Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #290049


Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research

Title: Functional keratin as structural platforms

item Cardamone, Jeanette
item Hall, Michelle

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2013
Publication Date: 6/19/2013
Citation: Cardamone, J.M., Hall, M.E. 2013. Functional keratin as structural platforms [abstract]. In: Book of Abstracts (European Polymer Federation) International Congress, June 16-21, 2013, Pisa, Italy. 6-33.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Wool with up to 95% keratin by weight is a rich and pure source of proteinous biomaterial. As polymeric polyamide it exhibits high functionality through amide, carboxyl, sulfoxide, sulfide, and thiosulfide functions. Solubilized wool was transformed into keratin morphologies with the unique characteristics of natural keratin protein retaining a-helix and beta-sheet microstructure through ionic, dispersive, covalent, hydrophobic and stable disulfide bonding. Strong and tough functional keratin products in various forms of porous hydrogels, functioning as platforms for agent retention and transport, were developed for bio-based niche market applications. We isolated strong, tough, functionalized keratin products with available peptide functions as stand-alone products and as precursors for chemical modification to replace synthetic counterparts used in cosmetics, personal care, biomedical, and pharmaceutical industries. We present self-formed keratin sheets, gels, creams, sponges, and more, as stand-alone platforms with natural potential for agent uptake and release and we describe chemically modified keratin as precursor for subsequent reactivity to form tailored keratin products for particular end-uses.