A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small objects and structures using such an instrument. An optical microscope is a device that uses one lens or a series of lenses to magnify images of small samples with visible light. The lenses are placed between the sample and the viewer’s eye to magnify the image so that it can be examined in greater detail. Optical microscopes are used in many research areas including microbiology, microelectronics, nanophysics, biotechnology, laboratories in educational institutes, and pharmaceutical research. They are also used to view biological samples for medical diagnosis. The global optical microscope market is expected to expand at a significant rate driven by increase in demand from innovation science. The optical microscope market was valued at about US$ 1.6 Bn in 2016 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of around 6% during the forecast period.
Factors such as increase in R&D expenditure, advancements in nanotechnology, development in the field of optical microscopy, and development in software technology are expected to drive demand for optical microscopes during the forecast period. Discovery of blood cells in the human body opened the doors for advanced studies in cell biology. Discovery of genes involved in human development through microscopes is a clear demonstration of their importance in the life sciences. These developments are anticipated to propel demand for optical microscopes. Limitations of optical microscopy in the field of research as compared to electron microscopes and small scale manufactures offering low-cost products are the main restraints for the optical microscopes market.
In terms of region, North America and Asia Pacific are the key regions of the optical microscopes market. North America and Europe hold prominent share of the global optical microscope market. Asia Pacific was a rapidly expanding region of the optical microscope market in 2016. This is due to strong research and development activities in Japan, China, South Korea, and India. Pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies is a focus segment in Asia, owing to high presence of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in China and India. Japan is a key country of the market in Asia Pacific due to high R&D expenditure in the country.
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Key players operating in the optical microscope market include Carl Zeiss AG, Leica Microsystems, Meiji Techno, Nikon Instruments Inc., Olympus Corporation, Labomed, Inc., Oxford Instruments Asylum Research, Inc., Bruker, and CAMECA. Carl Zeiss AG, Nikon Instruments Inc., and Olympus Corporation constitute a major share of the market.