Keratins extracted from Merino wool and Brown Alpaca fibres: Thermal, mechanical and biological properties of PLLA based biocomposites
- Keratins from three different origins (Alpaca, Merinos, commercial) were used.
- PLLA/keratin films containing 1 and 5 wt.% of keratins were successfully produced.
- Transparency, thermal, and wettability results were related to keratin types and contents.
- Film morphology and mechanical response of PLLA films depend on keratin sources.
- Different keratins affect the culture and interaction of hBM-MSCs on PLLA systems.
Keratins extracted from Merino wool (KM) and Brown Alpaca fibres (KA) by sulphitolysis and commercial hydrolyzed keratins (KH) were used as fillers in poly(l-lactic) acid based biocomposites processed by solvent casting in chloroform. Different contents (1 wt.% and 5 wt.%) of keratins were considered and the morphological, thermal, mechanical, chemical and biological behaviours of the developed PLLA biocomposites were investigated. The results confirmed that surface morphologies of biocomposites revealed specific round-like surface topography function of different microsized keratin particles in different weight contents, such as the analysis of bulk morphologies which confirmed a phase adhesion strictly dependent by the keratin source. Transparency and thermal responses were deeply affected by the presence of the different keratins and their interaction with the PLLA matrix. Tensile test results underlined the possibility to modulate the mechanical behaviour of PLLA selecting the keratin type and content in order to influence positively the elastic and/or plastic response. It was demonstrated that surface characteristics of PLLA/KA systems also influenced the bovine serum albumin adsorption, moreover PLLA and PLLA biocomposites based on different kinds of keratins supported the culture of human bone-marrow mesenchymal stem cells, indicating that these biocomposites could be useful materials for medical applications.
- Poly(l-lactic) acid;
- Biomedical applications
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