Silk as Substratum for Cell Attachment and Proliferation


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Silk fibroin (SF), isolated from silkworm (Bombyx mori) cocoons, is a natural biodegradable polymer. Over the past decade, there was some interest in using SF as a biomedical material. As part of a project to develop tissue-engineered constructs for the surgical restoration of the ocular surface (cornea, conjunctiva), we have investigated the capacity of SF to function as a substratum for the attachment and growth of corneal stem/progenitor cells harvested from the corneoscleral limbus of donor human corneal tissue. SF membranes were produced from cocoons following a protocol involving successive dissolution steps, filtration, dialysis, evaporation, and methanol treatment. Human limbal epithelial cells were harvested from donor tissue and seeded onto SF membranes. After 5 days, the culture was fixed and stained with specific agents to visualize the cells. The study indicated profuse cellular attachment and growth. SF membranes appear to be suitable as a substratum for the repair of damaged ocular surface.



Materials Science Forum (Volumes 561-565)

Main Theme:

Edited by:

Young Won Chang, Nack J. Kim and Chong Soo Lee




T. V. Chirila et al., "Silk as Substratum for Cell Attachment and Proliferation", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 561-565, pp. 1549-1552, 2007

Online since:

October 2007




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