Potential cosmetic and therapeutic applications of North East origin silk sericin

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Skin, the largest organ of human body provides physical protection against biological, mechanical, thermal and chemical assaults. However, chronic exposure of skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiations depletes enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants and elevates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that leads to skin damage. Supplementation or topical delivery of potential exogenous antioxidants protect the skin against pollutants and UV radiation-induced damage. Most of the exogenous antioxidants get oxidized by exposing to air and UV radiations as well as cause adverse effects. Hence, there is a need for potent antioxidants that could protect the skin against UV radiation-induced oxidative damage, photoaging and hyperpigmentation without causing adverse side effect to the skin. Silk sericin (SS) is known to possess antioxidant activity along with other biological attributes. The properties of SS depends on the amino acid composition and associated secondary metabolites. They vary based on the source of the sericin and with their extraction methods. In the present thesis work, we have systematically explored the biological properties of SS obtained from the cocoons of endemic silk variety of Assam, India [Antheraea assamensis (AA)] along with Bombyx mori (BM) and Philosamia ricini (PR). SS extracted from cocoons of AA, BM and PR by five different extraction methods were assessed for physicochemical properties and antioxidant activity. The physicochemical characterization revealed that the molecular weight (10 to 220 kDa), secondary structural conformation of SS isolates and total content of associated secondary metabolites varied based on the extraction methods. SS isolates obtained using alkali-degradation method protected the L929 cells from H2O2 induced oxidative damage.
Supervisor: Biman B. Mandal