Human Hair Keratin Gradient Metallogel and Their Applications for Wound Healing

    May 2024
    Zhen Lin Yee
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    TLDR The research developed a human hair keratin and silver ion hydrogel that could help heal wounds.
    The research aimed to develop a novel gradient hydrogel using human hair keratins (HHKs) and silver ions (Ag+) for potential wound healing applications. The study exploited the high cysteine content of HHKs and their affinity to metal ions to create a gradient HHK-Ag metallogel. By varying the thiol:Ag ratios, hydrogels with different gradient profiles were formed. The material performance of these hydrogels was found to be dependent on their microstructure, with a higher fraction of large flat pores improving the hydrogels' mechanical properties and water uptake capacity. In vitro studies with human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) found the 1.25 hydrogel to be the best substrate for HDF culture, supporting cell adhesion, spread, and proliferation. The 1.25 hydrogel did not impede the production of extracellular matrix proteins and was found to be antibacterial against Staphylococcus aureus. The study concluded that the HHK-Ag gradient hydrogel could be a potential dermal template for wound healing.
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