The Grapevine

Eggshells Help Scientists Grow, Heal Bones For Faster Repair

People may soon speed up healing and recovery from an injury with the help of eggs. But you don't have to eat more of it or add more yolk to your meal as scientists just need the shells. 

A research team from the University of Massachusetts Lowell discovered that eggshells can be used to enhance the growth of new, strong bones. They suggest that the new process may soon help repair bones in patients with injuries due to aging, accidents, cancer and other diseases.

To create bones, the researchers inserted crushed eggshells into a hydrogel mixture that forms a miniature frame to grow bone in the laboratory. The final product will then be used for bone grafts.

The results of the study, published in the journal Biomaterials Science, suggest that eggshell particles can help increase bone cells' ability to grow and harden when added to hydrogel mixture. The shells are made of calcium carbonate, which potentially helps in the development of bones. 

"This is the first study that uses eggshell particles in a hydrogel matrix for bone repair,” Gulden Camci-Unal, lead researcher and an assistant professor at UMass Lowell, said in a statement. “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." 

The bones created using the eggshells can also be used to grow cartilage, teeth and tendons, she added. Another benefit is that eggshell particles help deliver proteins, peptides, growth factors, genes and medications to other parts of the body.

For the process, the researchers take bone cells from the patient's body and mix it with the eggshell-based materials to create the new bone that will be implanted into the patient. The researchers said that the use of cells taken from the patient reduces the risk of their immune system rejecting the new material.

"Global waste of discarded eggshells typically amounts to millions of tons annually from household and commercial cooking,” Camci-Unal said. “By repurposing them, we can directly benefit the economy and the environment while providing a sustainable solution to unmet clinical needs." 

Eggs Study suggests that eggshell can help increase bone cells' ability to grow and harden when added to hydrogel mixture. Pixabay

Loading...
Join the Discussion