Keratin-Based Biofilms, Hydrogels, and Biofibers

  • James McLellan
  • Starla G. Thornhill
  • Spencer Shelton
  • Manish KumarEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials book series (SSPCM)


Keratin is a nearly ubiquitous, filamentous protein with high amounts of sulfur molecules. The sulfur content of keratin, resulting from a high proportion of cystine residues, is significant to the form and function of keratin in naturally occurring structures and chemically synthesized biomaterials. The intrinsic physical and chemical properties of keratin have led to the development of a variety of biotechnical and materials science applications. The exploitation of the biochemical and physical properties of this abundant and naturally occurring protein has led to numerous novel uses including drug delivery, dental implants, wound dressings, and food packaging. This chapter describes the intrinsic properties of keratin, as well as the production and use of keratin-based biofilms and biofibers.


Keratin film Keratin hydrogel Keratin biofibers Keratin-based biomaterials 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James McLellan
    • 1
  • Starla G. Thornhill
    • 1
  • Spencer Shelton
    • 1
  • Manish Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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