Subcategory: Materials Science
Vincent Hembrick-Holloman - Tuskegee University
Calcium Silicate (CaSiO3) biomaterials have been proposed as a promising bioactive material for potential tissue engineering applications due to its good bioactivity, biocompatibility, and degradability. Every year, about 6 to 8 million tons of sea shell waste is produced globally, with 1.5 million tons in South East Asia alone. Along with 76 billion eggs consumed each year in the United States resulting in 1.2 Million Kg of eggshell waste each year. In this study, we investigate the conversion of naturally occurring waste, such as eggshells and seashells, into a valuable nanomaterial that can go on to serve as a bioactive ceramic or scaffold for applications that include bone and tooth regeneration. The conversion of millions of tons of waste can serve as not only a highly environmentally friendly, but also a cost effective route to tissue engineering. CaSiO3 was synthesized from eggshells and three different sources of seashell. In a typical experiment a 1:1 mixture of CaCO3 and amorphous SiO2 ball milled (Spex Sample Prep 8000D) for 100 min in two separate canisters, each containing 5 g of the precursors and 8 pieces of 6 mm steel balls. The product was then sintered at 1000ºC at a rate of 10ºC/min from room temperature and allowed to stay for 3 H before cooling back to room temperature in a vacuum tube furnace (GLS-1300X). This product was then crushed in a ceramic mortar into a fine powder and then characterized with X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). XRD results revealed the formation of polycrystalline Calcium Silicate with all the peaks marching JCPDS Pdf file #98-000-046. The particle sizes measured using TEM micrographs are in the nanometer range. In conclusion, eggshell and seashells were converted from waste into a valuable nanomaterial, Calcium Silicate. This method doesn’t require the use of toxic and acidic chemicals and can also be produced with industrially scalable methods such as ball-milling and sintering. Future studies will attempt to use this nanomaterial to produce a biomaterial that can not only promote cell differentiation and proliferation but also display the adequate mechanical properties as that of natural bone and teeth.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Alabama EPSCoR GRSP
Faculty Advisor: Vijay Rangari, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: All, I did my research solely in conjunction with help and feedback from my advisor.