The wound-healing product under development will cost about a quarter of the comparable products that are currently available. Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Nofima

Project Year 2016

Healing wounds with eggshell membranes

Developing a commercial, affordable wound-healing product based on eggshell membrane is a brilliant example of reuse of rest raw materials.

Nofima scientists are participating in an international project led by the biotechnology company Biovotec. The goal is to develop a wound-healing product for chronic wounds – a major and growing problem.

“Today’s wound-healing products are either very expensive or they do not work well on chronic wounds. Our goal is to offer a treatment option for people who currently have to live with a lot of pain,” says Ralf Schmidt, the founder and managing director of Biovotec.

New knowledge about cells opening new possibilities

Diabetics often suffer from wounds that do not heal, in part because of an imbalance whereby the cells that produce a kind of matrix do not work properly.

The membrane found on the inside of eggshells fulfils the same function as the matrix and has been known for its wound-healing properties from ancient times.

Biovotec’s wound-healing product is based on a patented mechanical separation method. Once the membrane has been removed and activated, it is ground down to a powder. It is this powder that Nofima scientists are testing.

“We are studying the wound-healing effect of the powder on cell culture models to investigate the activity and underlying mechanisms of the membrane powder. In our cell models, we see that the powder stimulates various cellular activities that are necessary to heal wounds,” says scientist Mona E. Pedersen.

Nofima scientists have been working on matrix and biological activity for a long time. They have developed cell models that make it possible to reveal the cells’ signals and the mechanisms of the eggshells membrane.

Reducing the need for animal testing

“Cell studies allow us to study everything at a cellular level. It is not possible to map the same mechanisms in animal tests. Cell experiments are also much cheaper and provide an initial indication of what might work well for animals and humans,” explains scientist Sissel B. Ronning.

The Research Council of Norway and Biovotec

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