According to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, eggshells can supposedly contribute towards, “the growth of new, strong bones needed in medical procedures.”
As posted on Science Daily, Assistant Professor, Gulden Camci-Unal was leading the project and has since shared the specs of the studies along with its results and possible applications. Based on Camci-Unal’s beliefs, the latter can one day be applied to repair injured bones caused by aging, accidents and cancer among others.
What Process was in Place?
As per the description available, eggshells were crushed and inserted into a hydrogel mixture, which serves as a foundation to grow bone in the laboratory used for bone grafts. A new bone is created by placing bone cells in the aforementioned mixture and allowing it to nurture in an incubator.
What Were the Findings?
In doing so, it was found that the eggshells, which naturally contains calcium carbonate, were able to contribute towards the overall growth and strength of bone cells. This is deemed essential in promoting faster healing. Most importantly, since the new bone is created using the patient’s bone cells, it is believed that the immune system’s likelihood of rejecting it will drastically reduce. The very same process can be done to create cartilage, teeth and tendons.
Camci-Unal appears to be excited about the results obtained, as it has led the team of researchers, including biomedical engineering and biotechnology Ph.D students, Sanika Suvarnapathaki and Xinchen Wu respectively as well as Darlin Lantigua of Lawrence, to file for a patent. Here’s as per her claims:
“This is the first study that uses eggshell particles in a hydrogel matrix for bone repair. We have already filed a patent for it and are very excited about our results. We anticipate the process can be adapted for use in many significant ways.”
Camci-Unal argues that eggshells simply go to waste and now, “By repurposing them, we can directly benefit the economy and the environment while providing a sustainable solution to unmet clinical needs.”