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Tuning the properties of silk fibroin biomaterial via chemical cross-linking

Ali Maziz 1 Olivier Leprette 1 Louisa Boyer 2 Marie-Charline Blatché 2 Christian Bergaud 1
1 LAAS-MEMS - Équipe Microsystèmes électromécaniques
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
2 LAAS-I2C - Service Instrumentation Conception Caractérisation
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : Protein-based biomaterials with innovative and controlled performance are being sought due to their unique characteristics for use in biomedical fields such as neural implants, drug delivery systems, cell-based therapies and soft tissue engineering. Here, we present a versatile approach for the synthesis of photo-crosslinkable fibroin silk biomaterial with highly tunable mechanical, chemical and biodegradation properties. Unlike the crystalline rich silk fibroin reported previously, the covalently cross-linked fibroin protein photoresist (FPP) via controlled light-induced radical grafting, allows generating a new amorphous biomaterial with tunable properties. It appears that the use of photo-reactive acrylate groups to cross-link FPP induces plasticity that can be tuned by changing the photoinitiator concentration of the film. Tensile strength measurements revealed that elasticity was higher for FPP UV-cross-linked materials with higher concentration of photoinitiator. FTIR and relative humidity measurements showed that hydrophilicity was higher for UV-cross-linked FPP. These materials display stiffness between 0.01–1.5 GPa and tensile strains up to 60%, covering a significant portion of the properties of native soft biomaterials. Besides, in vitro proteolytic degradation of the photocrosslinked FPP films demonstrate a tunable degradation rate over a period ranging from hours to weeks. Those biomaterials have been successfully micropatterned by photolithography techniques across several orders of magnitude (μm to cm) and a systematic study of direct patterning of the fibroin protein to form high fidelity and high-resolution structures has been reported. It was also shown that the fabricated protein features are well suited to cell adhesion. The development of protein-based material with controlled and tunable elasticity that can be easily photo-patterned into centimeter, micrometer and nanometer components will allow a wide range of applications in biomedical fields requesting a natural functional tissue.
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Contributor : Christian Bergaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 8:34:48 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 10, 2020 - 9:10:19 PM



Ali Maziz, Olivier Leprette, Louisa Boyer, Marie-Charline Blatché, Christian Bergaud. Tuning the properties of silk fibroin biomaterial via chemical cross-linking. Biomedical Physics & Engineering Express, IOP Publishing, 2018, 4 (6), pp.065012. ⟨10.1088/2057-1976/aae3b2⟩. ⟨hal-01974627⟩



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