Recycling eggshells into biomaterials for bone regeneration
Millions of chicken eggshells are thrown in the trash every year, which could be valuable raw material for the production of next-generation biomaterials.
New solutions that will recycle eggshells into biomaterials for bone regeneration are at hand, thanks to the collaboration of scientists from Riga Technical University (RTU), University of Oslo, Reykjavik University, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). These scientists work together in the EEE funded project: “Waste-to-Resource: Eggshells as a Source of Next Generation Biomaterials for Bone Regeneration”.
It is the calcium in eggshells that we are particularly interested in said Håvard Jostein Haugen, professor at the University of Oslo explaining why eggshells are so interesting. Synthesized correctly in the laboratory, the calcium in the eggshell can be transformed into amorphous calcium phosphates (ACP), a component that can replace the inorganic part of the bone, he explains elsewhere.
In addition, to fully transform chicken eggshells into high value-added products, proteins with high bioactive content and antibacterial properties will be extracted from eggshell membranes, says the Dagnija Loča, Boss of RTU Rudolfs Cimdins Riga Biomaterials Innovation and Development Center. As a result, it will be possible to manufacture porous, natural, bone-like ceramic scaffolds with improved properties.
Each partner will work on a different aspect of the projects, says Håvard Haugen. RTU scientists will synthesize amorphous calcium phosphates, TalTech partners will form ACP macroporous ceramic substrates, while scientists from Oslo and Reykjavik will characterize and assess biocompatibility so that in perspective the resulting constructs can be used in the analysis. production of implantable materials.
The largest producer of eggs and egg products in Northern Europe, Balticovo will supply scientists with eggshells for research purposes.
Eggshells are an essential by-product of the production of peeled hard-boiled eggs, liquid egg mass and other high value-added products. With an increasing emphasis on sustainable activity and the implementation of circular economy principles in our factory, we think through every detail where and how to use everything that comes from the production process more efficiently. Recycling eggshells is complicated and often expensive, so we are very interested in finding the best ways to use them. We are especially happy to be able to contribute to the development of science and to the creation of innovative and high added value products from eggshells, so it is really rewarding to cooperate with RTU scientists to provide them with eggshells. ‘different eggs for research purposes,’ said the director. of communication and development at Balticovo Toms Auškāps.
About the project
“Waste-to-Resource: Eggshells as a Source for Next-Generation Biomatials for Bone Regeneration” (Nr. EEA-RESEARCH-85) is one of the projects of the Baltic Research program, funded by the Grants from the European Economic Area and Norway. The project will be implemented until 2024.