Silk fibroin hydrogels and films for neurological applications.
fibroin is a unique biomaterial that can be processed into numerous different physical
states, that can be used for applications such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, and
optics. This thesis explored two new neurological applications for silk fibroin
biomaterials that could lead to significant advancements in drug / gene delivery and in
vitro models of brain injury. First,... read moresilk fibroin hydrogels were optimized to create a
biomimetic brain phantom in a traumatic brain injury model using a mixture of silk
fibroin hydrogels and 200µm silk fibroin fibers. These hydrogels were able to mimic
the biomechanical properties of mouse and rat cortical tissue in confined compression
(~50 kPa), and were able to match the rheological properties (dynamic viscosity and
dynamic shear modulus) of these cortical tissues within the physiological range for
traumatic brain injury (~20 kPa in the range of 60-100 rad/s). In addition, these
hydrogels exhibited the same diffusivity properties as cortical tissue. Cell
encapsulation studies were also briefly explored and showed promising initial results.
Second, silk fibroin films were explored for their drug and gene delivery capabilities.
Therapeutic necrostatins were loaded into silk fibroin films and delivered to the mouse
cortex in a controlled cortical impact traumatic brain injury model to explore the
ability to inhibit injury-induced necroptosis. Additionally, adeno-associated viral
vectors were loaded into similar silk films and delivered to the cortex of mice to
explore transduction of sub-dural cortical neurons, and dural fibroblasts for potential
disease model targets such as meningioma.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2013.
Submitted to the Dept. of Biomedical Engineering.
Advisor: David Kaplan.
Committee: Catherine Kuo, and Gary Leisk.
Keyword: Biomedical engineering.read less