Bloomington, Illinois – A study of replica eggshells made from polyurethane casts could shed light on the specific textual properties that facilitate the transfer of gases and moisture through its pores.
Students from the Department of Biology, Illinois Wesleyan University, used the polyurethane-based resin PU4ii to create imitation domestic chicken, house sparrow and ostrich eggshells.
It is the shell's pores that control the movement of gases and water between the egg's middle and the world outside. The team said the project will allow for microscopic analysis of the process that enables that, as well as detailed assessment of eggshell pore morphology.
An article about the study was published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances in January, 2015 and the research team behind it believe the innovation could prove useful to further studies.
The PU resin used, PU4ii is also used to reconstruct the blood vessels of organs and tissues in medical research.
The material is produced by vasQtec, a company founded by a group of international scientists at the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2004.
Image: Egg with light by HTO - Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons