HYDERABAD: Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology , Hyderabad (IIT-H) and National Institute of Technology , Jalandhar developed bone implant materials using eggshells, thereby paving way for a non-toxic and inexpensive process of developing bone substitutes.
The team of researchers developed a process by which bone implant materials such as such as ß-tricalcium phosphate (ß-TCP), can be synthesized from waste eggshells. Currently, synthetic chemicals are used as bone replacement materials because of the presence of chemical residues that are toxic if not eliminated completely. However, researchers found massive potential in eggshells which are largely made of calcium containing minerals (95.1%) along with small amounts of proteins and water.
“Bioceramics made from eggshell wastes are exhibited greater biocompatibility than other synthetic powders due to presence of additional bioactive elemental ions inherently present in them. Eggshells are not only biocompatible but are also inexpensive and can be obtained in unlimited quantities as millions of tons of eggshells are dumped as waste across the world,” said Roopavath Uday Kiran , lead researcher from department of biomedical engineering, IIT-H.
As part of the research, which was published in the March 2019 issue of peer-review journal Ceramics International, the researchers synthesized pure and thermally stable ß-TCP nanopowder – powder a hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a single human hair – from eggshells. They used a milling process called ball milling to produce these activated calcium phosphate powders. They also studied the effect of processing conditions on the nature of the powder.
The researchers fabricated scaffolds using these egg shell derived material and polymer and evaluated cellular response on the surface of the scaffolds. Their results show that eggshell waste are promising enough to replace commercially available ß-TCP produced using harmful nitrate precursors and has the capability to develop implantable biomaterial for tissue regeneration.