Crab & Shrimp Shells Useful Bone Regeneration Drug Delivery

Crab, shrimp shells useful for bone regeneration, drug delivery

6:45 AM, 25th October 2016
Crab & Shrimp Shells Useful for Bone Regeneration Drug Delivery
Combining a sugar, obtained from crab and shrimp shells, with a variety of nanomaterials could lead to development applications that enhance bone regeneration, wound healing and targeted drug delivery. (File Photo)

TSUKUBA, JAPAN: A review of the latest research shows that combining a sugar, obtained from crab and shrimp shells, with a variety of nanomaterials could lead to the development of biomedical applications that enhance bone regeneration, wound healing and targeted drug delivery.

Properties of the nanocomposites are looked at for the bio medical and bio sensing applications.

Also the increasing need to develop green polymeric materials with improved thermal stability, gas barrier properties, strength and biodegradation, has led to the development of composite materials based on natural polymers.

The review, published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, provides an overview of the different nanomaterials that are being tested in combination with chitosan, the methods used to prepare the composite materials and the resultant properties that make them suitable for applications in the biomedical field, reported ACN Newswire.

Chitosan is a sugar that is typically derived from shrimp and crab shell waste and is known for its biocompatible, biodegradable, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic and haemostatic (stops bleeding) properties. This makes it an excellent candidate for a number of biomedical applications. Researchers are working on developing composites that combine chitosan with “nanofillers,” making the resulting material stronger.

Scientists are finding some success in combining bioactive glass nanoparticles with chitosan to develop synthetic bone grafts. Bioactive glass is a glass-ceramic biomaterial that binds well to physiological structures such as bone. Bone cells were found to grow relatively quickly and cover grafts made of bioactive glass and chitosan.

Graphene oxide has been used in combination with chitosan to develop “nanocarriers” that can deliver drugs to target tissues, avoiding the negative side effects that conventional drugs can have on other tissues of the body.

Silver nanoparticles are being tested as nanofillers in combination with chitosan to develop wound dressings with antibacterial properties.

Also, haemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen through the body), silver nanoparticles and graphene have been combined with chitosan to develop a biosensor that can detect hydrogen peroxide, a dangerous by-product of some industrial processes.

Further research is needed. More focus is required on improving the dispersion of nanofillers within the chitosan matrix, according to the researchers. The vast opportunities shown by these materials, allied with their incredible nanotechnology potential, is expected to revolutionize the biomedical field in the near future.

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