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.
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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.
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.
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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
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