In this post, I want to discuss my findings from observing the membrane of an eggshell using the Foldscope.
The primary function of the membrane in the egg is to prevent invasions by microorganisms. In recent times, however, eggshell membranes have become a popular dietary supplement because of its high concentration of protein, primarily fibrous proteins such as collagen I.
To obtain the sample, I cracked a chicken egg and gently removed the layer lining the inside of the shell. The material is surprisingly tough and durable. I cut a small section of the membrane I extracted and placed it on a glass slide. I then visualized the membrane under the microscope. A network of the protein fiber network is clearly visible.
By adjusting the light entering the microscope, I was able to obtain some contrast for better visualization.
The biopolymer network in eggshell membranes plays a crucial role in its structural and mechanical properties. The applications of such a porous interwoven network of fibers to medicine and industry are also under exploration. Given the membrane’s flexibility, porosity and capacity to retain water, one interesting area of research is its potential to serve as a better wound care dressing!