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Regenerated egg white/silk fibroin composite films for biomedical applications.

ABSTRACT

Protein-based composites have always been desirable biomaterials as they can be fabricated into a wide range of biomaterials with tunable properties, including modulation of mechanical properties and control of cell responses. Both egg white protein (EW) and silk fibroin (SF) are biocompatible, biodegradable, non-toxic and naturally abundant biopolymers. In order to obtain biocompatible composite films with tunable performance, EW and SF were blended at various ratios. Raising the SF ratio in the composite films significantly increased breaking strength, but impaired flexibility. Conversely, increasing the EW ratio remarkably enhanced elasticity of the composite films. Furthermore, the biological assays based on endothelial cells showed that the incorporation of EW promoted cell viability. These make them potential materials with controllable mechanical property and enhanced bioactivity, providing useful options for the fabrication of tissue engineering scaffolds.