for analysis of patient samples to determine the diseases. For instance, WHO recommends use of microscopes for parasite-based diagnosis for determination of malaria. Light microscopy involves visualization of the malaria parasites in a thick or thin smear of the patient’s blood. As per WHO, in 2013 around 197 million patients globally were tested by microscopic examination for various illness. India held the lions share with 120 million patient undergoing microscopy examinations. In the African Region, the number of patients examined by microscopy increased from 33 million in 2010 to 50 million in 2013 (Source: WHO).

The growing number of microscopy examinations is further supported by increasing adoption of new microscopy technologies by the hospitals. For instance, in February 2015, the Palomar Health’s Pomerado Hospital (U.S.) installed a Zeiss OPMI Lumera 700 microscope with resight viewing system. The microscope provides better optics, safer lighting and is more energy efficient as compared to older ophthalmic microscopes.

According to the latest publication from Meticulous Research®, the global microscopy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2015 to 2020 to reach USD 6,830.4 million by 2020. The microscopy market for all the applications is analyzed in this study which can be accessed at-

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