ABSTRACT: Whey proteins-based biofilms were prepared using different plasticizers in order to obtain a biomaterial for the human keratinocytes and fibroblasts in vitro culture. The film properties were evaluated by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) technique and mechanical tests. A relationship was found between the decrease of intermolecular hydrogen bond strength and film mechanical behavior changes, expressed by a breaking stress and Young modulus values diminishing. These results allow stating that the film molecular configuration could induce dissimilarities in its mechanical properties. The films toxicity was assessed by evaluating the cutaneous cells adherence, growth, proliferation and structural stratification. Microscopic observation demonstrated that both keratinocytes and fibroblasts adhered to the biofilms. The trypan blue exclusion test showed that keratinocytes grew at a significantly high rate on all the biofilms. Structural analysis demonstrated that keratinocytes stratified when cultured on the whey protein-based biofilms and gave rise to multi-layered epidermal structures. The most organized epidermis was obtained with whey protein isolate/DEG biofilm. This structure had a well-organized basal layer under supra-basal and corneous layers. This study demonstrated that whey proteins, an inexpensive renewable resource which can be obtained readily, were non-toxic to cutaneous cells and thus they could be useful substrates for a variety of biomedical applications, including tissue engineering.
Biomaterials 01/2006; 26(35):7471-80. · 7.40 Impact Factor