Medical Uses

Mother of Pearl shell used in innovative medical developments

Once fished for the purpose of making buttons, the Mother of Pearl shell has entered a new and exciting phase in its product lifecycle. Willie Creek Pearls is collaborating with MedTech company Marine Biomedical to supply shell for the development of lifechanging medical products.

Willie Creek Pearls Chairman Robert Banfield saw an opportunity to invest with a group of visionaries in 2021, who were exploring the incredible potential of using natural marine derived organisms as a substitute for synthetic materials in orthopaedic trauma medicine. As part of his involvement, Robert joined the board of Marine Biomedical.

Marine Biomedical owns patented technology PearlBoneTM which converts nacre from our pearl oyster Pinctada maxima into a medical device that biomimics human bone formation.  Marine Biomedical officially opened its Goods Manufacturing Practice cleanroom and laboratory in Broome in October 2023 where it will manufacture PearlBoneTM and other innovative products. This facility is the first of its kind in Northern Australia, and the first to use Australian marine derived products for medical devices.

The Mother of Pearl shell has had diverse, interesting and practical uses historically, and its development into the medical field adds a new and exciting dimension, shining a light on the way we utilise all components of the oysters we fish, seed and meticulously care for to grow pearls in. Repurposing our by-product assists in our drive for sustainability, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Marine Biomedical.

Learn more about Marine Biomedical and their mission to harness the full potential of Australia’s marine environment in revolutionising the biomedical sector on their website.