Silk fibroin biomaterials for tissue regenerations☆

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Abstract

Regeneration of tissues using cells, scaffolds and appropriate growth factors is a key approach in the treatments of tissue or organ failure. Silk protein fibroin can be effectively used as a scaffolding material in these treatments. Silk fibers are obtained from diverse sources such as spiders, silkworms, scorpions, mites and flies. Among them, silk of silkworms is a good source for the development of biomedical device. It possesses good biocompatibility, suitable mechanical properties and is produced in bulk in the textile sector. The unique combination of elasticity and strength along with mammalian cell compatibility makes silk fibroin an attractive material for tissue engineering. The present article discusses the processing of silk fibroin into different forms of biomaterials followed by their uses in regeneration of different tissues. Applications of silk for engineering of bone, vascular, neural, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, cardiac, ocular, and bladder tissues are discussed. The advantages and limitations of silk systems as scaffolding materials in the context of biocompatibility, biodegradability and tissue specific requirements are also critically reviewed.

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