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Health

3D-printed egg shells can help bones regrow

Crushed chicken egg shells have been turned into a structure that supports bone growth in the laboratory

By Alex Wilkins

5 July 2024

3D-printed structures made from plastic and egg shell microparticles

Gulden Camci-Unal et al. 漏 2024 American Chemical Society

Egg shells could be used to help grow human bone fragments to repair broken or chipped bones.

Bones grow inside the body on a kind of scaffold called the extracellular matrix, which helps guide and feed bone-growing cells. Artificial scaffolds can be used to grow pieces of bone outside the body, which are then surgically implanted to repair broken bones, but these don鈥檛 always work well and can lead to complications.

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