Silk fibroin as a functional biomaterial for drug and gene delivery

Mhd Anas Tomeh, Roja Hadianamrei, Xiubo Zhao*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Silk is a natural polymer with unique physicochemical and mechanical properties which makes it a desirable biomaterial for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. Silk fibroin (SF) has been widely used for preparation of drug delivery systems due to its biocompatibility, controllable degradability and tunable drug release properties. SF-based drug delivery systems can encapsulate and stabilize various small molecule drugs as well as large biological drugs such as proteins and DNA to enhance their shelf lives and control the release to enhance their circulation time in the blood and thus the duration of action. Understanding the properties of SF and the potential ways of manipulating its structure to modify its physicochemical and mechanical properties allows for preparation of modulated drug delivery systems with desirable efficacies. This review will discuss the properties of SF material and summarize the recent advances of SF-based drug and gene delivery systems. Furthermore, conjugation of the SF to other biomolecules or polymers for tissue-specific drug delivery will also be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number494
Number of pages22
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2019


  • silk fibroin
  • drug delivery
  • gene delivery
  • controlled release
  • bioconjugation
  • UKRI
  • EP/N007174/1
  • EP/N023579/1

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