Silk material modification and microfabrication strategies for applications in biosensors and drug delivery.
has proven to be a promising biomaterial for the development of a novel generation of
biomedical devices due to the material's intrinsic properties of biocompatibility and
biodegradability. To further the development of silk-based devices, augmented
functionality can be provided to silk by means of microfabrication and material
functionalization. In this dissertation, we set ou... read moret to explore possibilities of
silk-based biomedical device development with particular attention to different
fabrication strategies that can be leveraged for this purpose, taking inspiration from
conventional lithography, contact imprinting and chemical modification of the silk
biomaterial. In particular, we have produced a novel silk-based drug delivery device, in
the form of microneedles. For this purpose we have developed micromolding strategies
which allow the fabrication of high aspect ratio silk structures. Furthermore, we have
produced a THz split ring resonator based sensor device on silk films. To realize this
device, we have developed a convenient fabrication method, allowing transfer of
previously microfabricated metal and oxide microstructures to the silk film surface.
This method has proven useful for hard masking and patterning silk films with reactive
ion etching. Moreover, we have explored patterning semiconductor and glass substrates
with silk films. For this purpose we have modified a standard microfabrication method
-lift off- to be amendable to silk. Furthermore, combining silk based fabrication and
material functionalization has lead to microfluidics pH sensing applications. Finally we
have explored the possibility of utilizing silk for injectable and biodegradable glucose
sensors. For this purpose, we have doped silk hydrogels with a fluorescence based
protein biosensor. The advanced silk fabrication and material synthesis strategies and
the resulting novel devices presented here could potentially lead to a new class of
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.
Advisors: Fiorenzo Omenetto, and David Kaplan.
Committee: Gary Leisk, and Luca Negro.
Keywords: Biomedical engineering, and Materials Science.read less