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Extraction and application of keratin from natural resources: a review

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Over recent years, keratin has gained great popularity due to its exceptional biocompatible and biodegradable nature. It has shown promising results in various industries like poultry, textile, agriculture, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical. Keratin is a multipurpose biopolymer that has been used in the production of fibrous composites, and with necessary modifications, it can be developed into gels, films, nanoparticles, and microparticles. Its stability against enzymatic degradation and unique biocompatibility has found their way into biomedical applications and regenerative medicine. This review discusses the structure of keratin, its classification and its properties. It also covers various methods by which keratin is extracted like chemical hydrolysis, enzymatic and microbial treatment, dissolution in ionic liquids, microwave irradiation, steam explosion technique, and thermal hydrolysis or superheated process. Special emphasis is placed on its utilisation in the form of hydrogels, films, fibres, sponges, and scaffolds in various biotechnological and industrial sectors. The present review can be noteworthy for the researchers working on natural protein and related usage.

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The authors are thankful to Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) for Providing facilities and financial support through internal grant RDU1903137 and the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (grant no. FRGS/1/2019/STG05/UMP/02/9) and IPS for Providing Financial Support through DRS. The authors are thankful to Irshad Ahamad Khilji (UMP) for providing editing service for the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Syed Mahmood.

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Chilakamarry, C.R., Mahmood, S., Saffe, S.N.B.M. et al. Extraction and application of keratin from natural resources: a review. 3 Biotech 11, 220 (2021).

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