Due to its properties, such as biodegradability, low density, excellent biocompatibility and unique mechanics, spider silk has been used as a natural biomaterial for a myriad of applications. First clinical applications of spider silk as suture material go back to the 18th century. Nowadays, since natural production using spiders is limited due to problems with farming spiders, recombinant production of spider silk proteins seems to be the best way to produce material in sufficient quantities. The availability of recombinantly produced spider silk proteins, as well as their good processability has opened the path towards modern biomedical applications. Here, we highlight the research on spider silk-based materials in the field of tissue engineering and summarize various two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds made of spider silk. Finally, different applications of spider silk-based materials are reviewed in the field of tissue engineering in vitro and in vivo.
Keywords: biofabrication; coatings; fibers; hydrogels; recombinant spider silk proteins; tissue engineering.