Non-mulberry silk sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices for potential biotechnological applications
Mandal, B.B.; Ghosh, B.; Kundu, S.C.
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 49(2): 125-133
This study reports a novel biopolymeric matrix fabricated by chemically cross-linking poly (vinyl alcohol) with silk sericin protein obtained from cocoons of the tropical tasar silkworm Antheraea mylitta. Glutaraldehyde was used as a cross-linking agent with hydrochloric acid acting as an initiator. The matrices were biophysically characterized and the cytocompatibility of the matrices was evaluated for their suitability as biomaterials. The surface morphology was assessed using atomic force microscopy while the changes taking place after cross-linking were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The enhanced thermal stability of the constructs was assessed by thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that sericin was chemically cross-linked with poly (vinyl alcohol) using glutaraldehyde. Silk sericin protein demonstrated a favorable effect on animal cell culture by successfully improving the adhering and spreading of cells on the poorly adhering surface of poly (vinyl alcohol). Confocal microscopy revealed cell spreading and actin filament development in sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices. These findings prove the potential of non-mulberry silk sericin/poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel matrices to be used as biocompatible and biopolymeric material for tissue-engineering and biotechnological applications.