Hard tissues, e.g., bone, are mechanically stiff and, most typically, mineralized. To design scaffolds for hard tissue regeneration, mechanical, physico-chemical and biological cues must align with those found in the natural tissue. Combining these aspects poses challenges for material and construct design. Silk-based materials are promising for bone tissue regeneration as they fulfill several of such necessary requirements, and they are non-toxic and biodegradable. They can be processed into a variety of morphologies such as hydrogels, particles and fibers and can be mineralized. Therefore, silk-based materials are versatile candidates for biomedical applications in the field of hard tissue engineering. This review summarizes silk-based approaches for mineralized tissue replacements, and how to find the balance between sufficient material stiffness upon mineralization and cell survival upon attachment as well as nutrient supply.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.