19 May 2023
3D printing of human tissue promises great potential for medicine, and there have already been numerous promising developments in this field. The sector is not insignificant in economic terms either.
Various analysts (Persistent Market Research, Grand Views Research, Markets and Markets) see the current market volume at around 2 billion US dollars and growth over the next ten years to around 8 billion euros. This is equivalent to around 10 percent of the total 3D printing market. In addition, the USA plays a significant role with around one third of the market volume.
Shortage of donor organs raises need for bioprinting
Continued growth of this sector is primarily linked to the development of the corresponding materials and 3D printing systems. For example, the German company Matrihealth GmbH has launched a new elastin that is expected to significantly improve the results of tissue printing. Named Elma, the elastin methacrylate enables, according to the manufacturer, "the incorporation of elastin in the formation of new tissue and thus the production of natural-mimetic tissue, as well as the targeted adjustment of mechanical properties and improved replication of the extracellular matrix."
The need for bioprinting arises in part from the shortage of donor organs as well as the body's immune response to implanted organs and tissues. 3D-printed tissue based on the body's own cells is expected to help. For this purpose, the body's own cells are usually printed into a support structure made of biocompatible hydrogels. These are usually made from cell-compatible materials such as collagen, alginate, gelatin as well as special ceramics and biocompatible polymers, some of which are already found in natural tissue.
- Medical technology