Bioceramics are ceramic materials specially developed for use as medical and dental implants. These are usually used to replace hard tissue in the body such as bone and teeth. Common bioceramics are alumina, zirconia, and hydroxyapatite (a form of calcium phosphate). Ceramics are refractory polycrystalline compounds and are inorganic, highly inert, hard & brittle, have high compressive strength, are good electric and thermal insulators, and have good esthetic appearance.
Increasing R&D activities by major industry players such as Kyocera coupled with rising demand in North America and Europe has led to high penetration in these developed regions. Other factors such as transitioning demographics and high demand for advanced health care facilities are also likely to boost market growth. Rising prevalence of osteoarthritis among a growing geriatric population has had a positive impact on bioceramics consumption globally. Increasing implant surgeries and hip & knee joint replacements is also likely to provide lucrative opportunities in the bioceramics market participants worldwide. However, volatility in alumina prices is anticipated to restrain the global bioceramics market during the forecast period. Medical polymers are also increasingly substituting bioceramics owing to similar inherent properties. These factors are likely to hinder the growth of the new market entrants over the future period. Minimally invasive procedures, surgery cost reduction, and partial joint replacements are likely to present lucrative opportunities in the market.
Based on product type, the bioceramics market is segmented into bioinert, bioactive, and bioresorbable. Bioactive ceramics interact with the body so that tissue bonding and eventual incorporation into the body occurs after a time. Calcium phosphate-based bioceramics are bioactive. Bioinert ceramics do not interact with the body’s environment apart from causing an initial ‘fibrous tissue’ reaction, which coats the ceramic. Alumina and zirconia-based ceramics are classified as bioinert. The bioceramics market has also been segmented based on application into orthopedic, dental implants, bone graft substitutes, bone cements, and others. Based on material, the bioceramics market is segmented into carbon, alumina, calcium sulfate, zirconia, calcium phosphate, and others. Alumina is a white powder. When shaped, compressed, and heated to a high temperature, the ceramic that results has high density, high strength, excellent corrosion resistance, good biocompatibility, and high wear resistance. In addition, it can be machined, ground, and polished to a high-quality product. Zirconia (ZrO2) is also a white powder. It can be compressed and sintered into a strong ceramic. Unlike alumina, its wear-resistance properties are not as good.
Geographically, the global bioceramics market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are major markets for bioceramics products due to increasing research and development activities along with growing consumer demand in the region. Changing demographics in North America and Europe have resulted in growing demand for health care facilities. This has been an important factor for medical advancements and contributed to the increasing use of the material in the past few years. Pharmaceutical companies in Asia Pacific are also increasing their production capacities. This factor coupled with increasing investments in R&D is expected to present new opportunities in the region. Apart from their usage as dental and bone implants, bioceramics are widely used in engineered bioreactors and extracorporeal circulation systems such as dialysis. This trend is anticipated to fuel the growth of the bioceramics market in Asia Pacific through 2024.
Major players operating in the global bioceramics market include CeramTec, Amedica Corporation, Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc., Royal DSM, DOCERAM Medical Ceramics GmbH, Straumann, Nobel Biocare, and CoorsTek Medical, LLC. CoorsTek Medical produced over 300 advanced materials in 2014. In August 2015, the company announced a five-year capacity expansion plan of ceramic hip replacement components. These initiatives are likely to increase competition and internal rivalry within the industry.
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