The development of a new generation of multifunctional biomaterials is a continual goal for the field of materials science. The in vivo functional behaviour of a new fusion protein that combines the mechanical properties of spider silk with the antimicrobial properties of hepcidin was addressed in this study. This new chimeric protein, termed 6mer + hepcidin, fuses spider dragline consensus sequences (6mer) and the antimicrobial peptide hepcidin, as we have recently described, with retention of bactericidal activity and low cytotoxicity. In the present study, mouse subcutaneous implants were studied to access the in vivo biological response to 6mer + hepcidin, which were compared with controls of silk alone (6mer), polylacticglycolic acid (PLGA) films and empty defects. Along with visual observations, flow cytometry and histology analyses were used to determine the number and type of inflammatory cells at the implantation site. The results show a mild to low inflammatory reaction to the implanted materials and no apparent differences between the 6mer + hepcidin films and the other experimental controls, demonstrating that the new fusion protein has good in vivo biocompatibility, while maintaining antibiotic function. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.