Optimized production of a high-performance hybrid biomaterial: biomineralized spider silk for bone tissue engineering

Alessandra Dellaquila, Gabriele Greco, Elisabetta Campodoni, Mauro Mazzocchi, Barbara Mazzolai, Anna Tampieri, Nicola M. Pugno, Monica Sandri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Silks have been widely used as biomaterials due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and excellent mechanical properties. In the present work, native spider silk was used as organic template for controlled nucleation of hydroxyapatite (HA) nano-coating that can act as biomimetic interface. Different bio-inspired neutralization methods and process parameters were evaluated to optimize the silk functionalization. The morphology and chemical composition were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis and mechanical properties were studied through tensile tests. Results showed that the optimized protocol enabled a controlled and homogeneous nucleation of apatite nano-crystals while maintaining silk mechanical performances after mineralization. This study reports the optimization of a simple and effective bio-inspired nucleation process for precise nucleation of HA onto spider silk templates, suitable to develop high-performance hybrid interfaces for bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48739
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 30 2019


  • biomimetic
  • biopolymers and renewable polymers
  • mechanical properties
  • surfaces and interfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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