Abstract

A technique from the paper manufacturing industry was used to manufacture fibroporous meshes for potential biomaterial implant applications. Meshes were made from small diameter (10 μm) bombyx mori cocoon silk (fibroin). Meshes with a range of fiber lengths were created, though at long fiber lengths flocculation (clumping of fibers) tended to occur. Load-deformation curves were nonlinear with lower slopes at high loads than at low loads, contrary to natural soft-tissue biomaterials. Single fiber in vivo studies to evaluate tissue response sensitivity to biomaterial architectural features demonstrated reduced fibrous encapsulation for smaller diameter fibers (2.6 μm) than larger ones (10 μm). Thus the use of small diameter fibers in biomaterial fibrous implants is a viable concept, and it should be pursued. However, alternative methods to the paper manufacturing process will need to be used for mesh fabrication.

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