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Crab and shrimp shells have healing potential

Harold Mandel's picture
Crab and shrimp

Research has found combining a sugar which is obtained from crab and shrimp shells with several nanomaterials could lead to the development of biomedical applications which may help with healing.


Crab and shrimp are considered a nutritious delicacy. These delicious shell fish may have more to offer than a delectable and nutritious meal. Crab and shrimp may also have healing potential.

National Institute for Materials Science
reports that combining nanomaterials with a sugar from crab and shrimp has the potential to lead to applications which have the power to enhance the regeneration of bones and healing of wounds.

Various nanomaterials have been tested mixed with chitosan

Various nanomaterials have been tested mixed with chitosan. Chitosan is a sugar which is typically derived from the waste of shrimp and crab shell. This sugar is known as being biodegradable, biocompatible, antifungal, antibacterial, analgesic and haemostatic. Chitosan therefore has fantastic potential for the development of many biomedical applications.

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Nanocarriers have been developed

Scientists have been somewhat successful in combining bioactive glass nanoparticles with chitosan in order to create synthetic bone grafts. Bone cells have been found to grow relatively fast and cover grafts made of bioactive glass and chitosan. Nanocarriers have been developed by combining graphene oxide with chitosan. These nanocarriers can help deliver drugs to target tissues without the negative side effects which conventional drugs can have. And wound dressings which have antibacterial properties have been developed from silver nanoparticles mixed with chitosan.

This research has been published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials. The researchers have concluded that the vast opportunities which have been shown by these materials, along with their fantastic nanotechnology potential, is anticipated to revolutionize the biomedical field in the not too distant future. Crab and shrimp may prove to be even more valuable for human health and well being than previously believed.