, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 2827-2836
Date: 06 Mar 2008

Silk fibroin protein from mulberry and non-mulberry silkworms: cytotoxicity, biocompatibility and kinetics of L929 murine fibroblast adhesion

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Abstract

Silks fibers and films fabricated from fibroin protein of domesticated mulberry silkworm cocoon have been traditionally utilized as sutures in surgery and recently as biomaterial films respectively. Here, we explore the possibility of application of silk fibroin protein from non-mulberry silkworm cocoon as a potential biomaterial aid. In terms of direct inflammatory potential, fibroin proteins from Antheraea mylitta and Bombyx mori are immunologically inert and invoke minimal immune response. Stimulation of murine peritoneal macrophages and RAW 264.7 murine macrophages by these fibroin proteins both in solution and in the form of films assayed in terms of nitric oxide and TNFα production showed comparable stimulation as in collagen. Kinetics of adhesion of L929 murine fibroblasts, for biocompatibility evaluation, monitored every 4 h from seeding and studied over a period of 24 h, reveal A. mylitta fibroin film to be a better substrate in terms of rapid and easier cellularization. Cell viability studies by MTT assay and flow cytometric analyses indicate the ability of fibroin matrices to support cell growth and proliferation comparable to collagen for long-term culture. This matrix may have potential to serve in those injuries where rapid cellularization is essential.