Electrospun Silk Doped with Selenium for Antibacterial Skin Applications

Chung S., Ercan B., Webster T. J., Phong Tran P. T.

40th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference (NEBEC), Massachusetts, United States Of America, 25 - 27 April 2014 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/nebec.2014.6972758
  • City: Massachusetts
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


Skin is the largest organ by surface area and provides the primary defense against microbes, viruses, and other harmful environmental interactions. Silk is widely used as a cosmetic additive and has been investigated for skin regeneration because of its beneficial properties for skin application : promotion of collagen synthesis, re-epithelialization, wound healing, atopic dermatitis alleviation, and scar reduction. However, pure silk shows negligible or even negative antibacterial properties. Here, we propose for the first time, an electrospun silk scaffold doped with selenium to address this issue. Electrospun silk scaffolds have smaller interstices and higher surface areas, allowing for more efficient nutrient transfer to the skin. In addition, selenium nanoparticles have been shown to possess excellent antibacterial properties. By incorporating selenium nanoparticles into silk, we expect to retain silk's beneficial skin healing properties while improving its antibacterial ability.