Though activities in 3D bioprinting have been growing in leaps and bounds since 2015, the activity we have seen in 2018 has been truly remarkable for this fledgling field. Finally, governments, academic institutions and companies alike are beginning to understand the value that 3D bioprinting can bring and are working hard together to bring disruptive change through building tissues from scratch. Please refer to IDTechEx's report, 3D Bioprinting 2018 - 2028 for more information.
Uptake of 3D bioprinting in pharmaceutical testing
One of the key markets for 3D bioprinted tissues, especially in the short- to medium-term before the approval of 3D bioprinted tissues for implantation, is in pharmaceutical testing. 3D bioprinted tissues have the potential to provide more relevant results in preclinical testing of drugs than the current techniques of 2D cell culture and animal testing.
Certainly, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have been working with Organovo on their liver and organ models for many years, and have also purchased their own 3D bioprinters from companies such as regenHU and envisionTEC for in-house research.
However, many new players are entering this field. Earlier this year 3D bioprinting company Poietis officially joined in, expanding their expertise beyond the 3D bioprinting of skin, and are now partnered with pharmaceutical company Servier to develop 4D bioprinted liver models for toxicity testing. More recently, in December 2018, Cellink announced that they have entered a year-long collaboration with MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, to explore new disease targets in MedImmune's core therapeutic areas.
3D bioprinters taken to (literal) new heights
We have seen literally, that 3D bioprinting is being taken to new heights. After an unfortunate failed attempt earlier this year, Russian 3D bioprinting company 3D Bioprinting Solutions have finally launched their 3D bioprinter, the Organ.Aut, into space. As far, Russian scientists aboard the International Space Station have managed to grow a mouse thyroid in zero gravity. Results will be presented in February 2019, and we can look forward to more news as the US are also planning on sending their own 3D bioprinter in to space in the spring of 2019.
IDTechEx has always forecasted that the future of 3D bioprinting will be in high-end, industrial-level 3D bioprinters costing over $100,000, and were rather pleased to be proven right when Poietis followed this route earlier in the year. The company announced the launch of their Next Generation Bioprinting platform, which incorporates automation, robotics, and sensors. These technologies are key to future manufacturing of 3D bioprinting tissues for regenerative medicine. However, there was certainly a double take when the Cellink and Prellis Biologics 3D bioprinter was announced at a price of $1.2 million.
IDTechEx Business & Technology Insight Forums
On May 8 and 9, 2019, IDTechEx Technology Analysts will be presenting the latest innovations of 3D printing at the Business & Technology Insight Forums in Boston, Massachusetts. A broad range of 3D printing topics will be covered, including an introduction to 3D printing equipment and software; 3D printing of lightweight designs; 3D printing materials; and 3D printing in the medical and dental industry. Sponsored by Autodesk and held at their Boston office, the Business & Technology Insight Forums covering 3D printing will feature presentations by industry leaders such as BigRep and Autodesk, whose continued innovations help to drive the entire 3D printing market forwards.
IDTechEx looks forward to welcoming you to the 3D printing Business & Technology Insight Forums, which together offer the opportunity for key innovators to gain deeper insights and expertise in the leading edge of 3D printing: a market that IDTechEx forecasts valued at $22 billion by 2028. Please refer to https://www.idtechex.com/forum-boston/show/en/ for more information.