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Prof. My Hedhammar

B5: Royal Institute of Technology, KTH

Position & Role in STACCATO

Associate Professor at School of Biotechnology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Main supervisor of ESR11.


Assoc. Prof. in Molecular Biosciences, KTH, since 2014. Previous, Assoc. Prof. in Biochemistry Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). PhD in Molecular Biotechnology, KTH (2005). Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, KTH (2001). Co-founder of Spiber Technologies AB (2008), Bmatrix AB (2011). Main research area: Functionalisation of silk for biomedical applications. Silk proteins have a unique propensity to assemble their chains in an ingenious way so that a material with favourable properties is formed. We have surveyed the silk assembly mechanism, and are investigating how to best control it to achieve desired formats, e.g. fibers, coatings and fibrillar networks.

By the use of biotechnology methods, it is feasible to combine various functional molecules. We have developed methods to functionalize silk either at genetic or protein level. This allows us to design and construct fibrillar networks with incorporated functionalities such as specific affinity, enzymatic activity, antimicrobial effects and cell stimulation.

The main focus of my current research is to utilise silk assembly in combination with biotechnology methods to mimic the in vivo environment, i.e. the extracellular matrix (ECM), to create functional tissue for biomedical applications. For example, we develop methods for 3D culture, differentiation of stem cells, and in vitro models of cancer, to be used for evaluation of drug candidates as well as pre-tests to allow personalized treatment plans.

Key Publications

Nilebäck L, Arola S, Kvick M, Paananen A, Linder MB c, Hedhammar M c. Interfacial Behavior of Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Parts Reveals Cues on the Silk Assembly Mechanism. Langmuir. 2018 Oct 2;34(39):11795-11805. [DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.8b02381].

Johansson U, Widhe M, Shalaly ND, Arregui IL, Nileback L, Tasiopoulos CP, Astrand C, Berggren PO, Gasser C, Hedhammar M c. Silk assembly integrates cells into a 3D fibrillar network that promotes cell spreading and proliferation BioRxiv 2018. [DOI: 10.1101/403345].

Tasiopoulos CP, Widhe, Hedhammar M c. Recombinant spider silk functionalized with a motif from fibronectin mediates cell adhesion and growth on polymeric substrates by entrapping cells during self-assembly. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2018 May 2;10(17):14531-14539. [DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b02647].

Gustafsson L, Jansson R, Hedhammar M c, van der Wijngaart W c. Structuring of Functional Spider Silk Wires, Coatings, and Sheets by Self-Assembly on Superhydrophobic Pillar Surfaces. Adv Mater. 2018 Jan;30(3). [DOI: 10.1002/adma.201704325].

Shalaly ND, Ria M, Johansson U, Åvall K, Berggren PO, Hedhammar M c. Silk matrices promote formation of insulin-secreting islet-like clusters. Biomaterials. 2016 Jun;90:50-61. [DOI:  10.1016/j.biomaterials.2016.03.006].

Widhe M, Shalaly ND, Hedhammar M c. A fibronectin mimetic motif improves integrin mediated cell biding to recombinant spider silk matrices. Biomaterials. 2016 Jan;74:256-66. [DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2015.10.013].