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Driven by polymers, global biocompatible materials market to reach US$87.7 bln by 2017

Driven by polymers, global biocompatible materials market to reach US$87.7 bln by 2017

Sustained and widespread research efforts towards the continuing quest for better quality of life and a wider range of treatment options is spurring the growth of the biomaterials industry. Apart from widespread applications in segments such as orthopaedics and cardiology, other end-uses such as wound care, plastic surgery, and urology are also expected to contribute to market growth, as per Global Industry Analysts, Inc. In the orthopaedic segment that provides major scope for biocompatible materials applications, rapid growth is predicted to stem from the demand for biomaterials in combination with other bioactive substances or cells. The Biocompatible Materials sector is typified by the large-scale research and development for the synthesis of cutting edge products and technologies in the field of acute disease diagnosis and treatment. The industry offers a plethora of opportunities for the development of advanced biocompatible products in the global therapeutic arena. The sector is projected to grow significantly propelled by the increasing deployment of biocompatible materials, and the industry is largely expected to develop into the focal point of materials research worldwide. Medical needs span across the entire spectrum, from bone defects to soft tissue reconstruction, which demands various types of biocompatible materials. Degradable implants that provide support during the healing process have captured significant share of the market for replacement joints or other parts of the body. Demand is also on the rise for safer implants made up of synthetic materials that minimize the risk of disease transmission. Approximately 70% of the market for orthopaedic biomaterials is accounted for by bone replacements. The developed markets, such as the US and Europe, represent the largest markets for biomaterials worldwide. The highest number of patents is registered in the US, followed by Europe. However going forward, growth is expected to emanate from emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Japan.
Material wise, Polymeric Biomaterials dominates the global market for biocompatible materials. Future growth in the market, however, is expected to be propelled primarily by natural biomaterials. Global demand for Metallic biomaterials is projected to post a compounded annual growth rate of close to 10% during the analysis period. Natural polymers that include Collagen and hyaluronic acid represent the fastest growing sector due to the increasing use in drug delivery systems, tissue engineering, pharmaceutical excipients, cosmetic implants, and wound dressings. Among metals, Titanium is a lucrative growth sector primarily due to its low modulus, high strength, and strong body fluid resistance properties. Precious metals have potential applications in dental implants, trauma fixation devices, cochlear implant houses, mechanical heart valves, joint replacement systems, fusion cages, pacemaker and defibrillator cases and stents. Titanium and its alloys are likely to challenge other popular metals, such as stainless steel, chromium alloys, and cobalt. Natural substances, such as human or animal tissues, are being increasingly employed in the development of novel biocompatible materials for use in various surgical interventions. Fast-paced advancements in tissue processing technologies have provided considerable thrust to the use of natural substances in the treatment of several chronic ailments, including organ failure or malfunction. Natural substances are combined with synthetic materials to develop innovative hybrid products that incorporate biocompatible properties of both materials. A key application of such materials is in surgical procedures, using “autografts” technique. Natural materials provide an effective potential alternative to surgeons against autografts which are a time-consuming process. These materials can be directly used as substitute for damaged bones or tissues, enabling substantial reduction in surgery time, and enhancing the patient’s recovery process. Rapid development of tissue engineering as a prime technology in research sciences is largely anticipated to shape the future of biocompatible materials market in the coming years. In addition, other factors to reckon with include advancements in biocompatibility science, expanding area of coating technology, and the development of novel synthetic materials for medical applications.

US demand for biocompatible materials is forecast to grow 5.4% pa to US$5.5 bln in 2018, representing 2 bln lbs, as per ReportBuyer. Reflecting quality, performance and cost advantages in a broad range of applications, synthetic polymers will remain the top-selling product group by far, accounting for 56% of 2018 revenues. Ceramic materials will generate the fastest growth in demand among all biocompatible materials as advances in nanotechnology lead to the introduction of new and improved compounds for orthopaedic implants, spinal fixation devices, and dental repair and restoration products. Spurred by increasing applications in cosmetic surgery, wound management, and arthritis therapy, hyaluronic acid will post the fastest revenue gains among natural biocompatible polymers. Titanium and titanium alloys will fare the best in the marketplace among biocompatible metals as high strength, light weight, and shape memory advantages promote their expanding use in cardiac, orthopaedic, and dental implants. Competition from alternative polymer materials will hold down demand for other biocompatible metals, including precious metals and stainless steel.
Demand for synthetic biocompatible polymers will reach US$3 bln in 2018, up 4.9% pa from 2013. Engineered resins -- especially silicone, sulfone, and polyketone materials -- will command the fastest revenue growth based on quality and safety advantages in high value-added catheters and implants. By contrast, demand for polyvinyl chloride, the most widely used biocompatible resin, will expand slowly due to recurring safety concerns and competition from improved grades of polypropylene and thermoplastic polyesters.
Widening use in drug delivery systems, cosmetic implants, tissue engineering products, wound management supplies, and orthopaedic pain therapies will boost US demand for natural biocompatible polymers 5.5% pa to US$1.1 bln in 2018. Cellulose polymers and starch derivatives will remain the top selling product groups based on well established performance results in drug formulations and delivery systems. Hyaluronic acid will generate the fastest revenue gains spurred by expanding applications in injectable arthritis treatments. Lastly, collagen will continue to fare well in the marketplace following upward trends in the volume of cosmetic surgical procedures.
Advances in alumina-zirconia nano-composites will broaden the use of biocompatible ceramics in dental and orthopaedic implants. Due to their high density structure, these nanocomposites incorporate greater resistance to cracking, a widespread problem usually seen in joint replacements composed of conventional ceramics. Biocompatible metals will retain applications in a number of dental and medical implants. Within this product group, titanium and titanium alloys will realize the fastest revenue growth based on high strength, low modulus, and strong body fluid resistance advantages in such products as joint replacement systems, dental implants, fusion cages, trauma fixation devices and stents.

The demand for biocompatible materials is expected to increase over the next few years, as per Freedonia Group. The United States biocompatible materials market is expected to increase 4.9% pa to reach US$5.6 bln in 2018. Synthetic polymers are expected to remain a top-selling product group by far. This is due to quality, performance and cost advantages for a broad range of applications. Ceramic materials are expected to generate the fastest long-term growth in demand. Nanotechnology advancement could lead to improved orthopaedic implant, spinal fixation device, dental repair and restoration products compounds. The fastest in demand among the metals will be titanium and titanium allows due to the heavy strength, light weight and shape memory qualities. However, alternative polymer materials will spark competition and hold down revenues that other biocompatible metals generate, including precious metals and stainless steel. The demand for biocompatible polymers is expected to increase 4.7% to US$3.2 bln in 2018. Engineered resins will continue fast revenue and volume growth, especially thermoplastic elastomers, silicones, sulfone,  polyketones.

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