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Natural biomaterials and eco-friendly technologies for biomedicine and cosmetics

Biomaterials have been defined as “substances or combinations of substances, in addition to drugs, of a synthetic or natural nature, which are used for a certain period of time with the aim of strengthening or replacing partially or totally a tissue, an organ or a function of the body, in such a way as to maintain or increase the quality of life of the individual “.

In order for a biomaterial to be defined as such and to exert its beneficial action for the organism it must satisfy the following requisites: biocompatibility, biodegradability, bio-activity, immunological safety, structural integrity and mechanical flexibility. In recent decades, peculiarities such as origin from renewable natural sources and exceptional biocompatibility and biodegradability have shifted researchers’ attention to the study of polymeric biomaterials (biopolymers) with the aim of developing eco-sustainable processes based on green chemistry for production of innovative and multifunctional, pharmaceutical preparations, cosmetic formulations, medical devices and food supplements. The biomaterials developed by MIST E-R are the silk proteins sericin and fibroin extracted by processes in water and without the use of chemical treatments, from silkworm cocoons (B. mori).

Silk proteins are highly biocompatible and biodegradable, approved by the FDA and the European Union as active cosmetic ingredients, thanks to their antioxidant, anti-aging and UV protection properties. In particular, the active ingredients offered by MIST E-R are proteins complexed to natural pigments carotenoids and flavonoids, very useful for human health for their antioxidant, antimicrobial and pro-vitamin A. The association of the biological properties of silk proteins combined with those of natural pigments, they are contained in a single natural active ingredient that can be exploited for the production of products (hydrogels, micro / nano particles, films, porous structures and membranes) for dermocosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biomedical products.

Innovative aspects and main advantages

Biocompatibility of biopolymers and natural pigments. Processes of extraction, purification and eco-sustainable chemical functionalization. Multiple biological activities in one product.