The Extraction of Keratin from Human Hair Using Different Methods



Loo, Sandra Jing-Fang (2018) The Extraction of Keratin from Human Hair Using Different Methods. Final Year Project (Bachelor), Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

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The human hair consists of mainly microfibrillar keratins, a fibrous structural protein which is a family of intermediate filament protein. Keratin with a molecular mass of 40-65kDa, is known for its toughness and poor solubility therefore making it really difficult in extraction. Methods to extract keratin rapidly and efficiently from human hair are being developed as keratin is known to have useful properties which can contribute in many areas of public importance especially in biomedical field as keratin is part of the human body. This study is to determine which method for extracting keratin from human hair is the most effective and to determine whether gender, and age (adult, age 19-25 and children, age below 12) affect keratin mass as well as to investigate whether IR spectroscopy can be used for identification and analysis of the human hair. The Shindai method (DTT, thiourea and urea), alkaline based method (beta-mercaptoethanol, thiourea and urea), and the conventional method (beta-mercaptoethanol, and urea) were used. The optimal conditions were picked for each method for comparison. The methods were compared upon the combination of thiourea and urea in the presence of a reductant (beta-mercaptoethanol or DTT) to effectively extract keratin protein. Bradford colorimetric assay results showed that the Shindai method which uses DTT as a reductant with the combination of thiourea and urea had higher extracted protein concentration. SEM analysis showed that hair samples had lost some fibrous structures in the cortex after extraction. The results also showed hair extracted with the conventional method had the most deformed structure. According to the Bradford colorimetric assay results, gender does not affect keratin mass, the keratin concentration varies individually. It was also found that children’s hair contained as much keratin protein as adults. With the use of FTIR, the IR spectrum can be used for the identification of gender in the human hair and for the analysis of functional groups in hair however more research is needed to confirm the results.

Item Type: Final Year Project
Subjects: Science > Natural history > Biology
Faculties: Faculty of Applied Sciences > Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Bioscience with Chemistry
Depositing User: Library Editor
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 03:38
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 05:50