Polymer biomaterials are produced by monomeric units that form larger structures by bonding covalently. Polymer biomaterials play a major role in tissue engineering, wherein they can be introduced into body tissue as part of an implanted medical device or used to replace an organ, bodily function. They are also used in surgical devices, and for drug delivery applications. The global polymer biomaterials market is expanding at a rapid pace, due to the increase in health care expenditure and rise in geriatric population.
Growth in aging population, who are primary consumers of polymer biomaterials in form of biomedical implants, is driving the polymer biomaterials market. Increase in research activities, technological advancements, and rise in investments in the polymer biomaterial sector are major factors propelling the market. Key advantages of polymeric biomaterials vis-à-vis metal or ceramic biomaterials are ease of manufacturability to produce various shapes (latex, film, sheet, fibers, etc.), corrosion resistance, and availability with desired mechanical and physical properties. The required properties of polymeric biomaterials are similar to that of other biomaterials. These include biocompatibility, sterilizability, and adequate mechanical and physical properties. Furthermore, advancements in the medical technology have facilitated the implant of these polymer biomaterials into the human body. This, in turn, is a prominent factor augmenting the polymer biomaterials market. These key drivers provide lucrative opportunities to the polymer biomaterials market.
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However, implementation of stringent safety and validation regulations, compatibility issues, and difficulty in wearing/implanting the products are some of the factors hampering the polymer biomaterials market. Strict regulatory biocompatibility requirement for approval of biomaterials is also inhibiting the market. Moreover, polymers are costly. This is also expected to adversely affect market growth.
Based on type of polymer material, the polymer biomaterials market can be segmented into nylon, silicone rubber, polyethylene, polyester, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and polyvinylchloride (PVC). Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is projected to be the dominant segment during the forecast period due to the rise in applications in orthopedics, dental, and ophthalmology fields. PMMA has high degree of compatibility with the human tissue; therefore, it is often used for the replacement of intraocular lenses in eyes. For instance, it is used in the treatment of cataracts. PMMA is also commonly used to make dentures and dental filling materials. It is also used as a wrinkle- or scar-reducing compound in cosmetic surgeries
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In terms of end-use, the polymer biomaterials market can be classified into cardiovascular, ophthalmology, orthopedics, dental, plastic surgery, wound healing, tissue engineering, and neurological disorders/central nervous system. The cardiovascular end-use segment held the leading share of the market in 2016 owing to the increase in medical cases related to cardiac disorders. It was followed by the orthopedics segment.
Based on geography, the polymer biomaterial market can be divided into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are technologically mature regions; thus, they are expected to be the dominant regions of the market during the forecast period. Rise in polymer biomaterials-based research, increase in demand for plastic surgeries, and growth in prevalence of cardiovascular diseases are estimated to drive market growth in North America and Europe. The polymer biomaterials market in Asia Pacific is projected to expand due to the increase in awareness about polymer biomedical devices for usage in cardiovascular, orthopedics, and dental applications in emerging economies such as China, India, and Japan. Countries in Middle East & Africa consist of untapped markets. This provides an opportunity to market players to expand their share in these regions.
Key players operating in the global polymer biomaterials market include, Bayer AG, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Evonik Industries AG, Osteotech, Inc., Biomet, Inc. and Berkeley Advanced Biomaterials, Inc.