Designing Silk-Based Cryogels for Biomedical Applications

Creative Commons License

Abdullah T., SU E., Memić A.

Biomimetics, vol.8, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/biomimetics8010005
  • Journal Name: Biomimetics
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: biomaterials, cryogels, silk, macroporous, composite, tissue engineering, drug delivery, wound healing
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There is a need to develop the next generation of medical products that require biomaterials with improved properties. The versatility of various gels has pushed them to the forefront of biomaterials research. Cryogels, a type of gel scaffold made by controlled crosslinking under subzero or freezing temperatures, have great potential to address many current challenges. Unlike their hydrogel counterparts, which are also able to hold large amounts of biologically relevant fluids such as water, cryogels are often characterized by highly dense and crosslinked polymer walls, macroporous structures, and often improved properties. Recently, one biomaterial that has garnered a lot of interest for cryogel fabrication is silk and its derivatives. In this review, we provide a brief overview of silk-based biomaterials and how cryogelation can be used for novel scaffold design. We discuss how various parameters and fabrication strategies can be used to tune the properties of silk-based biomaterials. Finally, we discuss specific biomedical applications of silk-based biomaterials. Ultimately, we aim to demonstrate how the latest advances in silk-based cryogel scaffolds can be used to address challenges in numerous bioengineering disciplines.