Thursday, January 31, 2013

Global markets for Microfluidics

Microfluidics is the science of designing, manufacturing, and formulating devices and systems that deal with volumes of fluid on the order of nanoliters or picoliters.  Advances in microfluidics technology have paved the way for new systems to synthesize, purify, and rapidly screen chemicals, biologicals, and materials using integrated, massively-parallel, miniaturized platforms.  Microfluidics, as the term is used in this report, encompasses both:
  •  Microfluidic components: The demand for individual components (mainly to systems assemblers); assessment of this would include market forecasts for manufacturers of the components and fabrication-related businesses.
  •  Microfluidic systems: End-user demand for systems; assessment of this would include market forecasts for areas such as proteomics and drug delivery.
Microfluidic instruments and processing are important to the future of medical research, as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.  Microfluidic devices hold the promise of small analytical laboratories on a chip to identify, separate, and purify cells, biomolecules, toxins, and other materials with greater speed, sensitivity, efficiency, and affordability than standard instruments.  Other potential applications of microfluidic devices include detecting chemical and biological warfare agents, delivering precise amounts of prescription drugs, keeping tabs on blood parameters for hospital patients, and monitoring the qualities of air and water.
The field of microfluidics is poised for rapid growth. Over the past decade, a technological revolution has occurred through the application of electronic chip design and fabrication techniques, which has led to the creation of commercialized microsystems.  The use of MEMS is now widespread throughout many industries.
Microfluidics adds to the functionality of many MEMS devices and is opening up new applications and areas for commercialization.  The technology enables complex chemical and biological reactions to be carried out and analyzed using extremely small sample volumes, typically in the nanoliter range.  This is especially useful in drug discovery, diagnostic testing, and genomics, where the manipulation of complicated and expensive biological fluids is required.  Because samples can remain concentrated, microfluidics testing results in faster response times.  In addition, the miniature size of the components allows for the construction of compact high-throughput systems that otherwise would take up immense amounts of laboratory space.
The chemical and life-science industries are developing a wide range of analytical and diagnostic applications using microfluidic technologies.  Immediate practical applications of microfluidics include DNA sequencing and analysis, high-throughput DNA screening, protein analysis, clinical diagnostics, drug discovery, and pharmacogenomics.  Additional fields of use include industrial applications, polymer synthesis, combinatorial drug synthesis, food monitoring, bioagricultural applications, environmental monitoring, military applications, and micropumps for medical devices.
The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, Microfluidics: Technologies and GlobalMarkets (SMC036D). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click above.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Biologic Therapeutic Drugs markets and technologies

The focus of the pharmaceutical industry has changed significantly in the past 60 years.  Historically, the focuses of research and products were on small-molecule drugs. Advances in biochemistry, immunology, and biotechnology, however, have broadened our understanding of the mechanisms that operate within the body and what happens when these mechanisms go out of control.  There are significant molecular differences between small molecules, therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and vaccines.  Due to convenience, which drives patient compliance, what is the benefit afforded by an orally administered drug?  One of the most profound industry-shaping characteristics is the orally available nature of small molecules versus the injectable nature of most biologics.  However, it is the advent of attractive drug targets, the ability to create an oral form of large molecule drugs, and the improvement in manufacturing capabilities that will advance large molecules.
Antibiotics were developed out of the need to battle infection on the battlefield in the late 1930s and early 1940s. .  Medicinal chemists developed techniques for synthesizing drugs to reduce dependence on natural plant and animal sources.  By the 1970s, the products ofthe pharmaceutical industry consisted to a great extent of molecules created in the laboratory either by chemical synthesis or fermentation. These were small molecules, relative to the size of naturally occurring substances such as insulin.
Because small molecules are typically orally available, they can be prescribed by a primary-care physician and self-administered at home. This means that predominantly small-molecule-focused drug companies need large sales forces to address the large number of primary-care physicians, with obvious consequences for structure and costs.  Further, because small molecules can be synthesized by high-throughput chemical processes or large-volume fermentation, the cost of goods of these products is likely to be exceedingly low.
By contrast, biologics (also termed biopharmaceuticals) are generally administered intravenously and, therefore, require assistance from medical personnel, with a few obvious exceptions – for example, self-administered insulin.  Biopharma drug sales forces tend to be focused on the hospital sector and can be considerably smaller in size.
Concurrently, biologic therapies can be far more expensive to manufacture and require longer processing times. As a result, the margins for biologics are often much lower. In many cases, however, pricing has been matched with the investment required to research, develop, and manufacture these large-molecule products.
Biopharmaceuticals have experienced shifts in interest from both patient care providers and manufacturers. Due to the dearth of small-molecule targets that are druggable with a safe product, more and more pharmaceutical companies are looking to large-molecule drugs to bolster their pipelines. 
The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, Biologic Therapeutic Drugs: Technologiesand Global Markets (BIO079B). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click above.
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rare earth market and top ten companies

Businesses and countries care about rare earth elements because they are in everything from smartphones, laptops and tablet computers to batteries for hybrid or electric cars.
Rare earth elements are generally defined as the 17 lanthanoids (elements with atomic numbers 57 [lanthium] through 71 [lutetium]) and the two “step-children” of row three of scandium with atomic number 21 and yttrium with atomic number 39.  All 17 of these elements have similar chemical structures that give them special uses in mechanical, chemical, metallurgical, optical, catalytic, nuclear, magnetic, and abrasive properties.
Analysis of available information indicates that the rare earth elements are not all that rare.  Availability in the Earth’s crust of rare earths is about the same as that of copper.  The problem is in the locations of the mines containing the elements, separations, and purifications overlaid with a variety of political and environmental issues.  A downside is that there may be radioactive waste, huge environmental waste ponds, and unsightly strip mines. Dumping the waste into the oceans may endanger fishing industries. Beyond the environmental concerns are political policies and concerns. China’s Ministry of Commerce published the “Announcement on the Application Conditions and Procedures for Export Quotas of Rare Earth in 2013” on December 5, 2012. 
Also, processing rare earths can be a messy business, especially in China. Required are strong acids such as concentrated sulfuric acid and ammonia.  Most of the wastes are dumped in large dump tailings “lakes.” Each motor in a Toyota Prius contains a kilogram of neodymium and each battery more than 10 kilograms of lanthanum produced in China, according to British journalist Lindsey Hilsum. Wastewater may contain radioactive materials. Air emissions include fluorine and sulfur.
According to a Bloomberg report, the rare earth metals are key to the switch to cleaner energy in batteries in hybrid cars to the magnets in wind turbines. Mining and processing the metals causes environmental damage that China, the largest producer, may no longer be willing to bear.  This may leave the door open for a few companies outside of China to enter the fray, perhaps in Siberia, as Russia has the largest reserves of rare earth minerals after China.
This brings up the significant trend of new rare earth mines in countries other than China, new mixes and alternatives to the usual combination of rare earths in a given application, price changes, and a new look at recycling and reclaiming rare earths that have already been used in hard drives, smartphones, and batteries.
The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, Top Ten Companies in Rare Earths (AVM090A). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click on the above link.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recently published advance materials category reports

We have some new market research reports in the advance materials category which may be beneficial for you.

Take a look at our recently published advance materials category reports. These are: -

Top Ten Companies in Rare Earths (AVM090A)

This technical business study emphasizes on the companies involved in production, purification and extraction of the 17 traditionally defined rare earths. This study also highlights the valuable applications of these 17 rare earth elements.

Lightweight Materials in Transportation (AVM056C)

Lightweight materials play an important role in reducing fuel consumption in the transportation sector. This report provides assessment of the business opportunities for providers of lightweight materials that will arise over the next five years and also analysis of the technical, commercial and other prerequisites of success in these markets.

Top Ten Companies in Powder Metallurgy (AVM088A)

This report is written with the intent of covering two major segments of the powder metallurgy industry: (1) those companies that manufacture metal powders, and (2) those who use the metal powders to fabricate components.  If one were to rank companies by annual revenues, it is clear that the parts fabricators will easily outrank the powder manufacturers based on the value of the final product being produced, as the output of one segment is one of the inputs to the second.

Commercial Roofing Materials: The North American Market (AVM071B)

This report provides information on commercial roofing products used in the North American commercial roofing market including the latest information on product developments and technology enhancements.

Photonics 2012 Review (AVM087A)

This Photonics Research Review provide highlights of reports published in 2012 on advanced materials markets; it includes brief descriptions about Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), Nanotechnology for Photonics, Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) for Lighting Applications, Global Markets and Technologies for Medical Lasers and Global Markets and Technologies for Photovoltaic Systems.

For a complete listing of report titles for advanced materials, please visit:

Apart from the above reports, there are some upcoming reports which you might be interested in. List of such reports is given below: -
  • Global Markets and Technologies for Photonic Crystals(AVM059C)
  • Aerogels (AVM052C)
  • Nonwoven Filter Media: Technologies and Global Markets (AVM043D)
  • Protective Sports Equipment: The North American Market (AVM085A)
  • Emerging Inkjet Printing Technologies, Applications and Global Markets (AVM091A)
  • Bioinspired and Nanoengineered Surfaces: Technologies, Applications and Global Markets (AVM089A)
For more information on upcoming reports on various catagories please click here.
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Global Markets for Nanoparticle Size Analysis Instrumentation in the Life Sciences

The discovery of nanoparticles and the advent of nanoparticle study as a science had its beginnings in the 1980s. In the past two decades, the science of nanoparticles has made major advances in particle-type production and in nanoparticle application in all areas of the life sciences. The most rapid advances have been made in the application of nanoparticles in drug research and development, product formulation, and in the development of novel drug-delivery systems using specific nanoparticle carriers. This rapid incorporation of nanoparticles species into the, formulation, pilot studies, and production of drug products has given rise to the need for rapid and accurate nanoparticle analytical instrumentation. This equipment is necessary for determining the size, shape, and characteristics of particle materials in the nanometer-size range.
The range of sizes of nanoparticles used in the life sciences and biomedical applications is 10 nm to 100 nm in diameter. Developing particles from various starting materials that remain stable in this size range has become one of the fastest-growing and potentially useful emerging technologies of the last several decades.
The nanoparticles used in the life sciences and medicine can be composed of a variety of materials.  These include:

  •   Carbon
  •   Gold
  •   Silver
  •   Silicon
  •   Lipids (liposomes)
  •   Polysaccharides (chitosan and alginate)
  •   Polymers of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] or polystyrene
  •   Optison (liquid perfluorocarbon)
  •   Superparamagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs)
  •   Natural biomacromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins)
  •  Clay.

The requirements for the production and type of nanoparticle structure formed by each material depend on the method of synthesis and the physical conditions employed. Physical conditions include temperature, pressure, length of time exposed, and the presence or absence of supporting (catalytic) materials. While the size of a particle is of critical importance, the shape of the particle is also extremely important for a specific particle to perform its biological function (e.g., transporting a chemotherapy drug to the site of a specific tumor-cell type).
The need for the tightly controlled size parameter in nanoparticle preparation has demanded more precise analytical equipment for analyzing particle size. The use of the particles in areas such as drug research and development and drug production also has increased the need for faster speed in the analysis of particles. This is especially true for the analysis of quality-control samples in which out-of-specification particles can shut down a production line. The major emphasis of instrument companies in this market has been to develop more accurate, rapid instruments with a smaller lab-bench footprint. The latter is true because QC laboratories and R&D laboratories are usually crowded for equipment space. In the production area, samples may need to be analyzed at the actual site of production, also emphasizing the need for the equipment parameters above.
The above is an extract from the BCC Research report, Global Markets for Nanoparticle Size Analysis Instrumentation in the Life Sciences (Report Code: BIO114A). To download the complimentary first chapter, please click on the above link provided.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

U.S. Consumes from 35% to 45% of all Membrane Modules Produced Worldwide

With a more upbeat economic forecast and loosening of credit, both municipal and industrial end users of membrane products are forecast to make near-term capital investments. Longer term, strong growth is anticipated, as the need for environmental protection and for updated process equipment speed the pace of investment. Financial reports from membrane manufacturers support that notion; both municipal and industrial sector sales are increasing, in many cases, by double digits.

Various sectors within the market: potable water purification, municipal and industrial wastewater treatment, process water and other fluid treatment, and gas separations are increasing at greater or lesser rates depending on category.

 RSS Feeds – Membrane and separation technology

This report provides:
  • An overview of the U.S. market for membrane technology for liquid and gas separations, with examination of the global activities due to the international presence of many industry participants
  • Analyses of market trends, with data from 2011, estimates for 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2017
  • Evaluations of industrial-scale membrane products only; no consumer products (i.e., point-of-use water systems) are included in the analysis

To provide further information about this report we offer a Complimentary Introduction, available from our Website. To download, simply click here, go to the Table of Contents tab, add the complimentary introduction to your cart, and confirm your order.

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