Volume No. 8 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 243-253 Oct -Dec 2013




Agrawal Pushpa*, B.V. Goutham Vishnu and Thippa Reddy K.S.

Department of Biotechnology, R. V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, Karnataka (INDIA)


Received on : July 05, 2013




The domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori is an important economic insect which produces massive amount of silk proteins. The major components of silk cocoon fibers are fibroin and sericin. The silk industry obtains silk fibers after degumming, processing of 0.4 million tons of dry cocoons worldwide, generates about 0.05 million tons of sericin protein as waste which is released into environment causing pollution. In the present work, we have prepared pure sericin powder by processing silk waste water. The protocols for the efficient extraction and recovery of pure sericin protein as well as nano synthesis have been developed. The samples were analyzed for the protein concentration and presence of sericin through Lowry’s method, SDS-PAGE and UV-visible spectroscopy. The pure sericin preparation was used to synthesize nanometer size sericin using Urea method. The size of synthesized nano sericin was analyzed using Particle Size Analyzer (PSA) and the surface morphology was studied under Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The extracted nano sericin (having 32% serine amino acid) is used to produce hydrogels with polyethyleneglycol and glutaraldehyde. The protocols have been developed to synthesize sericin based various types of hydrogels by manipulating the concentrations of polyethyleneglycol and glutaraldehyde. The hydrogels having sericin protein are bioacceptable and antimicrobial in nature therefore having wealth of applications, for example, in agriculture (soil conditioners, in seed germination, water retention, plant growth etc.) and in biomedical fields (as wound dressing membrane and as antimicrobial water absorption layer in baby diapers and sanitary napkins).


Keywords : Bombyx mori, Degumming, Fibroin, Sericin, Nano sericin, Hydrogel