IIT, NIT researchers produce bone substitutes from egg shells


Hyderabad: Researchers of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad, and Dr B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jalandhar, on Wednesday said they have developed a process by which bone implant materials can be synthesised from waste egg shells.

The research seeks to produce bone substitute materials such as -tricalcium phosphate (-TCP), a commonly-used bone substitute material from natural sources, without the use of toxic chemicals, a press release from IIT-Hyderabad said.

The natural source of choice of the IIT-Hyderabad researchers is egg shells.

Egg shells are made of largely calcium containing minerals (95.1 per cent) along with small amounts of proteins and water, the release said.

In modern medicine, damaged and missing bones are replaced with bone from either patient or donor or using artificial materials containing calcium, such as Plaster of Paris, and more recently, phosphate compounds like hydroxyapatite and calcium phosphate, it said.

According to the researchers, bio ceramics made from egg shell wastes are predicted to exhibit greater bio-compatibility than other synthetic powders due to the presence of additional bioactive elemental ions inherently present in the egg shell.

The researchers synthesised pure and thermally stable -TCP nanopowder from egg shells.

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 egg shell wastes are promising enough to replace commercially available -TCP produced using harmful nitrate precursors and has the capability to develop implantable biomaterial for tissue regeneration, the release added