Self-Assembly of RGD-Functionalized Recombinant Spider Silk Protein into Microspheres in Physiological Buffer and in the Presence of Hyaluronic Acid.

Ornithopoulou E, Åstrand C, Gustafsson L, Crouzier T, Hedhammar M

ACS Appl Bio Mater 6 (9) 3696-3705 [2023-09-18; online 2023-08-14]

Biomaterials made of self-assembling protein building blocks are widely explored for biomedical applications, for example, as drug carriers, tissue engineering scaffolds, and functionalized coatings. It has previously been shown that a recombinant spider silk protein functionalized with a cell binding motif from fibronectin, FN-4RepCT (FN-silk), self-assembles into fibrillar structures at interfaces, i.e., membranes, fibers, or foams at liquid/air interfaces, and fibrillar coatings at liquid/solid interfaces. Recently, we observed that FN-silk also assembles into microspheres in the bulk of a physiological buffer (PBS) solution. Herein, we investigate the self-assembly process of FN-silk into microspheres in the bulk and how its progression is affected by the presence of hyaluronic acid (HA), both in solution and in a cross-linked HA hydrogel. Moreover, we characterize the size, morphology, mesostructure, and protein secondary structure of the FN-silk microspheres prepared in PBS and HA. Finally, we examine how the FN-silk microspheres can be used to mediate cell adhesion and spreading of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) during cell culture. These investigations contribute to our fundamental understanding of the self-assembly of silk protein into materials and demonstrate the use of silk microspheres as additives for cell culture applications.

Integrated Microscopy Technologies Umeå [Service]

PubMed 37579070

DOI 10.1021/acsabm.3c00373

Crossref 10.1021/acsabm.3c00373

pmc: PMC10521021

Publications 9.5.0