A protein released by the silkworm can make bones
the importance of the silkworm has increased. It can not only produce silk but also prevent bone loss in people undergoing hormonal therapy for breast, prostate and malignant bone cancers. Silkworm proteins, called fibroins, are extensively used to make medical sutures and scaffolds. But all these fibres come from the domesticated mulberry silkworm (Bombyx mori). For the first time, a research team isolated fibroins from the wild non-mulberry silkworm (Antheraea mylitta). This was used to trigger bone-cell growth.
The researchers obtained non-mulberry tussar silkworm cocoons, isolated the fibroins and blended them with polyethylene glycol (peg) to make peg -blended fibroin films. peg is an organic compound used to make laxatives and skin creams. When this biocompatible, non-toxic film was applied to bone-producing cell (osteoblast) cultures in the lab, it triggered their proliferation.
In a peg- blended fibroin film, peg reacts with the fibroin molecules by hydrogen bonding. This increases the film