AMG NewTech












In-Depth Market Research and Trend Analysis

Covering Innovative and Emerging Technologies


Healthcare and Biomedical Engineering

The market for 3D bioprinting is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 59.5% through 2021.


Since the start of the new millennium, the three-dimensional (3D) printing market has grown at an exceptional rate worldwide. Surging to a CAGR greater than 15% since 2000, 3D printing has become a very popular technique for rapid prototyping and new product development, reaching global revenues of nearly $5 billion in 2015. Applications target various industry sectors including aerospace, automotive, education, architecture, consumer products and arts and crafts.


3D printing is also gaining increasing interest in the biomedical sector for the fabrication of devices such as hearing aids, dental implants, and artificial prostheses. An emerging field for 3D printing within the healthcare sector is bioprinting. The term bioprinting refers in particular to the use of additive manufacturing in the form of digital printing to create living tissues.


Bioprinting technologies that have been developed to date are summarized in the table below.


3D Bioprinting technologies.



Brief description

Syringe extrusion

Cells, scaffold material and other biological entities are ejected through a small orifice using a piston, a screw or pneumatic pressure.

Laser-guided direct writing

A laser beam guides the cells dispersed in a medium through an orifice and deposits them onto a substrate according to a specific pattern.

Laser induced forward transfer

A laser pulse hits an absorption layer and transfers drops of a cell suspension onto a substrate.

Inkjet printing

Utilizes either a thermal or a piezoelectric actuator to create localized pressure in the bioink causing it to be ejected through a nozzle.

Magnetic levitation

Cells contained in a solution are magnetized and attracted to a magnet placed above the solution. The levitated cells assemble forming specific tissues.

Magnetic printing

Cells contained in a solution are magnetized and printed on the bottom of a holding dish in the form of spheroids, aided by a magnet placed underneath the dish.  

Acoustic cell encapsulation

Utilizes a piezoelectric sensor to transform a cell suspension into hydrogel droplets that encapsulate the cells. The droplets are ejected from the printer and deposited on the substrate.

Valve-based printing

Similar in concept to acoustic cell encapsulation, but using a special valve to form and eject the hydrogel droplets that encapsulate the cells.

Electrohydrodynamic jetting

Similar to syringe-based extrusion, but uses an applied voltage between the orifice and the substrate to control the speed of the ejected bioink.

Hybrid printing

Combines the electrospinning of polymer fibers with inkjet printing of cells to create 3D structures with specific properties.


Source: AMG NewTech


Many of these techniques are used to produce 3D structures using layer-by-layer deposition. Currently, the most common bioprinting method is syringe extrusion, in which the fluids to be printed are ejected with a low shear force onto the substrate. The substrate usually consists of a bio-inert hydrogel.


Syringe extrusion is typically performed according to two processes. The first process is a double printing method in which living cells in the form of cellular spheroids are printed by alternating spheroids and a supporting film. The supporting film functions to keep the cells in place during construction of the 3D structure, and is produced from natural and synthetic hydrogels (e.g., alginate, collagen, chitosan, hyaluronic acid, and polyethylene glycol), biocompatible polymers (e.g., polycaprolactone), and ultra-violet cross-linkable polymers (Irgacure).


The second extrusion process is single-step and consists of using a bioink containing both the cells and the fluid that holds the cells in place. In addition to cells and supporting fluid, other biocompatible and biological entities having different functions can be added to the bioink such as bioactive components, morphogens, organoids, and growth factors. To deposit cells, supporting fluid, and other components, printing systems with either single or multi-nozzle configurations can be adopted.  


At the present time, the remaining bioprinting methods are not very popular due to various drawbacks.  Inkjet printing, for example, tends to damage the cells and the printhead becomes easily clogged, while laser-guided direct writing is characterized by low throughput. However, numerous R&D activities are in progress to improve the performance of existing bioprinting techniques.


The ultimate goal of 3D bioprinting is to eventually reproduce human organs. This goal is naturally expected to raise many ethical issues. In the meantime, bioprinting is gaining traction for tissue engineering research, drug development, and toxicology studies. 


A summary of current and emerging applications for bioprinting is provided in the table below. 

Current and emerging applications of 3D bioprinting.


Tissue engineering

Drug development

Toxicology studies

Evaluation of cancer cell migration

In-vitro assays for clinical diagnostics

Skin regeneration

Wound treatment

Facial reconstruction

Cosmetic dentistry

Replacement of damaged or degenerating tissue


Production of organs


Source: AMG NewTech


Scientists have already been able to print several types of tissues, including bone, cartilage, vascular, muscle, liver, and skin. Fillers are placed in the 3D structures to form channels or empty spaces similar to those present in natural tissues. These features are needed for the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to maintain living tissue. Tissue engineering research is focusing on both implantable tissues and tissue printed on site (e.g., skin tissue printed on a patient with burns).


The next table provides a sample of relevant research activities in progress at various leading R&D organizations involved in 3D bioprinting.


Leading research organizations involved in 3D bioprinting.




R&D Activities

Cardiovascular Innovation Institute

Louisville, KY

Bioprinting of blood vessels and human heart tissue

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Bioprinting of heart valves

Harvard Medical School

Cambridge, MA

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinting coupled with a microfluidic device

Livermore National Laboratory

Livermore, CA

Self-assembly of vascular networks in bioprinted tissues

Sabanci University

Instanbul, Turkey

Scaffold-free aortic tissue

Scripps Clinic

La Jolla, CA

Inkjet printing of cartilage

Tulane University

New Orleans, LA

Bioprinting by laser direct write

University of California at San Diego

San Diego, CA

Bioprinted liver tissue from stem cells

University of Toronto

Toronto, Canada

Microfluidic-assisted bioprinting

University of Wollongong

Fairy Meadow, Australia

Bioprinting of neural tissue

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Winston-Salem, NC

Inkjet bioprinting of skin


Source: AMG NewTech


In 2016, bioprinting is estimated to represent less than 3% of the global biomedical 3D printing market. Expected to exit the development stage, bioprinting is forecast to generate global revenues of $248 million in 2021, corresponding to a CAGR of 59.5% during the next five years.  Sales figures include materials (e.g., biocompatible constituents and bioinks), equipment (e.g., inkjet printers), and products (e.g., implantable components and tissues).  In 2021, bioprinting is projected to account for 12.5% of the nearly $2 billion biomedical 3D printing market. Bone and cartilage tissues for implants and skin tissues for cosmetics, wound treatment, and facial regeneration are projected to account for a combined 73% of the total market.



The next table provides a list of key players in the 3D bioprinting industry. They are producers of bioinks, bioprinted tissues and/or bioprinting equipment. 


Key players in 3D bioprinting.




Product Type

3D Bioprinting Solutions

Moscow, Russia

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

3Dynamic Systems

Swansea, U.K.

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

Advanced Solutions Life Sciences

Louisville, KY

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


San Francisco, CA

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

Aspect Biosystems

Vancouver, Canada

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter with microfluidic channels

Bio3D Technologies


Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Philadelphia, PA

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Palo Alto, CA

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

Cyfuse Biomedical

Tokyo, Japan

Syringe-based extrusion with needle arrays


Marlborough, MA

Inkjet bioprinter


Gladbeck, Germany

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Radeberg, Germany

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

MicroFab Technologies

Plano, TX

Inkjet bioprinter


Shiojiri-shi, Japan

Inkjet bioprinter

n3D Biosciences

Houston, TX

Magnetic levitation and magnetic printing


Orlando, FL

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


San Diego, CA

Tissues bioprinted by syringe-based extrusion


Cork, Ireland

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Pessac, France

Laser assisted bioprinting

Qingdao Unique Products

Qingdao City, China

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

Regemat 3D

Granada, Spain

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Villaz-St-Pierre, Switzerland

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter


Hangzhou, China

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter and bioprinted tissues


Seoul, South Korea

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter

SE3D Education

Redwood City, CA

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter for educational purpose

Sichuan Revotek

Chengdu, China

Syringe-based extrusion bioprinter and bioprinted tissues

TeVido BioDevices

Austin, TX

Inkjet bioprinted tissues


Source: AMG NewTech



Related topic: cartilage bioprinting for personalized medicine, nanocellulose-based bioink for cartilage bioprinting, mechanically strong structures for bone repair,  bioprinting of differentiated epidermal tissues manufacturing readiness of bioprinting, the biopen as a handheld syringe-based extrusion bioprinter



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