Emerging silk material trends: repurposing, phase separation and solution-based designs

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Silk continues to amaze. This review unravels the most recent progress in silk science, spanning from fundamental insights to medical silks. Key advances in silk flow are examined, with specific reference to the role of metal ions in switching silk from a storage to a spinning state. Orthogonal thermoplastic silk molding is described, as is the transfer of silk flow principles for the triggering of flow-induced crystallization in other non-silk polymers. Other exciting new developments include silk-inspired liquid–liquid phase separation for non-canonical fiber formation and the creation of "silk organelles" in live cells. This review closes by examining the role of silk fabrics in fashioning facemasks in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1160
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • silk fibroin
  • liquid-liquid phase separation
  • Bombyx mori
  • medical silks


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