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Market Profile: Light Scattering Detectors.

The light scattering detector (LSD) has advanced far from its origins in the late 1800,3 when Lord Rayleigh first described light scattering. With the introduction of monochromatic, polarized lasers in the early 1970s, light scattering technology was utilized in research and industrial instruments. Then in the 1980s, an evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD) was introduced for the analysis of lipids by HPLC. Since that time LSDs have become commonly used instruments, mainly because of further technological advancements such as high-powered laser diodes and digital signal processors. These advancements increased the accuracy and precision of LSDs and made it economically feasible for the market to expand.

A LSD measures the light scattered from solid solute particles that remain after nebulization and, in the case of ELSD, evaporation of the mobile phase. The technique is quantitative with no qualitative applications. Having measured the difference between the light scattered and the uninterrupted laser beam, a molecular weight can be determined for a sample. This value enables the determination of the sample's elemental composition.

Many companies manufacture LSDs, including Polymer Laboratories, Eurosep, Alltech Associates (through its 1993 purchase of Varex' product line), ESA, Viscotek, Wyatt Technology, SEDERE, and Rheometric Scientific via its late 2000 purchase of Protein Solutions (see IBO 11/30/00).

Combinatorial chemistry screening, HPLC, LC/MS and macromolecule characterization are some of the applications of LSDs. The pharmaceutical, biotech, petrochemical, food and beverage, and chemical industries are major users of these instruments.

As the pharmaceutical and biotech industries rapidly expand their R&D efforts, the market for LSDs is also increasing. The annual growth rate is about 10%, with the worldwide market estimated at $8-$10 million. The average price of a LSD, about $12,000, is relatively inexpensive compared to competing techniques and further drives the market.
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Title Annotation:Polymer Laboratories
Comment:Market Profile: Light Scattering Detectors.(Polymer Laboratories)
Publication:Instrument Business Outlook
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 30, 2001
Previous Article:Random Samples.
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