Date(s) - 09/26/2016
Silk is one of the oldest biomaterials, utilized as sutures and in wound healing for centuries, yet undergoing a rebirth into new biomaterial formats and applications over the past few decades. One key to this emergence has been to modify the native protein using new processing methods and chemistries to engineer new material features. Some of these strategies developed to morph silk, asa high molecular weight amphiphilic protein into new materials with new properties will be discussed. The utility of some of these new material formats in 3D printing, biomaterial scaffolding and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications will be discussed. The needs for tunable, degradable, robust biomaterials for a range of medical goals remains high and silk proteins offer a unique suite of options to help address these needs.
David Kaplan holds an Endowed Chair, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, at Tufts University. He is Professor & Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research focus is on biopolymer engineering to understand structure-function relationships, with emphasis on studies related to self-assembly, biomaterials engineering and functional tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. He has published over 600 peer reviewed papers and edited eight books. He directs the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC) that involves Tufts University and Columbia University. He serves of the editorial boards of numerous journals and is Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. He has received a number of awards for teaching, was Elected Fellow American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and received the Columbus Discovery Medal and Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for contributions to the literature.