Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!


Silkworm Proteins for Bioprinting

Various research groups are testing “ink” produced from silk proteins to print human tissues, implants and human organs. The process is much more affordable compared to conventional 3-D printing with collagen, a key protein in the body’s natural scaffolding.

Researchers in Assam, a state in India, are investigating using local silkworm species for the task—they recently submitted a patent for bioinks using a combination of proteins extracted from local species Antheraea assamensis and Samia ricini, as well as the commonly used Bombyx mori. The scientists have woven them into synthetic structures ranging from blood vessels to liver lobes; in a paper published in September in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, they described mimicking the cartilage of an entire ear.

Mechanically strong and completely biodegradable, and highly suited for applications in tissue engineering, is silk, a natural polymer with long, repeating molecular chains.

To use it, researchers draw liquid silk from the silkworm's glands or dissolve silk fibers in solvents. They carefully mix the gelatinous liquid with a patient's stem cells, then build structures layer by layer with a 3-D printer. After implantation, the cells grow and replace the silken scaffold, which eventually degenerates into amino acids.

More details about this can be found over at Scientific American.

(Image Credit: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)

Start New Comment Thread...

Commenting on Neatorama will earn you NeatoPoints!

Preview Comment
Start New Thread Post Your Reply

This reply comment will earn you 100 100 NeatoPoints !


Email This Post to a Friend
"Silkworm Proteins for Bioprinting"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More