3D cell culture is an advanced cell culture technique and comprises of an artificially created environment created to allow cells to interact with their surroundings in all three dimensions. This method overcomes the limitations of its precursor 2D model in terms of cellular behavior and characteristics. 3D cell culture is used to investigate various diseases by modelling cells suffering from the disease. In the last couple of years, the adoption of 3D cell cultures across hospitals, institutes, research laboratories, biotechnology, and biopharmaceutical has substantially increased to ensure better outputs. Furthermore, the adoption rate is poised to increase further in the forthcoming years.
The technique provides a 3D view of the cells grown in the culture, which helps researchers examine the cell culture in a better way. This new model also helps accurately stimulate cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation, and thus is considered to be better suited for studying disease models by cellular modelling the disease states.
According to a report published by Persistence Market Research, due to such benefits offered by 3D cell culture, the global market for the same will expand at a robust CAGR of 29.1% between 2015 and 2020. The global 3D cell culture market will rise from US$586.1 mn in 2014 to US$2.7 bn by the end of 2020, as per the report.
Increasing Use in Cancer and Stem Cell Research Drives Market for 3D Cell Culture
Globally, the demand for 3D cell culture has risen substantially due to its increased use in cancer and stem cell research. Furthermore, it has also emerged as a novel drug discovery tool, as 3D culture boosts the relevance of cell-based essays. The market for 3D cell culture also capitalizes on the rising investment by major players in research and development activities and rising demand for organ transplantation. Furthermore, the ability of 3D cell culture to replace animal research in pharmaceutical testing and research has emerged as a crucial factor boosting its demand across pharmaceutical and medical industries.
Despite exhibiting impressive growth potential, the budgetary constraints faced by small and medium-sized laboratories, coupled with the inadequate consistency of 3D culture products, will hamper the growth of the market to an extent. However, its growing use in drug discovery and cell-based assays across niche medical research will bolster the market for 3D cell culture in the near future.
Some of the most recent contributions of 3D cell culture technique in drug discovery are:
3D Cell Culture in Biopharmaceuticals
The rapid expansion of the biopharmaceuticals industry is driving unprecedented innovation in and demand for 3D cell culture products to aid drug discovery and ensure safe testing. While these laboratories are known to use 2D cell culture since the 1950, the advancements brought about by 3D cell culture, which can more accurately model human tissue in vivo without conducting any experiments on animal test subjects, have significantly accelerated the demand for the latter from the biopharmaceuticals industry.
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3D Cell Culture in Oncology Drug Development
Oncology drug development is one of the areas expected to be substantially benefited by the use of 3D cell culture techniques. The limitations of the traditional 2D cell culture in accurately mimicking the 3D environment in which cancer cells thrive have fuelled demand from the 3D cell culture market for oncology drug development. 3D cell culture models can reproduce the natural environment wherein tumor grows, thereby assisting cell-based assays for anticancer drugs in a much more meaningful way and at a lower cost and time.