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Keratin biomaterial containing silver nanoparticles

Marek Konop, Joanna Czuwara and others

Wiley Journals


Keratin is a cytoskeletal scaffolding protein essential for wound healing and tissue recovery.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential role of insoluble fur keratin-derived powder containing silver nanoparticles (FKDP-AgNP) in the allogenic full-thickness surgical skin wound model in diabetic mice. The scanning electron microscopy image evidenced that the keratin surface is covered by a single layer of silver nanoparticles.

Data obtained from dynamic light scattering and micellar electrokinetic chromatography showed three fractions of silver nanoparticles with an average diameter of 130, 22.5, and 5 nm. Microbiologic results revealed that the designed insoluble FKDP-AgNP dressing to some extent inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

In vitro assays showed that the FKDP-AgNP dressing did not inhibit fibroblast growth or induce hemolysis. In vivo studies using a diabetic mice model confirmed biocompatible properties of the insoluble keratin dressings. FKDP-AgNP significantly accelerated wound closure and epithelization at Days 5 and 8 (p < .05) when compared with controls.

Histological examination of the inflammatory response documented that FKDP-AgNP-treated wounds contained predominantly macrophages, whereas their untreated variants showed mixed cell infiltrates rich in neutrophils. Wound inflammatory response based on macrophages favors tissue remodeling and healing.

In conclusion, the investigated FKDP-AgNP dressing consisting of an insoluble fraction of keratin, which is biocompatible, significantly accelerated wound healing in a diabetic mouse model.


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