Strategies for the Biofunctionalization of Straining Flow Spinning Regenerated Bombyx mori Fibers

Paloma Lozano-Picazo, Cristina Castro-Domínguez, Augusto Luis Bruno, Alejandro Baeza, Adelia S. Martínez, Patricia A. López, Ángela Castro, Yassmin Lakhal, Elena Montero, Luis Colchero, Daniel González-Nieto, Francisco Javier Rojo, Fivos Panetsos, Milagros Ramos, Rafael Daza, Alfonso M. Gañán-Calvo, Manuel Elices, Gustavo Víctor Guinea and José Pérez-Rigueiro.

Abstract: High-performance regenerated silkworm (Bombyx mori) silk fibers can be produced efficiently through the straining flow spinning (SFS) technique. In addition to an enhanced biocompatibility that results from the removal of contaminants during the processing of the material, regenerated silk fibers may be functionalized conveniently by using a range of different strategies. In this work, the possibility of implementing various functionalization techniques is explored, including the production of fluorescent fibers that may be tracked when implanted, the combination of the fibers with enzymes to yield fibers with catalytic properties, and the functionalization of the fibers with cell-adhesion motifs to modulate the adherence of different cell lineages to the material. When considered globally, all these techniques are a strong indication not only of the high versatility offered by the functionalization of regenerated fibers in terms of the different chemistries that can be employed, but also on the wide range of applications that can be covered with these functionalized fibers.

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