Silk-inspired polymers and proteins

Biochem Soc Trans. 2009 Aug;37(Pt 4):677-81. doi: 10.1042/BST0370677.


The biocompatibility and biodegradability of natural silk fibres and the benign conditions under which they (with impressive mechanical properties) are produced represent a biomimetic ideal. This ideal has inspired people in both academia and industry to prepare silk-mimetic polymers and proteins by chemical and/or biotechnological means. In the present paper, we aim to give an overview of the design principles of such silk-inspired polymers/proteins, their processing into various materials morphologies, their mechanical and biological properties, and, finally, their technical and biomedical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Bombyx
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Silk / chemistry*
  • Spiders


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polymers
  • Proteins
  • Silk