Silk Fibroin: An Ancient Material for Repairing the Injured Nervous System



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Yonesi, Mahdi and García Nieto, Mario and Guinea, Gustavo V. and Panetsos Petrova, Fivos and Pérez Rigueiro, José and González Nieto, Daniel (2021) Silk Fibroin: An Ancient Material for Repairing the Injured Nervous System. Pharmaceutics, 13 (3). p. 429. ISSN 1999-4923

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Silk refers to a family of natural fibers spun by several species of invertebrates such as spiders and silkworms. In particular, silkworm silk, the silk spun by Bombyx mori larvae, has been primarily used in the textile industry and in clinical settings as a main component of sutures for tissue repairing and wound ligation. The biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical performance, controllable degradation, and the possibility of producing silk-based materials in several formats, have laid the basic principles that have triggered and extended the use of this material in regenerative medicine. The field of neural soft tissue engineering is not an exception, as it has taken advantage of the properties of silk to promote neuronal growth and nerve guidance. In addition, silk has notable intrinsic properties and the by-products derived from its degradation show anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Finally, this material can be employed for the controlled release of factors and drugs, as well as for the encapsulation and implantation of exogenous stem and progenitor cells with therapeutic capacity. In this article, we review the state of the art on manufacturing methodologies and properties of fiber-based and non-fiber-based formats, as well as the application of silk-based biomaterials to neuroprotect and regenerate the damaged nervous system. We review previous studies that strategically have used silk to enhance therapeutics dealing with highly prevalent central and peripheral disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral trauma. Finally, we discuss previous research focused on the modification of this biomaterial, through biofunctionalization techniques and/or the creation of novel composite formulations, that aim to transform silk, beyond its natural performance, into more efficient silk-based-polymers towards the clinical arena of neuroprotection and regeneration in nervous system diseases.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:silk; biomaterials; polymers; stem cells; drug delivery; neurological disorders; stroke; Alzheimer; peripheral nerve injury
Subjects:Medical sciences > Medicine > Neurosciences
ID Code:71567
Deposited On:31 Mar 2022 08:43
Last Modified:31 Mar 2022 08:45

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