Plant Proteins for Medical Applications
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Yiqi Yang
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
226 HECO Bldg, Lincoln
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: February 01, 2011; Accepted Date: March 29, 2011; Published Date: March 31, 2011
Citation: Reddy N, Yang Y (2011) Plant Proteins for Medical Applications. J Microbial Biochem Technol 3:i-i. doi: 10.4172/1948-5948.100000e2
Copyright: © 2011 Reddy N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Plant proteins show good potential for medical applications but offer considerable challenges in fabricating biomaterials. Despite substantial efforts, especially in the last decade, to develop polymeric biomaterials, there are no polymers that are ideally suited for tissue engineering, drug delivery and other medical applications. Therefore, the quest to find new sources for biomaterials continues. Natural proteins such as collagen and silk, carbohydrates such as chitosan and cellulose and synthetic biopolymers such as poly (lactic acid) have been extensively studied for potential medical applications. Biotechnology and nanotechnology have also been widely adopted to develop regenerated and recombinant polymers for medical applications. The advent of nanotechnology and its many advantages for medical applications have led to the development of nanofibers and nanoparticles from both the natural and synthetic polymers for tissue engineering, controlled release and other medical applications. However, both natural and synthetic polymers currently available have many limitations that restrict their use for medical applications. Biomaterials developed from natural polymers do not have the desired mechanical properties for medical applications. For instance, scaffolds developed from collagen have poor hydrolytic stability and efforts to crosslink and improve the properties have not been successful to provide cytocompatible biomaterials. Although silk has excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility, silk has slow degradation rates and it is difficult to dissolve and process silk into various types of biomaterials. Biomaterials developed from most synthetic polymers have the biocompatibility and mechanical properties but their degradation into toxic substances in the body is a cause for concern. Similarly, metal and ceramic based biomaterials do not have the desired degradability and are difficult to process into different forms of biomaterials.