A review of keratin-based biomaterials for biomedical applications

Jillian G. Rouse, Mark E. Van Dyke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

491 Scopus citations


Advances in the extraction, purification, and characterization of keratin proteins from hair and wool fibers over the past century have led to the development of a keratinbased biomaterials platform. Like many naturally-derived biomolecules, keratins have intrinsic biological activity and biocompatibility. In addition, extracted keratins are capable of forming self-assembled structures that regulate cellular recognition and behavior. These qualities have led to the development of keratin biomaterials with applications in wound healing, drug delivery, tissue engineering, trauma and medical devices. This review discusses the history of keratin research and the advancement of keratin biomaterials for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1014
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Human hair protein
  • Keratin
  • Natural biomaterial
  • Protein film
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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