Protocol | Published:

Materials fabrication from Bombyx mori silk fibroin

Nature Protocols volume 6, pages 16121631 (2011) | Download Citation

Abstract

Silk fibroin, derived from Bombyx mori cocoons, is a widely used and studied protein polymer for biomaterial applications. Silk fibroin has remarkable mechanical properties when formed into different materials, demonstrates biocompatibility, has controllable degradation rates from hours to years and can be chemically modified to alter surface properties or to immobilize growth factors. A variety of aqueous or organic solvent-processing methods can be used to generate silk biomaterials for a range of applications. In this protocol, we include methods to extract silk from B. mori cocoons to fabricate hydrogels, tubes, sponges, composites, fibers, microspheres and thin films. These materials can be used directly as biomaterials for implants, as scaffolding in tissue engineering and in vitro disease models, as well as for drug delivery.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the following researchers for their contributions to these protocols: E.S. Gil, C. Wittmer, H. J. Kim, E.A. Pritchard, X. Wang, J.A. Kluge and F. Omenetto. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (P41 EB002520—Tissue Engineering Resource Center), the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA.

    • Danielle N Rockwood
    • , Rucsanda C Preda
    • , Tuna Yücel
    • , Xiaoqin Wang
    • , Michael L Lovett
    •  & David L Kaplan

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Contributions

D.N.R., R.C.P., T.Y., X.W. and M.L.L. wrote the manuscript and D.L.K. supervised and edited the project.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to David L Kaplan.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nprot.2011.379

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