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Open AccessCommunication

Supracolloidal Assemblies as Sacrificial Templates for Porous Silk-Based Biomaterials

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J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Biomedical Sciences Building JG-53, P.O. Box 116131, Gainesville, FL 32611-6131, USA
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Department of Biomedical Engineering, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Max von Delius
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20511-20522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160920511
Received: 31 July 2015 / Revised: 18 August 2015 / Accepted: 19 August 2015 / Published: 28 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Supramolecular Interactions)
Tissues in the body are hierarchically structured composite materials with tissue-specific properties. Urea self-assembles via hydrogen bonding interactions into crystalline supracolloidal assemblies that can be used to impart macroscopic pores to polymer-based tissue scaffolds. In this communication, we explain the solvent interactions governing the solubility of urea and thereby the scope of compatible polymers. We also highlight the role of solvent interactions on the morphology of the resulting supracolloidal crystals. We elucidate the role of polymer-urea interactions on the morphology of the pores in the resulting biomaterials. Finally, we demonstrate that it is possible to use our urea templating methodology to prepare Bombyx mori silk protein-based biomaterials with pores that human dermal fibroblasts respond to by aligning with the long axis of the pores. This methodology has potential for application in a variety of different tissue engineering niches in which cell alignment is observed, including skin, bone, muscle and nerve. View Full-Text
Keywords: supramolecular chemistry; supracolloidal chemistry; supramolecular polymers; supramolecular materials; biomaterials; tissue engineering; silk supramolecular chemistry; supracolloidal chemistry; supramolecular polymers; supramolecular materials; biomaterials; tissue engineering; silk
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Hardy, J.G.; Ghezzi, C.E.; Saballos, R.J.; Kaplan, D.L.; Schmidt, C.E. Supracolloidal Assemblies as Sacrificial Templates for Porous Silk-Based Biomaterials. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 20511-20522.

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