Prof. Abdullahi Alafara of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) has asserted that hydroxyapatite (HAp) powder was successfully prepared using calcined poultry egg-shells for biomedical applications.
Alafara of the Department of Industrial Chemistry, Unilorin, said this on Friday during his paper presentation at the 198th Inaugural Lecture of the university.
He spoke on: “Sustainable national development: Mineral and material resources to the rescue’’.
He said that HAp is a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite that showed good biocompatibility and is an excellent candidate for bone repair and substitution.
He observed that everyday records of several millions of tons of egg-shells are discarded as bio-waste across the world, adding that the research follows the guidelines of the “waste-to-wealth initiative” of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The don, who teaches at the Faculty of Physical Sciences of the university, said that HAp is a component and an essential ingredient for normal bone and teeth, which gives bones and teeth their rigidity.
According to him, the high grade product is relatively cheaper as compared to the industrial available HAp powder produced through energy intensive thermal process.
Alafara observed that the synthesised calcium phosphate compounds such as HAp have generated a great deal of interest because of the wide variety of their medical applications, especially in orthopaedics, plastic and dental surgery.
“These bio-ceramics are biocompatible and bioactive because they display link with bone, as HAp is used to repair, fill, extend and reconstruct damaged bone tissues,’’ he said.
The professor stated that the research is geared towards the development of artificial bone-like material that do not cause damage to healthy tissue and are readily available.
He said to ascertain the safety of the product to human and environment before being adopted, the acute and sub-chronic toxicity evaluation was conducted.
Alafara disclosed that the research showed no sign of toxicity in relation to clinical, haematological and biochemical concentration.
He therefore advised the federal government to give deserved attention to hydro metallurgical processing as a means of optimising the quality of Nigerian mineral and secondary materials to industrial value addition.