Keratin is an essential biochemical that belongs to the category of fibrous structural proteins. Structural protein namely keratin is a key biomaterial that helps in making up the outer layer of human skin. Keratin is also a key structural component of nails and hair. The monomers of keratin are crucial to form intermediate filaments as they assemble into various shapes to form bundles. Intermediate filaments formed from keratin are usually insoluble and tough in nature. Keratin proteins also help in forming strong unmineralised tissues which are generally found in birds and reptiles, mammals and amphibians. The only biological material that has the potential to substitute toughness of keratinized tissue is chitin. Like most of the other naturally derived protein biomaterials such as chitin and collagen, keratin also possesses amino acid sequence. Keratin is the biomaterial that is similar to other extracellular matrix that plays a vital role in supporting the cellular attachment, migration and proliferation of the various cells within the body. Keratins are polymers that belong to type III and type IV class of the intermediate filaments. Keratins are mainly found in the genomes of various chordates such as amphioxus, urochordates and vertebrates. The silk fibrions that are widely produced by spiders and insects often belong to the class of keratins. It was theorized that keratin are usually combined into soft, hard or cytokeratins and other keratins. Like most other intermediate filaments keratin proteins form filamentous polymers in a series of assembly steps which mainly begins with dimerization.
Keratin is a naturally derived protein that can be fabricated into a wide range of biomaterials morphologies such as sponges, films and hydrogels. Keratin biomaterials have several advantages as both natural and synthetic materials and thus, find major uses in tissue culture and controlled released applications. Keratin has several biomedical applications owing to its ability as a biodegradability and biocompatibility. Keratin is widely used in various fields such as wound healing, drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. Thus, the growing development of various applications of biomedical is expected to boost an overall growth in the demand for the global keratin market. Hydrolyzed keratin is the most common ingredient used in the cosmetic industry. Keratin is widely used to significantly increase the skin elasticity and its hydration. Keratin is majorly incorporated in shampoos and conditioners for various hair care cosmetics. Owing to its moisturizing properties keratin is used in wide range of skin and hair care products. Larger keratin structures which are usually formed by the cornification usually fail to penetrate through the skin and hence, cannot be used as moisturizers. However, these large sized keratins are usually used in the form of fine hair fires to develop an extensive range of hair loss concealing products and also developing hair thickening accessories such has hair extensions. Thus, the growing cosmetic and health care industry is expected to drive the overall demand for keratin.
Keratin Express, Rejuvenol, Keraplast and Scherdiva are some of the participants of the keratin market. The companies are focused towards research to develop new products. As the cosmetic industry mostly relies on the push strategy the companies have their major focus on their marketing tactics as well. The companies usually tend to attract customers by various advertisements and schemes. Packaging of the product is also one of the crucial factors that help in increasing the profitability of the companies.
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