The Use Spider Silk Films and Hydrogels as Scaffolds

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

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Faculty Mentor

Randy Lewis


Spider silk, an ancient biomaterial, has many qualities worth replicating. With the use of genetic modification, relatively large amounts of spider silk protein have been produced utilizing transgenic goat milk. Access to this protein has allowed us to create spider silk films and hydrogels. Applications for these products are far reaching, from football helmets to drug release capsules. Using mammalian cells, it has been proven that spider silk is not only biocompatible, but that it degrades at an ideal rate. As medical advances have taken place, the ability to create scaffolds for biomedical research and tissue implantation have increased. Spider silk films and hydrogels are an ideal material to consider for such scaffolds. This project focuses on discovering and improving mammalian cell growth on spider silk films and hydrogels so as to create optimal scaffolds. We plan to see beneficial cell growth and attachment by virtue of the composition of our spider silk films and hydrogels compared to our controls.

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