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Open Access Highly Accessed Nano Express

Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

Xianhua Zhang, Masuhiro Tsukada*, Hideaki Morikawa, Kazuki Aojima, Guangyu Zhang and Mikihiko Miura

Author Affiliations

Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, 3-15-1 Tokida, Ueda City, Nagano 386-8567, Japan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:510  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-510

Published: 25 August 2011

Abstract

Silk sericin (SS)/silk fibroin (SF) blend nanofibers have been produced by electrospinning in a binary SS/SF trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) solution system, which was prepared by mixing 20 wt.% SS TFA solution and 10 wt.% SF TFA solution to give different compositions. The diameters of the SS/SF nanofibers ranged from 33 to 837 nm, and they showed a round cross section. The surface of the SS/SF nanofibers was smooth, and the fibers possessed a bead-free structure. The average diameters of the SS/SF (75/25, 50/50, and 25/75) blend nanofibers were much thicker than that of SS and SF nanofibers. The SS/SF (100/0, 75/25, and 50/50) blend nanofibers were easily dissolved in water, while the SS/SF (25/75 and 0/100) blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in water. The SS/SF blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in methanol. The SS/SF blend nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermal analysis. FTIR showed that the SS/SF blend nanofibers possessed a random coil conformation and ß-sheet structure.

Keywords:
silk sericin; silk fibroin; electrospinning; nanofibers; structure