Tissue regeneration at the site of injury or wounds caused by burns or diseases such as diabetes has been one of the major challenges in the field of regenerative medicine. In recent years, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering have tried to use the potential of biomaterials, stem cells and growth factors to produce replacement tissues as two complementary fields. Polish researchers have announced the production of 3D scaffolds made of keratin fibers for cell culture, and these keratin fibers were derived from rat hair. This study has shown that the use of proper enzymatic digestion or the mechanical cutting of keratin fibers in length and width leads to the production of a suitable source of keratin for the production of scaffolds.
The cells grew well on the scaffolds derived from these keratin fibers and formed three-dimensional colonies on them, without any change in their morphology or the cells undergoing apoptosis. The researchers believe that the lack of morphological change of the cells and also the high survival of the cells, along with the appropriate immunogenicity and biodegradability of these keratin scaffolds, make them a promising candidate for tissue engineering and clinical applications.