Rice husk bones?

A technology for converting agricultural waste into biomaterials has been created

Let’s digress from the world sprawling at all seams, teeming with disturbing news. Scientists still pore in quiet laboratories. At the NUST MISIS Center for Composite Materials, they invented bioceramics for the production of implants and the regeneration of bone defects. Biomaterials obtained from agricultural waste – plain rice husk – have shown excellent biomineralization and compatibility with mammalian blood cells. The results of the work were published in an international scientific journal Materials Science and Engineering C: Materials for Biological A pplications.

The readiness, cheapness and natural origin of agricultural waste motivate scientists to turn it into a valuable product. Rice husks, for example, are rich in silicon dioxide… The high calcium content in eggshells makes them a competitive raw material for the production of biomaterials. This strategy of converting waste into a value-added product for biomedical applications is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Rice husk preparation process
Rice husk preparation process

A team of young materials scientists Center for Composite Materials, NUST MISIS used raw eggshells and rice husks – agricultural waste – to make three different types of silicate bioceramics – diopside, wollastonite and forsterite… Materials differ in the presence of different chemical elements. It was shown that the chemical constituents of the feedstock and dissolution in the physiological environment play a key role in the formation of the biological activity of the material. It is on the bioactivity of the material that the success of operations in implantology depends.

The raw material can be rice hulls or even eggshells
The raw material can be rice hulls or even eggshells

“Our research is aimed at solving the urgent worldwide problem of processing biowaste into materials and products, including for use in medicine,” explained the co-author of the development, withInna Bulygina, student of the iPhD program “Biomaterials”, NUST MISIS.

The researchers also said that replacing the basic chemical elements necessary to accelerate bone regeneration in synthetic biomaterials is very difficult. In their work, scientists used biogenic agricultural waste, which naturally “inherited” ions of sodium, magnesium, potassium, silicon and others. Such a nature-like approach can help to increase the rate of osteogenesis – the formation of bone tissue to replace that lost during injuries and diseases.

“Diopside (CaMgSi2O6) showed the best results – it showed the highest hemocompatibility at all concentrations (62.5, 125, 250 μg / ml) even after 24 hours of incubation. Incubation of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MMSC) of mice with diopside does not generally lead to an increase in the level of apoptosis in the cell culture as compared to the control, – said one of the authors, a postdoc at NUST MISIS, Rajan Choudhary.

Young international scientific team - Inna Bulygina and Rajan Choudhary
Young international scientific team – Inna Bulygina and Rajan Choudhary

“We came up with a simple method to extract pure silica from rice husks. During the tests, we showed that the material obtained in this way does not impair the viability of the cells in contact with it “, – added the head of the iPhD “Biomaterials Science” of NUST “MISiS”, Ph.D. Fedor Senatov.

Material processing in a laboratory oven
Material processing in a laboratory oven

Currently, the developers have gone further and are exploring the possibility of reproducing the architecture native tissues by making scaffolds using additive manufacturing.

I am glad that in um … troubled times a positive and constructive beginning takes place – all the more so when its results literally grow out of waste. Anna Andreevna immediately remembered – “If only you knew from what litter …” 🙂

Let’s be optimists, friends.

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