Keratin biomembranes as a model for studying onychomycosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Difficulties in obtaining human nails that are large enough for examining the penetration of drug formulations led us to produce keratin films regenerated from human hair. We assume that these films can simulate human nail plates in drug penetration and permeation tests and can serve as a biological model for studying onychomycosis. The films were formed from keratin extracted from human hair using dithiothreitol, urea and thiourea. The obtained keratin extract was dispensed into Teflon rings and dried at 40 C and then cured at 110 C. The structure, surface morphology, chemical characterization and thermal stability of the films were characterized and were compared to those of human nail, hair and bovine hoof samples using SDS-electrophoresis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The structure of the obtained films was found to be closer to human nails than to hair or bovine hooves. The keratin films were infected with Trichophyton rubrum and were proven to be appropriate for serving as a model for studying onychomycosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3512
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 May 2020


  • Keratin films
  • Onychomycosis model
  • Trichophyton rubrum


Dive into the research topics of 'Keratin biomembranes as a model for studying onychomycosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this