Published on 08 Jun 2021

Bullfrog skin and fish scales for bone repair – Assistant Professor Dalton Tay Chor Yong & Professor Hu Xiao

We are delighted to share the research achievement of Assistant Professor Dalton Tay Chor Yong & Professor Hu Xiao and team, which has been featured in various media.

Assistant Professor Dalton Tay and team have developed a new biomaterial made entirely from discarded bullfrog skin and fish scales that could help in bone repair. The porous biomaterial, which contains the same compounds that are predominant in bones, acts as a scaffold for bone-forming cells to adhere to and multiply, leading to the formation of new bone. 

Through laboratory experiments, the team found that human boneforming cells seeded onto the biomaterial scaffold successfully attached themselves and started multiplying – a sign of growth. They also found that the risk of the biomaterial triggering an inflammatory response is low. Such a scaffold could be used to help with the regeneration of bone tissue lost to disease or injury, such as jaw defects from trauma or cancer surgery. It could also assist bone growth around surgical implants such as dental implants.

The scientists believe the biomaterial is a promising alternative to the current standard practice of using a patient’s own tissues, which requires additional surgery for bone extraction. At the same time, the production of this biomaterial tackles the problem of aquaculture waste, said Assistant Professor Dalton Tay of the NTU School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), who led the multidisciplinary study.


From left: Asst Prof Dalton Tay, Dr Wang Jun Kit and Prof Hu Xiao display the biomaterial made of bullfrog skin and fish scales. Source: NTU 

The breakthrough research was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Materials Science and Engineering: C, with the title “Sustainable aquaculture side-streams derived hybrid biocomposite for bone tissue engineering”. The research article can be found via this link:

Our heartiest congratulations to Prof Tay, Prof Hu and team on the excellent achievement!

Media Coverage:

The Straits Times, page B8 and online 
Channel 5, 27 May, 9pm (at 00:32 and 19:19)