August 27, 2018 -- The past year has yielded exciting improvements in advanced microscopy technologies, including confocal, multiphoton, light sheet fluorescence and other super-resolution techniques. The continued growth of these tools was fueled by both innovative technological development and life science companies establishing new partnerships. In this article, we will discuss some of the cutting-edge advances in microscopy.
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 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.
Thermo Fisher Scientific took a different strategy to maintain their competitive advantage in microscopy technology. Bolstered by their recent acquisition of FEI, the company has rapidly been advancing within the microscopy sphere. 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.
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 the 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.
What are your thoughts on this dynamic technology? What kind of microscopy do you use in your lab? Start the discussion below!