Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 19 (2008), pp.2055–2061; doi: 10.1007/s10856-007-3294-0 Copyright © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Used by permission.


For the first time, protein fibers with excellent mechanical properties and water stability have been produced from gliadin for potential use in tissue culture and other medical applications. Biomaterials developed from plant proteins such as zein and soyproteins are preferred for several medical applications over synthetic polymers such as polylactic acid. However, the plant protein based biomaterials developed so far have poor mechanical properties and hydrolytic stability even after crosslinking. This study aims to develop biomaterials from gliadin with excellent mechanical properties and water stability without using any crosslinking agents. A novel gliadin fiber production method was used to self crosslink the fibers and obtain high strength and water stability. Gliadin fibers have high strength (120 MPa) and elongation (25%) compared to similar collagen fibers that were crosslinked with glutaraldehyde (strength of about 44 MPa and elongation of 14%). The fibers show 100% strength retention after being in pH 7 water at 50 °C for 40 days and also have better water stability than PLA in acidic conditions at high temperatures. Gliadin fibers are suitable for cell growth and promote the attachment and proliferation of bovine turbinate fibroblasts.