Keratin as a Biopolymer

  • Sarthak Saha
  • Muhammad Arshad
  • Muhammad Zubair
  • Aman UllahEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials book series (SSPCM)


Keratin has recently gained a lot of limelight among various proteins. Keratin is a renewable, sustainable, biocompatible, and biodegradable bioresource, and these characteristics make it a promising candidate for diverse applications. It is a fibrous protein mainly found in feathers, hair, wool, animal claws, and fingernails. It is one of the key structural materials present in the outer layer of human skin, hence having a lot of applications in developing cosmetics. As an effective biopolymer, keratin containing a different sequence of amino acids have several functional properties and applications. One of the major applications is to be used as a biosorbent in wastewater treatment, which is attributed to expose functional groups present in the highly folded network of amino acids and their modification that improves the reactivity as adsorbent. Keratin-based nanocomposites are used in tissue engineering as it can impart characteristics like increased regeneration and hydration. Another great application in the field of biomedical engineering is drug delivery using keratin-based carriers. Thermoplastics developed from keratins can be used as films in biomedical application. This chapter will highlight the major applications of keratin proteins in detail.


Keratin Extraction Biosorbents Biomedical Wounds Cosmetics Thermoplastics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarthak Saha
    • 1
    • 2
  • Muhammad Arshad
    • 1
  • Muhammad Zubair
    • 1
  • Aman Ullah
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia

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