With 109 established bioprinting companies and many entrepreneurs around the world showing interest in the emerging field, it’s just a matter of time before it becomes one of the most sought after technologies. Mapping the companies that make up this industry is a good starting point to understand the bioprinting ecosystem, determine where most companies have established their headquarters and learn more about potential hubs, like the one in San Francisco. The technology has gained increasing attention due to the ability to control the placement of cells, biomaterials, and molecules for tissue regeneration. Researchers are using bioprinting to create cardiac patches meant to be transplanted directly onto a patient’s heart after a cardiovascular attack, as well as custom printing an implant to precisely fill the space left after removal of diseased bone. Bioprinting has been used to conduct testing for 3D printing of tailored skin grafts for patients with large wound areas, print muscle, and even for microstereolithography 3D printing to repair damaged nerve connections. Bioprinting companies around the world are continuously innovating in regenerative medicine, drug therapies, tissue engineering, stem cell biology and biotechnology; getting a lot of attention from a public eager to envision a future with better patient care, alternatives to organ transplants and customized medical treatments. In an attempt to increase knowledge and research, most bioprinting firms have established partnerships with a number of research organizations, universities, and even government institutions, to jointly create and develop projects that are often published in academic journals. Actually, the literature available on the subject to date is quite vast and growing thanks to the advances in biotechnology, and a great tool for communicating and validating most of this breakthrough knowledge.
The data we collected reveals that the United States is the biggest player, with 39 percent of the companies headquartered in 18 states. And although 28% of the total number of companies in the US are located in California, 33 percent have emerged in East Coast states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. The European continent is home to 35 percent of the companies, followed by Asia with 17 percent, Latin America (5%) and Oceania (3%). Countries like Great Britain, Germany, and France absorb most of the businesses, which represent a 53% stake out of all the European companies. The leader in Asia is China with three big names, although the country is heavily relying on university research to advance the technology and researchers are using their own in-house designed research, which is probably why we are still waiting to see an expansion of companies.
Researchers, private companies and universities everywhere are very interested in advancing bioprinting technologies. And although there is a long way to determine how these results will perform in a clinical setting, advances show that the potential in therapeutic and regenerative medicine, surgeries, and overall healthcare are huge. Even 4D bioprinting may have the potential for greater strides in medicine and tissue regeneration since it shows more control over pore size, shape, and interconnectivity. The bioprinting business is giving scientists and medical researchers the tools to prototype, model, build and solidify living human tissues. From printing machines to bioinks, even scanners, and software to further enhance their work, this interconnected environment has the potential to transform life as we know it.
Pioneer companies such as Organovo, regenHU, CELLINK, and Digilab have been at the forefront of bioprinting for years, creating some of the most innovative machines in the market, which, in the right hands, can make all the difference. Such as the case with Organovo’s bioprinting platform, recently implemented by Leiden University Medical Center scientists to develop stem cell-based bioprinted tissue treatments for kidney disease or Cellink’s Bio X machine which a Florida A&M University professor used to create the first 3D print of human cornea in the United States.
Many of these businesses are focusing on tissue engineering, like Cyfuse Biomedical, Regenovo Biotechnology, Aspect Biosystems or nScrypt. For instance, researchers using Allevi printers have been automating the creation of tumor models, printing vasculature within 3D gels, and achieving physiological markers unseen before in tissues. This requires a ton of knowledge about the microenvironment of the specific tissues and organs through biomimicry, or by the manufacturing of artificial tissues or organs by reproducing cellular and extracellular components natively present. This know-how is essential for in vitro manufacturing of living tissues with the same size and geometry as native organs.
Many commercially available 3D bioprinters are used in several research areas, like bioengineering, disease modeling, or studies of biomaterials. There are different versions, including syringe based extrusion of hydrogels or bioinks, inkjet printing, laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT), (which is a relatively new printing technique that enables transfer from a thin-film donor material onto a chosen receiver placed nearby), and stereolithography (a form of 3D printing technology used for creating models, prototypes, patterns, and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photopolymerization).
Bioprinting is leading the way into some of the most advanced research ever done in medicine, in a way becoming a beaming source of hope for hundreds of thousands of people who consider the future of healthcare to be focused on patient-specific treatment and an increased life expectancies. Thanks to many of the breakthroughs done at research facilities around the globe and booming interest in the applications of the technology, perhaps in a year, our map will need to be updated and bioprinting companies will have increased significantly. Still, the core of what they are doing has remained the same for the past couple of years, and partnerships continue to emerge among businesses, scientists and researchers, eager to apply their innovative spirit, knowledge of biological sciences, engineering, mathematics and other fields that are contributing to the unstoppable evolution of bioprinting, so that it can eventually transition from the research and development phases to the pre-clinical and trial, getting one step closer to changing people’s lives.
The US and Canada bioprinting market include the following companies:
- 3D BioTherapeutics
- 3D Biotek
- 3D Cultures
- Advanced BioMatrix
- Advanced Solutions Life Sciences
- Allegro 3D
- BioLife 4D
- Cell Applications
- Frontier Bio
- International Stem Cell
- Koligo Therapeutics Inc.
- Lung Biotechnology PBC
- Nano 3D Biosciences
- Nanofiber Solutions
- OrganoFab Technologies
- Prellis Biologics
- Rainbow Biosciences
- Rooster Bio
- Samsara Sciences
- STEM Reps
- SunP Biotech
- Superlative Biosciences Corporation
- TeVido Biodevices
- TheWell Bioscience
- Tissue Regeneration Systems
- United Therapeutics Corporation
- Vivax Bio
- Aspect Biosystems
The European bioprinting ecosystem is as follows:
- CTI Biotech
- I&L Biosystems SAS
- Black Drop Biodrucker
- Medprin Biotech
- Greiner Bio-One
- Manchester BIOGEL
- 3Dynamics 3D Technologies
- Oxford MEStar
- Roslin Cellab (Censo Biotechnologies)
- Vornia Biomaterials
- Twin Helix
- Xilloc Medical
- 3D Bioprinting Solutions
- Regemat 3D (Breca)
- Artificial Nature
- Fluicell AB
- Axolotl Biosystems
- Centrum Druku 3D
Asia’s new and booming bioprinting market:
- FoldInk Bioprinting
- Pandorum technologies
- Next Big Innovation Labs
- BioP India
- Next 21 K.K.
- Nephtech 3D
- Rokit Healthcare
Latin America’s incipient bioprinting environment:
Is your company not listed? Email joris@3DPrint.com.
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