Continuous production of highly tuned silk/calcium-based composites: exploring new pathways for skin regeneration

Anabela Veiga, Rui Magalhães, Marta M. Duarte, Juliana R. Dias, Nuno M. Alves, Ana Rita Costa-Pinto, Filipa Castro*, Fernando Rocha, Ana L. Oliveira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Calcium plays an important role in barrier function repair and skin homeostasis. In particular, calcium phosphates (CaPs) are well established materials for biomedical engineering due to their biocompatibility. To generate biomaterials with a more complete set of biological properties, previously discarded silk sericin (SS) has been recovered and used as a template to grow CaPs. Crucial characteristics for skin applications, such as antibacterial activity, can be further enhanced by doping CaPs with cerium (Ce) ions. The effectiveness of cell attachment and growth on the materials highly depends on their morphology, particle size distribution, and chemical composition. These characteristics can be tailored through the application of oscillatory flow technology, which provides precise mixing control of the reaction medium. Thus, in the present work, CaP/SS and CaP/SS/Ce particles were fabricated for the first time using a modular oscillatory flow plate reactor (MOFPR) in a continuous mode. Furthermore, the biological behavior of both these composites and of previously produced pure CaPs was assessed using human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). It was demonstrated that both CaP based with plate-shaped nanoparticles and CaP-SS-based composites significantly improved cell viability and proliferation over time. The results obtained represent a first step towards the reinvention of CaPs for skin engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2249
Number of pages22
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Calcium phosphate-based materials (CaP)
  • Cerium (Ce)
  • Human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs)
  • Modular oscillatory flow plate reactor (MOPR)
  • Silk sericin (SS)
  • Skin regeneration


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