Drug integrated polymer fibers market is expected to cross US$88.8 million by 2025 as per GMI Insights. Drug integrated polymer fibers are also called as pharmaceutical fibers and are generally made up of biocompatible and biodegradable materials such as polylactic acid and its different derivatives like polydioxanone, polyglycolic acid, polycaprolactone, poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid), PLLA and other copolymers. For medical textile device these fibers are generally available in braided, knitted and woven form. Drug integrated polymer fibers are extensively used in drug delivery, orthopaedics, healing of skin wound, vascular grafts, etc. Increase in research and development for innovative materials used in orthopedics and wound healing is expected to boost the global drug integrated polymer fibers market owing to increase in old age population across world. Developments in fiber based wound healing systems, biologics, pharmaceutical products along with significant growth in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine are driving the orthopedic medical products market which is expected to witness a rapid growth in drug integrated polymer fiber market during the forecast period.
High cost of the product and use of traditional surgical methods in developing countries across the world are some of the factors that can negatively affect the global drug integrated polymer fibers market. Drug integrated polymer fibers are available in custom size and shape for use in several biomedical applications which need polymers to meet special biological requirements. These fibers are manufactured using different processes. The targeted use of the drug integrated polymer fiber plays an important role in the determination of method to be used for the manufacturing of these fibers. On commercial scale these fibers are generally manufactured by using melt extrusion method which utilizes high temperature conditions and high shear stress which negatively affects the biologics and pharmaceuticals. In order to address the limitations of melt extrusion method, a wet extrusion method which require comparatively lower temperature and lower shear stress, has been developed for the manufacturing of drug integrated polymer fibers.
Different type of biodegradable and biocompatible polymer fibers such as PLLA, PCL, PLA, PGA, etc. an be produced by using cost effective manufacturing process using less complicated machinery. Desired degradation kinetics and mechanical properties of these polymer fibers can be achieved by controlling curing temperature, shear stress and curing time to meet the requirements for the intended biomedical use. Drug integrated polymer fibers are extensively used in several biomedical applications such as orthopaedic sutures, drug delivery, vascular grafts, vascular stents, dermal wound healing, etc. owing to their biocompatible and biodegradable properties. Biomedical textile applications of these fibers are mainly targeted for soft tissue replacement and soft tissue engineering such as cartilage, retina, blood, cardiac muscle, nerve, etc. owing to flexible and fibrous nature of these fibers.
At present, North America is the leader in drug integrated polymer fiber market followed by the Europe owing to developed medical and healthcare industry in these regions. However, the increasing investment in healthcare facilities and rapidly developing population in emerging economies such as China and India are expected to witness a significant growth in drug integrated polymer fibers market in near future. Currently, only Micro Engineering Solutions and TissueGen Inc, are the two key players in this business. However, in future a large number of companies are expected to enter in this market owing to biodegradable and biocompatible nature and hidden potential of these fibers for biomedical applications such as drug delivery, dermal wound healing, orthopaedic sutures, vascular grafts, etc.