3D printing technology has emerged as a significant driver in the ongoing radical shift across several industrial domains' production processes. The incorporation of 3D printing into tissue engineering, through the use of life cells encapsulated in specialized synthetic or natural biomaterials (e.g. chitosan) as bioinks. This is laying the groundwork for numerous innovative solutions for healthcare and biomedical challenges, heralding new frontiers in medicine, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.
3D Bioprinting: A New Pathway in Medicine
Additive manufacturing, which is the process of joining materials to create objects using computer-aided design (CAD) model data, such as 3D bioprinting,
has the potential to disrupt the global pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine industry.
Today, this technology has permeated countless industries, including pharmaceuticals,
automobiles, dental, electronics, and others. The successful implementation of additive manufacturing in the healthcare sector has led to the development of surgical instruments, medical devices
, and body implants.
The past ten years have seen significant progress in the bioprinting arsenal, with many revolutionary and cutting-edge innovations, helping 3D bioprinting emerge as one of the most exciting and promising technologies. This advanced additive manufacturing has the potential to impact a wide variety of medical applications. Some of the applications making use of 3D bioprinting are
Medical Education and Training
Manufacturing of Surgical Instruments
Production of Personalized Prosthetics
It has been estimated that 3D bioprinting in the medical field will be worth $3.8 billion by 2026, in comparison to the $1.4 billion registered in 2020. The domain’s compound annual growth rate is forecast to reach 18.2% between 2021 and 2026.
The Way Ahead
A large number of medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies are experimenting with printing de novo organs such as hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, and skin, among others, to assist with the study of organs in-vitro, the development of drugs for specific diseases, and decrease the shortage of organs for transplant.
For instance, Organovo, a medical laboratory and research company based in the United States, presented pre-clinical data for the functionality of its liver tissue in a program for type 1 tyrosinemia, a disease that makes it difficult for the body to metabolize the amino acid tyrosine. A multiplicity of such developments will increase the penetration of 3D bioprinting in the medical field, presenting opportunities for pharmaceutical leaders to invest in the domain.