The recombinant production process offers the possibility of facile inclusion of various bioactivities in fusion with the silk proteins. Several bioactive molecules, e.g. cell adhesion sites, antimicrobial peptides, affinity domains, enzymes and growth factors, have been connected to Spiber® through genetic modification.
In theory, any other gene sequence can be added to give the silk materials new functionality. Because the formulations into silk materials is done by self-assembly under physiological conditions, the fold of the added protein domains is preserved, yielding bioactive Spiber® silk materials.
Spiber® integrates in biological systems with good biocompatibility. The biomaterial is non-immunogenic and biodegradable.
- Culturing of mammalian cells with optimized adhesion and proliferation (Widhe et al. 2013, Widhe et al. 2016)
- Coating of different materials for immobilized functionalization (Nilebäck et al. 2017b, Gustafsson et al. 2017)
- Promoting wound healing by local display of antimicrobial peptides and enzymes (Nilebäck et al. 2017a, Nilebäck et al. 2017b)
- Expansion of stem cells with maintained pluripotency (Wu et al. 2016)
- Immobilization of enzyme-silk for specific activity (Jansson et al. 2015)
- Efficient presentation of antibodies with preserved fold and improved durability (Thatikonda et al. 2015)
- Functionalization of other bulk biomaterials such as cellulose or silk worm silks (Nilebäck et al. 2017a, Mittal et al. 2017)
- Generation of transplantable cell clusters, e.g. insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells (Shalaly et al. 2016)
Formulation of Spiber® silk materials
After expression and purification under native conditions, the spider silk proteins can self-assemble into several formats.
Fiber bundles support directional cell growth along the fibers.
Films are free-standing, thin, transparent and lightweight materials.
Foam is a soft, flexible three dimensional scaffold.
Coatings provide immobilization of functional units onto various base materials.