Electrospinning of Soy Protein Fibers and their Compatibility with Synthetic Polymers

Aditi Shankar, Abdel-Fattah Seyam, Sam Hudson


This paper critically reviews previous work in the field of electrospinning of biopolymers and antimicrobial polymeric materials, and investigates the potential of Soy Protein fibers in electrospinning. Biomaterials have since long been the popular choice for fabricating medical textiles or scaffolding materials owing to their biocompatibility, intrinsic anti-microbial activity and low immunogenicity. Even among biopolymers, plant-based protein fibers are more preferred than carbohydrates. Electrospinning of such biopolymers into nanofibers provides one with advantages of properties such as relatively very high porosity, pore interconnectivity, drug-carrying capacity and close similarity to the extra-cellular matrix in the body. Soy protein fibers are envisioned to be an excellent component in fiber spinning mixtures. Mixing of Soy protein with other spinnable polymers such as cellulose, PEO, PVA and chitosan is proposed. Wound-healing is an important application for these materials. The emphasis needs to be on the functionality of such materials, more than mechanical strength which is not a vital necessity for class II medical devices such as wound dressings. A comparatively uninvestigated area is the potential of soy protein fibers for such uses.

Keywords: Soy protein; Electrospinning; Biopolymers; Antimicrobial; Nanofibers

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