Isolation and processing of silk proteins for biomedical applications.


Silk proteins of silkworms are chiefly composed of core fibroin protein and glycoprotein sericin that glues fibroin. Unique mechanical properties, cyto-compatibility and controllable biodegradability facilitate the use of fibroin in biomedical applications. Sericin serves as additive in cosmetic and food industries, as mitotic factor in cell culture media, anti-cancerous drug, anticoagulant and as biocompatible coating. For all these uses; aqueous solutions of silk proteins are preferred. Therefore, an accurate understanding of extraction procedure of silk proteins from their sources is critical. A number of protocols exist, amongst which it is required to settle a precise and easy one with desired yield and least down-stream processing. Here, we report extraction of proteins employing methods mentioned in literature using cocoons of mulberry and nonmulberry silks. This study reveals sodium carbonate salt-boiling system is the most efficient sericin extraction procedure for all silk variants. Lithium bromide is observed as the effective fibroin dissolution system for mulberry silk cocoons; whereas heterogeneous species-dependent result is obtained in case of nonmulberry species. We further show the effect of common post processing on nanoscale morphology of mulberry silk fibroin films. This knowledge eases the adoption and fabrication of silk biomaterials in devices and therapeutic delivery systems.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2014.06.022

Cite this paper

@article{Kundu2014IsolationAP, title={Isolation and processing of silk proteins for biomedical applications.}, author={Banani Kundu and Nicholas E Kurland and Vamsi K. Yadavalli and Subhas C Kundu}, journal={International journal of biological macromolecules}, year={2014}, volume={70}, pages={70-7} }