Silk as Substratum for Cell Attachment and Proliferation
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.
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