Microfluidic Substrates, Market and Processing trends
Market forecast update January 2012 (July 2011)
Technology, Application, Industry & Market Report
Polymer, Glass or Silicon: What fits my application best?
Microfluidics is on its way to becoming a main stream enabling technology for medical diagnostics, life science research, as well as drug delivery and synthesis. The market of microfluidic devices (first level packaged devices, without biological content) is expected to grow at more than 20% in the next five years and exceed $4B in 2016.
Today, no real standard in terms of materials have been defined, but the economic drivers create a partitioning of the market with on one hand, low cost single point disposable devices, and on the other hand high density and high accuracy chips.
The future perspectives for polymer, glass or silicon made microfluidic chips are thus strongly dependent on the targeted applications. The report answers the following questions:
From the OEM perspective: Which material best fits my application?
From the material and manufacturing service providers perspective: What is the potential of my technology in the microfluidics market?
What is the link between applications, functions needed and materials
Microfluidic supply and value chain by material
By material, the supply chain and value chains are described. The report provides an analysis of the microfluidic device value chain, which includes bill of materials, manufacturing, IP, packaging and quality control. This analysis helps understand the real value of the materials and how climbing in the value chain potentially increases the company revenues. For example, silicon material represents a very small fraction of total value but can add a significant value through integrated sensors and actuators.
Over 200 companies worldwide manufacture microfluidic devices. Competition is increasing between traditional microfluidic players well suited for design and prototyping, and large MEMS and semiconductor players looking for a new market for their manufacturing know-how and capacities. Although such players can offer more than only manufacturing services and use it as key selling point, the challenge for them remains to learn about microfluidics and biology.
What is the best manufacturing process?
The choice of material implies as well the choice of an appropriate manufacturing process. This selection is not trivial because an optimum has to be found between the performance parameters such as structure size, precision, aspect ratio, and economic aspects such as manufacturing costs, throughput and scalability.
In this process, understanding both the cost structure of the manufacturing processes and the applications needs in terms of design and production volumes is crucial.
The report gives an overview of the main materials used for microfluidics and manufacturing processes. We compare reshaping, subtractive, additive, bonding and sealing processes characteristics such as feature sizes, aspect ratio, throughput…
For a given design, we defined a number of scenario’s in terms of materials and manufacturing processes, and estimated the manufacturing costs for production volumes ranging from prototyping to large scale.
Key features of the report
2010-2016 Microfluidic device forecasts by materials with a unique market segmentation of the different applications, and showing the evolution of material needs per segment
Detailed supply and value chain analysis putting in evidence the value of material and structuring in the complete value chain.
A cost analysis comparing the manufacturing costs depending on the processes (etching, injection molding, NIL…), the material (Glass, SI, COC) and the production volume
An overview of the main microfluidic materials and manufacturing processes including key economic and technical data, such as process description and process flow, feature sizes, aspect ratio, throughput…
Description of the supply chain for diagnostics applications showing the market access strategy and some examples of existing collaboration