June 5-9, 2017
Biofabrication for applications in regenerative medicine is a rapidly expanding field. Remarkable about this approach compared to traditional approaches is its feasibility for larger scale production at high quality and reproducibility. However, there is a lack of process-compatible materials for biofabrication due to the need for mild, aqueous processing conditions. More specifically, the solvents used must have neutral pH, and salts in proper osmolality, temperatures used cannot be too high or low, and so forth. The recombinant spider-silk protein eADF4(C16) (engineered Araneus diadematus fibroin 4) is biocompatible, biodegradable and hypoallergenic and can be provided in large quantities with consistent material qualities. In order to overcome limitations in terms of cell adhesion and proliferation e.g. the integrin recognition sequence RGD was genetically introduced. eADF4(C16) and its variants can be fabricated into various types of scaffold. Morphologies produced from recombinant spider silk proteins include films, foams, fibers, particles, microcapsules and hydrogels. However, with the exception of thermally-gelled hydrogels, the established processes are not cytocompatible due to extreme physical (e.g. high voltages, high salt concentration) and/or chemical (e.g. toxic solvents) conditions. Thereby, current research with these recombinant proteins focuses on utilizing thermally-gelled hydrogel as bioinks to be used in biofabrication and optimizing current processing protocols for other morphologies to be cell-friendly.
Tamara B. Aigner, Elise K. DeSimone, and Thomas Scheibel, "Biofabrication using recombinant spider silk proteins as a biomaterial" in "Biofabrication for Hierarchical in Vitro Tissue Models", Jürgen Groll (University of Würzburg, Germany) Jos Malda (University Medical Centre Utrecht, The Netherlands) Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2017). http://dc.engconfintl.org/biofab_tissue_model/22