Silk Proteins in Drug Delivery: An Overview

Primarily Silk is classified as Mulberry silk (collected from Bombyx mori) and Non-Mulberry silk (collected from sources other than Bombyx mori). Whilst Mulberry silk has gained its importance in biomedical application due to superior biocompatibility and biodegradable properties when compared to synthetic protologues; such edge cutting popularity is quite new among Non-Mulberry variant. Silk proteins namely Sericin and Fibroin, are reported to have been employed in tissue engineering and drug delivery owing to its biocompatibility, slow biodegradability, self-assembly, excellent mechanical properties and controllable structure and morphology. Silk is less inflammatory than other common biodegradable polymers. Fibroin is the fibre used in textile and biomedical devices whereas Sericin is glue like material which binds the fibres together. The fibroin is further divided into two, based on the molecular weights of chains of amino acid.  Sericin, being the glue-like material and constitute the part of silk which was generally washed away during extraction of fibroin used as textile material. Researchers have reported that Sericin do not produce immunogenic responses unless associated with fibroin.  The review focuses on silk proteins and its utility in drug delivery. Keywords: Sericin, Fibroin, Bombyx mori.