3D printing is a technology which has moved from the realm of science fiction into fact in the last thirty years. It even received a ringing endorsement from U.S. President Barrack Obama himself in his 2013 State of the Union Address. Another name for 3D printing is additive manufacturing. 3D printing creates real objects out of digital blueprints in a process where the material is layered step by step. It can find wide application in a diverse range of fields like automobile manufacturing, aerospace, textile, construction, Information Technology and even medicine. An area which is often spoken of as the future in medicine is the 3D bioprinted organ transplants market. 3D bioprinting is a method of reproducing cell patterns with the help of 3D printers, where the cell function is largely preserved within the product. The 3D bioprinted organ market creates organs in a similar layer-by-layer approach for forming human tissue-like structures. These bioprints are useful in tissue and medical engineering. The main goal of the 3D bioprinted organ transplants market is to eventually create fully functional organs which can be transplanted into patients. While still not technically possible, most experts agree that it is only a question of when it will happen, not if.
3D Bioprinted Organ Transplants Market Drivers
One of the key drivers of the 3D bioprinted organ transplant market is the severe shortage of organs available for emergency situations. According to the global non-profit organisation Open BioMedical Initiative, only 18% of the 154,324 patients requiring an organ in the U.S. in 2009 actually received one. 8863 patients died just waiting for it! Another advantage for 3D bioprinting organs is being able to customise an organ according to the patient. Cells are taken from the patient itself and are then re-engineered to create the desired organ. This ensures that the body does not treat the donor organ as ‘foreign’ which forces doctors to prescribe lifelong immunosuppressant to the patient. 3D bioprinted organs can also be useful in lieu of animals used for research purposes. There is a growing intolerance from the public towards using animals in any kind of medical research due to the insensitivity and cruelty of such procedures. 3D bioprinted organs could replicate the animal tissue and could allow testing without any ethical or moral conundrum.
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3D Bioprinted Organ Transplants Market Restraints
There are a few issues which pose a major challenge to the 3D bioprinted organ transplant market. The first is that of the organ viability. Human liver tissues have been replicated already for research purposes but they have a shelf life of around 40 days. While this is acceptable for short-term studies, it can hardly replace an actual organ. It could be years before we manage to develop a bioprinted 3D organ fit for transplant. The 3D bioprinted organ transplant market can also cause several ethical questions to be raised. 3D bioprinting might allow organs to be replaced in a convenient and pain-free manner. So it may also change people’s behaviour. For e.g. – if a person knew they could replace their liver in a few days, would they then begin consuming more alcohol potentially making them addicts? The last impediment could be the difficulty to fully replicate the human body. We have still not fully understood its intricacies and complexities. There could be a strong chance that the bioprinted organ would only conform to the outcomes of the experiments or parameters defined i.e. it may not work in any unforeseen circumstance.
3D Bioprinted Organ Transplants Market Key Regions
3D bioprinting is being eagerly promoted across the world for its disruptive potential in healthcare. North America is the largest 3D bioprinted organ transplants market at present due to a supportive government committed to improving healthcare, a larger geriatric population and a high disposable income. China and India are the 3D bioprinted organ transplant markets to look out for in the next decade or so.
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3D Bioprinted Organ Transplants Market Key Market Players
Some players involved in the 3D bioprinted organ transplant market include Organovo, EnvisionTEC, RegenHU,Cyfuse, Regemat3D, Biobot, 3D Bioprinting Solutions, Pandorum Technologies and Bio3D and Aspect Biosystems.