The 3D bioprinting market share is expected to undergo major enhancements for the current forecast period of 2021-2028. Owing to the market development and technological advancements, the market share is expected to reach USD 4.3 Billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 15.5%.
3D bioprinting, otherwise called additive manufacturing, has brought on a number of advancements in multiple areas, including manufacturing, engineering, education, medicine, and art. Latest innovations have facilitated 3D printing of several biocompatible cells, materials and components into highly complex 3D living tissues. 3D bioprinting is increasingly being used in regenerative medicines to meet with the unmet need for organs and tissues required for transplantation.
Compared to the non-biological printing technology, 3D bioprinting offers extra complexities, such as the choice of cell types, materials, differentiation, and growth factors, along with the technical issues associated with sensitivities of the living cell as well as construction of the organs and tissues. dealing with these complexities requires integrating advanced technologies from biomaterials science, engineering, physics, medicine, and cell biology fields. 3D bioprinting is largely used for generating and transplanting various tissues, such as multi-layered bone, skin, tracheal splints, vascular grafts, cartilaginous structures, and heart tissue. Other prominent applications are development of high-throughput models of 3D-bioprinted tissues for drug discover, toxicology, and research.
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Most of the leading 3D bioprinting firms are actively engaged in mergers, partnerships, and acquisitions with the aim to fortify their products’ application range, production capacities, and capture a bigger share in the global market. For instance, in April 2021, CELLINK, a 3D bioprinter developer confirmed its plan to acquire MatTek Corporation, an in-vitro technology firm for a total of USD 68 million. CELLINK has acquired MatTek with the objective to develop a new advanced cruelty-free drug testing model with the 3D bioprinting technology.
Why Is 3D Bioprinting a Game-Changing Technology?
3D bioprinting’s biggest importance lies in its ability to create models that mimic the real environment around the human organs and tissues. This has been proven significant in drug testing as well as clinical trials, which can substantially bring down the number of animal trials.
In cases where living organs and tissues cannot be taken from humans, the technology provides other opportunities. One of the key examples can be studying the treatment for disorders with the use of artificially affected organs or tissues. this process also helps eradicate the issues related to organ transplantation and donation.
This Brings Us to the Key Application Areas of 3D Bioprinting
Artificial organs or actually the urgent need for artificial organs remain some of the top drivers of the 3D bioprinting technology, in view of the growing cases of organ failure. 3D printed organs witness huge demand as these quickly address organ-associated challenges, which helps save time for the patients along with their families as well as the healthcare system. Research centers and laboratories in recent years, have been focusing on bioprinting human kidneys, hearts, and livers, with the aim to make these ideal for transplantation, as well as various other long-term issues. Experts believe that this technique would compensate for the shortage of organ donors and could also help better under a wide range of diseases.
Recently, a researchers’ team from the University of São Paulo (Brazil) successfully created a miniature model of human liver using blood cells. The overall period for the process came to 90 days, from collecting the blood to producing the tissue. The liver organoids created using the 3D bioprinting technology, are a combination of all the functionalities of an actual organ. Some of the functionalities include producing vital proteins, storing vitamins, and secreting bile.
Drug development happens to be an expensive and a time-consuming procedure that comprises various stages, right from target identification to the discovery as well as optimization, preclinical and clinical trials, and finally to the approval by the authority to be used clinically. However, the brutal truth is that majority of the drugs that have reached the clinical stage never really receive the FDA approval and are never sold commercially. Generally, the cost of producing the failed drug is somewhere between USD 800 million and USD 1.4 billion. Given the clinical trials’ lower success rates, drug discovery has been a costly affair. This scenario gives rise to the need for technologies such as 3D bioprinting to bring down the chances of failure, while also saving time and money.
Most of the pharma vendors carry out drug testing on animals prior to proceeding towards clinical trials. With the application of 3D bioprinting, drug discovery and development companies are able to identify harmful or ineffective drugs much before the discovery stage, allowing them to move their essential resources to drug candidates with higher potential.
Manually creating a model takes a lot of time but 3D bioprinting, on the other hand, facilitates printing of several appliances in one go. Accuracy level drastically improves with the use of the 3D bioprinting technology in dental applications. Other benefits include higher production capacity as well as highly accurate final products, which enhances the demand among dentists.
3D bioprinting has widely used in the dental field for repairing or replacing a damaged tooth, wherein the dentist uses a tiny digital wand to scan the patient’s mouth. This helps create a 3D image of the gums and teeth to save on the computer. Use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) software helps digitally create the tooth repair and then print out the resulting item on a 3D printer.
What Has Been The COVID-19 Impact On The 3D Bioprinting Market?
With the rampant escalation in COVID-19 cases, healthcare professionals have had to face a significant shortage of essential materials. One massive challenge has been the reduced number of test kits for the virus. Therefore, 3D bioprinting manufacturers are introducing 3D printers and associated software rapidly to counter the grave situation. Considering the ever-rising COVID-19 cases, 3D bioprinters are experiencing a striking surge in demand and this could translate into a stunning market growth in the following years.
The pandemic has also paved the way for rapid development of drugs as well as vaccine testing, with scientists unlocking the potential of 3D bioprinting for testing patients following the preclinical trials. In the face of the alarming rise in cases, healthcare has also been facing lack of ventilators and respirators, which has thrown light on the importance of the 3D bioprinting technology. The technology is being used during the manufacturing of ventilators and respirators to counter their shortage worldwide.
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