Protein gradient films of fibroin and gelatine

Macromol Biosci. 2013 Oct;13(10):1396-403. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201300221. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


Gradients are a natural design principle in biological systems that are used to diminish stress concentration where materials of differing mechanical properties connect. An interesting example of a natural gradient material is byssus, which anchors mussels to rocks and other hard substrata. Building upon previous work with synthetic polymers and inspired by byssal threads, protein gradient films are cast using glycerine-plasticized gelatine and fibroin exhibiting a highly reproducible and smooth mechanical gradient, which encompasses a large range of modulus from 160 to 550 MPa. The reproducible production of biocompatible gradient films represents a first step towards medical applications.

Keywords: biocompatibility; biomaterials; biopolymers; proteins; structure-property relations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry
  • Bivalvia / chemistry*
  • Bivalvia / physiology
  • Fibroins / chemistry*
  • Gelatin / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemical synthesis*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Proteins / chemistry


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Polymers
  • Proteins
  • Gelatin
  • Fibroins