Fabrication and characterization of human hair keratin hydrogels
Date of Issue2017-04-10
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Keratin is a protein that can easily be found in skin, hair and nails; it acts as external protective layer as well as inner core of hair to provide strength. Being highly biocompatible, keratin can be synthesized for several bio-applications such as bioink. In this study, keratin in the form of hydrogel and freeze-dried hydrogel sponges with different compositions will be examined and analyzed. Keratin extracted from human hair was mixed with Transglutaminase (Tgase) to form hydrogels with several concentrations. After fabrication of the different concentrations of protein, the samples were then characterized based on their thermal, mechanical, and rheological properties, using several techniques, including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Rheometer, and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR). From the result, keratin hydrogels showed stable thermal properties, which allow them to be used in humans. Keratin hydrogels with higher compositions of Tgase and keratin also demonstrated higher viscosity and mechanical properties. These rheological and mechanical properties helped in deciding on which composition of keratin hydrogel to be optimized as bioink. However, there were some challenges faced in optimizing the gel as bioink, which will be discussed further in the discussion section. Finally, higher compositions and longer incubation time hydrogel was recommended be used in future bioink experiment.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University