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J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7(3), 22;

Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
Department of Biomedical and Translational Sciences, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Puoci
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 29 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk Proteins for Biomedical Applications)
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Silk proteins are natural biopolymers that have extensive structural possibilities for chemical and mechanical modifications to facilitate novel properties, functions, and applications in the biomedical field. The versatile processability of silk fibroins (SF) into different forms such as gels, films, foams, membranes, scaffolds, and nanofibers makes it appealing in a variety of applications that require mechanically superior, biocompatible, biodegradable, and functionalizable biomaterials. There is no doubt that nature is the world’s best biological engineer, with simple, exquisite but powerful designs that have inspired novel technologies. By understanding the surface interaction of silk materials with living cells, unique characteristics can be implemented through structural modifications, such as controllable wettability, high-strength adhesiveness, and reflectivity properties, suggesting its potential suitability for surgical, optical, and other biomedical applications. All of the interesting features of SF, such as tunable biodegradation, anti-bacterial properties, and mechanical properties combined with potential self-healing modifications, make it ideal for future tissue engineering applications. In this review, we first demonstrate the current understanding of the structures and mechanical properties of SF and the various functionalizations of SF matrices through chemical and physical manipulations. Then the diverse applications of SF architectures and scaffolds for different regenerative medicine will be discussed in detail, including their current applications in bone, eye, nerve, skin, tendon, ligament, and cartilage regeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: silk fibroin; tissue engineering; artificial bone; eye; nerve; skin; tendon; ligament; cartilage silk fibroin; tissue engineering; artificial bone; eye; nerve; skin; tendon; ligament; cartilage

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Jao, D.; Mou, X.; Hu, X. Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road. J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7, 22.

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