News and Reviews (January 2014)

Increasing Demand in the Medical Industry for 3D Printing

Market growth driven by investments in R&D 

The global market for 3D printing has a huge growth potential, especially in market segments where applications demand highly complex part geometries or a high degree of individualization.  For medical applications, 3D printing is expected to grow at 15.4% CAGR from 2013 to hit USD 965.5 million in 2019, as a recent market research study found out*.  The growth is fueled by an increase in investments made in R&D for 3D printing technologies.
For applications in bioengineering, the high-resolution 3D printing of Nanoscribe’s Photonic Professional GT which is based on two-photon polymerization enables freedom of design on the microscale. It allows both, additive as well as subtractive manufacturing of polymers on a broad range of substrates and materials. Complex structures with feature sizes down to 200 nm can be realized. The systems are often used for the manufacturing of micro-sized parts, e.g. cell cages, micro-needles or helical micro swimmers for cargo transport. Typical scientific topics of interest are the study of biomimetics, cell migration or stem cell differentiation, where the 3D tailored environment acts as an artificial extracellular matrix. For example: In a recent publication**, the group of Prof. Martin Bastmeyer (KIT, Germany) used the Nanoscribe system for the fabrication of 3D cell culture scaffolds with adjustable pore sizes (2-10 µm)  on a microporous carrier membrane for applying diffusible chemical gradients. A valuable tool to dissect cell-type specific mechanical and signaling aspects during matrix invasion.

Photonic Professional GT
C180 fullerene-like polymer microstructure for rheology and cell scaffold research fabricated with one of Nanoscribe´s 3D printers.

* 3D Printing in Medical Applications Market- Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019, published by Transparency Market Research
** Ref: Biomaterials 2014 Jan; 35(2): 611-9