Eliminating the Microfluidics Specialization Gap
The microfluidics market is projected to be worth $8.78 billion by 2021, with microfluidic technologies reaching an increasing range of applications.
We spoke to Gus Salem, President - IDEX Health and Science to discuss where the future of microfluidics may be headed, the company's continued expansion into the microfluidics marketplace and some of its future goals.
AM: IDEX recently completed their second acquisition of a microfluidics company. Can you tell us about these acquisitions and the benefits they will bring?
GS: The addition of thinXXS Microsystems supplements IDEX Health & Science’s microfluidic consumables capabilities that started in July 2015 with the acquisition of Cidra Precision Services (CPS). These capabilities diversify the IH&S business model beyond adding value to our customer’s capital equipment products and into the high value consumables associated with the hardware. As the market leader in providing differentiated optics and fluidics for our partner’s instruments, the addition of consumables is a logical extension that will speed customer time-to-market and allow for optimization of instrument and consumable designs as well as manufacturing.
AM: What has been driving IDEX’s expansion into the microfluidics marketplace?
GS: As stated above, diversifying our business model beyond the instrumentation hardware into the associated consumables is the primary driver of our strategy. This strategy has evolved from specific customer requests for us to “do more” in the areas of fluidics and optics. Additionally, general market demands for suppliers to become more technology leaders and offer a wider breadth of capabilities is encouraging us to accelerate the strategy.
AM: Where do you see the microfluidics market heading in 2018? Which applications are most likely to benefit from advances in microfluidic technologies?
GS: In such a dynamic space as life science it is difficult to predict winners or “killer applications”. Some areas we are watching closely are: organs-on-a-chip, synthetic biology, application-specific sample preparation and various areas of molecular diagnostics.
AM: What are some of the challenges preventing greater adoption of microfluidics?
GS: We believe that customers will benefit from having a partner that can design and manufacture both the microfluidic consumable device and the associated instrumentation within a single organization. Currently microfluidic consumable providers are only able to address part of the overall analysis system. We are creating an organization that will eliminate this specialization “gap” and bring greater value to customers who wish to partner on integrated designs. Most notably, we see the combination of optics and fluidics as a key enabler of greater microfluidic consumables adoption.
AM: What are IDEX’s future goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
GS: Our goal is to create an organization that is recognized as the leading global partner to the Life Science instrumentation marketplace. This will be achieved by focusing our attention and resources on areas where we can have the greatest impact in Life Science instrumentation. We aspire to create extraordinarily high value for our partners so that they simultaneously win in the marketplace and improve the lives of their customers