Animal Protein-based Soft Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications
Proteins have long been used in coatings for cell culture plates and to supplement cell culture media. Due to their unmatched biocompatibility, biodegradability, bioactivity and immune-privilege, the interest in proteins rapidly advanced for the design and engineering of more complex substrates for biomedical applications. In this chapter, the proteins typically used in the design and fabrication of biomedical devices are presented and discussed, with particular focus in human-based platforms. However, restrictions in the use of protein-derived materials are associated with their limited processability and stability, but to overcome this, multiple bioconjugation techniques have been described and are herein presented. An overview of current protein-based materials that have found clinical application and that have been commercialized is also provided.