Bioceramics are essentially a part of biomaterials which are inclusive of but not limited to applications pertaining to implants like bone plates, dental implants, heart valves, intraocular lenses, joint replacements, ligaments, sutures, vascular grafts, etc. as well as medical devices artificial hearts, biosensors, blood tubes, pacemakers, are widely employed to restore and /or replace the function traumatized or degenerated organs or tissues to aid and expedite the healing process, enhance the functions, rectify the abnormalities thereby facilitating the overall improvement of the quality of patients.
Applications wise it has emerged integral to orthopedic, dental, biomedical, cardio-vascular solutions, among others. In applications pertaining to orthopedic many kinds of bioceramics are employed and the choice of bioceramics is governed by the kind of defects that it rectifies. Further, the employment of nanoscale bioceramics to fabricate various usable products has revolutionized the manner in which bioceramics have been used in orthopedic surgery due to the widely acknowledged effectiveness of nanomaterials in osseointegration and osseoconduction as well as its capability to provide a porous network of precise nature that is determinant of bone repair rate.
Factors That Are Fostering Various Strategic Initiatives and Driving the Growth of Bioceramics Market
To this end its important to note that the chemicals and materials industry has made significant strides and has witnessed prolific engagement in research and development activities bringing about a sea change in the capabilities of bioceramics. For instance, in March 2018, Dimension Inx, which is a biofabrication company that leverages the capabilities of patented 3D-printing biomaterials design and the platform to manufacture had reportedly commercialized a regenerative medical product that has fundamentally changed the way human diseases and debilitation have been treated thus far, called Hyperelastic Bone™. It is composed of less than 90 wt.% hydroxyapatite, which is the same mineral found in bones and teeth. The unique aspect that makes it a path-breaking product innovation in the bioceramics market is that despite being mostly mineral it retains flexibility and can be printed at room temperature, which either can be shaped generically or printed to the specifics matching with a particular patient. As of March 2020, the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 10,584,254, was reportedly announced by the company that covers its proprietary biomaterials design and 3d-printing manufacturing system.
Delving further into bioceramics market, rising occurrences of osteoarthritis; availability of low-cost alternatives facilitating preventive care; properties of certain bioceramics like bioinertness; high abrasion resistance and tensile strength; the increasing rate of biocompatibility with the needs of patients as well as the demand for biocompatible materials which reduces post-surgical occurrences of infection are few of the core factors that are poised to drive the growth of the bioceramics market trend. Furthermore, another factor that is poised to augment the growth of the market is the growing pool of aging population in developed countries. To this end, it may be noted that according to the United Nations (UN) it is estimated that 1 out of 6 people will be over 65 years of age by 2059 which is an increase of 16% from 1 in every 11 individuals I.e. 9% (2019 estimates). Moreover, 1 out of every 4 individuals living in North America and Europe could be over 65 years of age. Furthermore, the year 2018 marked a historical event, wherein for the first time the total number of people over 65 years of age and above had exceeded the number of children under 5 years of age globally. Before all foregoing, the number of people who are 80 years of age and above is projected to triple in 2050 accounting for a population of 426 million from 143 million in 2019.
Population Aged 65+ of High Income Countries (Forecast in Thousands)
Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division
Further, irresponsible consumption proclivities that necessitate the requirement of dental crowns, among others, have led to the expansion of the market share of dental applications of bioceramics. This is also another factor responsible for the growth of the global bioceramics market. Thus, when it comes to the segment of dental applications, the bioceramics market has been awash with quite a few strategic moves made by the market players in recent years. For example, in July 2018 it was reported that Institut Straumann AG (Straumann Group) has acquired 30% stake in its biomaterials partner botiss biomaterials GmbH ( botiss biomaterials) facilitating the expansion of the latter’s global distribution network of the former’s products as well as further deepen the collaboration that has proved beneficial in driving dental biomaterials segment. botiss biomaterials is a globally renowned international supplier of products pertaining to oral tissue regeneration. Again in 2018, it was reported that Henry Schein, Inc (NASDAQ: HSIC), which is a globally renowned health care company catering to animal health, medical, and office-based dental practitioners had made three investments with the rationale to advance the company’s business pertaining to dental implants. Out of which, the acquisition of Intra-Lock International, a provider of solutions for dental restoration that includes biomaterials among others, is a noteworthy mention pertinent to the bioceramics market.
The Category of Biomaterial That Is Going to Occupy a Significant Market Share
Progressing to the segments of types and materials, the bioinert kind of bioceramics is expected to hold a significant share of the market due to its unique characteristics of retaining its physical and mechanical properties after implantation. The other aspect is that of its non-carcinogenicity and lack of biological response. Their usefulness in gliding function is widely acknowledged that stems from the property of its excellent wear. Further, a bioinert type of bioceramics is also known for its capability to maintain excellent biocompatibility and high strength concomitantly adjust conductivity and lubricity. Zirconia is one such material that is anticipated to be catapulted to stratospheric heights due to the increasing advancements and profusion of zirconia-based restorations in dental care as well as due to its preference in hip prostheses. Its favorable physical properties and comparatively lesser production costs are also other factors that are expected to drive the share of zirconia in the bioceramics markets in the next few years. Further, emerging markets like that of India and China have policies in place that are favorable for propelling the growth of bioceramics markets Viz. the national drug pricing regulator of India which is called National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reportedly notified in August 2019, that prices for orthopedic knee implants, on which price control measures were institutionalized two years ago, will be monitored till mid of August 2020, unless revised. Under the aegis of this pricing control measure, the cost of knee implants has been reportedly reduced to 69% leading to a national saving of Rs. 1,500 crore p.a. for consumers.