3D bioprinting is a process of creating spatially-controlled cell patterns in 3D, where viability and cell function are conserved within printed construct. The 3D bioprinting industry that is currently at the embryonic stage of generating replacement human tissue has been forecast to be worth billion dollars by 2019. 3D bioprinting at present largely involves the creation of simple tissue structures in lab settings, but is estimated to be scaled up to involve the creation of complete organs for transplants. This technology is expected to be used for more speedy and accurate drug testing, as potential drug compounds could be tested on bioprinted tissue before human trials commenced.
3D bioprinting is steadily emerging as an area that is gathering attention from a lot of academicians. Some of the researchers have recently opened start-up firms with aim of commercializing the technology in coming years. A number of start-ups have recently sprung up to build up products based on bioprinting. Some are spin outs from university research. For examples, Aspect Biosystems focused on printing tissue models for toxicity testing TeViDo BioDevices focused on printing breast tissue and SkinPrint focused on developing human skin. The market of 3D bioprinting particularly focuses on the commercial bioprinters and those under development, their applications and the expected future evolution. It is widely predictable that the 3D bioprinting market has great potential. It requires biocompatible materials (bio-ink and bio-paper), software (CAD), hardware (bioprinters); each has the capability to grow into separate niche industries.
The market at present has 14 industry sponsored bioprinters, focused on variety of commercial applications. The widen supply-demand gap for organ transplants is an unmet need; the ultimate goal of researchers is to be able to create bioprinted organs for organ transplants. The focus of this market is expected to shift from research to commercialization. At this stage, the applications such as tissue engineering (skin and cartilage) and drug testing (skin and cartilage) are expected to be popular.
In coming years, 3D bioprinting to be a multi-billion dollar industry owning to early success of bioprinted organ transplants is expected to offer additional boost in subsequent years. The next generation of bioprinters is to offer additional features such as multiple arms and is expected to be comparatively more affordable driving wider adoption. Aspect Biosystems would dramatically cut the cost and time it takes to develop and test the drugs leading to cures for presently incurable diseases and cheaper treatment options. The companies in bioprinting market include SkinPrint that is developing a replacement skin for the burns patients or for those suffering from skin disorders. Aspect Biosystems that is developing printed tissue for drug testing.
Some of the major players for 3D bioprinting market are Advanced Biomatrix, 3D Biotek, 3D Systems, Avita Medical, Bespoke Innovations, Autodesk, EnvisionTEC, Cyfuse Biomedical, CMC Microsystems, Digilab, United Therapeutics, TeVido BioDevices, DTM, Bio3D Technologies, Helisys Inc. CMC Microsystems, InSphero AG and BD Biosciences among others.
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