Despite its many benefits including patient convenience and cost reduction, point-of-care (POC) diagnostics has not achieved the commercial potential that many expected. That will change in the coming years, according to Yole Développement (Lyon, France), which predicts that the sector will reach $38 billion by 2017, representing 16% of the in vitro diagnostics market. That is welcome news for patients and payers. It's also good news for polymer suppliers and plastics processors, since plastic is becoming the reference substrate of POC applications, according to Yole Développement.
Polymers, glass, silicon, metal, and ceramics typically are used to manufacture microfluidic devices. The material of choice depends on the application, says Dr. Benjamin Roussel, an analyst at Yole Développement.