The global gel documentation systems market size was valued at USD 298.10 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 425.61 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.04% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
A gel doc, also called a gel documentation system, gel image system, or gel imager, is a piece of equipment frequently used in molecular biology labs to photograph and document nucleic acids and proteins. Further, the characterization of protein and nucleic acid is also done by gel documentation systems. For deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), gels can be used for separation, sequencing, preparation, and imaging; documentation is essential to all these applications. With modern imaging and documentation systems, the quantification of nucleic acid and proteins can be highly accurate and quantitative.
Additionally, gel documentation systems are processed in various configurations depending on throughput and sample type. Gel documentation systems measure labeled nucleic acid and protein in multiple media types such as cellulose, agarose, or acrylamide. Ethidium bromide or other nucleic acid strains stain the gel for DNA/RNA detection. In contrast, Coomassie Brilliant Blue, Silver Staining, etc., are used to detect proteins. Gel documentation systems include all-in-one systems: instruments, accessories, and software. The systems are used for academic and research institutions.
Research in genomics through population-based studies is a fundamental approach to identifying genetic variations and population trends. Exhaustive large-scale genomic research is being conducted worldwide to enable precision medicine in different attributes of healthcare, including diagnostics, drug development, and patient stratification. In addition, population genomics initiatives launched in several countries have significantly transformed the healthcare industry. Advancements in sequencing technologies and genomic analysis software solutions have enabled researchers to conduct extensive studies, producing vast amounts of genomic data for further analysis and interpretation.
For instance, in January 2020, Germany joined the "EU's 1+ Million Genomes Initiative" to actively participate in this research project to share genomic data across the European Union (EU) for research purposes for developing future diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases. Owing to such advancements in the field of genomics, the utilization of genomic software solutions is expected to increase by various end-users for data interpretation, further translating into the growth of the global gel documentation systems market in the forthcoming years.
Genomic research is the fundamental approach for identifying genetic variations and population trends. Exhaustive research is being conducted in precision medicine, which is expected to help clinicians make effective decisions for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. For instance, in January 2018, the National Institute of Health announced funding of USD 190 million for genome editing research.
Furthermore, significant government funding in the field of genomics has led to enhancement in research activities. The principal objective of genomic research is to determine the regulatory gene functions throughout the genome and to explore DNA-protein interactions efficiently. The primary aim of genomics in healthcare is to change how diseases are diagnosed, followed by their prevention and treatment strategies. In the future, genomic research in medicine is expected to revolutionize strategies adopted for disease management, thereby enhancing market growth.
New genomic platforms must make huge financial investments and undergo a large number of tests in order to operate at scale and achieve competitive pricing points, given the rapid improvements. It is also difficult to establish and maintain different sequencing technology platforms, including their supportive genomic data analysis software tools, which also require upgrades. Further, the necessary capital needed to establish the infrastructure for modern genomic testing and its consequent comprehensive interpretation is often absent at several medical research centers, particularly in the current funding scenario, restricting the market growth.
Advancements in understanding the human genome consistently lead to novel ideas regarding diagnosing and treating various human diseases. As exhaustive research is being conducted in the field of genomics for clinical decision-making, industry juggernauts are also investing in developing complex software algorithms for genomic data analysis. These advancements have delved deeper into segregating applications based on genomics into diagnosing complex diseases, ranging from rare diseases to infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
With rapidly increasing advancements in genomics and data analysis, it is imperative to note the dynamic nature of this field. As a result, technologies are fast becoming old and giving way to newer technologies for increased specificity in understanding the intricacies of genome behavior in healthy and diseased individuals. In addition, technologies such as NGS provide faster and more accurate results in understanding the various aspects that aid in successful disease diagnosis. These advances offer an unparalleled opportunity to advance the field of data analysis in diagnostics significantly and provide further growth in the global gel documentation systems market.
The global gel documentation systems market is bifurcated into the products, source, detection technology, application, and end-user.
Based on products, the global gel documentation systems market is divided into instruments, accessories, and software.
The instruments segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.28% over the forecast period. The instruments segment includes gel documentation systems, imaging systems based on fluorescence, chemiluminescence, and colorimetric detection technologies. Instruments currently dominating the gel documentation systems market are from Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Analytik Jena GmbH, Azure Biosystems, Inc., Cleaver Scientific, Ltd, and Merck KGaA. Further, the instruments become suitable for various nucleic acid and protein quantification applications.
Based on the source, the global gel documentation systems market is divided into ultraviolet (UV), light-emitting diodes (LEDs), laser, and others.
The ultraviolet (UV) segment contributes to the highest market share and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.07% over the forecast period. The source of radiation used to observe DNA bands is called a transilluminator. Typically, samples are radiated using UV light. It is used when ethidium bromide is employed as a fluorescent tag in agarose gel electrophoresis samples. There are up to four UV lights available for use. Excitation wavelengths can range from 250 to 800 nm. After the source has been inactive for a predetermined amount of time, a shut-off timer can be set. The newest technology has immediate on/off and does not require warming up UV lights.
Based on detection technology, the global gel documentation systems market is divided into fluorescence, chemiluminescence, colorimetric, and other detection technologies.
The fluorescence segment accounts for the largest market share and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.40% over the forecast period. In academic and research institutions, fluorescence is used to quantify nucleic acids and proteins. Estimation of nucleic acid and protein concentration is necessary for electrification and protein quantification. In a gel documentation system, the visualization of DNA or RNA on the gels is done with the help of fluorescence. Technological advancements have optimized instruments such as NuGenius+, G BOX, or G BOX mini-systems for quick and easy imaging of Stain-Free gels. Further, using UV transilluminator lighting options, each system's software will select the right imaging conditions to provide the result.
Based on application, the global gel documentation systems market is bifurcated into nucleic acid quantification, protein quantification, and others.
The nucleic acid quantification segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 4.30% over the forecast period. Gel documentation systems offer nucleic acid quantification with the detection and analysis of nucleic acid. The advancements in detection technologies have enabled clinicians to decipher clinical insights from genomic data, further offering tailored treatments. These related software solutions help clinicians and pathologists to discover and analyze various DNA and RNA levels. Furthermore, nucleic acid analysis software helps clinicians develop data-driven biomarkers indicative of therapeutic response. Gel imaging systems can be utilized for detection and automated data analysis with all common nucleic acid staining and labeling modes, such as colorimetric, fluorescent, chemiluminescent, and radioisotopic.
Based on the end-user, the global gel documentation systems market is bifurcated into academic and research institutions, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and diagnostic laboratories, contract research organizations, and others.
The academic and research institutions segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 4.57% during the forecast period. Academic and research institutions are at the forefront of the primary use of gel documentation systems. Current research on gel documentation systems has become impressively sophisticated by incorporating chemiluminescence, colorimetric, and fluorescence technologies. In addition, research is being conducted to decipher the intricacies of these advanced methods and technologies. Research in the field of gel documentation systems is expected to showcase detecting technology by incorporating cutting-edge gel documentation systems in the not-too-distant future.
Based on region, the global gel documentation systems market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Rest-of-the-World (RoW).
North America is the most significant global gel documentation systems market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.65% over the forecast period. North America dominates the global market and is expected to hold its dominance in the future. North America is home to many legacy companies in the healthcare industry that are currently integrating their portfolios with advanced gel documentation systems. Moreover, the rising adoption of gel documentation detection technology in the U.S. boosts its potential in large genetic data sets, leading to actionable outcomes. Further, the development of advanced quantification of protein and nucleic acid is offering employment and financial development opportunities in research facilities across North America. These factors are cumulatively bolstering the growth of the gel documentation systems market in North America.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.50% over the forecast period. Europe has always been at the forefront when establishing research to advance genomics on a global level. Several European countries are working persistently to enhance research initiatives in genomics and bioinformatics across Europe. For instance, launched in 2018, the "1+ Million Genomes" initiative is one of the most significant collaborative projects in which 22 signatory EU member states and Norway participated to share genomic data across the EU for research purposes for developing future diagnoses and treatment of rare diseases. The project initiated by the EU is typically aimed at improving the accessibility, effectiveness, resilience, and sustainability of healthcare systems across the region. The initiative has ensured that scientific excellence is driven into understanding the role of genomics in human health modulation, providing massive opportunities for growth in the region as a large amount of data is being generated, increasing the adoption of gel documentation systems by the research institutions.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. The study of genomics and its sequencing application in the pharmaceutical sector has become an increasingly active and global initiative in Asia-Pacific. With a large geographic area and substantial ethnic, cultural, and genetic diversity, the region has become a focus area for a growing number of genomic and sequencing studies, significantly increasing the adoption of robust software solutions for data analysis to derive clinical and research insights. In addition, significant concerns have been regarding the under-representation of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) population in the global gel documentation systems market, further attracting global focus upon the region. Increasing fund infusions for genomics and bioinformatics research projects to establish precision medicine in routine healthcare practices, the rising prevalence of several chronic diseases such as cancer, and the establishment of multidisciplinary consortiums in the Asia-Pacific region are the major driving factors for market expansion.
The Latin America gel documentation systems market is still nascent, considering the rapid worldwide developments. Several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, are working rigorously to enhance the adoption of gel documentation systems across emerging economies in the Latin America region. Although sluggish growth has been observed in the region owing to the widespread adoption of advanced molecular diagnostic technologies, economically developing regions in Latin America are likely to grow in gel documentation systems. At present, they are lagging behind the developed and a majority of the developing countries, especially in the case of adopting similar next-generation sequencing initiatives.
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