Calcified Algae for Tissue Engineering

  • Gina Choi
  • Louise A. EvansEmail author
Part of the Springer Series in Biomaterials Science and Engineering book series (SSBSE, volume 14)


Extensive research has been conducted on hydroxyapatite as a bone tissue engineering scaffold due to its low toxicity, biocompatibility, bioactivity and chemical similarity to bone. Hard coral species as well as red and green calcified marine algae have naturally porous skeletons that resemble cancellous bone. Under controlled hydrothermal conditions, these materials can be converted to hydroxyapatite with their porosity and interconnectivity preserved. The availability of hard coral species is limited due to the damage caused by harvesting procedures and decline in coral reefs. As an alternative, hydroxyapatite can be produced from red and green algae species. Currently, red algae derived Algipore® grafts are commercially available for maxillary sinus bone augmentation. Long term clinical studies have confirmed the bone regenerating capabilities of Algipore® when mixed with autologous bone debris and blood, but research on the use of Algipore® tissue scaffolds seeded with mesenchymal stem cells is still ongoing. This chapter reviews the synthesis of hydroxyapatite derived from marine algae and gives background to clinical studies as well as the characterisation techniques used to analyse these materials.


Hydroxyapatite Aragonite Calcified algae Scanning electron microscopy X-ray diffraction analysis Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy Bone regeneration Hydrothermal conversion Mesenchymal stem cells Algae-derived hydroxyapatite Bone tissue engineering 



The authors with to thank Professor Besim Ben-Nissan of the University of Technology Sydney and Professor Sophie Cazalbou of the University of Toulouse, France, for their expert advice together with the members of the Microstructural Analysis Unit of the University of Technology Sydney.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematical and Physical SciencesUniversity of Technology SydneyBroadwayAustralia

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