The biocompatibility and biodegradability of natural silk fibres and the benign conditions under which they (with impressive mechanical properties) are produced represent a biomimetic ideal. This ideal has inspired people in both academia and industry to prepare silk-mimetic polymers and proteins by chemical and/or biotechnological means. In the present paper, we aim to give an overview of the design principles of such silk-inspired polymers/proteins, their processing into various materials morphologies, their mechanical and biological properties, and, finally, their technical and biomedical applications.

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