Self -assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

The supramolecular self-assembly behavior of silk fibroin was investigated using osmotic stress technique. In Chapter 2, a ternary phase diagram of water-silk-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results on the osmotically stressed regenerated silk fibroin of Bombyx mori silkworm. Microscopic data indicated that silk I is a hydrated structure and a rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk I to silk II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide.

In Chapter 3, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated silk fibroin was performed, based on the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers. The osmotic stress was applied in order to pre-structure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 µm was produced.

In Chapter 4, we investigated if there is a noticeable synergistic osmotic pressure increase between co-existing polymeric osmolyte and salt when extremely highly concentrated salt molecules are present both at sample subphase and stressing subphase, as is the case of silk fibroin self-assembly. The equilibration method that measures osmotic pressure relative to a reference with known osmotic pressure was introduced. Osmotic pressure of aqueous LiBr solution up to 2.75M was measured and it was found that the synergistic effect was insignificant up to this salt concentration. Solution parameters of stressing solutions and Arrhenius kinetics based on time-temperature relationship for the equilibration process were derived as well.

In Chapter 5, self-assembly behavior of natural silk fibroin within the gland of Bombyx mori silkworm was investigated using osmotic stress technique. Microscopic and thermodynamic details of this self-assembly process along the spinline have been assessed. Formation of a needle-shaped molecular lath under appropriate osmotic stress was found. Silk I degree of hydration of silk gland was quantitatively estimated by image analysis of optical micrographs and the numbers varied from 2.2 to 2.7 depending on the region in the gland. Osmotic pressure in the gland was also estimated by equilibration method.

Indexing (details)

Materials science
0495: Polymers
0786: Biophysics
0794: Materials science
Identifier / keyword
Applied sciences; Pure sciences; Biological sciences; Osmotic stress; Self-assembly; Silk fibroin
Self -assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress
Sohn, Sungkyun
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 67/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Gido, Samuel P.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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