最近，帕维亚大学的Maria Luisa Torre教授和她的团队利用丝素蛋白的性质，开发出新型的复合微载体用于间充质干细胞（MSCs）的粘附和增殖。制备海藻酸钠微载体，加入到丝素蛋白溶液中，然后用乙醇处理以诱导丝素构象转变。表征微载体的尺寸分布，涂层稳定性和均匀性。最后，研究了作为MSCs递送系统的体外细胞相容性和适合性。结果表明，我们的生产工艺是一致的和可重复的：丝素/海藻酸钠微载体是稳定的，具有球形几何形状，平均直径约400μm，并且丝素均匀地涂布在表面上。MSCs能够迅速粘附到微载体表面并在培养三天内覆盖微载体的表面；此外，在这个创新的三维培养体系中，干细胞保留了它们的代谢活性和多系分化潜能。
Nowadays, in regenerative medicine applications, microcarriers can be used as a fast and reliable tool for ex vivo cell expansion, as well as a vehicle to deliver cells to a target tissue.
Recently,Professor Maria Luisa Torre and her team at University of Pavia was to exploit silk fibroin’s properties to develop innovative composite microcarriers for mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) adhesion and proliferation. Alginate microcarriers were prepared, added to silk fibroin solution, and then treated with ethanol to induce silk conformational transition. Microcarriers were characterized for size distribution, coating stability and homogeneity. Finally, in vitro cytocompatibility and suitability as delivery systems for MSCs were investigated. Results indicated that our manufacturing process is consistent and reproducible: silk/alginate microcarriers were stable, with spherical geometry, about 400 μm in average diameter, and fibroin homogeneously coated the surface. MSCs were able to adhere rapidly onto the microcarrier surface and to cover the surface of the microcarrier within three days of culture; moreover, on this innovative 3D culture system, stem cells preserved their metabolic activity and their multi-lineage differentiation potential.