Among the great challenges of modern medicine is the regeneration of human tissue. In this context, functional materials, inspired by the blueprint of the natural tissue, are to be tailored for biomedical applications. The production of hierarchically structured composite materials with biological function include often cells, biopolymers and inorganic components. Spider silk is a suitable candidate as a scaffold material as it shows no immunogenicity, good biocompatibility and biodegradability. Recently, we developed engineered recombinant spider silk proteins, based on A. diadematus dragline silk. The negatively charged spider silk variant eADF4(C16) displays multiple carboxylate moieties which are capable of binding cations. For instance, eADF4(C16) based polymer composite films were biomineralized with calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate in a two-step process. Further, genetic modifications of spider silk variants can enhance and control the biomineralization process. As a result, specialized scaffolds for tissue regeneration applications such as hydrogels for 3D printing followed by controlled biomineralization in terms of hard tissue development are within the focus of our research.
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