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BACKGROUND Particulates incorporating DNA are promising vehicles for gene delivery, with the ability to protect DNA and provide for controlled, localized, and sustained release and transfection. Zein, a hydrophobic protein from corn, is biocompatible and has properties that make it a promising candidate material for particulate delivery, including its(More)
We report the production and characteristics of natural cellulose fibers obtained from the leaves and stems of switchgrass. In this paper, the composition, structure and properties of fibers obtained from the leaves and stem of switchgrass have been studied in comparison to the common natural cellulose fibers, such as cotton, linen and kenaf. The leaves and(More)
This paper reports the structure and properties of novel long natural cellulose fibers obtained from rice straw. Rice straw fibers have 64% cellulose with 63% crystalline cellulose, strength of 3.5 g/denier (450 MPa), elongation of 2.2%, and modulus of 200 g/denier (26 GPa), similar to that of linen fibers. The rice straw fibers reported here have better(More)
This paper reports the development of natural cellulose technical fibers from soybean straw with properties similar to the natural cellulose fibers in current use. About 220 million tons of soybean straw available in the world every year could complement the byproducts of other major food crops as inexpensive, abundant and annually renewable sources for(More)
Lignocellulosic agricultural byproducts are a copious and cheap source for cellulose fibers. Agro-based biofibers have the composition, properties and structure that make them suitable for uses such as composite, textile, pulp and paper manufacture. In addition, biofibers can also be used to produce fuel, chemicals, enzymes and food. Byproducts produced(More)
Zein with a higher intrinsic viscosity and phosphorus content, similar protein content, lower yellowness, and at potentially much lower cost than commercially available zein was obtained from distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). A novel extraction method using acidic conditions in the presence of a reducing agent has been used to obtain about 10%(More)
This paper reports a new method of cross-linking electrospun zein fibers using citric acid as a non-toxic cross-linker to enhance the water stability and cytocompatibility of zein fibers for tissue engineering and other medical applications. The electrospun structure has many advantages over other types of structures and protein-based biomaterials possess(More)
Various natural and synthetic polymers are being explored to develop biomaterials for tissue engineering and drug delivery. Although proteins are preferable over carbohydrates and synthetic polymers, biomaterials developed from proteins lack the mechanical properties and/or biocompatibilities required for medical applications. Plant proteins are widely(More)
This paper reports the development of electrospun zein fibers with improved water stability and tensile strength for potential drug delivery. The low morphological stability in aqueous environment and poor mechanical properties in dry and wet states have restricted the applications of electrospun protein materials, though these materials possess a unique(More)
We report the development of a new method of alkali-catalyzed low temperature wet crosslinking of plant proteins to improve their breaking tenacity without using high temperatures or phosphorus-containing catalysts used in conventional poly(carboxylic acid) crosslinking of cellulose and proteins. Carboxylic acids are preferred over aldehyde-containing(More)