Novel wheat protein films as substrates for tissue engineering

Narendra Reddy, Qiuran Jiang, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates that gliadin-free wheat glutenin can be an excellent biomaterial for tissue-engineering applications, better than poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Although plant proteins are more readily available than collagen and silk, limited studies have been conducted on understanding the potential of using plant proteins as biomaterials. Wheat proteins have not been used for tissue engineering due to the cytotoxicity of gliadin. In this research, wheat gluten, glutenin and gliadin were used to develop films and the mechanical properties, water stability and ability of the films to promote the attachment, growth and viability of osteoblast cells was studied in comparison to PLA films. The wheat protein films have good strength ranging from 8 to 30 MPa. Gliadin films experience about 50% weight loss whereas glutenin films have about 90% weight loss after being in water (pH 7.2) for 15 days at 37°C. Gliadin is cytotoxic and the presence of gliadin restricts the cell proliferation on wheat gluten films. However, gliadin-free glutenin films show a higher rate of proliferation of osteoblast cells than the PLA films. Wheat gluten promises to be a potential substrate for tissue engineering and other medical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2063-2077
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2011


  • Biomaterials
  • gliadin
  • proteins
  • tissue engineering
  • wheat glutenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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