Recombinant spider silk proteins for applications in biomaterials

Macromol Biosci. 2010 Sep 9;10(9):998-1007. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201000071.


Due to their extraordinary mechanical and biochemical properties, silks have long been in focus of research. In vivo, fibers are formed from silk proteins, in vitro, however, a variety of materials can be produced in addition to fibers including capsules, particles, films, foams, and gels. The versatility of silk proteins, along with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and potential for processing in aqueous solution under ambient conditions make silk-based materials good candidates for biomedical applications such as drug delivery systems and scaffolds for tissue engineering. Here, we summarize recent progress in research employing recombinantly produced engineered spider silk proteins with a focus on the fundamentals of silk protein processing. We highlight recombinant spider silk films and particles as morphologies that represent model systems with adjustable material properties controlled by process parameters.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Silk / chemistry*
  • Spiders / chemistry


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Silk