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5154 Sigma-Aldrich

Silk, Fibroin Solution

50 mg/mL



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biological source   domesticated Bombyx mori silkworm
form   solution
mol wt   avg mol wt 100 kDa
concentration   50 mg/mL
  ~50 mg/mL
shipped in   dry ice
storage temp.   −70°C


General description

This fibroin silk solution is made of 100% fibroin protein that is derived from the domesticated Bombyx mori silkworm. The product is manufactured in a manner to minimize contamination and has a low bioburden but is not considered sterile.

Fibroin protein is the major structural component of the silkworm’s cocoon fiber. Fibroin offers great potential for use in medically related applications due to the high degree of biocompatibility and lack of immune response when implanted within the body. The silk fiber is solubilized into an aqueous fibroin solution, which can then be used as an additive in culture or for producing 3D scaffolds for tissue-engineering related studies.

As with traditional tissue-engineering approaches, the silk scaffolds are typically seeded in vitro with a specific cell type as most cells will adhere to fibroin protein, and then cultured over time to mimic tissue architecture. It has been shown that the silk fibroin protein can be degraded a number of naturally occurring proteolytic enzymes, and is thus a biologically active scaffold unlike other synthetic materials. As a result the silk scaffold material is degraded and remodeled through similar physiological pathways in the body. Silk fibroin protein is composed of both non-essential and essential amino acids, with a particular concentration of alanine and glycine present, and these amino acids are then reabsorbed by the surrounding cells for new tissue regeneration. This is important as silk degradation products do not collect in the local environment to induce a toxicity which is commonly associated with other synthetic and naturally occurring biomaterials.

The ability to produce a variety of forms and formats scaffold types (e.g. coatings, films, sponges, hydrogels, electro-spun fibers, micro/nanospheres, etc.) offers a number of advantages over other biopolymer systems like collagen, chitosan, and alginate that have less variety in processing choices. The silk material properties can then be modified through a variety of processing techniques to change degradation rate, hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, transparency, mechanical strength, porosity, oxygen permeability, and thermal stability. In this regard, silk proteins represent a class of biopolymers with definable material properties for a given application.

If culturing cells using this product, measures should be taken to maintain sterility of cultures such as use of antibiotics.

Preparation Note

Thaw slowly at 2-10 °C. Gently swirl contents to mix. Do not vortex or pipet vigorously. If the entire contents of the 20 ml bottle are not used upon thawing, aliquot into smaller volumes and freeze at -70°C. Minimize freezing and thawing of product. Do not allow product to be thawed for more than a week since protein aggregation will likely occur.

Safety & Documentation

Safety Information

NONH for all modes of transport


Certificate of Analysis


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