3D cell culture technique triggers normal cell morphology, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. It provides an ideal environment for cell culture analytical studies, which involve assessment of multi-stage disease models with the help of cellular modeling. A number of research organizations and leading market companies are increasing investment in 3D cell culture, fueling the market for 3D cell culture technique on a global level. The global 3D cell culture market reached a value of around US$ 586.1 Mn in 2014, which is expected to spike up to US$ 2,717.6 Mn by 2020 end. Over the forecast period 2014-2020, the market is estimated at a robust CAGR of 29.1%.
Key Market Dynamics
Growing number of research activities, coupled with increasing number of organizations investing in 3D cell culture development are anticipated to continue fueling the market globally. Besides soaring investments by key companies and research organizations, the market for 3D cell culture is also flourishing due to the growing demand for organ transplantation. This is projected to be one of the important factors favoring the demand for 3D cell culture. The use of animals in research activities and testing of pharmaceuticals is a commonplace since decades; however, 3D cell culture can potentially replace an animal used for research and testing. This will play a key role in driving the demand for this technique during the forecast period. While 2D cell culture technique has to face certain limitations during cellular modeling studies, 3D technique efficiently overcomes the limitations by providing cells with an environment that allows them to interact within three dimensions. Superiority of 3D over 2D cell culture technique is another driver that will push the demand in the next few years. Research institutes, laboratories, pharma companies, biotechnology entities, and hospitals are increasingly adopting this technique for better results. The rate of adoption of 3D cell culture is likely to climb up during the forecast period. Growing use of the technique in pharmaceuticals for effectively studying the impact of drug doses will also bolster the market in the near future. This application is attributed to the ability of 3D cultured cells to proliferate more realistically compared to 2D cultured cells. One of the popular trends in the market today, is the usage of laboratory automation for culturing 3D cells.
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Small and medium sized laboratories and pharmaceutical players may however face a financial challenge, as the initial investment associated with implementation of 3D cell culture is expensive. Moreover, products of 3D cell culture technique generally lack consistency, which is another factor that may detain their demand over the forecast period.
The global 3D cell culture market is categorized on the basis of technology, application, and end-user. On the basis of technology, the market has five sub-segments viz. extracellular matrices or scaffolds, bioreactors, gels, scaffold-free platforms, and microchips. Extracellular matrices or scaffolds will continue to be the leading sub-segment, whereas microchips are estimated to witness the fastest growth by 2020 end. By application, the market is segmented into research, drug discovery, tissue engineering, clinical applications, and stem cell biology. The drug discovery will remain the largest sub-segment. Based on end-user, the market has four categories, including research laboratories and institutes, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and diagnostic centers, and others. Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are foreseen to remain dominant over the period and thrive at the fastest CAGR as well, accounting for a major market share.
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On the basis of regional analysis, the global 3D cell culture market is segmented into four key regions – North America, Europe, Asia, and rest of the world (RoW). Europe is projected to remain the largest market for 3D cell culture during 2014-2020, led by the U.K. Valuated at US$ 234.4 Mn in 2014, the European market will reach US$ 1,067.8 Mn by the end of the forecast period. This leading market region will witness a strong CAGR of 28.7%.
Key Market Players
Some of the prominent companies competing in the global market for 3D cell culture technique, include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Becton Dickinson and Company, Corning Incorporated, and Sigma-Aldrich Corporation. A few other notable players are 3D Biomatrix, Inc., 3D Biotek LLC, Reinnervate Ltd, InSphero AG, Global Cell Solutions, Inc., and Lonza Group.