Elastin-like polypeptide modified silk fibroin porous scaffold promotes osteochondral repair

Zhuoyue Chen, Qiang Zhang, Hongmin Li, Qi Wei, Xin Zhao, Fulin Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Silk fibroin (SF) is considered biocompatible and biodegradable for osteochondral repair. However, it lacks a bioactive domain for cell adhesion, proliferation and differentiation, limiting its therapeutic efficacy. To revamp SF as a biomimicking and bioactive microenvironment to regulate cell behaviours, we engineered an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP, Val-Pro-Gly-Xaa-Gly) to modify SF fibers via simple and green dehydrothermal (DHT) treatment. Our results demonstrated that the ELP successfully bound to SF, and the scaffold was reinforced by the fusion of the silk fiber intersections with ELP (S-ELP-DHT) via the DHT treatment. Both bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and chondrocytes exhibited improved spreading and proliferation on the S-ELP-DHT scaffolds. The ex vivo and in vivo experiments further demonstrated enhanced mature bone and cartilage tissue formation using the S-ELP-DHT scaffolds compared to the naked SF scaffolds. These results indicated that a recombinant ELP-modified silk scaffold can mimic three-dimensional (3D) cell microenvironment, and improve bone and cartilage regeneration. We envision that our scaffolds have huge clinical potential for osteochondral repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-601
Number of pages13
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Bone repair
  • Cartilage repair
  • Elastin-like polypeptide
  • Silk fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Elastin-like polypeptide modified silk fibroin porous scaffold promotes osteochondral repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this