As a natural biomaterial, silk fibroin (SF) holds great potential in biomedical
applications with its broad availability, good biocompatibility, high mechanical strength,
ease of fabrication, and controlled degradation. With emerging fabrication methods, nanoand
microspheres made from SF have brought about unique opportunities in drug delivery,
cell culture, and tissue engineering. For these applications, the size and distribution of silk
fibroin particles (SFPs) are critical and require precise control during fabrication. Herein,
we review common and emerging SFPs fabrication methods and their biomedical applications,
and also the challenges and opportunities for SFPs in the near future.
Lay Summary: The application of silk in textile has an extraordinarily long history and
new biomedical applications emerged owing to the good biocompatibility and versatile
fabrication options of its major protein component, silk fibroin. With the development of
nanotechnology and microfabrication, silk fibroin has been fabricated into nano- or microspheres
with precisely controlled shape and distribution. In this review, we summarize
common and emerging silk fibroin particle fabrication methods and their biomedical applications,
and also discuss their challenges and opportunities in the nearest future.