SPATIAL BIOLOGY MARKET ANALYSIS AND PERSPECTIVE
The term Spatial Biology is used to describe a series of techniques with which scientists collect cellular information in the context of their 3D environment. Traditionally, studies have focused on isolated cells or tissues and looking at their molecular composition. However, these approaches often lacked the spatial context of the cells or tissues of interest. For instance, in bulk RNA sequencing, cellular heterogeneity is lost, while single-cell RNA sequencing generates minimal information regarding the tissues’ surroundings; therefore developing a whole picture of a cell’s environment proved difficult. However, with developments in advanced spatial biology, scientists are closer to filling the missing piece of the puzzle by identifying and localizing different cell populations within a tissue of interest. With the spatial context in hand, more in-depth conclusions can be drawn regarding various physiological and pathological processes.
For spatial information to be preserved in tissue, the RNA needs to be isolated while protecting its environment. Often, barcodes such as oligonucleotides are used to individually label the RNA in the tissue and hence preserve the surrounding environment. Researchers can then look at the cell-to-cell interactions, tissue composition and intracellular heterogeneity. However, limitations to resolution and specificity are still an issue, with various methods constantly being improved or developed to expand current resolution limits and applicability. In terms of workflow, vendors are looking to improve current methods and automate certain parts.
Spatial omics instruments can be broadly classified as next generation sequencing–based, which encode positional information onto transcripts before sequencing takes place, or imaging- based, which employ either in situ sequencing (ISS) or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). However, as technology evolves, no one technique is clear-cut, and often spatial omics instruments incorporate elements of both categories.
Imaging-based methods are typically carried out using a microscope. Newer instrumentation such as Nanostring’s GeoMX and 10x Genomics Visium are spatial profilers enabling high plex (10s-10,000s) digital quantitation of proteins and mRNA in tissues
An alternative technology in spatial studies is MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry. Utilizing mass spectrometry allows researchers to understand the metabolic functions of proteins, such as the formation of metabolites like ATP and lipids. Unlike IHC or FISH, spatial MS is label-free. Emerging methods using metal-isotope tagged tissue are also entering the market that, when coupled with MALDI or DESI, enable the direct and simultaneous imaging of hundreds to thousands of molecules. Lastly, sequencing-based methods are performed using NGS and RNA with spatial information captured and subsequently sequenced.
Regardless of the technique, innovation in spatial biology instrumentation is accelerating and companies are looking to meet the demand for breakthrough technologies to enable scientists to enhance research and develop novel therapies.
This report includes End User Perspectives derived from a survey of spatial biology experts from North America and Europe in the pharma/biotech/CRO, clinical, and public sectors. They offer insights into the current and future use of spatial biology techniques, instruments and consumables used in workflows, as well as improvements that can be made. End users share their applications utilizing spatial biology, how often they use various techniques and instruments, how often they use a particular technique or instrument, which vendors they currently purchase from, future purchase plans, and budget projections.
SDi’s 2023 Spatial Biology Market report observes the dynamics and numerous market trends influencing the industry and analyzes their effect on sales growth for spatial-omics imaging instrumentation. As the leading provider of market research on analytical instrumentation, SDi has crafted this report to evaluate and explain what is currently driving this important market. The analytical instrument market in this report includes staining equipment, consumables, spatial-omics imaging instruments, microscopes, NMR, and IR instruments utilized in spatial biology techniques. These instruments are categorized into five different technologies which build the overall market.
- Market demand segmented by technique, region, sector, and function, along with yearly market forecasts through 2027. The market estimates include 2022 as the base year and estimates are provided for the following techniques:
- Other Imaging Systems
- Spatial Omics Imaging Instruments
- Sample Preparation
- Recent developments and regional trends for the Unites States & Canada, Europe, China, Japan, India & Other Asia-Pacific, Latin America & the Rest of the World.
- Vendor share of participating suppliers in each technology category. Some of the top vendors in the overall market are presented below, in alphabetical order:
- 10x Genomics
- Abcam PLC
- Akoya Biosciences
- Biocare Medical LLC
- CellSignaling Technologies
- Fortis Life Sciences
- Histo-Line Laboratories
- Miltenyi Biotech
- NanoString Technologies