Population ageing is widespread across the world. It is most advanced in the highly developed countries, but it is growing faster in less developed regions. Progress in reducing child mortality, improving access to education and employment opportunities, advancing gender equality, and promotion of reproductive health and access have all contributed to the reduction in birth rates. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide, life expectancy of older people continues to rise. By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years. By 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 841 million in 2014. Thus, increasing aging population proportionally drives the prevalence of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart diseases, and chronic wounds.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), increase in life expectancy and ageing population is expected to make osteoarthritis the fourth leading cause of disability by the year 2020. This burden has been recognized by the United Nations and WHO, by endorsing the Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010. Most of these problems are associated with the lack of collagen which is an important element in the healthy bone. Therefore, the supplementation of collagen is an important aspect of this bone healing. The collagen modulates bone formation and mineralization of bone matrix with increased growth and differentiation of osteoblastic cells and reduction of osteoclastic cells due to its properties such as high tensile strength and low extensibility. Its biodegradability and hydrophilic characteristics have also led to its use in tissue engineering. Further, wound healing problems are caused by the peripheral arterial diseases and peripheral neuropathy that occurs with diabetes.
The prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing globally, most markedly in the world’s middle-income countries. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), in 2017, diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15% of patients with diabetes. Over the period of time, collagen and gelatin have become a key component of a healing wound as a regenerative medicine. It was being used as a structural support for a long time; however, the continuous advancement in this space has evolved the role of collagen as a controller in many cellular functions, including cell shape and differentiation, migration, and synthesis of a number of proteins.
Furthermore, according to the WHO, between 2006 and 2015, deaths due to non-communicable diseases (half of which will be due to cardiovascular disease) are increased by 17%, while deaths from infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and maternal and perinatal conditions combined are declined by 3%. Owing to immunological properties like biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-cytotoxicity, ability to support cellular growth, and ability to process into a variety of forms including cross-linked films, steps, sheets, beads, meshes, fibers, and sponges; collagen is increasingly used in the extracellular matrix (ECM) used in cardiac repair and responsible for the structural integrity of tissues, providing resistance to tensile stress.
Thus, with the growing aging population, the prevalence of various chronic diseases and thereby the need of therapies and medical treatments such as regenerative medicine is expected to increase significantly in the next few years, thereby driving the collagen and gelatin market for regenerative medicines across the globe, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% to reach USD 709.9 million by 2022, according to the Meticulous Research®.