The Power of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins
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Due to their outstanding mechanical properties, their biocompatibility and biodegradability spider silk fibers are of high interest for researchers. Silk fibers mainly comprise proteins, and in the past decades biotechnological methods have been developed to produce spider silk proteins recombinantly in varying hosts, which will be summarized in this review. Further, several processing techniques like biomimetic spinning, wet-spinning or electro-spinning applied to produce fibers and non-woven meshes will be highlighted. Finally, an overview on recent developments concerning genetic engineering and chemical modification of recombinant silk proteins will be given, outlining the potential provided by recombinant spider silk-chimeric proteins and spider silk-inspired polymers (combining synthetic polymers and spider silk peptides).
KeywordsRecombinant spider silk proteins Fibers Genetic engineering Chemical modification Biopolymer
This work was supported by DFG SCHE 603/4-4. The authors would like to thank Gregor Lang, Claudia Blüm and Aniela Heidebrecht for providing images and data.
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