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Lab launched to make synthetic human bones

Manufacturing News

An Australian biomedical firm is making safe synthetic bones a reality, as it opens a new lab to create bone substitutes from oysters.

Broome, WA-based biotech firm Marine Biomedical has opened a new laboratory and manufacturing facility to create synthetic bone alternative called PearlBone from nacre, or mother of pearl, created by oysters when they make pearls.

Nacre is a natural source of calcium carbonate, which is beneficial in supporting bone formation. It is being created as an alternative to traditional synthetic bone products, which are made from limestone, which could cause reactions in patients and potentially lead to inconsistent bone formation.

Marine Biomedical will manufacture PearlBone at the new facility, sourcing nacre from oyster shells grow in the Kimberly region’s water.

West Australian Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson said PearlBone has the potential to revolutionise the use of synthetic bone in orthopaedic, trauma, and reconstructive surgery.

“This is a very exciting project for Broome and has the potential to revolutionise the use of synthetic bone and help patients around the world,” Dawson says.

“PearlBone is a wonderful example of science partnering with industry and an excellent example of what we are trying to foster in the research and innovation space.

“This innovation is creating new jobs in the biotech sector, diversifying the Kimberley pearl fishing industry, and bringing new skills to our State.

Marine Biomedical has received $320,000 from the WA State Government’s Regional Economic Development Grants Program, while its co-founder and director Professor Minghao Zheng has been awarded almost half a million dollars through the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.

The company now plans to submit PearlBone to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.





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