LONDON, Nov. 14, 2017 — 

  • The global market for hydrogels totaled $15.6 billion in 2016. The market should total $16.5 billion in 2017 and $22.3 billion by 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% from 2017 to 2022.

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  • Synthetic hydrogels as a segment should total $12.5 billion in 2017 and $16.9 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2022.
  • Hybrid hydrogels as a segment should total $1.5 billion in 2017 and $2.1 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2017 to 2022.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Study Goals and Objectives
The objective of this study is to provide an analysis of hydrogels in terms of current and forecasted usage. New developments in hydrogels have expanded their usage in existing and new applications, and competition between various hydrogel chemistries and forms are covered. The competitive scenario among hydrogel market participants is also covered, as well as a detailed discussion on the competition among individual hydrogel compositions. Important suppliers of hydrogels, their product lines and other important factors that impact the market will also be covered.

Reasons for Doing This Study
Hydrogel suppliers continue to search for specialty markets, somewhat irrespective of potential volume. Selection criteria is focused on growing specialty markets with opportunities for respectable profits even though sales volumes may not be large by commodity polymer standards.

Hydrogels have become a significant market and encompass many types of polymers. In addition to acrylates and polyacrylamides, many glycols, along with natural and specialty hybrid polymers are available in the market. Hydrogels present excellent opportunities for advancement in wound care, drug delivery and agriculture applications because traditional solutions are unable to meet the needs of advanced wound care and controlled release of active ingredients.

Super absorbent polymer hydrogels have proven their worth and have reached a stage of dominance in their application areas. Geographic expansion and deeper penetration into developing and underdeveloped regions are challenges that need to be addressed by hydrogel manufacturers.

Scope of Report
Hydrogels are water insoluble, cross-linked, three-dimensional networks of polymer chains plus water that fills the voids between polymer chains. Cross-linking facilitates insolubility in water and provides required mechanical strength and physical integrity. Hydrogel is mostly water (the mass fraction of water is much greater than that of polymer). The ability of a hydrogel to hold a significant amount of water infers that the polymer chains must have at least moderate hydrophilic character. The study does not include other types of gels such as oil-based gels, or dry gels such as foams and aerogels.

This study includes forecasted trends and demand though 2022. Important manufacturers, technologies and factors influencing demand are discussed. The study encompasses a detailed analysis of various types of hydrogels classified on different bases. Types of hydrogel have been classified on the basis of raw material origin, composition (key polymer chemistry) and form. Each type has been further studied and their use in various applications is presented.

The report segments hydrogel types and its applications as follows: 

  • Raw material origin.
    • Synthetic.
    • Natural.
    • Hybrid.
  • Composition.
    • Polyacrylate.
    • Silicone-modified hydrogels.
    • Polyacrylamide copolymers.
    • Polyethylene glycol (PEG).
    • Agar. o Gelatin.
    • Others (e.g., polyvinyl alcohol, polypropylene glycol, glycerides and polysaccharides).
  • Form.
    • Semicrystalline buttons.
    • Amorphous hydrogels.
    • Films and matrices.
    • Hydrogel sheets.
  • Hydrogel market by application.
    • Contact lenses.
    • Hygiene products and cosmetics.
    • Wound care and diagnostics.
    • Drug delivery.
    • Tissue engineering.
    • Agriculture and food.
    • Forensics and research.

The study provides demand in 2016 and a forecast through 2022 for each type of hydrogel based on various classifications and their applications. Market estimations for each type of hydrogel and application are provided for global as well as five key geographic regions—North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. Estimated values used are based on manufacturers' total revenues. Projected and forecasted revenue values are in constant U.S. dollars, unadjusted for inflation.

Suppliers of hydrogels are discussed and analyzed based on market share, product types and geography (where data is available). A detailed patent analysis has been included to understand the key growth areas and the actively innovative companies.

Information Sources
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. A comprehensive review was undertaken of the literature relating to hydrogels, their applications and technology, and significant new developments. Included in the review were supplier trade literature, texts and monographs. Materials from investor presentations, annual reports, publications from industry associations and government websites were also reviewed.

Demographic data was collected from relevant government databases, including but not limited to World Bank data, the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO) of the United Nations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), etc. Scientific journals and white papers were also studied to take into account the trends in new research and development in the area of hydrogels.

The market size was estimated in terms of revenue generated by sales of hydrogels by using a combination of the top-down and bottom-up approach. Relevant data was collected from the end-user application side (downstream) of the hydrogel value chain and from the raw material side (upstream) of the hydrogel value chain through primary and secondary research.

Geographic Breakdown
In this report, the geographic regions considered for market analysis include, and only include:

  • North America.
  • Europe.
  • Asia-Pacific.
  • Latin America.
  • Middle East and Africa.

Hydrogel Market Segmentation, by Type
Raw material origin

Silicone-modified hydrogels
Polyacrylamide copolymers
Others (PVA, PPG, etc.)

Semicrystalline buttons
Amorphous gels
Films and matrices
Hydrogel sheets

Hydrogel Market Segmentation, by Application
Contact lenses
Hygiene products and cosmetics
Wound care and diagnostics Drug delivery
Tissue engineering
Agriculture and food
Forensics and research

Hydrogel Market Segmentation, by Region
North America
Latin America
Middle East and Africa

Chapter 2: Summary and Highlights
Hydrogels have been in commercial use for more than two decades now. However, their widespread use started only with advancements in polymer technologies. Presently, hydrogels are chiefly used in soft contact lenses, hygiene products such as diapers, wound dressings, tissue engineering scaffolds, drug delivery, agriculture and food products such as jellies.

Demand for hydrogels is chiefly driven by disposable diapers, contact lenses and wound care products. The overall hydrogel market is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% during the forecast period between 2017 and 2022. The healthcare industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing consumers of hydrogels. Drug delivery and wound care applications are witnessing exponential growth driven by active research for the development of novel and innovative technologies.

Hydrogels are proving to be a superior solution, especially for burn wounds and diabetic patients' wounds. Due to their moisture retention capacity, hydrogels have been successfully adopted to speed the healing of severe burns in a painless procedure. Hydrogels have also enabled timed release of active pharmaceutical ingredients in drug delivery application and helped reduce multiple doses of pharmaceuticals while enhancing their efficacy.

There is an ongoing rise in the adoption of disposable soft contact lenses to improve vision as well as for aesthetic appeal. Silicone modified hydrogels are the preferred material for producing disposable soft contact lenses. Silicone modified hydrogels have dominated the soft contact lenses market for close to a decade and are projected grow at a REDACTED CAGR during the forecast period.

Disposable diapers, feminine hygiene pads and adult incontinence products are another high-volume market for hydrogels. Disposable diapers utilize super absorbent polymers that are essentially hydrogels composed of polyacrylamide, polyacrylates and other synthetic polymers. The demand for disposable diapers is continually rising with increasing birth rates and the increasing geriatric population. Demand for hydrogels in hygiene products is anticipated to dominate the hydrogel market and increase at a CAGR of REDACTED during the forecast period.

In terms of raw material origin, synthetic hydrogels dominated the global hydrogels market. Synthetic hydrogels are mostly used in hygiene products, contact lenses and agriculture in high volumes. Hybrid hydrogels are expected to grow at the fastest CAGR of REDACTED between 2017 and 2022 on account of increasing adoption in healthcare and pharmaceutical applications.

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Preety holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies and is the former Deputy Director of Media Relations with the Modern Coalition.