3D Cell Culture Trends 2013

Published: July 2013
No. of Pages: 58

Executive Summary

  • This market report summarizes the results of HTStec’s 3rd industry-wide global web-based benchmarking survey on three dimensional (3D) cell culture technologies carried out in July 2013.
  • The study was initiated by HTStec as part of its ongoing tracking of this fast moving technology and emerging marketplace, and to update its previous report (published November 2011).
  • The main objectives of this global benchmarking study were to comprehensively document continuing interest in, experience gained and progress made in applying 3D cell culture technologies in academic research, drug discovery and tissue engineering/regenerative medicine settings, and to understand their future purchasing preferences.
  • The survey looked at the following aspects of 3D cell culture as practiced to date (2013) and in a few cases as predicted for the future (2015): current level of adoption (% all cell culture wells processed) of 3D cell culture technologies; areas where interest in 3D cell culture is primarily focused; type of 3D structure most interest in generating in culture; main intended applications of 3D cell culture; opinion on statements about 3D cell culture; most important advantages of 3D cell culture; approaches that have demonstrated most promise to date in facilitating 3D cell culture; vessel formats a 3D scaffold/matrix must have compatibility with; requirements for different types of 3D scaffold; different cell types used for 3D cell culture work; number of 3D wells per assay or project; total number of 3D wells per year; whether any high throughput (primary) screens using 3D technologies have been run to date; where 3D cell culture will make the biggest impact over the coming years; assay types successfully demonstrated using cells within a 3D matrix/structure; analytical technologies that have been applied to 3D cell culture today; how aspects of existing plate readers/imaging systems rate for use in the routine assay/detection/ interrogation of 3D cell culture derived structures; the most important tasks to automate in 3D cell culture; opinion on statements related to automating 3D cell culture; awareness of approaches/platforms used for the automation of 3D cell culture and tissue production/fabrication; interest in outsourcing 3D cell culture; interest in purchasing some assay-ready 3D constructs and outsourced 3D services; vendors that first comes to mind when you think of assay-ready 3D constructs and outsourced 3D services; interest in 3D organotypic microtissue models; level of success achieved with 3D cell culture; realistic adoption period for a new 3D scaffold; main barriers to the adoption of a new 3D matrix; whether 3D cell culture has reached its full market potential yet and what is still missing or where are the gaps/limitations in current 3D offerings; the relationship between spending on 3D consumable technologies versus other cell culture spending; budget for 3D cell culture consumables and its breakdown into components; 3D consumables most likely to be purchased in the future; suppliers of consumables and/or instruments that first come to mind and those most purchased from; and budget allocation to purchase new equipment to enable 3D culture.
  • The main questionnaire consisted of 30 multi-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions. In addition, there were 5 questions related solely to the administration of survey.
  • The survey collected 154 validated responses, of these 53% provided comprehensive input.
  • Survey responses were geographically split: 46% Europe; 31% North America; 12% Asia (excluding Japan); 6% Japan; and 5% Rest of World.
  • Respondents came from 83 University/Research Institute/Not-for-Profit Facilities; 21 Pharma; 15 Biotechs: 9 Other Organizations; 9 Hospitals/Clinics/Medical Schools; 5 Regen Med/Cell Therapy/Tissue Engineering Companies; 4 CROs; 3 Cosmetics Companies; 2 Government/Military/Defense Facilities; 2 Diagnostics Companies; and 1 Biomanufacturing/Bioprocessing Company.
  • Most survey respondents had a senior job role or position which was in descending order: 22 professors/ assistant professors; 19 research scientists; 18 principal investigators; 16 others; 16 senior scientists/researchers; 11 department heads; 11 lab managers; 10 directors; 9 graduate/PhD students; and 8 post-docs.
  • Respondents represented labs with the following main activity: 37 cancer research; 31 basic research; 27 drug discovery; 13 tissue/organ engineering; 10 preclinical research/ADME/toxicology; 9 stem cell biology; 8 regenerative medicine; 6 other; 6 cell therapy; 5 clinical research; and 1 developmental biology.
  • Survey results were expressed as an average of all survey respondents. In addition, were appropriate the data was reanalyzed after sub-division into the following 5 survey groups: 1) Academic Research; 2) Drug Discovery; 3) Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine; 4) Europe; and 5) North America.
  • The median level of adoption was 30% of all cell culture wells processed involved a 3D technology.
  • The 3D structure respondents were most interested in generating in cell culture was spheroids.
  • The main application investigated using 3D cell culture was cancer therapy.
  • The level of agreement with some statements about 3D cell culture and 3D automation was recorded.
  • Better mirrors the environment experienced by normal cells in the body was rated the most important advantage of 3D cell culture.
  • Hydrogel scaffolds were ranked as the approach that had demonstrated most promise to date in facilitating 3D cell culture.
  • The 3D scaffold format most wanted was compatibility with the 96-well microplate.
  • The median requirements for 3D scaffolds with different types of properties were recorded.
  • Greatest use was made of transformed or recombinant cell lines in 3D cell culture work today (2013).
  • The median typical size of an assay or project in 3D cell culture was 50 assay wells today (2013).
  • The median number of assay wells setup per year with a 3D matrix was 200 today (2013).
  • The majority have not run any high throughput (primary) screens using 3D cell culture to date.
  • Cancer therapy was the application area where 3D cell culture is expected to make the greatest impact.
  • The assay type most used/investigated in a 3D cell culture matrix today (2013) was cell proliferation and cell viability.
  • The analytical technologies most applied in 3D culture today (2013) were fluorescence microscopy, brightfield/phase contrast microscopy and plate readers.
  • All aspects of existing plate readers/imaging systems were at best rated only moderately adequate, suggesting none performed as desired.
  • Respondent feedback on the most important tasks to automate with 3D cell culture and the challenges they pose for automation were documented.
  • Of some approaches to the automation of 3D cell culture respondents were most aware of: InSphero’s GravityPLUS™ platform; Corning® Costar® ultra-low attachment 96-well plates; Reinnervate’s Alvetex® 96-well plates; and 3D Biomatrix’s Perfecta3D™384-well plates.
  • Only a minority of respondents have outsourced 3D cell culture or related activity to date (2013).
  • Ready-made kits for specific cell-based assays developed within a 3D matrix were the 3D product or service respondents were most interested in accessing.
  • InSphero most comes to mind when thinking of assay-ready 3D constructs and outsourced services.
  • The 3D organotypic microtissue models respondents would like to see offered were documented with respect to organ or tissue, source, disease status required, and reasonable price for 96 tissues.
  • 39% of respondents rated their success achieved with 3D cell culture as major (significant improvement).
  • The median realistic adoption period for a new 3D scaffold was 6-9 months.
  • Budget constraints – can’t afford to change formats, was rated as the main barrier to the adoption of a new 3D matrix.
  • The majority think that 3D cell culture has not yet reached its full potential, feedback on what is still missing or where there are gaps/limitations in current 3D offerings were documented.
  • Around half of respondents total cell culture spending was still allocated to 2D cell culture.
  • The median budget allocated for spending on 3D cell culture consumables today (2013) was $10K-$25K. The biggest proportion of this budget was allocated to hydrogel 3D scaffolds.
  • A bottom-up model was developed around the respondent’s spending on 3D cell culture consumables to estimate the global market. In 2013 this market was estimated to be around $75M. Segmentation and CAGR estimates are given in the full report.
  • Hydrogel 3D scaffolds (purchased separate of culture vessel) and microplates designed to encourage spheroid generation were the 3D consumables respondents were most interested in purchasing.
  • BD Bioscience was the supplier of 3D cell culture consumables that first comes to the mind.
  • The most purchased from 3D cell culture consumables suppliers were BD Bioscience, Corning and InSphero. Combined these 3 suppliers have around 50% market share.
  • The median budget allocated for spending on 3D cell culture instruments today (2013) was <$5K.
  • The full report provides the data, details of the breakdown of the responses for each question, its segmentation and the estimates for the future (2015). It also highlights some interesting differences between the survey groups, particularly Academic Research versus Drug Discovery or Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine.

3D Cell Culture Trends 2013

Table of Contents

Executive Summary      2
Table of Contents     4
Survey Methodology    5
Main Group Activity & Response of Survey Participants    6
Respondent’s Geographic Origin    7
Respondent’s Company or Organisational Origin     8
Respondent’s Job Role       9
Respondent’s Main Area of Interest    10
Current Level of Adoption of 3D Cell Culture Methods    11
Type of 3D Structure Respondents Are Most Interested in Generating in Culture    12
Main Application of 3D Cell Culture    13
Opinion on Statements About 3D Cell Culture    14
Most Important Advantages of 3D Cell Culture    15
Approaches That Have Demonstrated Promise in 3D Cell Culture    16
3D Scaffold/Format Compatibility Requirement    17
3D Culture Requiring Different Types of Scaffolds  18
Summary of Survey Findings (1)    19
Current Use of Different Cell Types in 3D Cell Culture    20
Typical Size of an Assay or Project in 3D Cell Culture    21
Total Number of 3D Wells Setup Per Year With a 3D Matrix    22
Respondents Who Have Run Any HTS/Primary Screens Using 3D Cell Culture to Date    23
Biggest Impact of 3D Cell Culture    24
Assay Types Successfully Demonstrated in a 3D Cell Culture Matrix    25
Analytical Technologies Successfully Applied in 3D Cell Culture    26
How Aspects of Existing Plate Readers/Imaging Systems Rate for 3D Cell Culture Objects    27
Most Important Tasks to Automate With 3D Cell Culture & the Challenges They Pose for Automation    28
Opinion on Statements About 3D Cell Culture Automation       30
Use of Some Approaches for 3D Cell Culture Automation (1)    31
Use of Some Approaches for 3D Cell Culture Automation (2)    32
Interest in Outsourcing 3D Cell Culture    . 33
Interest in Purchasing Some 3D Derived Products or Services    34
Vendors That First Come to Mind for Assay-Ready 3D Constructs & Outsourced Services    35
Primary Interest in 3D Organotypic Microtissue Models    36
Secondary Interest in 3D Organotypic Microtissue Models    37
Summary of Survey Findings (2)    38
Current Level of Success Achieved With 3D Cell Culture     40
Realistic Adoption Period for a New 3D Scaffold     41
Main Barriers to the Adoption of a 3D Matrix      42
Has 3D Cell Culture Reached its Full Market Potential?    43
Spending on 3D Cell Culture Consumables Versus Other Cell Culture Spending    45
2013 Annual Budget for 3D Culture-Related Consumables    46
Breakdown of 2011 Budget for 3D Cell Culture Consumables    47
Market Estimate for 3D Cell Culture-Related Consumables    48
Breakdown of 3D Cell-Culture Related Consumables Market Estimate      49
3D Consumables Respondents are Most Interested in Purchasing    50
3D Cell Culture Suppliers That Comes to Mind (1)  51
3D Cell Culture Suppliers That Comes to Mind (2)  52
Most Purchased From Suppliers of 3D Cell Culture Consumables & Related Instruments (1)      53
Most Purchased From Suppliers of 3D Cell Culture Consumables & Related Instruments (2)      54
Estimated Supplier Share of 3D Consumables & Instruments Market    55
Capex Budget for 3D Cell Culture-Related Instrument Spending    56
Summary of Survey Findings (3)    57

Published By: HTStec Ltd.
Product Code: HTStec Ltd.14

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