Ductile keratin films from deep eutectic solvent-fractionated feathers

Emmi Maria Nuutinen (Corresponding Author), Tommi Virtanen, Raija Lantto, Mika Vähä-Nissi, Anna Stiina Jääskeläinen

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Abstract

Feathers, an industrial by-product, are a valuable source of keratin that could be used, for example, in the preparation of films for biomedical and packaging applications. However, the utilisation of feather keratin requires scalable processes to convert feathers into a feasible keratin stream. This paper shows how deep eutectic solvent (DES) fractionated feathers could be converted into strong films. In the DES fractionation process, two keratin fractions with different molecular weights were obtained. The films made of the high molecular weight keratin fraction had better mechanical properties and stability against moisture than the films made of the low molecular weight keratin fraction. The strength properties were further improved by cross-linking the keratin with diglycidyl ether enabling the formation of a uniform keratin network, whereas glutaraldehyde did not show a clear cross-linking effect. These keratin films could be used, for example, in food packaging or medical applications such as wound care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27512-27522
Number of pages11
JournalRSC Advances
Volume11
Issue number44
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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