Silk gland sericin protein membranes: Fabrication and characterization for potential biotechnological applications
This study describes the potential use of silk gland sericin protein as a biocompatible natural biopolymer in its native form. The membranes were fabricated using native silk sericin protein extracted from middle silk gland of Antheraea mylitta, a non-mulberry tropical tasar silkworm without using any cross-linking agent. The fabricated membranes were biophysically characterized and optimized for cell culture. Silk sericin protein extracted from gland contained higher amount of β-sheets, which increased upon treatment with ethanol as observed by FTIR and XRD. The membranes did show robustness, good mechanical strength and high temperature stability. Cytocompatibility of the membranes was evaluated by MTT assay and cell cycle analysis using feline fibroblast cells. Morphology of growing cells was assessed by confocal microscopy that indicated normal spreading and proliferation on the silk sericin membranes. The membranes showed low inflammatory response as observed assaying TNF α release. This study reveals the potential of native silk sericin protein from silk gland as biocompatible biopolymer for potential biomedical applications.
Journal: Journal of Biotechnology - Volume 144, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 321–329