NEW YORK, Jan. 14 — Lab-on-a-chip technology "will have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar analytical laboratory instrumentation marketplace," says a report released on Monday.
According to the Frost & Sullivan report, proteomics, medical diagnostics, and pathogen identification are driving product development, which has moved lab-on-a-chip techniques from the theoretical realm to the marketplace.
The report, the fourth update of a paper first published in 1999, points to the continued standardization and development of DNA and protein microarrays, and the recent emergence of the multi-function chips.
While just a few years ago the prospects of an integrated microfluidics chip was uncertain, the benefits of combining these functions are now clearer and the technology more manageable, according to the report.
"The outlook for labs-on-a-chip is optimistic, although there are many hurdles to overcome," the authors write.
The report points to future life-science applications like point-of-care testing at the bedside, battlefield, or ambulance; on-site environmental sampling of soil, water, and air specimens; and use in production lines for foods, cosmetics, and the pharmaceutical industry.
The report was produced by Technical Insights, a business unit of Frost & Sullivan. It covers single-function and microarray-type labs-on-a-chip, as well as current work to develop "total microanalytical system" devices.