Biofilm formation, especially of antimicrobiotic-resistant microbial strains, are a major problem in health care. Therefore, there is great interest in developing advanced materials that are selectively inhibiting microbial adhesion to surfaces, but at the same time promoting mammalian cell growth. In nature, some spider silks have evolved to repel microbes, a feature that a team of researcher from the University of Bayreuth and the Saarland University involving Karin Jacobs and Christian Spengler (B1) used to design a biomaterial. To unravel how microbe repellence can be achieved in engineered spider silk, different recombinant spider silk proteins based on the consensus sequences of Araneus diadematus dragline silk proteins (fibroin 3 and 4) were processed into 2D-patterned films and 3D-hydrogels. Strikingly, protein structure characteristics on the nanoscale are the basis for the detected microbe-repellence. Designed spider silk materials promoted mammalian cell attachment and proliferation while inhibiting microbial infestation, demonstrating the great potential of these engineered spider silk-based materials as bio-selective microbial-resistant coatings in biomedical as well as technical applications.

© Universität des Saarlandes
Prof. Dr. Karin Jacobs

© Universität des Saarlandes
Dr. Christian Spengler

Link to the publication

Press release of the Saarland University

Date of new: 
Thursday, 17. September 2020













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