Biosilk 521

Biosilk 521

Biosilk 521 is a 3D culture matrix for the expansion and long-term differentiation of human primary cells and a scaffold for organoid formation – Biosilk biofunctionalized with Biolaminin 521.

Biorelevant 3D culture for reliable results

The development of organoid culture techniques is one of the most powerful advances in stem cell research in the last decade. The main reason for pursuing 3D models is simply to reproduce the way cells grow and interact with each other and the microenvironment in native tissues. Increased biological relevance increases the chances of capturing robust and applicable experimental and pre-clinical results.

A biocompatible fiber mesh for the expansion and differentiation of human primary cells

Biosilk is a natural biomaterial that has the ability to self-assemble into a network of microfibers in aqueous physiological-like buffers at room temperature. Biosilk can be easily biofunctionalized with different extracellular matrix proteins, such as laminins, to better recapitulate the more physiologically relevant aspects of developing human tissue. Biosilk 521 (BS521-0101) is ready functionalized with Biolaminin 521 and has been shown advantageous in promoting self-renewal of high-quality human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).

The Biosilk microfibrous network is elastic and flexible, can be formed into different 3D structures, and it can serve as a stationary scaffold both during early differentiation phases and as a floating scaffold for long-term organoid cultures. The mild assembly process, where the cells are included already during the assembly of the 3D construct, enables an instant and even cell integration and attachment between the Biosilk microfibers.

Biosilk 3D cultures in a tissue culture plate.

Easy to use in the lab

This video describes how to generate Biosilk 3D foam scaffolds for the expansion and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells.

Biosilk allows long-term organoid differentiation

Biosilk promotes long-term cell survival without the need for encapsulation. A more tissue-like microenvironment is provided where the integrin-involved attachment to the Biosilk fibers gives the cells an elongated shape, with organized cytoskeleton and the formation of defined focal adhesion points. The cells rapidly proliferative, and spread within the silk scaffold, with a clear directional alignment in the fibers. This is an improvement to many hydrogel models, in which encapsulation prohibits the formation of focal adhesion points resulting in more rounded cell morphology, limited spreading, and the cells become static with an almost steady metabolic state (Johansson, 2019).

The fibrillar Biosilk network allows the formation of channels throughout the 3D culture, which facilitate diffusion of oxygen, medium, and patterning factors (Åstrand, 2020). This enables long-term differentiation protocols and makes it possible to generate larger organoids with uniform cellular specialization and organization, without an increased risk of getting necrotic centers.



  • 3D culture

    Biolaminin and Biosilk Key Advantages 3D cell culture and organoid formation 3D culture systems for disease modeling, drug screening and […]
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  • Pluripotent stem cells

    Biorelevant culture of human ES and iPS cells on Biolaminin substrates Biolaminin 521 successfully replicates the genuine human stem cell niche […]
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  • Neural cells

    Biorelevant culture of neural cells on Biolaminin substrates Laminins are widely expressed in the nervous system and are essential for […]
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  • Skin cells

    Biorelevant culture of keratinocytes on Biolaminin substrates The basement membrane composition in the epidermis Human epidermal keratinocyte (HEK) cells are […]
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  • Pancreatic cells

    Biorelevant culture of pancreatic cells on Biolaminin substrates The basement membrane formed next to the beta-cells contains alpha-4 and alpha-5 laminin […]
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  • Intestinal cells

    Biorelevant culture of intestinal cells on Biolaminin substrates Laminin expression in the intestine The small intestine contains mucosal epithelial invaginations called […]
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  • Hepatocytes and hepatoblasts

    Biorelevant culture of hepatocytes on Biolaminin substrates Laminins play a vital role in liver progenitor cell-mediated regeneration The liver contains […]
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  • Eye cells

    Biorelevant culture of eye cells Laminin proteins are important components in the eye microenvironment Biolaminin products have been succesfully used […]
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Assembly of functionalized silk together with cells to obtain proliferative 3D cultures integrated in a network of ECM-like microfibers

Johansson U, Widhe M, Shalaly ND, Arregui IL, Nilebäck L, Tasiopoulos CP, Åstrand C, Berggren PO, Gasser C, Hedhammar M.

Scientific reports, 2019

Biological responses to spider silk-antibiotic fusion protein

Gomes S, Gallego-Llamas J, Leonor IB, Mano JF, Reis RL, Kaplan DL.

J Tissue Eng Regen Med, 2017