The global optical microscopes market size was valued at USD 2,468.20 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 3,979.23 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 5.45% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The surging R&D expenditure by several institutes and organizations is expected to drive the global optical microscopes market over the forecast period. This increase in R&D has led to advancements and innovations in products by key players and researchers in the field of optical microscopes, thereby creating lucrative opportunities for market growth.
The optical microscope, also known as a light microscope, magnifies images of small objects using visible light and a system of lenses. Optical microscopes are the oldest type of microscope, and their present compound form was likely invented in the 17th century. Basic optical microscopes can be simple despite numerous complex designs aiming to improve sample contrast and resolution.
The object is placed on a stage and can be viewed directly through one or two eyepieces. Typically, a wide range of objective lenses with varying magnifications are mounted on a turret, allowing them to be rotated into place and enabling zooming. Optical microscopes can magnify up to about 1000 times, although this is usually the limit due to visible light's poor resolution. Optical microscopes have a broad application in research and development, including microbiology, nanophysics, biotechnology, microelectronics, laboratories in educational institutes, and pharmaceutical research.
|Market Size||USD 3,979.23 million by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||North America|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
Optical microscopes are utilized in various sectors, including cell biology and biotechnology, microbiology, microelectronics, nanophysics, biotechnology, educational institute laboratories, and pharmaceutical research. Recent advancements in the field of nanotechnology and biotechnology are propelling the growth of the R&D activity and, likewise, segment. According to the National Institute of Health 2020, biotechnology funding at the National Institute of Health was around USD 7.77 billion in 2020.
Similarly, the article' US Investments in Medical and Health R&D 2016-2020,' published in January 2022, mentioned that 85% of the medical and health R&D investment in the United States reached USD 245.1 billion in 2020, an 11.1% increase from 2019. Such an increase in funding, along with the rise in R&D expenditure for medical and health services in the United States, is expected to expedite the expansion of the market during the forecast period.
A surge in chronic and infectious illnesses worldwide is anticipated to drive the global optical microscopes market. For instance, the optical microscope identifies and diagnoses microorganisms and viruses that cause disease in humans, animals, and vegetation. In August 2020, the Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) was established with the allocation of 11 grants, amounting to about USD 17 million (approx), by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This will entail multidisciplinary research on viruses and other microorganisms that cause disease.
Compared to the electron microscope, optical microscopy is an extremely useful tool for examining the appearance of a material in greater detail; however, it has significant limitations that limit its practical application. According to the article published in Micro Bunter Microscopy 2020, the biggest advantage of an electron microscope higher resolution and are of higher magnification (up to 2 million times). While this degree of magnification serves various functions and can be useful in various situations, it is far lower than the magnification achievable with electron microscopy. On the other hand, an electron microscope may be capable of magnifications of more than 160,000x. Magnification of optical microscopes and visibility are limited, thus restraining the market growth for optical microscopes.
The industry is expected to experience growth as a result of improvements in the field of microscopy. For instance, in July 2020, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, the United States, developed an optical microscopy technique that can reveal nanoscale details about the structures of misfolded amyloid proteins in the brain, an authentication of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Many market players are also concentrating on bringing advanced products. For instance, Olympus Corporation (Representative Director and President: Yasuo Takeuchi) announced the global release of the DSX1000 digital microscope, which significantly enhances the inspection workflow of users and allows the analysis of an extensive range of samples with a single instrument. On June 3, 2019, the Olympus Scientific Solutions division introduced this new product internationally. The factors mentioned above, like technological advancement and innovation in the field of optical microscopes, are expected to generate tremendous opportunities for market growth.
Based on region, the global optical microscopes market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global optical microscopes market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.52% during the forecast period. It is anticipated that the government's support of research and development initiatives, the well-established infrastructure and cutting-edge healthcare system, and the growing emphasis on patient care and need will propel the expansion of the optical microscopes market in North America. For instance, as per the April 2021 report of the American Association for Advancement of Science, the National Institutes of Health budget grew by 3% to just under USD 43 billion for FY 2021. Likewise, Congress provided the agency an additional USD 1.25 billion through its latest pandemic response legislation.
Additionally, several key players are taking initiatives to develop new technologies and improve optical microscopes in Canada. For instance, in March 2021, Nikon Instruments Inc. opened the Center of Excellence at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Sinai Health in Toronto, Canada. The Center will draw upon its resources, technical expertise, and experienced staff in advanced imaging in cell biology. The above developments are expected to aid the market growth in North America.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.43% over the forecast period. The market for optical microscopes in Europe has expanded steadily over the past few years due to the rising need for diagnostic tools in laboratories and research. The region's rapidly growing geriatric population also expands the market. For instance, the World Population Dashboard's Statistics 2021 report from the UNFPA estimates about 21.1 million seniors in France. The need for microscopy equipment is anticipated to grow during the forecast period because chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease are most likely to affect the older population. In addition, numerous advancements are occurring in the region, facilitating the acceptance and utilization of optical microscopes. For instance, in July 2021, Vision Engineering, UK launched DRV Stereo CAM, a new and innovative stereo camera system that converts optical stereo microscopes into high magnification, high-definition 3D stereo microscopes. Such technological advancements in the field of optical microscopy in the country will boost the market in the region.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to witness the highest growth rate. Due to the surging investment in R&D, there is a growth in research being conducted in the region. For instance, the Ministry of Science and Technology data shows that China's basic research spending hit 169.6 billion yuan (USD 26.84 billion) in 2021, accounting for 6.09 percent of the country's entire research and development expenditure. Therefore, the increasing research increases the use of optical microscopes, boosting the market growth in the region.
Furthermore, the key players in the microscopy devices market and research institutes continuously focus on developing novel microscopy devices to expand their regional footprint. For instance, in November 2019, India's Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), under the Council of Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), developed a smart microscopy solution in November 2019 that can acquire or use stored microscopic images of blood samples for the quantitative analysis of red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC). The software is compatible with CSIO's digital microscope, expanding the optical microscopes market.
The Middle East and Africa accounted for the least market share. However, the increased expenditure on R&D by several government authorities is expected to drive the market in this region. According to the research article published in Springer 2019, the rapid growth of the healthcare sector, with estimates that GCC healthcare spending will top USD 60 billion by 2025, and economic development objectives that prioritized the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are driving the increased interest in biotechnology, especially R&D. In addition, the UAE government is all set to provide incentives, including financial contributions. It will help create a full ecosystem to support UAE pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies having strong research and development facilities. Therefore, increasing spending on research and development activity in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals will boost the demand for optical microscopes.
The global optical microscopes market is segmented by product and end-user.
Based on product, the global market is divided into digital microscopes, stereo microscopes, inverted microscopes, and other products.
The inverted microscope segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.12% throughout the forecast period. Inverted microscopes are utilized to observe samples from below, which is beneficial when examining liquid cell cultures. Demand from the pathological sector and expanding advanced technology options will contribute positively to market growth. Inverted microscopy is still a valuable technique for imaging living cells. There are various advantages to using inverted microscopes that are responsible for their demand. Many research studies are being conducted in the field, expected to boost innovation in the sector. For instance, Mario Salguedo et al. and others published an article titled, 'Low-cost 3D-printed inverted microscope to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a MODS culture' in the bioRxiv journal in July 2020. The researchers created a prototype of a simple, low-cost inverted optical microscope whose components were manufactured using 3D printing techniques. These innovations are expected to stimulate market expansion.
A stereo microscope is a special optical microscope that lets the user observe a 3D view of the studied specimen. These types of microscopes are also called dissecting microscopes or stereo-zoom microscopes. The major difference between stereo microscopes and compound light microscopes is that stereo microscopes have separate objective lenses and eyepieces. There are numerous applications for stereo microscopes in numerous industries. Stereo microscopes utilize reflected light from the object being studied. This contrasts the transmitted light used by compound light microscopes for studying specimens. The magnification ranges in stereo microscopes from 7.5 to 75x. The ideal objects for study with these microscopes should be opaque, thick, and solid. In addition, the market for stereo microscopes is expected to grow due to factors like increased technological advances and greater focus by market players to engage in strategic initiatives that can boost their market share. For instance, in August 2019, Vision Engineering announced the launch of its Deep Reality Viewer (DRV-Z1) digital stereoscopic display system microscopes.
Based on the end-user, the global market is segmented into hospitals and clinics, diagnostics laboratories, academic and research institutes, and other end-users.
The diagnostics laboratories segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.52% during the forecast period. The different types of optical microscopes are emerging as a powerful and promising tool in diagnosing disease, especially as a pathogen-detection method for infectious disease diagnostics. The flourishing prevalence of chronic diseases and technological advancements are major factors propelling the market's overall growth. The increasing cases of chronic illnesses such as cancer contribute to the growing need for optical microscopes. According to the Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan) 2020 data, Asia had 9,503,710 of the total prevalent cancer cases, Europe accounted for 4,398,443, and North America had 2,556,862 prevalent cancer cases in 2020. Many cancer cases are expected to boost the demand for diagnostic laboratories, thus boosting market growth.
The launch of new hospitals and clinics around the globe is the major factor driving the studied segment during the forecast period. Since patients are admitted most often at hospitals, many large hospitals have in-house capabilities for diagnostics. This is a major area where optical microscopes are used. The increasing prevalence of illnesses and demand for diagnostics capabilities at hospitals remains one of the major factors propelling the segment's growth. In addition, clinics are important areas where microscopes are used. In clinics, microscopes are used for hematology, histology, pathology, etc. Most clinics have experienced personnel to handle these microscopes.
The launch of various microscopes in favor of various hospitals and clinics is also expected to expedite the expansion of this segment during the forecast period. For instance, in February 2021, Nikon Corporation announced the launch of the "ECLIPSE Si" upright microscope that has improved operability. The microscope was made for optimal use in clinical applications and educational purposes. Developments such as these are expected to spur the market growth.