Lecture Series

49 - Natural silk protein fibroin and sericin as biomedical materials

Writer :
ITREN (2015-08-08)
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Speaker : S.C. Kundu, Ph.D. (Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India) 

Date : 2014-06-24

Location : Room 103 Pharmacy Hall, Dankook University

Abstract : Biologically active scaffolds are attracting considerable interest that induces synthesis of tissues and organs based on similar analogs of the extracellular matrix. Silk fibroin, the core protein, is hydrophobic in nature while sericin is hydrophilic glue like protein. Isolation of fibroin from the silkworm cocoon requires the complete removal of glue protein sericin, a waste by-product of textile industry. The characteristics of silk include biodegradability, biocompatibility, controllable degradation rates, and versatility to generate different material formats attract interest in the field of biomaterials.

By using different technologies thin films, porous 3D scaffolds, nanoparticles, macro patterned surface coating, micro-beads, and hydrogels are developed from the mulberry and non-mulberry silk proteins for biomedical applications. The cell culture and tissue formation on silk-based biomaterials show appropriate cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation that support the regeneration of tissues. Due to the presence of RGD motifs on non-mulberry fibroin based biomaterials display enhance cellular adhesion and subsequent proliferation on different matrices, hence resulting in improved biofunctionality. The use of such silk as surface coating on titanium facilitates osteoblast cell adherence and proliferation. The fibroin matrices as 3D model are used for cancer investigation.

Other nonmulberry silk protein fibroin from muga Antheraea assama and eri, semi-domesticated Samia ricini are tested for their biomaterial potentiality. The non-mulberry cocoon sericin is also used as surface coating on titanium facilitates osteoblast cell adherence and proliferation. Similarly sericin/polyacrylamide semi-interpenetrating network proves suitable as a reconstructive dermal sealant. The successful delivery of gene and/or drug is observed through sericin or fibroin based nanoparticles.