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A biomaterial based on eggshell membrane for bone regeneration

A multicentre study led by the CSIC has developed a biomaterial based on the eggshell membrane, which takes advantage of its natural qualities to obtain a biohybrid material with future applications in guided bone regeneration and pulp capping.

Eggshell membrane (Pexels)

The Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences (IACT, which stands for  Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra), a joint centre of the CSIC and the University of Granada, has led a study that unveils the beneficial properties of the eggshell membrane as a material for bone regeneration. The work has been carried out jointly with the universities of Granada, Oviedo, Jaén, the National University of Colombia and the Andalusian Health Service.

The result is a new biomaterial that can be used for guided bone regeneration in dentistry. "The material we have developed is a bifunctional membrane: it has osteoinduction capacity in its outer side and, at the same time, its inner side acts as a physical barrier, preventing therefore cellular invasion of the gingival tissue into the area of new bone generation; so this new material could replace the two types of materials currently in use", says researcher Jaime Gómez Morales, from the Andalusian Institute of Earth Sciences.

Bifunctional and biocompatible

Currently, guided bone regeneration in dentistry - used to promote jawbone regeneration before implant placements and to repair bone defects - requires the use of two materials. On the one hand, natural or synthetic resorbable polymer membranes and, on the other hand, a bone graft or regenerative material, such as calcium phosphate, to promote bone growth. Membranes are used to prevent gum tissue cells from invading the bone tissue and also to support the new bone. In addition, both materials are required to be resorbable to avoid a second surgery.

The material developed therefore performs both functions and is biocompatible. It consists of a hen's eggshell membrane, which is coated on the outside with calcium phosphate nanocrystals and on the inside is unmineralised. Calcium phosphate contain calcium and phosphate ions in their composition, and crystallise in different phases, including the apatite phase, which is the main mineral component of our bones and teeth.

On the other hand, the eggshell membrane is a unique biopolymeric material consisting of collagen fibres and coated with egg white proteins, shell matrix proteins and carbohydrates such as glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid.

The composition and function of the outer and inner sides of the egg membrane are different. While the outer side promotes the nucleation of calcium carbonate and thus the formation of the shell, the inner side, which is in contact with the yolk and white, inhibits the formation of the mineral.

Looking for interested companies

It is this dual role of the membrane that allows the tough shell material that protects the embryo to form and, at the same time, to hatch easily from the inside when the bird hatches. This duality has proven to be a promising feature, exploited in this work, for the development of this biohybrid material with future applications in guided bone regeneration and pulp capping.

The scientific team is now looking for interested companies for further development. They have already successfully performed full in vitro assays. The results have been published in the journal Biomaterials Advances and both the resulting material and its applications have been protected by patent in Spain, while the process for international protection has been initiated. The next step is to start preparing the in vivo assays.

The new biomaterial would allow to valorise and give an alternative use to an abundant and little-used by-product such as eggshell. The work has received the 2023 Research Award from the Spanish Institute for Egg Studies, a non-profit association that promotes research and the appropriate use of eggs in Spain

Contact:

José Ramón Domínguez Solís
Deputy Vice-Presidency for
Knowledge Transfer -
CSIC
Tel.: 954232349 ext. 540030
Correo-e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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