Silk fibroin as biomaterial for bone tissue engineering

Acta Biomater. 2016 Feb;31:1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 7.

Abstract

Silk fibroin (SF) is a fibrous protein which is produced mainly by silkworms and spiders. Its unique mechanical properties, tunable biodegradation rate and the ability to support the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells along the osteogenic lineage, have made SF a favorable scaffold material for bone tissue engineering. SF can be processed into various scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified, which provides an impressive toolbox and allows SF scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing SF, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted.

Statement of significance: Silk fibroin is a natural biomaterial with remarkable biomedical and mechanical properties which make it favorable for a broad range of bone tissue engineering applications. It can be processed into different scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified which provides a unique toolbox and allows silk fibroin scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing silk fibroin, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted.

Keywords: Bone tissue engineering; Drug delivery; Regenerative medicine; Scaffold; Silk fibroin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / chemistry*
  • Bioprinting
  • Bombyx
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Fibroins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels / chemistry
  • Osteogenesis
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*

Substances

  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Fibroins