The found that soluble sericin are immunologically inert in

following are the general functions of Silk as a biomaterial listed in


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Immunological response is normally evaluated as
inflammatory response as an expression which releases cytokines. Silk fibre is
known for its hypersensitivity reaction due to sericin has attributed its application
in immune response. Subsequent studies have shown different immunological
responses of sericin. Recent study related to immunological response have examined the potential of silk as a
biomaterial for inflammation and their in vitro extracts. The author found
that soluble sericin are immunologically inert in culture murine macrophage
cells while insoluble fibroin protein induces release of Tumour Necrosis
Factor-?. In his demonstration sericin does activates the immune system but it
covers the fibroin protein fibre. The author confirms the low inflammatory
response of the silk as a biomaterial as dominant macrophage is his examination
does not allow the bacterial lipopolysaccride to respond.


Investigating the effects of free radicals in the
body, can lead to major consequences the products as it may not be neutralized
by a superior antioxidant system. Study suggests that the antioxidant
properties of sericin of inhibits lipid peroxidation in rodent brain homogenate.
The study highlights the interest of antityrosinase activity in the biomaterial. Cocoon of B.moori has natural pigment which is
known for antityrosinase activity. Furthermore, antityrosinase activity of
pigments and sericin is responsible for antioxidant property. The antioxidant
properties of sericin protein is due to high serine and threonine content where the hydroxyl
group acts a method to remove chemical substance from the blood stream. Various
study also demonstrated the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids in sericin is
responsible for sericin antioxidant roles. Herewith making sericin as a natural
and safe ingredient for food and cosmetic industries.

Supplement in Culture Media and Cryopreservation

Cell line
for culture media should always be viable only then they are considered in
tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Most commonly used media BSA
(Bovine Serum Albumin) are commonly affected by virus hence cryopreservation is
the common method used for cell lines. Serum used here is of highest cost and
hence possible examination and research is conducted to make the cell culture
serum-free. Sericin from cocoon is tested for with BSA alone in the culture
media on various mammalian cells. The test proved that sericin promotes cell
viability and did not change after autoclaving, proving its use in the culture
media emphasis cell proliferation. Sericin used to substitute BSA, preserve
less mature cell lines and undifferentiated cells but it neglects to act in
similar manner in case of differentiated cells. 

Wound Healing

Cell proliferation and migration are studied in the
properties of sericin and studies has eventually proved the properties of
sericin in wound healing as it increases the population of fibroblast and
keratinocytes cells in the injured area. It also increases in the production of
collagen essential for healing process. In clinical study, antibiotic cream
with sericin accelerated wound closure and the average time required to close
the wound is comparatively lesser than any other antibiotic creams (without
sericin). Topical usage of sericin in antibiotic creams promotes skin hydration
and less irritation and skin pigmentation.

Antitumor Effect

Chemotherapy is the most common clinical practice used for
cancer treatment due to high cytotoxicity which affects both cancerous and
non-cancerous cells. The major concern of chemotherapy is the resistance of
chemotherapeutic agents. Sericin is therefore used for its low toxicity and
biocompatible properties making it an antitumor agent. Use of sericin as an
antitumoral effect proved to have a very less cell proliferation rate,
decreasing the oncogenes expression and reducing the oxidative stress.
Antioxidant properties of sericin make it remain undigested in the colon which
induce lower oxidative stress. Sericin can reduce the cell viability by
inducing the apoptosis of tumorous cell by increasing reducing the activity expression
of antiapoptotic protein. Sericin do not induce apoptosis to control cells.  

Metabolic Effects

Considering the antioxidant and hydrophilic properties of
sericin, it is considered for various metabolic abnormalities. The use of
sericin is investigated in various animal model for gastrointestinal tracts
abnormalities. Required consumption of sericin do not cause any harm in the microflora
and secondary bile acids, even though it reduces the primary bile acid content.
Furthermore, sericin can be considered as for its modulating immune response
and intestinal barrier functions.

Sericin promotes vascular modulation. Oligopeptides in
sericin have an antagonistic action on chemical channels by blocking them and
promoting muscle relaxation. Oligopeptides mechanism is also known for agonist
interaction with nitic oxide and prostacyclin, which promotes smooth muscle
relaxation. Sulphated sericin are investigated for coagulation cascade
mechanism to clarify its anticoagulation mechanism.

Various study has proven the promising effect of sericin in
lipid metabolism and obesity. Careful examination is being conducted on the
effect of sericin on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in rodent which is fed
by high fat diet with an addition of small amount of sericin .For  5 weeks it did not alter any changes in the
body weight and fat weight of the rodent, but showed considerable changes in
the serum concentration of cholesterol, free fatty acids, phospholipids, Very Low
Density of Lipoproteins (VLDL) and Low -density lipoprotein (LDL),Hence quality
amount as a supplement of sericin is beneficial for metabolic syndrome resulting
in high-fat diet consumption.

Tissue Engineering

Tissue engineering
uses biomaterials which can possess strong mechanical and binding properties to
the scaffold and can provide efficient replacement of the organ without
affecting the surrounding tissues or organ. Sericin fibres are fragile and are
difficult to use as scaffolds in tissue engineering they are often crosslinked to
increase the physical properties. Sericin/gelatin combination provide uniform
pore distribution, improved mechanical properties and high swellibility. Sericin
membrane of A.mylitta cocoon when
crosslinked with glutaraldehyde, shows increased physical properties, which
include non-rapid enzymatic degradation and increased fibroblast cell viability
and attachment. Crosslinking of silk fibre with crosslinking agents has made silk
as a biomaterial in various tissue engineering applications.