5 Big Advances in Small Clinical Technology

Gienna Shaw, August 10, 2010

From a tiny eye telescope to microscopic health data on the surface of contact lenses to advances in cancer treatments, medical devices continue to get smaller and smaller. And the smallest of the small fields—nanotechnology—is expected to get bigger (so to speak) over the coming years. 

The global market for nanotechnology was worth $11.6 billion in 2007 and could reach $27.0 billion by the end of 2013, according to India-based market research firm Bharatbook in a report released this month. Biomedical applications has the highest projected growth rate (56%) compared to other applications over the next 5 years.

A report published by the same company in June found:

  1. US demand for nanotechnology medical products will rise more than 17 percent per year to $75.1 billion in 2014.
  1. The total market for nanomedicines will command strong growth over the long term, rising to almost $59 billion in 2014 and sustaining a strong upward pace through 2019.
  1. Among nanodiagnostic products, nanosized monoclonal antibody labels and DNA probes are greatly enhancing the speed, accuracy, capabilities and costeffectiveness of in vitro diagnostic testing, drug discovery and medical research procedures.
  1. Within the medical supplies and devices segment, nanomaterials are already gaining significant demand as active ingredients of burn dressings, bone substitutes, and dental repair and restoration products. In the long term, advances in nanotechnology will lead to the introduction of new, improved medical supply and device coatings as well as a new, diverse group of medical implants.
  1. The greatest near-term impact of nanotechnology in health care by indication will be in therapies and diagnostics for cancer and central nervous system disorders.
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