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Biophotonics is the term derived by the combination of photonics and biology. Photons are central entity in information technology in the same manner as electrons in electronics. Biophotonics is the application and development of optical methodology such as imaging, diagnosing etc, to study cells and tissues. It refers to detection, emission, absorption, modification, reflection and creation of radiation from tissues, organisms, biomaterials and cells. The major applications in the field of biophotonics are Life science, agriculture, environmental science and medicine.
Increasing demand for quality healthcare and growth of ageing population are the major forces driving the biophotonics market. The major benefit of biophotonics is that it preserves the cells for a specific period when they are examined. Apart from this, advances in optical technologies in aerospace and telecom industry and availability of funds for research and development are also propelling the growth for biophotonics market. In addition, the demand for minimum invasion surgeries and the increasing awareness about food security are expected to drive biophotonics market over the forecast period. The increasing demand for non medical applications including prevention of unauthorized access of data and for pathogen detections in agricultural food products are some of the future opportunities for this market.
North America accounted for the largest market share in 2013, which is expected to pool heavy investment and at the same time high end research is expected to be carried out in the field of biophotonics in coming years. In addition, increasing number of cancer patients and demand for non-medical applications mainly in the field of food security in this region has ensured its dominance. The Asia Pacific biophotonics market was valued at USD 4.23 billion in 2013, and is expected to be the fastest growing biophotonics market in the coming years. Increasing old age population and increasing healthcare expenditure are the key growth factor for this geography.
Medical diagnostics represented the largest biophotonics end-use segment in 2013. However, non-medical application segment is expected to exhibit the fastest growth over the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. The applications in detection of pathogens in agricultural food items, need for constant blood monitoring and need to prevent unauthorized access are driving the growth in this segment.

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In terms of applications, see-through imaging was the largest application segment in 2013 owing to rising demand for minimum invasive surgeries and vast number of applications in the field of oncology, cardiology, neurology and brain imaging among others. However, biosensors are expected to have maximum growth rate in the forecasted period. The increasing number of cases for diabetic patients, the rising awareness about food security and demand for prevention of unauthorized access are the major drivers for this market in the coming years.

Major industry participants include Olympus Corporation (Japan), Affymetrix Inc. (U.S.), Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Japan), Oxford Instruments Plc. (U.K.), Becton Dickinson & Co. (U.S.), Carl Zeiss A.G. (Germany) and PerkinElmer, Inc. (U.S.) among others.