CMU has started using sea shells as human bone replacement.
The technique, first perfected in the United States, was introduced by Asst.
Prof. Dr. Sitthiporn Boonyanit of the Institute of Science and Technology and a
Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine at Chiang Mai
Sitthiporn Boonyanit has developed a technique to use local shells for human
Normally, doctors prefer to a patient’s own bone for bone replacement but there
are times when a patient’s own bone cannot be used, either due to illness or
age. Often the replacement is made from metal which not only must be ordered
from abroad at a high price but also can cause health problems in some people.
Local shells can be used because the main component of the shells are calcium
carbonate; shells of all kinds can be used, researchers used scallop shells.
First the shell is sterilized, and then the shell is desiccated and burned at
800 degrees centigrade. All organic matter is removed and then the crushed shell
is ground into calcium oxide powder which is combined with other minerals to
create a structure made of calcium phosphate hydroxide, similar to bones. The
powder is formed as needed to fit the patient and can be splints, or pins. (CMU)
Local shells can be used to make
human bone replacement at a much lower cost than imported metal replacements.
The final result of a bone pin
made out of shells.