Please login first
Synergistic Enhancement of Electrospun Keratin Mats with Medicinal Plants and Green-Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications
* 1 , 1 , 2 , 2 , 3 , 1
1  Kaunas University of Technology, Studentu St. 56, 51424 Kaunas, Lithuania
2  Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Institute of Horticulture, 54333 Babtai, Lithuania
3  Kaunas University of Technology, Radvilenu St. 19, 51424 Kaunas, Lithuania
Academic Editor: John Luong


Keratin, a versatile polymer rich in cysteine and disulfide bonds, exhibits strength and elasticity, making it crucial for tissue engineering. Its biocompatibility and biodegradability foster the development of advanced biomaterials. Incorporating medicinal plant extracts enhances keratin's therapeutic potential. Additionally, green-synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) provide antimicrobial properties. Electrospun keratin-based mats may be promising materials for medical applications since electrospinning enables the fabrication of nanofibrous scaffolds with high surface area-to-volume ratios, mimicking the extracellular matrix's structure. This research aims to develop electrospun keratin mats enhanced with medical plants and green-synthesized AgNPs for medical dressings.

To prepare keratin-based electrospun solutions keratin hydrolysate and polyethylene oxide (PEO) were used. Matricaria chamomilla as a medicinal plant for extract and AgNPs preparation and Sodium Alginate as an additive were chosen. The UV-Vis analysis was conducted to characterize the green-synthesized AgNPs. The structure of electrospun mats micro-nanofibers was analyzed by SEM.

The UV-Vis exhibited an absorption peak spanning 400-450 nm, indicating the presence of surface plasmon resonance characteristic of AgNPs. This observation confirms the successful synthesis of AgNPs.

Furthermore, the electrospun fibers displayed homogeneity. Analysis of fiber diameters revealed that 88% of keratin hydrolysate and PEO fibers fell within the 100-200 nm range. The addition of the herbal extract led to an increase in fiber diameters, with 50% of measured fibers ranging from 100-200 nm and 44% from 201-300 nm, while the incorporation of biosynthesized AgNPs had no significant impact on fiber diameters. The addition of Sodium Alginate (c=3 %) resulted in a notable increase in fiber diameters, with 84-95% of fibers falling within the 100-300 nm range.

The findings indicate that keratin-based compositions enriched with M.chamomilla extract and green-synthesized AgNPs can be effectively electrospun. Incorporating Sodium Alginate enhances the versatility of the electrospun mats for medical applications. Nevertheless, further in-depth investigation is required.

Keywords: Keratin, herbal extracts, green-synthesized AgNPs, electrospinning