Confocal microscopes are advanced versions of conventional optical microscopes that can provide a true three-dimensional (3D) optical resolution.
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In a confocal microscope, the final image occupies the same focus as the focus related to the point of focus in the object, hence the object and its image are said to be confocal. Confocal microscopes offers ample advantages when compared to conventional microscopes including reformed depth of field, no out-of-focus flare and serial optical sections from thick specimens.
Confocal microscopes have wide applications in the field of biomedical sciences. One of the major application is imaging of fixed or living cells and tissues labelled with one or more fluorescent probes.
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The major components of confocal microscopes include lasers, used as light sources to produce extremely bright light at very specific wavelengths, highly sensitive photomultiplier-detectors (PMTs) as imaging devices and microcomputer to control the microscope’s scanner mirrors. Confocal microscopes have proved their immense importance in the field of medical sciences in the areas of diagnosis, treatment and development of biomaterials.
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The factors driving the growth of the global confocal microscope market include wide range of applications, novel diagnosis and treatment methodologies. Rising demand of efficient tools for early diagnosis of chronic and life threatening disorders have pushed the growth rate of market up.
Support of governments in terms of financial grants to improve the overall healthcare services has favored the market growth. Expanding research and development in various technical fields has also fuelled the market growth rate.
However, there are factors which can limit the growth of market, which include harmful high-intensity laser irradiation to living cells and tissues, technological complexities associated with highly sophisticated equipment, dearth of trained and expert professionals and unaffordable high cost.
Global Confocal Microscope market is highly fragmented due to presence of numerous players. The overall market is expected to witness a significant rise owing to governments’ commitments to provide better and affordable healthcare services.
Integration capacities of these devices with other imaging technologies have made them more useful and user friendly leading to their market growth. Rising caseload of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disorders such as asthma and COPD and pain and life threatening diseases such as cancer will boost the market growth globally as confocal microscopy is useful in the diagnosis and treatment both.
According to the statistics availed by the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer caused 8.8 million deaths in 2015, 17.5 million people die of cardiovascular diseases and over 3 million people die of COPD annually across the globe. Most of these deaths are reported in low and middle income countries.
Geographically, Confocal Microscope market is segmented into regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
North America is currently the leader of the global market followed by Europe because of the presence of major confocal microscope players and research and development in the field. Japan is a leader in Asia because of development of confocal microscope technology.
The market in Asian countries will witness rapid growth because of a large patient pool in need of services of such technologies. The governments in the region are focused on improvement of overall healthcare services, which will contribute to the market growth ultimately.
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The key players in the global Confocal Microscope market include NIKON INSTRUMENTS INC., Leica Microsystems, ZEISS, Olympus Corporation, Oxford Instruments, Thorlabs, Inc., KEYENCE CORPORATION, Bruker, IDEX Health & Science, LLC, Applied Precision Inc., Confovis Gmbh, Solarius Inc and Confocal.nl.
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