Wool Keratin 3D Scaffolds with Light-Triggered Antimicrobial Activity

Claudia Ferroni, Giovanna Sotgiu, Anna Sagnella, Greta Varchi, Andrea Guerrini, Demetra Giuri, Eleonora Polo, Viviana Teresa Orlandi, Emanuela Marras, Marzia Gariboldi, Elena Monti, Annalisa Aluigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Photoactivatable keratin sponges were prepared from protein aqueous solutions by the freeze-drying method, followed by photofunctionalization with two different photosensitizers (PS): Azure A (AzA) and 5,10,15,20-tetrakis [4-(2-N,N,N-trimethylethylthio)-2,3,5,6-tetrafluorophenyl]porphyrin tetraiodide salt (TTFAP). The prepared sponges have a porosity between 49% and 80% and a mean pore size in the 37-80 μm range. As compared to AzA, TTFAP interacts more strongly with the sponges as demonstrated by a lower PS release (6% vs 20%), a decreased swelling ratio (1.6 vs 7.4), and a slower biodegradation rate. Nevertheless, AzA-loaded sponges showed the highest photoactivity, as also demonstrated by their higher antibactericidal activity toward both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The obtained results suggest that the antimicrobial photodynamic effect can be finely triggered through a proper selection of the amount and type of photosensitizer, as well as through the irradiation time. Finally, all the prepared sponges support human fibroblast cells growth, while no significant cell viability impairment is observed upon light irradiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2882-2890
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 12 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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