The 3D cell culture market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period to reach a valuation of US$2.67 billion by 2031

the 3D Cell Culture Market revenues topped US$778 million in 2018, according to a new IMF study. The market is expected to grow 7.8% YoY in 2019; The major factors responsible for the anticipated market growth include,

  • Steady rise in global research and development spending
  • Efforts to leverage the potential of 3D cell culture to replace animal model testing
  • Increase in demand for biosimilars
  • Extensive application of stem cell research and growing emphasis on regenerative medicine

While 2D cell culture has revolutionized research efforts in stem cells, tissue engineering, and molecular biology, 3D cell culture has pushed the boundaries of traditional 2D cell culture technique with functional superiority. As R&D efforts continue to increase with the aim of studying the cause of different diseases and improving human health, 3D cell culture is expected to remain a highly sought-after technique in the years to come.», Explains IMF.

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The IMF study reveals that scaffold-based 3D cell culture techniques are widely preferred over scaffold-free 3D cell culture. Due to the high adoption of scaffold-based 3D cell culture, the study reveals that this technique has generated more than 81% of global market revenue.

Scaffold-based 3D cell culture techniques offer researchers additional functional operations in terms of material – natural or synthetic and different mechanical properties.

The technique uses either a hydrogel-based carrier or a polymer hard material-based carrier. Both types of media find equivalent penetration in terms of application, but the revenues generated by media based on hard polymeric materials are higher.

According to the study, polymer hard material-based support revenue held more than half of scaffold-based 3D cell culture technique revenue in 2018 and the trend is expected to continue in the future.

3D Cell Culture Market Size (2022) US$1.15 billion
Sales forecast (2031) US$2.67 billion
Global market growth rate (2022 to 2031) 9.8% CAGR
Share of the top 5 market players 55%

Application of 3D cell culture in cancer research

The IMF study estimates that the application of 3D cell culture in cancer research accounted for more than 31% of 3D cell culture market revenue in 2018. Cell culture is an integral part of drug discovery practices anti-cancer. Greater progress is being made in the field to precisely characterize diseases and develop advanced tumor cell lines using 3D cell culture techniques.

2D culture lines are considered a standard for in vitro preclinical screening of cancer treatments. However, more recently, the field has turned to 3D cell culture techniques to implement an ideal experimental model that best mimics the environment of the human body.

Stem cell technology is another lucrative area for the 3D cell culture market. According to the IMF study, the application in stem cell technology accounted for more than a quarter of the 3D cell culture market revenue in 2018. While 2D cell culture posed scalability challenges in cell technology stem cells, apart from a few challenges, 3D cell culture has provided greater density and multiple expansion of the culture system in stem cell technology. Other areas that use 3D cell culture techniques are tissue regeneration, regenerative medicine, and drug discovery.

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Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries – Important End Users

The study reveals that the biotech and pharmaceutical industries accounted for more than one-fifth of the global 3D cell culture market revenue in 2018. The dynamism of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries can be profitable for the 3D cell culture market in the years to come and more than 9% growth is expected in 2019 compared to 2019.

Academic research institutes are the second largest end-users of 3D cell cultures, where they accounted for more than a quarter of global 3D cell culture revenues in 2018. Government funding for cancer research projects conducted at institutes and academic organizations has grown significantly, which will support investments in cutting-edge technologies, including 3D cell culture techniques.

Revenues in North America continue to grow

North America has continued to spearhead the 3D cell culture market revenue during the historical period and the status quo is expected to continue in the future. In 2018, North America accounted for more than two-fifths of the global 3D cell culture market revenue. The study estimates that regional revenues should grow by 8% in 2019 compared to 2018.

Funding for research and development, especially in cancer research, remains higher in the United States compared to other developed countries. Europe also presents significant funding in R&D activities. The IMF study reveals that more than a quarter of the 3D cell culture market revenue came from the Europe region in 2018, with a large portion of the revenue coming from Western European countries such as Germany, the Kingdom United, France, Italy and Spain.

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