Keratin in medicine and tissue engineering
Polimery 2013, No 2, 100
The paper is a review of the literature reporting the application of keratin in biotechnology and medicine, especially as a carrier of drugs and active substances, as well as in tissue engineering. Keratins are a family of fibrous proteins which are basic components of the cells cytoskeleton and outer covering of mammals, reptiles and birds. They are readily available, biodegradable and biocompatible proteins, which have the ability to undergo self-organization and promote the adhesion and proliferation of cells. The paper presents various methods of keratin preparation and modification of its properties. The materials based on keratin and other biopolymers, such as collagen, chitosan, silk fibroin, poly(lactic acid) and synthetic polymers: e.g. poly(ethylene oxide) and hydroxyapatite, are also described.