A new generation of multifunctional materials based on silk fibroin
MULTIFIBROIN–A new generation of multifunctional materials based on silk fibroin
Advanced and multifunctional materials are increasingly being implemented in large variety of applications. Multifunctionality, processability and low environmental impact are the key words related to materials in the near future. The present work plan will develop multifunctional materials form silk fibroin, a nontoxicity, biocompatible and biodegradable natural protein with large potential to substitute many petrochemical based materials. Silk fibroin will be prepared in a variety of shapes, nanocomposites will be prepared, the physico-chemical properties of the material analyzed and the best material will be implemented into functional devices.
Silk is a fibrous protein produced by a variety of insects as the Bombyx mori. It represents a unique and important class of structural proteins in nature. Silk Fibroin (SF) is the protein that forms the filaments of silkworm silk. These filaments are being reassessed as biomaterial scaffolds due to their unique mechanical properties, opportunities for genetic tailoring of structure and thus function.
Silk fibroin has become a research hotspot because of its nontoxicity, excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability with the potential to replace current petrochemical-based materials from the view of economic and ecological impacts. Silk Fibroin fibers can be resolubilized into regenerated silk solution, allowing to produce a number of different geometrical structures.
Thus, silk fibroin can be applied in biomedical domains and as active components in optics and photonics devices, flexible electronic devices and sensors.
To improve the results of silk fibroin applications are desirable new types of hybrid-silk fibroin materials with an improved mechanical properties and abilities to respond to an external stimulus that allows manipulation during fabrication and post fabrication.
The potential impact of the present research is extremely high as a natural polymer will be understood and tailored to serve as base for advanced technological applications. It is related to the BCM research lines of advanced functional materials and devices.