The global biosensor market is estimated to be worth $27.1bn by 2020 according to a market research report by Million Insights.

Biosensors are analytical devices that are used to measure analytes such as gasses, bacteria and organic compounds. They provide results by changing biological reactions into electrical indicators.

The devices include a biological component that works as a sensor and an electrical element which, when combined, can distinguish and pass on signals. Glucose biosensors, for example, are now commonly used to measure glucose concentrations in a patient’s blood, which is essential for diabetes management.

The main factor contributing towards the expansion of the industry is the increasing number of patients suffering from diabetes worldwide. Other key factors include the growth of technically-advanced products, an increasing demand for small and non-invasive products, and increasing patient awareness levels. However, other existing diabetes management options are predicted to confine market expansion.

The current market can be separated into the sections of home care diagnostics, hospital use and other. The home care diagnostics section is expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period due to increasing demand and technological innovations which are making home devices more accurate. However, the hospital sector is predicted to capture the maximum share of the market growth.

North America is expected to gain maximum revenue over the forecast period due to the increasing cases of diabetes in this region along with technological advancements in the area. Europe could capture the second largest revenue and the revenue for the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow rapidly due to an ageing population and increasing consumer awareness of the home use of medical devices.

Carbon nanotubes are an important focus for the industry for use in nanoelectronic equipment. This is due to their chemical, physical and electrical properties, such as their superior electron transfer properties, which make them efficient electrochemical sensors. Carbon nanotubes could offer good support for the control of enzymes and combining them with glucose biosensors can offer quick detection rate and high accuracy. A number of R&D initiatives are being taken by active players in the market as they aim to get maximum revenue from new developments and offer highly precise devices.

Some of the main companies currently in the biosensor market are Roche, Abbott, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, Nova Biomedical Corp, Animas Corporation, M-Biotech, LifeScan, AgaMatrix and Medtronic Diabetes.