Main Article Content
Native silk fibroin (SF) is proven to be one of the tough polymer proteins among various biomaterials. The physico-chemical and biological properties of regenerated SF materials can be personalised to suit the biomedical application requirements having control over the fabrication techniques. In the current work, we present a novel aqueous SF processing route using the CaCl2-formic acid ionic solution for generating SF monoliths. The entire fabrication process is simple, fast, green, economical, and industry-ready. Regenerated monoliths resembled the immediate native silk II structure of SF with enhanced b sheet content and crystallinity confirmed from Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) studies. The microstructure of SF monoliths was analysed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), degradation kinetics were performed, and in vivo material handling time was identified through swelling study. These materials were identified to be translucent, highly dense and demonstrate excellent machinability further turned into various dimensionally stable equivalent implant geometries; corneal substitute and orthopaedic screw. The toughness of these monoliths was investigated through nanoindentation studies and finally, cytocompatibility was accessed using MTT assay with L929 fibroblast cells. These monoliths exhibited exceptional mechanical properties matching cortical bone. Thus, it is felt that CaCl2-formic acid ionic solution mediated process and fabrication methodology, machining, can lead to the development of next-generation resorbable implants by alienating the need for additional surgical intervention often seen in the current clinical modalities.