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Engineered spidroin-derived high-performance fibers for diverse applications
Nano Research 2024, 17 (2): 492-502
Published: 29 June 2023
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Spider silks are well known for their exceptional mechanical properties that are tougher than Kevlar and steel. However, the restricted production amounts from their native sources limit applications of spider silks. Over the decades, there have been significant interests in fabricating man-made silk fibers with comparable performance to natural silks, inspiring many efforts both for biosynthesizing recombinant spider silk proteins (spidroins) in amenable heterologous hosts and biomimetic spinning of artificial spider silks. These strategies provide promising routes to produce high-performance and functionally optimized fibers with diverse applications. Herein, we summarize the hosts that have been applied to produce recombinant spidroins. In addition, the fabrication and mechanical properties of recombinant spidroin fibers and their composite fibers are also introduced. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applications of recombinant spidroin-based fibers. Finally, facing the challenges in biosynthesis, scalable production, and hierarchical assembly of high-performance recombinant spidroins, we give a summary and perspective on future development.

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