Silk fibroin (SF) shows promise for tissue engineering and other biomedical applications due to its excellent biocompatibility, unique biomechanical properties, and controllable biodegradability. The particulate form of SF materials may have many potential uses, including the use as a filler for tissue defects or as a controlled-release agent for drug delivery. However, many past in vivo and in vitro studies evaluating the biocompatibility and biodegradability of SF have involved bulk implants. It is essential to evaluate the inflammatory effects of SF particles before further use. In this study, two different sizes of SF particles were evaluated to assess their impact on the release of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, in comparison with lipopolysaccharide positive control stimulation. The inflammatory processes were characterized using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and light microscopy evaluations. The results indicated that small silk fibroin particles and large silk fibroin particles, in culture with RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells for 24 h, caused up-regulation of mRNA coding for TNF-α, which indicated that both size of particles have potential inflammatory effects. There was a statistically significant increase in this up-regulation under small silk fibroin stimulation. However, the immunosorbent assay suggested that there was virtually no observed release of IL-1β, IL-6, or TNF-α, relative to the control group. The results suggest that SF particles of the chosen dimensions may have good biocompatibility in culture with RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.