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Tissue Eng. 2001 Oct;7(5):485-93.

The growth of tissue engineering.

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  • 1Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02818, USA.


This report draws upon data from a variety of sources to estimate the size, scope, and growth rate of the contemporary tissue engineering enterprise. At the beginning of 2001, tissue engineering research and development was being pursued by 3,300 scientists and support staff in more than 70 startup companies or business units with a combined annual expenditure of over $600 million. Spending by tissue engineering firms has been growing at a compound annual rate of 16%, and the aggregate investment since 1990 now exceeds $3.5 billion. At the beginning of 2001, the net capital value of the 16 publicly traded tissue engineering startups had reached $2.6 billion. Firms focusing on structural applications (skin, cartilage, bone, cardiac prosthesis, and the like) comprise the fastest growing segment. In contrast, efforts in biohybrid organs and other metabolic applications have contracted over the past few years. The number of companies involved in stem cells and regenerative medicine is rapidly increasing, and this area represents the most likely nidus of future growth for tissue engineering. A notable recent trend has been the emergence of a strong commercial activity in tissue engineering outside the United States, with at least 16 European or Australian companies (22% of total) now active.

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