The recombinant production process offers the possibility of facile inclusion of various bioactivities in fusion with the partial spidroins. Several bioactive molecules, e.g. cell adhesion sites, 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 different cell types with optimized cell adhesion (Widhe et al. 2013, Widhe et al. 2016)
- Coating of other surfaces than cell culture plates for local 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 human pluripotent stem cells with maintained function (Wu et al. 2016)
- Enzyme-silk for specific reactivity (Jansson et al. 2015)
- Efficient presentation of antibody fragments (scFv) with preserved fold and good durability (Thatikonda et al. 2015)
- Combining cellulose or silk worm silks with functionalized recombinant Spiber® silk (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 partial-spidroins can be allowed to self-assemble into several formats.
Fiber bundles support directional cell growth along the fibers.
Films are free-standing thin, lightweight materials with great mechanical properties.
Foam is a soft, flexible three dimensional scaffold with better diffusion capacity than hydrogels.
Functional coatings can be applied on various base materials (e.g. titanium, steel and polystyrene).