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Dissolution, Extraction and Biomedical Application of Keratin: Methods and Factors Affecting the Extraction and Physicochemical Properties of Keratin

Abstract

Keratinous materials such as wool, feather and hooves are tough unique biological co-products that usually have high sulfur and protein contents. High cystine content (7-13%) differentiates keratins from other structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin. Dissolution and extraction of keratin is a difficult process compared to other natural polymers, such as chitosan, starch, collagen, and a large-scale use of keratin depends on employing a relatively fast, cost-effective and time efficient extraction method. Keratin biomaterials can provide a biocompatible matrix for regrowth and regeneration of defected tissue, like other extracellular matrix materials such as collagen and gelatin, given than keratin has some inherent ability to facilitate cell adhesion, proliferation, and regeneration of the tissue. Additionally, due to its amino acid constituents, keratin can be tailored and finely tuned to meet the exact requirement for degradation, drug release or incorporation of different hydrophobic or hydrophilic tails. This review discusses the various methods available for the dissolution and extraction of keratin with emphasis on their advantages and limitations. The impact of various methods and chemicals used on the structure and the properties of keratin are discussed with the aim of highlighting options available toward commercial keratin production. This review also reports the properties of various keratin-based biomaterials and critically examine how these materials are influenced by keratin extraction procedure, discussing the features that make them effective as biomedical applications, as well as some of the mechanism of action and physiological roles of keratin. Particular attention is given to the practical application of keratin biomaterials, namely addressing the advantages and limitations on the use of keratin film, 3D composite scaffolds and keratin hydrogel for tissue engineering, wound healing, hemostatic and controlled drug release.

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 May 2017, accepted on 30 May 2017 and first published on 31 May 2017


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7BM00411G
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Dissolution, Extraction and Biomedical Application of Keratin: Methods and Factors Affecting the Extraction and Physicochemical Properties of Keratin

    A. Shavandi, T. H. Silva, A. A. Bekhit and A. E. Bekhit, Biomater. Sci., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7BM00411G

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