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Characterization of Bio-Inspired Electro-Conductive Soy Protein Films

BIOMAT Research Group, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Escuela de Ingeniería de Gipuzkoa, Plaza de Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain
BCMaterials, Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures, UPV/EHU Science Park, 48940 Leioa, Spain
NanoBioCel Group, Laboratory of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Paseo de la Universidad 7, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luis García-Fernández
Polymers 2021, 13(3), 416;
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 23 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Polymers for Biomedical Applications)
Protein-based conductive materials are gaining attention as alternative components of electronic devices for value-added applications. In this regard, soy protein isolate (SPI) was processed by extrusion in order to obtain SPI pellets, subsequently molded into SPI films by hot pressing, resulting in homogeneous and transparent films, as shown by scanning electron microscopy and UV-vis spectroscopy analyses, respectively. During processing, SPI denatured and refolded through intermolecular interactions with glycerol, causing a major exposition of tryptophan residues and fluorescence emission, affecting charge distribution and electron transport properties. Regarding electrical conductivity, the value found (9.889 × 10−4 S/m) is characteristic of electrical semiconductors, such as silicon, and higher than that found for other natural polymers. Additionally, the behavior of the films in contact with water was analyzed, indicating a controlled swelling and a hydrolytic surface, which is of great relevance for cell adhesion and spreading. In fact, cytotoxicity studies showed that the developed SPI films were biocompatible, according to the guidelines for the biological evaluation of medical devices. Therefore, these SPI films are uniquely suited as bioelectronics because they conduct both ionic and electronic currents, which is not accessible for the traditional metallic conductors. View Full-Text
Keywords: soy protein; film; semiconductor; biomaterial soy protein; film; semiconductor; biomaterial
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guerrero, P.; Garrido, T.; Garcia-Orue, I.; Santos-Vizcaino, E.; Igartua, M.; Hernandez, R.M.; de la Caba, K. Characterization of Bio-Inspired Electro-Conductive Soy Protein Films. Polymers 2021, 13, 416.

AMA Style

Guerrero P, Garrido T, Garcia-Orue I, Santos-Vizcaino E, Igartua M, Hernandez RM, de la Caba K. Characterization of Bio-Inspired Electro-Conductive Soy Protein Films. Polymers. 2021; 13(3):416.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guerrero, Pedro, Tania Garrido, Itxaso Garcia-Orue, Edorta Santos-Vizcaino, Manoli Igartua, Rosa M. Hernandez, and Koro de la Caba. 2021. "Characterization of Bio-Inspired Electro-Conductive Soy Protein Films" Polymers 13, no. 3: 416.

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