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Utilising silk fibroin membranes as scaffolds for the growth of tympanic membrane keratinocytes, and application to myringoplasty surgery
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2013, 00:00 authored by B Levin, S Redmond, Rangam RajkhowaRangam Rajkhowa, R Eikelboom, M Atlas, R Marano
Background: Chronic tympanic membrane perforations can cause significant morbidity. The term myringoplasty describes the operation used to close such perforations. A variety of graft materials are available for use in myringoplasty, but all have limitations and few studies report post-operative hearing outcomes. Recently, the biomedical applications of silk fibroin protein have been studied. This material’s biocompatibility, biodegradability and ability to act as a scaffold to support cell growth prompted an investigation of its interaction with human tympanic membrane keratinocytes. Methods and materials: Silk fibroin membranes were prepared and human tympanic membrane keratinocytes cultured. Keratinocytes were seeded onto the membranes and immunostained for a number of relevant protein markers relating to cell proliferation, adhesion and specific epithelial differentiation. Results: The silk fibroin scaffolds successfully supported the growth and adhesion of keratinocytes, whilst also maintaining their cell lineage. Conclusion: The properties of silk fibroin make it an attractive option for further research, as a potential alternative graft in myringoplasty.