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Biomed Mater. 2013 Oct;8(5):055003. doi: 10.1088/1748-6041/8/5/055003. Epub 2013 Sep 3.

Bio-inspired fabrication of fibroin cryogels from the muga silkworm Antheraea assamensis for liver tissue engineering.

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Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal, India.


Conventional scaffold fabrication techniques result in narrow pore architectures causing a limited interconnectivity and use of porogens, which affects the bio- or cyto-compatibility. To ameliorate this, cryogels are immensely explored due to their macro-porous nature, ease in fabrication, using ice crystals as porogens, the shape property, easy reproducibility and cost-effective fabrication technique. Cryogels in the present study are prepared from nonmulberry Indian muga silk gland protein fibroin of Antheraea assamensis using two different fabrication temperatures (-20 and -80 °C). Anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate is used to solubilize fibroin, which in turn facilitates gelation by accelerating the ß-sheet formation. Ethanol is employed to stabilize the 3D network and induces bimodal porosity. The gels thus formed demonstrate increased ß-sheet content (FTIR) and a considerable effect of pre-freezing temperatures on 3D micro-architectures. The cryogels are capable of absorbing large amounts of water and withstanding mechanical compression without structure deformation. Further, cell impregnated cryogels well support the viability of human hepatocarcinoma cells (live/dead assay). The formation of cellular aggregates (confocal laser and scanning electron microscope), derivation in metabolic activity and proliferation rate are obtained in constructs fabricated at different temperatures. In summary, the present work reveals promising insights in the development of a biomimetic functional template for biomedical therapeutics and liver tissue engineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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