The global 3D cell culture market size was valued at USD 890 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at 15.5% CAGR.
3D cell culture is an in vitro procedure where cells are grown in an artificially created micro-environment, where biological cells interact with each other similar to that in vivo environment. This influences normal cells by communicating with their 3D surroundings to differentiate, proliferate, and migrate in the same manner as they do in the human body. The introduction of promising technology as such has revolutionized the field of research associated with cancer therapeutics, drug discovery, and stem cell research among many others.
The rapid acceptance and utilization of 3D cell culture technology have contributed to a change in the trend towards customized research solutions in both academic and industrial areas. Thus, there has been increased usage of more such models to understand cellular behavior and conduct experiments. This is fueling the growing market to grow at a steady rate moving forwards.
The improvisations in 3D cell culture technique powered with advancements in technology and functionality in cell imaging and analytical systems, the introduction of new matrices have transformed research based on cell biology to witness more accurate experimental data and conclusions. For instance, these modern culturing techniques have provided experiment models that are more similar to natural body systems, thus proving to be a useful resource for several application-based research, leading to the growing adoption of these models.
For example, in cancer research, these culture systems have been shown to play a critical role in studying the underlying relation between different intercellular pathways that are involved in tumor formation owing to their adaptability to mimic the in-vivo environment thus facilitating accurate drug discovery. For example, the 3D Multicellular Tumor Spheroid (MCTS) system is one such promising system that is used for duplicating the aspects of tumor progression.
Recognition of the Advantages of 3D Cell Culture Systems Significantly Drives the Market
The advantages that 3D cell culture systems provide over classically used research methods have been well highlighted influencing many researchers to adopt them. These technologies provide opportunities that help in understanding key insights of disease biology by exhibiting micro-environmental factors that are involved in-vivo tumor growth. Additionally, 3D cell culture has presented multiple scenarios in the investigation of cancers and involved intercellular functions.
The ability of 3D models to combat the limitations of 2D monolayer cultures is foreseen to stimulate the demand for these techniques in the near future. As more and more researchers opt for 3D technology, the sector is rapidly progressing, which is consequently boosting the growth of the global market.
Furthermore, 3D Cell Culturing systems have provided a feasible alternative to animal testing which is associated with stringent regulatory policies across the globe. This is another major influence that fueled the shift to 3D cell culture technologies across the drug discovery sector in both academia as well as industry outlets. Thus, with the growing adoption of these products from the 3D cell culture market, the market is driven further.
The major factors responsible for the growth of the 3D cell culture market are the wide application of its products in biological research as well as the launch of new and innovative technologies in this cell culture platform. For example, the NunclonSphera 3D culture platform that has been developed and launched by Thermo Fisher Scientific facilitates an easy transition of cultures from 2D to 3D without the requisition of additional conditions, microscope, or media. Furthermore, many therapeutic strategies are being tested for diseases like thrombosis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma on such 3D organ models that mimic the functioning of biological systems.
Many Users including Research institutes, pharma, and biotechnology companies are increasingly adopting this technique for achieving better results. Research-based on personalization of therapeutics according to the consumer have also witnessed a significant boost which in return drives the market growth. Besides, extensive research funding granted for doctoral and academic research projects that employ applications of this technology is projected to drive the demand for these products, resulting in market growth.
The Scaffold-Based 3D Cell Culture Segment Is Accounted for the Largest Share in the Global Market
Scaffold matrices are used to provide structural support to the cells that are cultured to maintain desirable structure under three-dimension. The advantages of scaffolds in 3D cell culture, such as structural rigidity have greatly influenced the preference for scaffold-based 3D cell cultures thus justifying the segment domination. Further, the availability of a significant number of products based on the scaffold-based cell culture can be accredited to the assessed share of this segment.
Moreover, the introduction of novel tools and technologies is expected to further boost the revenue generation in this segment. For instance, the development of a 3D nanofibrous scaffold, designated as 3P, which enables cultured cells to form tight irregular chunks similar to tumors in the body is one such advancement that has found immense implantation in the end-user segment.
Companies such as Sigma-Aldrich (Merck) and Tecan are involved in providing scaffold-based cell culture tools and components that contribute to segmental growth.
The Cancer Research Segment Occupied a Major Revenue Share in the 3D Cell Culture Market, by Application
The application of 3D cell culture in cancer research dominates the global market and is expected to remain dominant throughout the forecast period. Market dominance can be attributed to the rising incidence of cancer and its associated global morbidity. For instance, as per the statistics revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is one of the leading causes of death across the globe, where about 1 in 6 deaths are due to cancer. Statistically, cancer-related death can be estimated to around 9.6 million deaths in 2018.
Additionally, this has resulted in extensive usage of these techniques owing to the characteristic features for mimic the interaction between tumor and the host cells, which acts as an excellent medium for assessing the efficacy of the drug in cancer patients. Moreover, the establishment of 3D cell culture models in the therapeutic domain as an alternative to animal testing in clinical drug research is anticipated to drive the segment further.
A research review published in the Journal of Cellular physiology suggests the positives effects that have influenced the uptake of 3D cell lines for cancer research. It states that aspects of cancer biology that 3D cell culture systems have contributed hugely which include areas like morphology, microenvironment, gene, and protein expression, invasion/migration/metastasis, angiogenesis, tumor metabolism, and drug discovery, testing chemotherapeutic agents, adaptive responses and cancer stem cells.
Further, the stem cell research segment is expected to witness the fastest growth rate in the forecast period. Potential scientific discoveries and clinical analysis using the 3D-cultivation approach for embryonic, adult, and cancer stem cells are anticipated to boost the market for this segment.
Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Businesses Segment Accounted for the Major Revenue Share, by End-Users
The segment is expected to witness growing demand in the coming years. Increasing adoption of these systems by pharmaceutical companies and the aforementioned advantages in drug discovery, clinical trials, organ 3D printing, and regenerative medicine is a key factor for growing demand. Moreover, the presence of many pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies as well as startups whose working involves cell culture. For Instance, Next Big Innovation Labs (India) has been one of such promising startups that extensively works in 3D bioprinting using such technologies.
Research laboratories and institutes are anticipated to be the fastest-growing sectors, due to the growing demand for biological research on human diseases to get insights into chronic diseases, using these cultural techniques. Chronic diseases have been on the rise worldwide and as per WHO, by 2020 their contribution is anticipated to surge to 73% of all deaths worldwide and 60% of the global burden of disease. Three-dimensional cell culture systems provide advantages in therapeutic research by providing more specific in-vivo test information and predictive data. This has raised the need for technology at research laboratories and institutes.
North America Is Major Market in the Global 3D Cell Culture Market
North America dominates the market globally and is expected to keep doing so during the forecast period. The foremost share of the regional market can be reasoned to increasing government support in the form of research grants and funding, rising incidences of cancer in the region, and the expanding biopharmaceutical industry.
Furthermore, despite considerable improvements in therapies and medical therapeutics, the rate of incidence of diseases has risen significantly, which drives the need for development and advancements in drug discovery with urgency. For instance, in 2020, Lung and bronchus, colorectal, pancreatic, and breast cancers are estimated to be responsible for nearly 50% of overall deaths in the U.S. as per the National Institute of Health.
Asia-Pacific 3D Cell Culture Market Is Estimated to Expand at the Fastest Pace during the Forecast Period
The APAC market, especially India, China, and Japan is expected to witness a boost in usage for 3D cell culture products and is anticipated to attain the fastest growth. This is because of the economic development,a growing number of startups and research activities, and rising awareness regarding cancer and other diseases in these countries.
The APAC region comprises roughly more than 60% of the global population, thus a large number of people suffering from diseases that is a key factor boosting the segment. The increasing demand for drug discovery for chronic diseases and the increase in focus on biotechnology-based research activities have fueled the market growth.
Additionally, the growing focus of 3D cell culture market industry players in these markets is also expected to impact the growth significantly. This is primarily due to low operating costs of industries & laboratory setups; cheap human resources owing to population and rise in government investments for healthcare due to increased risk of diseases such as cancer boost the market growth. To meet the demand for drug discoveries and organ production and others, various government agencies along with private pharmaceutical and analytical instrumental companies have primarily invested huge R&D budgets in 3D cell culture projects for product developments.
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