Market Profile: Biophotometers

May 1, 2013

Volume 28, Issue 5

Market Profile: Biophotometers

One small niche portion of the photometer market is biophotometers. They are very simple, low-cost instruments that are used in a fairly narrow range of applications. Despite their simplicity, demand should continue to grow for the category.

Although there are a huge number of photometer models on the market (not to be confused with color analysis instruments), only a handful are designed specifically for biological applications. Some of the most common uses are for determining cell density of E. coli and other bacteria for monitoring cell growth, as well as the analysis of nucleic acids and proteins, protein quantitation, and other bioanalyses. Most biophotometers measure the optical density (OD) of cells at 600 nm, although some models offer a range of selectable wavelengths to address various other applications. Biophotometers typically cost less than $1500, while basic spectrophotometers start at several thousand dollars. Laboratories that perform a wider range of bioanalysis applications often choose to perform cell density and other biological applications using spectrophotometers, but biophotometers provide a significantly lower cost option to educational laboratories and industry laboratories that have much more limited requirements.

Biophotometer vendor share - 2012.

The total size of the market for biophotometers is around $6 million annually, which accounts for less than 10% of the photometer market and pales in comparison to the nearly $800 million UV–vis spectroscopy market. Although demand from the academic sector could be challenging in the near term, the continued strong growth of the biotechnology sector should help maintain at least modest demand for such instruments going forward.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report titled The Global Assessment Report, 12th Edition: The Laboratory Life Science and Analytical Instrument Industry, October 2012. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Vice President, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851,