Abstract: Biofilm formation, especially of antimicrobiotic-resistant microbial strains, are a major problem in health care. Therefore, there is great interest in developing advanced materials that are selectively inhibiting microbial adhesion to surfaces, but at the same time promoting mammalian cell growth. In nature, some spider silks have evolved to repel microbes, a feature that could be used in biomaterials. To unravel how microbe repellence can be achieved in engineered spider silk, different recombinant spider silk proteins based on the consensus sequences of Araneus diadematus dragline silk proteins (fibroin 3 and 4) were processed into 2D-patterned films and 3D-hydrogels. Strikingly, protein structure characteristics on the nanoscale are the basis for the detected microbe-repellence. Designed spider silk materials promoted mammalian cell attachment and proliferation while inhibiting microbial infestation, demonstrating the great potential of these engineered spider silk-based materials as bio-selective microbial-resistant coatings in biomedical as well as technical applications.

Engineered spider silk-based 2D and 3D materials prevent microbial infestation
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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2020.06.009