Biome: Baltic Sea mollusk shells for bone tissue engineering
UAB “Biome” is a startup company from Lithuania, which creates and develops new materials for biomedical industry. UAB “Biome” was founded in 2014 and has been is already awarded for “Commercialization of R&D Results“ by Ministry of Education and Science (Lithuania), for “Most Promising High-Tech Business Idea“ by Ministry of Economy (Lithuania), for “Lithuania's Most Promising Prototypes of 2015” by Deloitte and selected as a “2015 TiE50 Start-up” at the prestigious TiE50 Silicon Valley’s Technology Awards Program (U.S.).
I believe this collaboration can create high added value for Baltic Sea Region.” -
The main concept of Biome is to apply Baltic Sea natural resources, namely mollusk shells, for biomedical uses, precisely for bone regeneration. Mollusk shells are composed of calcium minerals and organic macromolecules. Natural calcium minerals from shells have many advantages due to their biocompatibility and the traces of other valuable inorganic elements, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, strontium, sodium, zinc, bromine etc. Therefore, Biome considers Baltic Sea mollusk shells as an attractive resource for biomedical industry. The main goal is to apply ground mollusk shells for the preparation of 3D polymeric scaffolds for bone tissue engineering in odontology and orthopedics.
Biome applies Baltic Sea mollusk shells as a mineral resource for the preparation of the bone grafts in the composition with cellulose. Mollusk shells are composed of calcium minerals and a small number of organic macromolecules (proteins, polysaccharides).
Natural calcium minerals from shells have many advantages due to their:
- Traces of other valuable inorganic elements, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, strontium, sodium, zinc, bromine etc.
JSC Biomė considers Baltic Sea mollusk shells as an attractive resource for the biomedical industry. The company expects to prepare very promising natural bone grafts with the shell material for bone tissue engineering.
According to “Global Industry Analysts, Inc.”, global market for bone graft substitutes expected to reach US$ 3.2 billion by 2022 growing at a CAGR of 11.6%, this proves the high demand on bone graft in the medical sector. The number of treated skeletal deficiencies steadily increases in a global scale. Effective ways for bone replacements and enhancement of bone formation together with research directed to find ideal biomaterials for grafting purposes, which will feature biocompatibility and production simplicity and economy, are required. So far mollusk shells have been used for commercial products - food supplements – as a natural calcium resource with vitamin D3, other minerals or without them.
Biome receives the main support from the Klaipėda science and technology park (KSTP), Tartu Biotechnology Park (TBP) and CIIMAR. The offered help encompasses the shell chemical analysis and a support in the business development plan. Moreover, the ALLIANCE mentors provide contacts for raw material suppliers that are helpful for Biome to get access to shells of blue mussels needed for their commercial undertaking. The ALLIANCE partner KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm provided blue mussels needed for characterization analysis of the chemical composition of blue mussel that was done by Biome in 2017.