How our instrument data shows which products stand the test of time

A few weeks ago we posted on our blog about a brand new type of data we’re now able to provide from CiteAb – instrument data.

We outlined how this allows us to look at the equipment being used in different research institutions, which suppliers are most succeeding in different equipment areas, and which pieces of equipment are most popular with researchers.

We focus our last blog on flow cytometers, and today we’re going to go into a little bit more detail and delve into the history of a single machine in this market – the BD FACS Calibur flow cytometer.

We chose this machine in part because it was our winner in the CiteAb 2018 ‘Flow cytometer of the year’ category, and also because it is one of the world’s most popular flow cytometry machines.

From our data, we can see that BD Bioscience’s FACS Calibur achieved 90 per cent of all flow cytometer citations back between 1997 and 2005. CiteAb product manager Rebecca Sadler says: “This was, and still is, an extremely popular product. It was the very first automated benchtop machine to perform both analysis and sorting, and it could be used in multiple applications and for the analysis of multiple parameters. This has no doubt lead to the machine’s continued popularity.”

It isn’t until we look at data for the 2000s that we start to see citations for other machines grow significantly in number, by which point BD Biosciences had truly made a name for itself in the flow cytometer market.

The BD Biosciences FACAria III is a popular machine in the flow cytometry market.

Rebecca adds: “The later BD machines offer technology advances on the FACS Calibur – for example the BD FACS Aria enabled high throughput analysis and sorting at lower costs, while the BD FACSCanto offered researchers a more efficient instrument, aiming to free up their time while also improving the reproducibilityat of results.”

Our data shows that citations for BD FACS Aria reached a peak in 2009, when its popularity began to decrease again to half its peak levels by 2017. This can be explained by the introduction of three new Aria products, the BD FACSAria II, BD FACSAria III and BD FACSAria Fusion, all of which have shown year on year citation increases.

Rebecca explains: “By increasing the functionality of the BD FACS Aria up to BD FACSAria III standard, researchers have a higher functioning machine. Combining the citation data for each version, this piece of equipment becomes a strong competitor in the flow cytometry market.”

And what about the old favourite, the BD FACS Calibur? Well the instrument’s citation share has remained largely stable over the past five years, with around a third of the total market. Again, the machine has benefited from the release of a number of optional upgrades which allow it to continue to function well in modern research environments.

Of course other suppliers, such as Beckman Coulter and Miltneyi, have stories of successful flow cytometer instruments too, and our data allows us to drill down into the detail on all of these. If you’re interested in learning more about all of our equipment data then contact Rebecca and she’ll be able to discuss it with you.

And soon we’ll have a look at another angle on this data – the trends for different machine use at major research institutions around the world. Watch this space!

– Matt and the CiteAb team

About the author

Join thousands of people who already enjoy the CiteAb newsletter

To keep up to date with the latest developments to our search engine, news from our life science market data analysis and improvements to our citation provision.