From science fiction novels to Saturday Night Live, 3D Bioprinting has been making a lot of buzz, but a new report by Grand View Research Inc. is officially here to say that 3D Bioprinting is more than just pop culture fodder: it’s a legitimate global market, that is set to be worth a staggering $1.82 billion within less than 10 years.
Though scientists are still working to 3D print functional human organs, 3D bioprinting already has several real-world applications in toxicity testing, drug discovery, tissue engineering, consumer product testing, bone transplants and cosmetic dentistry, and, in the case of Russia’s 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a successful 3D printed thyroid transplant in a living mouse.
Key players in the 3D bioprinting market include Organovo, Cyfuse Biomedical, BioBots, Luxexcel Group, TeVido, Aspect Biosystems, 3Dynamics Systems, Stratasys, EnvisionTEC, and many others, which are included in our comprehensive roundup of the top 3D Bioprinters. Many of these key players have partnered with major research institutes and universities to further advance and refine their grafting and organ regeneration technologies.
According to the Grand View Research report, the global 3D bioprinting market size was valued at just $487 million in 2014. However, 2015 has seen numerous universities, research institutes, and even governments amp-up their research efforts in 3D bioprinted implants, organs and tissue regeneration. The rising prevalence of chronic illnesses, such as chronic kidney disease, as well as the increasing life span of individuals and a limited number of organ donors are considered to be key factors.
The report provides several crucial findings, broken up into key insight categories.
The primary technologies used in the 3D bioprinting industry are magnetic levitation, inkjet-based, syringe-based and laser-based. Both magnetic levitation, which has applications in toxicity screening, vascular smooth muscle printing, and human cell generation; and syringe-based 3D bioprinters, which allow working in a sterile environment and allow for the fabrication of scaffolds, cell strips and tissues, held the largest share in 2014. Magnetic legivation, syringe and laser technologies are anticipated to gain an even higher level of adaptation and lucrative growth, with laser technologies expected to witness the fastest growth.
The key current applications of 3D bioprinting include dental, medical, biosensors, bioinks, food and animal product bioprinting (such as the Netherlands’ advances in lab-grown 3D printed beef burgers), and consumer/personal product testing (for instance, L’Oreal has partnered with Organovo to develop 3D printed skin tissue for cosmetic testing).
Of all these sectors, medical applications of 3D bioprinting are, for obvious reasons, expected to dominate the market, with over 30% share in 2022. These applications include organ transplants, drug testing, and tissue regeneration, as mentioned above, but also the fast and cost-efficient development of 3D printed medical pills and ‘biodrugs.’ In addition, the dental application segment is expected to witness lucrative growth due to the rising demand for cosmetic dentistry and awareness about oral hygiene. These bacteria-killing 3D printed teeth would be a great place to start.
While 3D bioprinting is a global phenomenon, with research and development taking place in nearly every corner of the world, North America is unsurprisingly set to dominate the global market in terms of revenue over the forecast period, with over 35% share and an astounding CAGR of 10%. This is due to supportive government initiatives to improve healthcare infrastructure, as well as the presence of a huge geriatric and chronically ill population, and reasonably higher levels of disposable income. Meanwhile, Asia Pacific will also witness growth, particularly given economic developments in countries such as India and China.
All in all, the news is overwhelmingly positive for the 3D bioprinting industry, as well as the healthcare industry as a whole. The global population is aging, chronic diseases are on the rise, and no matter which way we look at it, there are simply not enough organ donors or ‘miracle drugs’ to compensate. 3D bioprinting is a global phenomenon, and we’re more than happy to report that it is alive and kicking.