With the Flourishing Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic & Other End Use Industries, There Will Be an Upsurge in the Demand for Nanofibres, Which Is Projected to Drive the Nanofibres Market
Nanofibres Market size is forecast to reach US $520.3 million by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 24.3% during 2021-2026. This rise is mainly due to the demand from end-use industries mainly the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and medical and healthcare. Nanofibres form the broadest class of nanomaterials due to their unique properties. Nanofibres are defined as fibers with diameters less than 100 nanometers. High surface area to volume ratios, low diameters, high strength values, low basis weights, high porosities, and small pore sizes make them indispensable for numerous applications. Nanofibres are produced by various methods but the electrospinning method is highly preferred. Nanofibres possess multifunctional properties such as good filtration, high surface area, high permeability, small fiber diameter, and thin layers. These fibres are able to filter toxic gases, pathogens (bacteria, viruses), and harmful substances present in the air. Biological polymer nanofibres are made from materials such as polycaprolactone, polylactic acid, polysaccharides and copolymers of polylactic/glycolic acid among other biopolymers. Hence, they are widely used in drug delivery, cosmetics and medical & healthcare industries. Tissue engineering represents an emerging interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of biological, chemical, and engineering sciences towards the goal of tissue regeneration where nanofibres are used. Thereby, this also contributes towards the growth of the nanofibres market. Filtration of air and water and the rising demand from the medical industry are the key drives for the nanofibres market.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, induced lockdowns many industries were forced to shut down and there were also shortages of raw materials and disruptions in the supply chain demand. However, the pandemic also made consumers aware of the importance of clean air and air filtration. Masks and PPE kits using nanofibres became widely popular. This had led to nanofibres market registering positive growth during the pandemic as there was an increased demand for nanofibres in air filters, masks & PPE kits. According to The Los Angeles Times, in April 2020 L.A. bought $19 million worth of N95 masks early in the pandemic. Masks & PPE kit sales soared high during the pandemic and are still the most sort after commodities due to all the new emerging variants. Hence, the nanofibres market is expected to be strong during the forecast period.
Nanofibres Market Segment Analysis – By Type
The polymeric nanofibres segment occupied a significant share in the nanofibres market in 2020. Nanofibres can be generated from different polymers and hence have different physical properties and application potentials. Examples of natural polymers include collagen, cellulose, silk fibroin, keratin, gelatin and polysaccharides such as chitosan and alginate. Examples of synthetic polymers include polylactic acid, polycaprolactone, polyurethane, polylactic co-glycolic acid, poly 3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate and polyethylene co-vinyl acetate. Polycaprolactone is widely used in the cosmetic industry because it helps to reduce the risk of infection and incompatibility. Polylactic acid nanofibre has excellent mechanical properties, tensile strength and durability, which makes it very useful for drug delivery and cosmetic surgeries. Polyurethane nanofibres are widely used in tissue engineering of elastic tissues such as tendons, vascular grafts, oesophagus prosthesis, and ligaments. Hence, nanofibres have myriad applications in medical sciences including artificial organs, medical prostheses and wound dressing, which augments the demand of polyurethane, polylactic acid, polycaprolactone nanofibres in medical and cosmetics market. As demand for medical & healthcare applications increases, polymeric nanofibres are expected to occupy a significant market share during the forecast period.
Nanofibres Market Segment Analysis – By Synthesis
The electrospinning segment held a significant share of 22% in the nanofibres market in 2020. Currently, almost all the end use industries use nanofibres synthesized by electrospinning. The reason behind this is electrospinning utilizes an electrostatic field to generate ultrafine fibers in a very short period of time with the minimum initial investment, training, and supervision. Electrospinning is a beneficial and effective technology that is used to produce continuous nanofibres by the use of electric force. It is mainly employed for the fabrication of fibers with diameters ranging from tens of nanometers to a few micrometers. Electrospun nanofibres can be used for tissue engineering, wound dressing, drug delivery, biosensors, filtration, mask, etc. In recent years, solution electrospinning and melt-electrospinning have been developed to solve some of the technological problems of low productivity and nonuniformity of fibers. Electrospun nanofibres have enormous potential as fibrous 3D scaffolds that can function as artificial extracellular matrices for various cells to regenerate lost or damaged tissues. They are also commercially utilized for air/water filtration. Work from home and stay-at-home norms following the pandemic intensified the demand for air purifiers. According to Mi India, there has been 100% growth in sales of Xiaomi air purifiers in 2020 with cities in north India accounting for 70% of the sales. Hence, the electrospinning process is set to continue dominating the market during the forecast period.
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Nanofibres Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry
The medical and healthcare segment held the largest share in the nanofibres market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 21.3% during 2021-2026. Nanofibres especially those made of biocompatible or biodegradable materials show great potential in the medical and healthcare sector due to their unique combination of properties and intrinsic functionalities. Properties like interaction with environment, high liquid absorption capacities, high oxygen, water vapor permeability, high surface area and porosity associated with nanofibres enhance the adhesion of cells, as well as various proteins and drug molecules, are the key attributes to their application in this industry. A major class of nanofibres used in various medical and healthcare applications are polymeric nanofibres. Ceramic/inorganic nanofibres and carbon nanofibres are also increasingly being used. Important medical applications of nanofibres include filtration, medical textiles, wound healing, tissue engineering & regeneration, biosensors and drug delivery. Nanofibre layers produced from biopolymers (chitosan, gelatin, collagen, polycaprolactone, etc.) can also be used as a wound dressing for significant support of the wound healing process. Furthermore, nanofibres also act as an effective barrier for microorganism penetration (viruses, bacteria, and molds). Since the pandemic has begun, they have been increasingly used to produce masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. There has been a growing high demand for protective clothing, especially from the healthcare & medical sector to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to safely treat patients. For instance, in March 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on governments and industries to increase the manufacturing capacity of PPE kits by 40% to meet the rising global PPE demand. Based on WHO modeling, an estimated 89 million medical masks are required for the COVID-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million per month globally. Hence, the demand for nanofibres in medical and healthcare applications are projected to fuel the growth of the global Nanofibres market over the forecast market.
Nanofibres Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia-Pacific region held the largest share in the nanofibres market in 2020 up to 33%, owing to the accelerating growth of end use industries like the healthcare, pharmaceutical, aerospace and defense, energy, and automotive industries in the region. The pharmaceutical market is the second largest in the world. This is attributed to several factors such as size of the population especially the geriatric population, GDP per capita, health expenditures, regulatory systems as well as disease incidence. The Indian pharmaceutical sector is the largest producer as well as supplier of generic drugs in the world. It supplies nearly 20% of the total demand of generic drugs in the world. India emerged globally as the second-largest PPE manufacturer in the world’s battle against COVID-19. A startup, Nanoclean Global based in New Delhi developed Nasomask, a N95/FFP2 grade face mask using nanofibres which is highly efficient against contagious viruses. The mask has high breathability and negligible breathing resistance. Japan’s pharmaceutical market is one of the largest in the world. Nanofibres are widely used in sunscreen creams, anti-aging creams, hair products (such as colors, anti-graying, etc.), facial masks, makeup removers, bronzers etc. China, Japan, and South Korea are the leading cosmetic markets in the APAC region. According to a survey in South Korea, the 2020 sales of skin care products particularly face moisturizing products such as sheet face masks, essences, serums, and oils were 126% more than that of the same products in 2019. Since nanotechnology allows the production of value-added products, cosmetics produced by nanotechnological methods have attracted attention from every area. Nanofibres are particularly used in sheet facial masks. A Czech-based material engineering company, Nanopharma developed a nanofibre based sheet mask offers beauty treatment, without the mess, as a dry sheet mask. Thus, with the flourishing pharmaceutical, cosmetic & other end use industries, there will be an upsurge in the demand for nanofibres, which is projected to drive the nanofibres market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Nanofibres Market Drivers
Filtration of Air and Water
Pollution is the major cause of global warming, greenhouse effect and high incidence of lung related illnesses. A major problem of pollution control is the mixture of pollutants that require expensive tailor-fitted treatment for different chemicals and compounds. Nanotechnology can develop better techniques for pollution control on a molecular level that can separate specific elements and molecules from a mixture of atoms and molecules. Membrane separation technology has become one of the most important technologies for water purification because it is highly efficient, low cost, and environmentally friendly. Polymeric nanofibre scaffolds are considered excellent membrane materials owing to their lightweight, high surface area, and interconnected porous structure for various environmental remediations. For example, they are used as adsorption and filtration membranes with enhanced performance for the removal of contaminants (e.g., particles, oily emulsion, dyes, metal ions) from wastewater. The high surface-to-volume ratio, low resistance and enhanced filtration performance make nanofibres an attractive material for air filtration applications. It is particularly useful in the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOC), nanoparticles and airborne microbial contaminants in the air. Thus, increasing awareness about the environment and developing pollution control methods act as a driver for the nanofibres market during the forecast period.
Flourishing Medical & Healthcare Industry
Growing incidence of diseases, the outbreaks of diseases and the greater demand for healthcare services is causing the healthcare and medical industry to grow leaps and bounds. According to Invest India, the healthcare industry in India is projected to reach $372 billion by 2022. Nanofibres made from polycaprolactone have been widely employed for various medical applications because of their biodegradability, biocompatibility and excellent mechanical properties. Polyurethane is the most widely used product for medical diagnosis. Polylactic acid used for drug delivery systems and controlled drug release, tissue-engineered scaffolds, dressings for wounds, biosensors, and medical implants. Nanofibres are used as scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue engineering (including bone, cartilage, ligament, and skeletal muscle), skin tissue engineering, vascular tissue engineering, neural tissue engineering, and as carriers for the controlled delivery of drugs, proteins, and DNA. According to a report from IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, Global spending on medicines excluding spending of COVID-19 vaccines, to reach a value of about $1.6 trillion by 2025. Thus, the growing medical and healthcare industry acts as a driver for the nanofibres market.
Nanofibres Market Challenges
Nanofibres have toxic effects on aquatic animals due to nano pollution. Nano pollution refers to waste that can end up in landfills and contaminate air, water and soil. Nanoparticles in the environment can have harmful effects on the environment, human cells and DNA level. Nanofibres can cause nano pollution due to toxicity. With the growth of nanotechnology, there are certain negative impacts on the environment in many ways, such as increased toxicological pollution on the environment due to the shape, size, and chemical compositions of some of the nanotechnology products or nanomaterials. Due to the nano size it is extremely difficult to detect nanoparticles in air. Hence, this may hinder the market growth of nanofibres market.
Nanofibres Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Nanofibres market. Nanofibres market top companies are Toray Industries Inc., Hollingsworth and Vose, eSpin Technologies Inc., Elmarco, and Teijin Limited.
In January 2021, Nanosurf acquired Scuba Probe Technologies, a startup company that develops atomic force microscopy probes for electrical measurements in liquid. The acquisition of Scuba Probe Technologies will allow Nanosurf to offer complete solutions for electrochemical measurements in fast growing markets like battery research, fuel cells, renewable energies, corrosion, surface coating, catalysis and biological processes.
Asia-Pacific dominates the Nanofibres market, owing to demand from the increasing end use industries in the region.
Nanofibres are widely used in the medical industry. Polycaprolactone has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use in human body as surgical suture to hold body tissues together after surgery.
The regenerative medicine field has promising solutions to overcome existing clinical challenges in the repair or regrowth of injured tissues. Nanofibres fabricated by electrospinning have been extensively used for possibilities in the regeneration of various tissues.
The major opportunity for this market is high research spending and growing applications of nanofibres. Furthermore, it is also an opportunity for the market to foray into green nanofibres in keeping with the sustainability goals.
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