The Power of Recombinant Spider Silk Proteins

  • Stefanie Wohlrab
  • Christopher Thamm
  • Thomas ScheibelEmail author
Part of the Biologically-Inspired Systems book series (BISY, volume 5)


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).


Recombinant 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Wohlrab
    • 1
  • Christopher Thamm
    • 1
  • Thomas Scheibel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiomaterialsUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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