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Sample records for silk sericin protein

  1. Exploring natural silk protein sericin for regenerative medicine: an injectable, photoluminescent, cell-adhesive 3D hydrogel

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zheng; Zhang, Yeshun; Zhang, Jinxiang; Huang, Lei; Liu, Jia; Li, Yongkui; Zhang, Guozheng; Kundu, Subhas C.; Wang, Lin

    2014-01-01

    Sericin, a major component of silk, has a long history of being discarded as a waste during silk processing. The value of sericin for tissue engineering is underestimated and its potential application in regenerative medicine has just begun to be explored. Here we report the successful fabrication and characterization of a covalently-crosslinked 3D pure sericin hydrogel for delivery of cells and drugs. This hydrogel is injectable, permitting its implantation through minimally invasive approaches. Notably, this hydrogel is found to exhibit photoluminescence, enabling bioimaging and in vivo tracking. Moreover, this hydrogel system possesses excellent cell-adhesive capability, effectively promoting cell attachment, proliferation and long-term survival of various types of cells. Further, the sericin hydrogel releases bioactive reagents in a sustained manner. Additionally, this hydrogel demonstrates good elasticity, high porosity, and pH-dependent degradation dynamics, which are advantageous for this sericin hydrogel to serve as a delivery vehicle for cells and therapeutic drugs. With all these unique features, it is expected that this sericin hydrogel will have wide utility in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. PMID:25412301

  2. Exploring natural silk protein sericin for regenerative medicine: an injectable, photoluminescent, cell-adhesive 3D hydrogel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zheng; Zhang, Yeshun; Zhang, Jinxiang; Huang, Lei; Liu, Jia; Li, Yongkui; Zhang, Guozheng; Kundu, Subhas C.; Wang, Lin

    2014-11-01

    Sericin, a major component of silk, has a long history of being discarded as a waste during silk processing. The value of sericin for tissue engineering is underestimated and its potential application in regenerative medicine has just begun to be explored. Here we report the successful fabrication and characterization of a covalently-crosslinked 3D pure sericin hydrogel for delivery of cells and drugs. This hydrogel is injectable, permitting its implantation through minimally invasive approaches. Notably, this hydrogel is found to exhibit photoluminescence, enabling bioimaging and in vivo tracking. Moreover, this hydrogel system possesses excellent cell-adhesive capability, effectively promoting cell attachment, proliferation and long-term survival of various types of cells. Further, the sericin hydrogel releases bioactive reagents in a sustained manner. Additionally, this hydrogel demonstrates good elasticity, high porosity, and pH-dependent degradation dynamics, which are advantageous for this sericin hydrogel to serve as a delivery vehicle for cells and therapeutic drugs. With all these unique features, it is expected that this sericin hydrogel will have wide utility in the areas of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

  3. Effect of the silk protein sericin on the production of adenovirus-based gene-therapy vectors.

    PubMed

    Yanagihara, Kana; Terada, Satoshi; Miki, Masao; Sasaki, Masahiro; Yamada, Hideyuki

    2006-09-01

    Adenoviral vectors are extensively used as gene-delivery vehicles in gene therapy. They are usually produced by HEK-293 cell (human embryonic kidney-293 cell) culture, which requires specially formulated serum-free medium, the cost of which is considerable or by supplementation with FBS (fetal bovine serum). The risk of infectious diseases such as BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and endogenous retrovirus derived from cattle is a serious concern. The present study reports the use of sericin protein derived from silkworm (Bombyx mori) as an effective supplement instead of FBS. Without FBS, HEK-293 cells significantly proliferated in the presence of 0.025-0.4% sericin, especially at 0.1%, but the effect was inferior to that of FBS. When a lower titre [MOI (multiplicity of infection) 0.03] of adenoviral vector pAxCAiLacZ was used as the inoculum, HEK-293 cells in the presence of 0.1% sericin produced a nearly 3-fold higher vector titre than culture in the presence of 5% (v/v) FBS. However, when a higher vector titre (MOI 3.7) was used as the inoculum, HEK-293 cells in the presence of sericin produced a slightly higher vector titre than in the presence of FBS, which might suggest that HEK-293 cells produce a maximum amount when a higher vector titre is used as the inoculum. These increases in vector production with sericin were confirmed by LacZ (beta-galactosidase reporter gene) activity assay. Supplementation with sericin decreased lactate dehydrogenase activity, an indicator of cell death, suggesting that sericin improved cell survival; hence, prolonging the culture period might be one of the reasons for increased vector production. On the basis of these results, sericin peptide seems to be a potent and effective alternative supplement for production of adenoviral vectors without such risks as BSE and retrovirus. PMID:16674313

  4. Use of silk protein, sericin, as a sustained-release material in the form of a gel, sponge and film.

    PubMed

    Nishida, Ayumu; Yamada, Masaki; Kanazawa, Takanori; Takashima, Yuuki; Ouchi, Kiyohisa; Okada, Hiroaki

    2010-11-01

    To evaluate the usability of silk protein (sericin, SC) as a sustained-release material, the physicochemical properties of SC and the release profiles of model drugs from SC gel, sponge and film were studied. Heat aids the dissolution of SC. The molecular weight of SC tended to decrease as the heating temperature and heating time increased. The gel and sponge formed by SC were moldable and consisted of high molecular weight SC polymers (250 kDa and about 400 kDa). SC film was easily broken and exhibited elastic distortion. The addition of moisture-retaining plasticizer (glycerin and sorbitol) improved the film-forming characteristics of SC. The results suggested that SC is practical as a moldable gel and sponge, and as a tensible film. To evaluate the release profiles of small molecules, fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran ((1) FD4, 4 kDa and (2) FD70, 70 kDa) were used as two model drugs with significantly different molecular weights, and fluorescein isothiocyanate-albumin ((3) FA, 66 kDa) was used as a charged drug. Each was formulated in SC gel, sponge and film. In each preparation, the release rate of the model drugs tended to be FA

  5. Tuning molecular weights of Bombyx mori (B. mori) silk sericin to modify its assembly structures and materials formation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mingying; Shuai, Yajun; Zhou, Guanshan; Mandal, Namita; Zhu, Liangjun; Mao, Chuanbin

    2014-08-27

    Bombyx mori (B. mori) silk sericin is a protein with features desirable as a biomaterial, such as increased hydrophilicity and biodegradation, as well as resistance to oxidation, bacteria, and ultraviolet light. In contrast to other widely studied B. mori silk proteins such as fibroin, sericin is still unexplored as a building block for fabricating biomaterial, and thus a facile technique of processing it into a material is needed. Here, electrospinning technology was used to fabricate it into biomaterials from two forms of B. mori silk sericin with different molecular weights, one is a low (12.0 kDa) molecular sericin (LS) form and another is a high (66.0 kDa) molecular weight sericin (HS) form. Circular dichroism (CD) spectra showed that LS in hexafluoroacetone (HFA) solvent adopted a predominantly random coil conformation, whereas HS tended to form a ?-sheet structure along with a large content of random coils. In addition, LS and HS in HFA solvent were found to form cylinder-like smaller nanoparticles and larger irregular aggregates before electrospinning, respectively. As a result, biomaterials based on microparticles and nanofibers were successfully fabricated by electrospinning of LS and HS dissolved in HFA, respectively. The cell viability and differentiation assay indicated that nanofibers and microparticles improved cell adhesion, growth, and differentiation, proving that the scaffolds electrospun from sericin are biocompatible regardless of its molecular weight. The microparticles, not common in electrospinning of silk proteins reported previously, were found to promote the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells in comparison to the nanofibers. This study suggested that molecular weight of sericin mediates its secondary structure and assembly structure, which in turn leads to a control of final morphology of the electrospun materials. The microparticles and nanofibers of sericin can be potentially used as building blocks for fabricating the scaffolds for tissue engineering. PMID:25050697

  6. Biomimetic nucleation of hydroxyapatite crystals mediated by Antheraea pernyi silk sericin promotes osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mingying; Shuai, Yajun; Zhang, Can; Chen, Yuyin; Zhu, Liangjun; Mao, Chuanbin; OuYang, Hongwei

    2014-04-14

    Biomacromolecules have been used as templates to grow hydroxyapatite crystals (HAps) by biomineralization to fabricate mineralized materials for potential application in bone tissue engineering. Silk sericin is a protein with features desirable as a biomaterial, such as increased hydrophilicity and biodegradation. Mineralization of the silk sericin from Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi) silkworm has rarely been reported. Here, for the first time, nucleation of HAps on A. pernyi silk sericin (AS) was attempted through a wet precipitation method and consequently the cell viability and osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs on mineralized AS were investigated. It was found that AS mediated the nucleation of HAps in the form of nanoneedles while self-assembling into ?-sheet conformation, leading to the formation of a biomineralized protein based biomaterial. The cell viability assay of BMSCs showed that the mineralization of AS stimulated cell adhesion and proliferation, showing that the resultant AS biomaterial is biocompatible. The differentiation assay confirmed that the mineralized AS significantly promoted the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs when compared to nonmineralized AS as well as other types of sericin (B. mori sericin), suggesting that the resultant mineralized AS biomaterial has potential in promoting bone formation. This result represented the first work proving the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs directed by silk sericin. Therefore, the biomineralization of A. pernyi silk sericin coupled with seeding BMSCs on the resultant mineralized biomaterials is a useful strategy to develop the potential application of this unexplored silk sericin in the field of bone tissue engineering. This study lays the foundation for the use of A. pernyi silk sericin as a potential scaffold for tissue engineering. PMID:24666022

  7. Formulation and characterization of silk sericin-PVA scaffold crosslinked with genipin.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Siritientong, Tippawan; Kanokpanont, Sorada; Srichana, Teerapol

    2010-12-01

    A porous-three-dimensional scaffold shows several advantages in terms of tissue engineering since it can provide a framework for cells to attach, proliferate and form an extracellular matrix. Sericin, a by-product from the silk industry, can form a three-dimensional scaffold with PVA after freeze-drying but has a fragile structure. Glycerin (as a plasticizer) and genipin (a crosslinking agent) are necessary to make a strong and stable matrix. Our objective was to investigate the properties of a three-dimensional silk sericin and PVA scaffold with and without glycerin and genipin at various concentrations. SEM showed that adding glycerin into scaffold gave better uniformity and porosity. Smaller pore sizes and better uniformity were found as the concentration of genipin in the scaffold increased. The results of FTIR indicated that glycerin retained a high moisture content and had a major effect at 3286 cm(-1), indicating the presence of water molecule in the matrix structure. Adding genipin into the scaffold resulted in a higher degree of crosslinking or fewer free ?-amino groups, as shown by the decrease in the stretching (=C-H) peak and absorption peaks around 1370-1650 cm(-1), respectively. The sericin/PVA scaffold had a low water sorption capacity, but adding glycerin significantly increased this property. Genipin further enhanced the moisture absorption capacity of the scaffold and extended the time taken to reach equilibrium. After immersing the sericin/PVA scaffold into purified water, the scaffold completely dissolved within an hour, whereas the scaffolds containing glycerin or glycerin with 0.1% genipin swelled 8 and 11 times, respectively, compared with the initial stage after 6h of immersion. In terms of mechanical properties, the sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffold exhibited a similar compressive strength to the scaffold with a high genipin concentration, whereas a low concentration of genipin softened and reduced the compressive strength of the scaffold. A small amount of sericin was released from the scaffold and a higher concentration of genipin, resulting in less protein leaching compared to non-crosslinked sericin/PVA. The fraction of protein released from the sericin/PVA/glycerin scaffold was about 4%, with values of about 1 and 0.04% in the case of scaffolds with 0.01 and 0.1% genipin, respectively. All results indicated that the composition of the scaffolds had a significant effect on their physical properties, and that can easily be tuned to obtain scaffolds suitable for biological applications. PMID:20804781

  8. Fibroin and Sericin from Bombyx mori Silk Stimulate Cell Migration through Upregulation and Phosphorylation of c-Jun

    PubMed Central

    García-Vizcaíno, Eva María; Alcaraz, Antonia; Cenis, José Luis; Nicolás, Francisco José

    2012-01-01

    Wound healing is a biological process directed to the restoration of tissue that has suffered an injury. An important phase of wound healing is the generation of a basal epithelium able to wholly replace the epidermis of the wound. A broad range of products derived from fibroin and sericin from Bombyx mori silk are used to stimulate wound healing. However, so far the molecular mechanism underlying this phenomenon has not been elucidated. The aim of this work was to determine the molecular basis underlying wound healing properties of silk proteins using a cell model. For this purpose, we assayed fibroin and sericin in a wound healing scratch assay using MDA-MB-231 and Mv1Lu cells. Both proteins stimulated cell migration. Furthermore, treatment with sericin and fibroin involved key factors of the wound healing process such as upregulation of c-Jun and c-Jun protein phosphorylation. Moreover, fibroin and sericin stimulated the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2 and JNK 1/2 kinases. All these experiments were done in the presence of specific inhibitors for some of the cell signalling pathways referred above. The obtained results revealed that MEK, JNK and PI3K pathways are involved in fibroin and sericin stimulated cells migration. Inhibition of these three kinases prevented c-Jun upregulation and phosphorylation by fibroin or sericin. Fibroin and sericin were tested in the human keratinocyte cell line, HaCaT, with similar results. Altogether, our results showed that fibroin and sericin initiate cell migration by activating the MEK, JNK and PI3K signalling pathways ending in c-Jun activation. PMID:22860103

  9. Silk sericin/polyacrylamide in situ forming hydrogels for dermal reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Kundu, Banani; Kundu, Subhas C

    2012-10-01

    In situ forming tissue sealants are advantageous due to ease in application, complete coverage of defect site and assured comfort levels to patients. The interconnected three-dimensional hydrophilic networks perfectly manage typical dermal wounds by suitably scaffolding skin fibroblast, diffusing the nutrients, therapeutics and exudates while still maintaining an adequately moist environment. We evaluate the cell homing ability of semi-interpenetrating non-mulberry tropical tasar silk sericin/polyacrylamide hydrophilic network with a keen understanding of its network characteristics and correlation of protein concentration with the performance as cell scaffold. Interconnectivity of porous networks observed through scanning electron micrograph revealed pore sizes ranging from 23 to 52 ?m. The enhanced ?-sheet content with the increasing sericin concentration in far red spectroscopy study supported their corresponding improved compressive strength. These semi-interpenetrating networks were found to possess a maximum fluid uptake of 112% of its weight, hence preventing the accumulation of exudates at the wound area. The present systems appear to possess characteristics like rapid gelation (~5min) at 37 °C, 98% porosity enabling the migration of fibroblasts during healing (observed through confocal and scanning electron micrographs), cell adhesion together with the absence of any cyto-toxic effect suggesting its potential as in situ tissue sealants. The compressive strength up to 61 kPa ensured ease in handling even when wet. The results prove the suitability to use non-mulberry tasar cocoon silk sericin/polyacrylamide semi-interpenetrating network as a reconstructive dermal sealant. PMID:22819495

  10. Silk sericin: A versatile material for tissue engineering and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Lamboni, Lallepak; Gauthier, Mario; Yang, Guang; Wang, Qun

    2015-12-01

    Sericin is an inexpensive glycoprotein obtained as a by-product in the silk industry. Its variable amino acid composition and diverse functional groups confer upon it attractive bioactive properties, which are particularly interesting for biomedical applications. Because of its antioxidant character, moisturizing ability, and mitogenic effect on mammalian cells, sericin is useful in cell culture and tissue engineering. Its positive effects on keratinocytes and fibroblasts have led to the development of sericin-based biomaterials for skin tissue repair, mainly as wound dressings. Additionally, sericin can be used for bone tissue engineering owing to its ability to induce nucleation of bone-like hydroxyapatite. Stable silk sericin biomaterials, such as films, sponges, and hydrogels, are prepared by cross-linking, ethanol precipitation, or blending with other polymers. Sericin may also be employed for drug delivery because its chemical reactivity and pH-responsiveness facilitate the fabrication of nano- and microparticles, hydrogels, and conjugated molecules, improving the bioactivity of drugs. Here, we summarized the recent advancements in the study of silk sericin for application in tissue engineering and drug delivery. PMID:26523781

  11. Bioconjugation of neutral protease on silk fibroin nanoparticles and application in the controllable hydrolysis of sericin.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lin; Hu, Ren-Ping; Wang, Hai-Yan; Wang, Yuan-Jing; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2011-09-28

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin is a protein-based macromolecular biopolymer with remarkable biocompatibility. Silk fiber was degummed and subjected to a series of treatments, including dissolution and dialysis, to yield an aqueous solution of silk fibroin, which was introduced rapidly into excess acetone to produce crystalline silk fibroin nanoparticles (SFNs). The SFNs were conjugated covalently with a neutral protease (NP) using glutaraldehyde as the cross-linking reagent. The objective of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for biosynthesis of the SFN-NP bioconjugates. First, SFN-NP was obtained by covalent cross-linking of SFN and NP at an SFN/NP ratio of 5-8 mg:1 IU with 0.75% glutaraldehyde for 6 h at 25 °C. When adding 50 IU of the enzyme, the residual activity of biological conjugates was increased to 31.45%. Studies on the enzyme activity of SFN-NP and its kinetics showed that the stability of SFN-NP bioconjugates was greater than that of the free enzyme, the optimum reactive temperature range was increased by 5-10 °C, and the optimum pH value range was increased to 6.5-8.0. Furthermore, the thermal stability was improved to some extent. A controlled hydrolysis test using the poorly water-soluble protein sericin as a substrate and SFN-NP as the enzyme showed that the longer the reaction time (within 1 h), the smaller the molecular mass (<30 kDa) is of the sericin peptide produced. The SFN-NP bioconjugate is easily recovered by centrifugation and can be used repeatedly. The highly efficient processing technology and the use of SFN as a novel vector for a protease has great potential for research and the development of food processing. PMID:21846144

  12. pH responsive poly amino-acid hydrogels formed via silk sericin templating.

    PubMed

    Kurland, Nicholas E; Ragland, Robert B; Zhang, Aolin; Moustafa, Mahmoud E; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2014-09-01

    Poly(amino acid) hydrogels have attracted a great deal of attention as biodegradable biomaterials that can limit products of synthetic polymer degradation. Here we report on a stimuli-responsive, porous, composite biomaterial based on the protein templating of the poly(amino acid) hydrogel from poly(aspartic acid) with the silk protein sericin. This low-cost, biocompatible and biodegradable hydrogel demonstrates a greatly increased porosity and improvement in volumetric swelling over networks formed from pure poly(aspartic acid). The swelling capacity measured over a range of pH values surrounding physiological pH 7.0 demonstrates a linear profile, in which hydrogel volume and mass increase to a maximum, with an increase as a function of higher sericin content. In comparison to pure poly(aspartic acid), this demonstrates a nearly 3-fold increase in retention volume at basic pH. The increase in swelling is also demonstrated by the increase in porosity and internal micro-architecture of the hydrogel networks. The biomaterial is then shown to perform well as a scaffold for cells with high mechanical strength and integrity. This protein- and homo poly(amino acid)-based super-swelling hydrogel has applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering as an economical and environmentally friendly biomaterial, in addition to ensuring the species incorporated maintain their biocompatibility during processing. PMID:25073107

  13. Self-assembled silk sericin/poloxamer nanoparticles as nanocarriers of hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs for targeted delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Biman B.; Kundu, S. C.

    2009-09-01

    In recent times self-assembled micellar nanoparticles have been successfully employed in tissue engineering for targeted drug delivery applications. In this review, silk sericin protein from non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta tropical tasar silk cocoons was blended with pluronic F-127 and F-87 in the presence of solvents to achieve self-assembled micellar nanostructures capable of carrying both hydrophilic (FITC-inulin) and hydrophobic (anticancer drug paclitaxel) drugs. The fabricated nanoparticles were subsequently characterized for their size distribution, drug loading capability, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity. Nanoparticle sizes ranged between 100 and 110 nm in diameter as confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Rapid uptake of these particles into cells was observed in in vitro cellular uptake studies using breast cancer MCF-7 cells. In vitro cytotoxicity assay using paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles against breast cancer cells showed promising results comparable to free paclitaxel drugs. Drug-encapsulated nanoparticle-induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells was confirmed by FACS and confocal microscopic studies using Annexin V staining. Up-regulation of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, down-regulation of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and cleavage of regulatory protein PARP through Western blot analysis suggested further drug-induced apoptosis in cells. This study projects silk sericin protein as an alternative natural biomaterial for fabrication of self-assembled nanoparticles in the presence of poloxamer for successful delivery of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs to target sites.

  14. Viability and proliferation of L929, tumour and hybridoma cells in the culture media containing sericin protein as a supplement or serum substitute.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2015-09-01

    Cell cultures often require the addition of animal serum and other supplements. In this study, silk sericin, a bioactive protein, recovered from the waste of silk floss production was hydrolysed into three pepsin-degraded sericin peptides with different ranges of molecular mass. Normal animal cells, tumour cells and hybridoma cells were cultured systematically in FBS culture media containing sericin as a supplement or serum substitute. The culture test and microscopic observation of L929 cells showed that the smaller molecular weight of the degraded sericin is most suitable for cell culture. The cell culture results showed that with the degradation of sericin, for normal mouse fibroblast L929 cells, addition of 0.75 % sericin into FBS culture medium yields cell viability that is superior to FBS culture medium alone. When all serum was replaced by sericin, cell viability in the sericin medium could reach about one half of that in FBS medium. When in a medium containing a mixture of FBS: sericin (6:4, v/v), the cell culture effect is about 80 %. For the cultures of four tumour and one hybridoma cells, regardless of the molecular weight range, these degraded sericin peptides could substitute all serum in FBS media. The cell viability and proliferation of these tumour and hybridoma cells are equivalent or superior to that in FBS medium. In other words, cell viability and proliferation of these tumour and hybridoma cells in sericin media are more preferable to serum media. The mechanism of the sericin protein to promote cell growth and proliferation will be further investigated later. PMID:25895088

  15. The role of glycerol and water in flexible silk sericin film.

    PubMed

    Yun, Haesung; Kim, Moo Kon; Kwak, Hyo Won; Lee, Jeong Yun; Kim, Min Hwa; Lee, Ki Hoon

    2016-01-01

    Silk sericin (SS) can be obtained as a byproduct during the silk fiber process, but its application has been limited due to the brittleness of the SS film. To enhance the flexibility of the SS film, glycerol (Glc) has been added as a plasticizer. The addition of Glc enhanced the elongation property of the SS film when the Glc content was 50-70wt% of SS. Glc also induced the structural transition of SS from a random coil structure to a ?-sheet structure. The inconsistent increase of elongation and ?-sheet structure of the SS/Glc film were explained by the content of moisture in the SS/Glc film. The moisture content of the SS/Glc film increased proportionally when the Glc content was higher than 50wt% of SS, which was the same Glc content range that exhibited the plasticizing effect. Therefore, the plasticizing effect on the SS film may occur not only because of Glc but also because of water. Furthermore, water also contributed to the increase in the ?-sheet structure development. Our results suggest that the moisture content in the plasticized protein film may play an important role when the plasticizer has hygroscopic properties. PMID:26562547

  16. Biomedical Applications of Mulberry Silk and its Proteins: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nivedita, S.; Sivaprasad, V.

    2014-04-01

    Silk is a natural fibre used mainly for aesthetic purposes. It has also been used for making surgical sutures for centuries. The recent rediscovery of silk's biological properties have led to new areas of research and utilization in cosmetic, health and medical fields. The silk proteins, fibroin and sericin are processed into biomaterials because of bio-compatibility, bio-degradability, excellent mechanical properties, thermo tolerance and UV protective properties. Silk proteins could be obtained as pure liquids and regenerated in different forms suitable for tissue engineering applications. This paper presents some of the biomedical products and biomaterials made from native, degraded and regenerated silk and their fabrication techniques.

  17. Effect of silk protein surfactant on silk degumming and its properties.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Cao, Ting-Ting; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2015-10-01

    The silk protein surfactant (SPS) first used as a silk degumming agent in this study is an amino acid-type anionic surfactant that was synthesized using silk fibroin amino acids and lauroyl chloride. We studied it systematically in comparison with the traditional degumming methods such as sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and neutral soap (NS). The experimental results showed that the sericin can be completely removed from the silk fibroin fiber after boiling the fibers three times for 30 min and using a bath ratio of 1:80 (g/mL) and a concentration of 0.2% SPS in an aqueous solution. The results of the tensile properties, thermal analysis, and SEM all show that SPS is similar to the NS, far superior to Na2CO3. In short, SPS may be used as an environmentally friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts. PMID:26117747

  18. Production and properties of electrosprayed sericin nanopowder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hazeri, Najmeh; Tavanai, Hossein; Moradi, Ali Reza

    2012-06-01

    Sericin is a proteinous substrate that envelops fibroin (silk) fiber, and its recovery provides significant economical and social benefits. Sericin is an antibacterial agent that resists oxidation and absorbs moisture and UV light. In powder form, sericin has a wide range of applications in food, cosmetics and drug delivery. Asides from other techniques of producing powder, such as precipitation and spray drying, electrospraying can yield solid nanoparticles, particularly in the submicron range. Here, we report the production of sericin nanopowder by electrospraying. Sericin sponge was recovered from Bombyx mori cocoons through a high-temperature, high-pressure process, followed by centrifugation and freeze drying of the sericin solution. The electrospraying solution was prepared by dissolving the sericin sponge in dimethyl sulfoxide. We demonstrate that electrospraying is capable of producing sericin nanopowder with an average particle size of 25 nm, which is by far smaller than the particles produced by other techniques. The electrosprayed sericin nanopowder consists of small crystallites and exhibits a high moisture absorbance.

  19. Preparation and mechanical properties of layers made of recombinant spider silk proteins and silk from silk worm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Junghans, F.; Morawietz, M.; Conrad, U.; Scheibel, T.; Heilmann, A.; Spohn, U.

    2006-02-01

    Layers of recombinant spider silks and native silks from silk worms were prepared by spin-coating and casting of various solutions. FT-IR spectra were recorded to investigate the influence of the different mechanical stress occurring during the preparation of the silk layers. The solubility of the recombinant spider silk proteins SO1-ELP, C16, AQ24NR3, and of the silk fibroin from Bombyx mori were investigated in hexafluorisopropanol, ionic liquids and concentrated salt solutions. The morphology and thickness of the layers were determined by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) or with a profilometer. The mechanical behaviour was investigated by acoustic impedance analysis by using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCMB) as well as by microindentation. The density of silk layers (d<300 nm) was determined based on AFM and QCMB measurements. At silk layers thicker than 300 nm significant changes of the half-band-half width can be correlated with increasing energy dissipation. Microhardness measurements demonstrate that recombinant spider silk and sericine-free Bombyx mori silk layers achieve higher elastic penetration modules EEP and Martens hardness values HM than those of polyethylenterephthalate (PET) and polyetherimide (PEI) foils.

  20. In vitro development of OPU-derived bovine embryos cultured either individually or in groups with the silk protein sericin and the viability of frozen-thawed embryos after transfer.

    PubMed

    Isobe, Tomohiro; Ikebata, Yoshihisa; Do, Lanh Thi Kim; Tanihara, Fuminori; Taniguchi, Masayasu; Otoi, Takeshige

    2015-07-01

    The optimization of single-embryo culture conditions is very important, particularly in the in vitro production of bovine embryos using the ovum pick-up (OPU) procedure. The purpose of this study was to examine the development of embryos derived from oocytes obtained by OPU that were cultured either individually or in groups in medium supplemented with or without sericin and to investigate the viability of the frozen-thawed embryos after a direct transfer. When two-cell-stage embryos were cultured either individually or in groups for 7 days in CR1aa medium supplemented with or without 0.5% sericin, the rates of development to blastocysts and freezable blastocysts were significantly lower for the embryos cultured individually without sericin than for the embryos cultured in groups with or without sericin. Moreover, the rate of development to freezable blastocysts of the embryos cultured individually with sericin was significantly higher than that of the embryos cultured without sericin. When the frozen-thawed embryos were transferred directly to recipients, the rates of pregnancy, abortion, stillbirth and normal calving in the recipients were similar among the groups, irrespective of the culture conditions and sericin supplementation. Our findings indicate that supplementation with sericin during embryo culture improves the quality of the embryos cultured individually but not the viability of the frozen-thawed embryos after transfer to recipients. PMID:25488699

  1. The development of non-toxic ionic-crosslinked chitosan-based microspheres as carriers for the controlled release of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Ekasit, Sanong; Yamdech, Rungnapha

    2015-10-01

    Silk sericin is recently shown to possess various biological activities for biomedical applications. While various sericin carriers were developed for drug delivery system, very few researches considered sericin as a bioactive molecule itself. In this study, sericin incorporated in the chitosan-based microspheres was introduced as a bioactive molecule and bioactive carrier at the same time. The chitosan/sericin (CH/SS) microspheres at different composition (80/20, 70/30, 60/40, and 50/50) were successfully fabricated using anhydroustri-polyphosphate (TPP) as a polyanionic crosslinker. The microspheres with an average size of 1-4 ?m and narrow size distribution were obtained. From FT-IR spectra, the presence of both chitosan and sericin in the microspheres confirmed the occurrence of ionic interaction that crosslink them within the microspheres. We also found that the CH/SS microspheres prepared at 50/50 could encapsulate sericin at the highest percentage (37.28%) and release sericin in the most sustained behavior, possibly due to the strong ionic interaction of the positively charged chitosan and the negatively charged sericin. On the other hand, the composition of CH/SS had no effect on the degradation rate of microspheres. All microspheres continuously degraded and remained around 20% after 14 days of enzymatic degradation. This explained that the ionic crosslinkings between chitosan and sericin could be demolished by the enzyme and hydrolysis. Furthermore, we have verified that all CH/SS microspheres at any concentrations showed non-toxicity to L929 mouse fibroblast cells. Therefore, we suggested that the non-toxic ionic-crosslinked CH/SS microspheres could be incorporated in wound dressing material to achieve the sustained release of sericin for accelerated wound healing. PMID:26233725

  2. Green synthesis of silk sericin-capped silver nanoparticles and their potent anti-bacterial activity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a ‘green chemistry’ approach was introduced to synthesize silk sericin (SS)-capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under an alkaline condition (pH 11) using SS as a reducing and stabilizing agent instead of toxic chemicals. The SS-capped AgNPs were successfully synthesized at various concentrations of SS and AgNO3, but the yields were different. A higher yield of SS-capped AgNPs was obtained when the concentrations of SS and AgNO3 were increased. The SS-capped AgNPs showed a round shape and uniform size with diameter at around 48 to 117 nm. The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy result proved that the carboxylate groups obtained from alkaline degradation of SS would be a reducing agent for the generation of AgNPs while COO? and NH2?+ groups stabilized the AgNPs and prevented their precipitation or aggregation. Furthermore, the SS-capped AgNPs showed potent anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive bacteria (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.008 mM) and gram-negative bacteria (MIC ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 mM). Therefore, the SS-capped AgNPs would be a safe candidate for anti-bacterial applications. PMID:24533676

  3. Green synthesis of silk sericin-capped silver nanoparticles and their potent anti-bacterial activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Bang, Nipaporn; Ratanavaraporn, Juthamas; Ekgasit, Sanong

    2014-02-01

    In this study, a `green chemistry' approach was introduced to synthesize silk sericin (SS)-capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) under an alkaline condition (pH 11) using SS as a reducing and stabilizing agent instead of toxic chemicals. The SS-capped AgNPs were successfully synthesized at various concentrations of SS and AgNO3, but the yields were different. A higher yield of SS-capped AgNPs was obtained when the concentrations of SS and AgNO3 were increased. The SS-capped AgNPs showed a round shape and uniform size with diameter at around 48 to 117 nm. The Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy result proved that the carboxylate groups obtained from alkaline degradation of SS would be a reducing agent for the generation of AgNPs while COO- and NH2 + groups stabilized the AgNPs and prevented their precipitation or aggregation. Furthermore, the SS-capped AgNPs showed potent anti-bacterial activity against various gram-positive bacteria (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) 0.008 mM) and gram-negative bacteria (MIC ranging from 0.001 to 0.004 mM). Therefore, the SS-capped AgNPs would be a safe candidate for anti-bacterial applications.

  4. Antioxidant activities of two sericin proteins extracted from cocoon of silkworm (Bombyx mori) measured by DPPH, chemiluminescence, ORAC and ESR methods

    PubMed Central

    TAKECHI, TAYORI; WADA, RITSUKO; FUKUDA, TSUBASA; HARADA, KAZUKI; TAKAMURA, HITOSHI

    2014-01-01

    Recent efforts have focused on the use of sericin proteins extracted from cocoons of silkworm as a healthy food source for human consumption. In this study, we focused on the antioxidative properties of sericin proteins. The antioxidative properties were measured in sericin proteins extracted from the shell of the cocoon, designated hereafter as white sericin protein and yellow-green sericin protein, as well as bread without sericin protein and bread to which white sericin powder had been added using four measurement methods: 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), chemiluminescence, oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and electron spin resonance (ESR). High antioxidative properties of sericin proteins were indicated by all four methods. A comparison of the two types of sericin proteins revealed that yellow-green sericin protein exhibited high antioxidative properties as indicated by the DPPH, chemiluminescence and ORAC methods. By contrast, a higher antioxidative property was determined in white sericin protein by the ESR method. Consequently, our findings confirmed that sericin proteins have antioxidative properties against multiple radicals. In addition, the antioxidative property of bread was enhanced by the addition of sericin powder to the bread. Therefore, findings of this study suggest that sericin proteins may be efficiently used as beneficial food for human health. PMID:24748975

  5. Assembly mechanism of recombinant spider silk proteins

    E-print Network

    Assembly mechanism of recombinant spider silk proteins S. Rammensee*, U. Slotta , T. Scheibel October 5, 2007) Spider silk threads are formed by the irreversible aggregation of silk proteins engineered and recombinantly produced spider dragline silk proteins eADF3 (engineered Araneus diadematus

  6. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-07-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs’ mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate’s early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin’s photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications.

  7. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs’ mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate’s early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin’s photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications. PMID:26205586

  8. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. PMID:24119078

  9. Design and performance of a sericin-alginate interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell and drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yeshun; Liu, Jia; Huang, Lei; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Although alginate hydrogels have been extensively studied for tissue engineering applications, their utilization is limited by poor mechanical strength, rapid drug release, and a lack of cell adhesive ability. Aiming to improve these properties, we employ the interpenetrating hydrogel design rationale. Using alginate and sericin (a natural protein with many unique properties and a major component of silkworm silk), we develop an interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogel comprising interwoven sericin and alginate double networks. By adjusting the sericin-to-alginate ratios, IPNs' mechanical strength can be adjusted to meet stiffness requirements for various tissue repairs. The IPNs with high sericin content show increased stability during degradation, avoiding pure alginate's early collapse. These IPNs have high swelling ratios, benefiting various applications such as drug delivery. The IPNs sustain controlled drug release with the adjustable rates. Furthermore, these IPNs are adhesive to cells, supporting cell proliferation, long-term survival and migration. Notably, the IPNs inherit sericin's photoluminescent property, enabling bioimaging in vivo. Together, our study indicates that the sericin-alginate IPN hydrogels may serve as a versatile platform for delivering cells and drugs, and suggests that sericin may be a building block broadly applicable for generating IPN networks with other biomaterials for diverse tissue engineering applications. PMID:26205586

  10. Microbial production of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Fahnestock, S R; Yao, Z; Bedzyk, L A

    2000-08-01

    The remarkable properties of spider dragline silk and related protein polymers will find many applications if the materials can be produced economically. We have demonstrated the production of high molecular weight spider dragline silk analog proteins encoded by synthetic genes in several microbial systems, including Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris. In E. coli, proteins of up to 1000 amino acids in length could be produced efficiently, but the yield and homogeneity of higher molecular weight silk proteins were found to be limited by truncated synthesis, probably as a result of ribosome termination errors. No such phenomenon was observed in the yeast P. pastoris, where higher molecular weight silk proteins could be produced without heterogeneity due to truncated synthesis. Spider dragline silk analog proteins could be secreted by P. pastoris when fused to both the signal sequence and N-terminal pro-sequence of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha-mating factor gene. PMID:11763501

  11. New silk protein: modification of silk protein by gene engineering for production of biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Mori, H; Tsukada, M

    2000-08-01

    The interest in silk fibroin morphology and structure have increased due to its attractiveness for bio-related applications. Silk fibers have been used as sutures for a long time in the surgical field, due to the biocompatibility of silk fibroin fibers with human living tissue. In addition, it has been demonstrated that silk can be used as a substrate for enzyme immobilization in biosensors. A more complete understanding of silk structure would provide the possibility to further exploit silk fibroin for a wide range of new uses, such as the production of oxygen-permeable membranes and biocompatible materials. Silk fibroin-based membranes could be utilized as soft tissue compatible polymers. Baculovirus-mediated transgenesis of the silkworm allows specific alterations in a target sequence. Homologous recombination of a foreign gene downstream from a powerful promoter, such as the fibroin promoter, would allow the constitutive production of a useful protein in the silkworm and the modification of the character of silk protein. A chimeric protein consisted of fibroin and green fluorescent protein was expressed under the control of fibroin in the posterior silk gland and the gene product was spun into the cocoon layer. This technique, gene targeting, will lead to the modification and enhancement of physicochemical properties of silk protein. PMID:11763506

  12. Effect of Processing on Silk-Based Biomaterials: Reproducibility and Biocompatibility

    PubMed Central

    Wray, Lindsay S.; Hu, Xiao; Gallego, Jabier; Georgakoudi, Irene; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Schmidt, Daniel; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin has been successfully used as a biomaterial for tissue regeneration. In order to prepare silk fibroin biomaterials for human implantation a series of processing steps are required to purify the protein. Degumming to remove inflammatory sericin is a crucial step related to biocompatibility and variability in the material. Detailed characterization of silk fibroin degumming is reported. The degumming conditions significantly affected cell viability on the silk fibroin material and the ability to form three-dimensional porous scaffolds from the silk fibroin, but did not affect macrophage activation or ?-sheet content in the materials formed. Methods are also provided to determine the content of residual sericin in silk fibroin solutions and to assess changes in silk fibroin molecular weight. Amino acid composition analysis was used to detect sericin residuals in silk solutions with a detection limit between 1.0% and 10% wt/wt, while fluorescence spectroscopy was used to reproducibly distinguish between silk samples with different molecular weights. Both methods are simple and require minimal sample volume, providing useful quality control tools for silk fibroin preparation processes. PMID:21695778

  13. In vivo bioresponses to silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Thurber, Amy E; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2015-12-01

    Silks are appealing materials for numerous biomedical applications involving drug delivery, tissue engineering, or implantable devices, because of their tunable mechanical properties and wide range of physical structures. In addition to the functionalities needed for specific clinical applications, a key factor necessary for clinical success for any implanted material is appropriate interactions with the body in vivo. This review summarizes our current understanding of the in vivo biological responses to silks, including degradation, the immune and inflammatory response, and tissue remodeling with particular attention to vascularization. While we focus in this review on silkworm silk fibroin protein due to the large quantity of in vivo data thanks to its widespread use in medical materials and consumer products, spider silk information is also included if available. Silk proteins are degraded in the body on a time course that is dependent on the method of silk fabrication and can range from hours to years. Silk protein typically induces a mild inflammatory response that decreases within a few weeks of implantation. The response involves recruitment and activation of macrophages and may include activation of a mild foreign body response with the formation of multinuclear giant cells, depending on the material format and location of implantation. The number of immune cells present decreases with time and granulation tissue, if formed, is replaced by endogenous, not fibrous, tissue. Importantly, silk materials have not been demonstrated to induce mineralization, except when used in calcified tissues. Due to its ability to be degraded, silk can be remodeled in the body allowing for vascularization and tissue ingrowth with eventual complete replacement by native tissue. The degree of remodeling, tissue ingrowth, or other specific cell behaviors can be modulated with addition of growth or other signaling factors. Silk can also be combined with numerous other materials including proteins, synthetic polymers, and ceramics to enhance its characteristics for a particular function. Overall, the diverse array of silk materials shows excellent bioresponses in vivo with low immunogenicity and the ability to be remodeled and replaced by native tissue making it suitable for numerous clinical applications. PMID:26322725

  14. Silk protein aggregation kinetics revealed by Rheo-IR.

    PubMed

    Boulet-Audet, Maxime; Terry, Ann E; Vollrath, Fritz; Holland, Chris

    2014-02-01

    The remarkable mechanical properties of silk fibres stem from a multi-scale hierarchical structure created when an aqueous protein "melt" is converted to an insoluble solid via flow. To directly relate a silk protein's structure and function in response to flow, we present the first application of a Rheo-IR platform, which couples cone and plate rheology with attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy. This technique provides a new window into silk processing by linking shear thinning to an increase in molecular alignment, with shear thickening affecting changes in the silk protein's secondary structure. Additionally, compared to other static characterization methods for silk, Rheo-IR proved particularly useful at revealing the intrinsic difference between natural (native) and reconstituted silk feedstocks. Hence Rheo-IR offers important novel insights into natural silk processing. This has intrinsic academic merit, but it might also be useful when designing reconstituted silk analogues alongside other polymeric systems, whether natural or synthetic. PMID:24200713

  15. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  16. High-toughness silk produced by a transgenic silkworm expressing spider (Araneus ventricosus) dragline silk protein.

    PubMed

    Kuwana, Yoshihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakajima, Ken-ichi; Tamada, Yasushi; Kojima, Katsura

    2014-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is a natural fiber that has excellent tensile properties; however, it is difficult to produce artificially as a long, strong fiber. Here, the spider (Araneus ventricosus) dragline protein gene was cloned and a transgenic silkworm was generated, that expressed the fusion protein of the fibroin heavy chain and spider dragline protein in cocoon silk. The spider silk protein content ranged from 0.37 to 0.61% w/w (1.4-2.4 mol%) native silkworm fibroin. Using a good silk-producing strain, C515, as the transgenic silkworm can make the raw silk from its cocoons for the first time. The tensile characteristics (toughness) of the raw silk improved by 53% after the introduction of spider dragline silk protein; the improvement depended on the quantity of the expressed spider dragline protein. To demonstrate the commercial feasibility for machine reeling, weaving, and sewing, we used the transgenic spider silk to weave a vest and scarf; this was the first application of spider silk fibers from transgenic silkworms. PMID:25162624

  17. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Amanda E.

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery. PMID:26636069

  18. A Materiomics Approach to Spider Silk: Protein Molecules to Webs

    E-print Network

    Buehler, Markus J.

    A Materiomics Approach to Spider Silk: Protein Molecules to Webs ANNA TARAKANOVA1 and MARKUS J length scales in silk, ranging from atomistic models of protein constituents to the spider web chains are organized into fi- brils, which pack together to form threads of a spider web. In this article

  19. A Neuroprotective Sericin Hydrogel As an Effective Neuronal Cell Carrier for the Repair of Ischemic Stroke.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zheng; Wang, Jian; Jin, Yang; Luo, Zhen; Yang, Wen; Xie, Hongjian; Huang, Kai; Wang, Lin

    2015-11-11

    Ischemic stroke causes extensive cellular loss that impairs brain functions, resulting in severe disabilities. No effective treatments are currently available for brain tissue regeneration. The need to develop effective therapeutic approaches for treating stroke is compelling. A tissue engineering approach employing a hydrogel carrying both cells and neurotrophic cytokines to damaged regions is an encouraging alternative for neuronal repair. However, this approach is often challenged by low in vivo cell survival rate, and low encapsulation efficiency and loss of cytokines. To address these limitations, we propose to develop a biomaterial that can form a matrix capable of improving in vivo survival of transplanted cells and reducing in vivo loss of cytokines. Here, we report that using sericin, a natural protein from silk, we have fabricated a genipin-cross-linked sericin hydrogel (GSH) with porous structure and mild swelling ratio. The GSH supports the effective attachment and growth of neurons in vitro. Strikingly, our data reveal that sericin protein is intrinsically neurotrophic and neuroprotective, promoting axon extension and branching as well as preventing primary neurons from hypoxia-induced cell death. Notably, these functions are inherited by the GSH's degradation products, which might spare a need of incorporating costly cytokines. We further demonstrate that this neurotrophic effect is dependent on the Lkb1-Nuak1 pathway, while the neuroprotective effect is realized through regulating the Bcl-2/Bax protein ratio. Importantly, when transplanted in vivo, the GSH gives a high cell survival rate and allows the cells to continuously proliferate. Together, this work unmasks the neurotrophic and neuroprotective functions for sericin and provides strong evidence justifying the GSH's suitability as a potential neuronal cell delivery vehicle for ischemic stroke repair. PMID:26478947

  20. Spider silks: recombinant synthesis, assembly, spinning, and engineering of synthetic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Scheibel, Thomas

    2004-01-01

    Since thousands of years humans have utilized insect silks for their own benefit and comfort. The most famous example is the use of reeled silkworm silk from Bombyx mori to produce textiles. In contrast, despite the more promising properties of their silk, spiders have not been domesticated for large-scale or even industrial applications, since farming the spiders is not commercially viable due to their highly territorial and cannibalistic nature. Before spider silks can be copied or mimicked, not only the sequence of the underlying proteins but also their functions have to be resolved. Several attempts to recombinantly produce spider silks or spider silk mimics in various expression hosts have been reported previously. A new protein engineering approach, which combines synthetic repetitive silk sequences with authentic silk domains, reveals proteins that closely resemble silk proteins and that can be produced at high yields, which provides a basis for cost-efficient large scale production of spider silk-like proteins. PMID:15546497

  1. Carbon dioxide induced silk protein gelation for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Floren, Michael L; Spilimbergo, Sara; Motta, Antonella; Migliaresi, Claudio

    2012-07-01

    We present a novel method to fabricate silk fibroin hydrogels using high pressure carbon dioxide (CO(2)) as a volatile acid without the need for chemical cross-linking agents or surfactants. The simple and efficient recovery of CO(2) post processing results in a remarkably clean production method offering tremendous benefit toward materials processing for biomedical applications. Further, with this novel technique we reveal that silk protein gelation can be considerably expedited under high pressure CO(2) with the formation of extensive ?-sheet structures and stable hydrogels at processing times less than 2 h. We report a significant influence of the high pressure CO(2) processing environment on silk hydrogel physical properties such as porosity, sample homogeneity, swelling behavior and compressive properties. Microstructural analysis revealed improved porosity and homogeneous composition among high pressure CO(2) specimens in comparison to the less porous and heterogeneous structures of the citric acid control gels. The swelling ratios of silk hydrogels prepared under high pressure CO(2) were significantly reduced compared to the citric acid control gels, which we attribute to enhanced physical cross-linking. Mechanical properties were found to increase significantly for the silk hydrogels prepared under high pressure CO(2), with a 2- and 3-fold increase in the compressive modulus of the 2 and 4 wt % silk hydrogels over the control gels, respectively. We adopted a semiempirical theoretical model to elucidate the mechanism of silk protein gelation demonstrated here. Mechanistically, the rate of silk protein gelation is believed to be a function of the kinetics of solution acidification from absorbed CO(2) and potentially accelerated by high pressure effects. The attractive features of the method described here include the acceleration of stable silk hydrogel formation, free of residual mineral acids or chemical cross-linkers, reducing processing complexity, and avoiding adverse biological responses, while providing direct manipulation of hydrogel physical properties for tailoring toward specific biomedical applications. PMID:22657735

  2. Production of synthetic spider dragline silk protein in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Fahnestock, S R; Bedzyk, L A

    1997-01-01

    The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris was tested as a host for the production of long, repetitive protein polymers. Synthetic genes for a designed analog of a spider dragline silk protein were readily expressed at high levels under control of the methanol-inducible AOX1 promoter. Transformants containing multiple gene copies produced elevated levels of silk protein, but of a variety of altered sizes as a result of gene rearrangements at the time of transformation. Genes up to 3000 codons in length or longer could be expressed with no evidence of the prevalent truncated synthesis observed for similar genes in Escherichia coli, though genes longer than 1600 codons were expressed less efficiently than shorter genes. Silk-producing P. pastoris strains were stable without selection for at least 100 doublings. PMID:9035408

  3. Characterization of silk gland ribosomes from a bivoltine caddisfly, Stenopsyche marmorata: translational suppression of a silk protein in cold conditions.

    PubMed

    Nomura, Takaomi; Ito, Miho; Kanamori, Mai; Shigeno, Yuta; Uchiumi, Toshio; Arai, Ryoichi; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Hirabayashi, Kimio; Ohkawa, Kousaku

    2016-01-01

    Larval Stenopsyche marmorata constructs food capture nets and fixed retreats underwater using self-produced proteinaceous silk fibers. In the Chikuma River (Nagano Prefecture, Japan) S. marmorata has a bivoltine life cycle; overwintering larvae grow slowly with reduced net spinning activity in winter. We recently reported constant transcript abundance of S. marmorata silk protein 1 (Smsp-1), a core S. marmorata silk fiber component, in all seasons, implying translational suppression in the silk gland during winter. Herein, we prepared and characterized silk gland ribosomes from seasonally collected S. marmorata larvae. Ribosomes from silk glands immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen (LN2) after dissection exhibited comparable translation elongation activity in spring, summer, and autumn. Conversely, silk glands obtained in winter did not contain active ribosomes and Smsp-1. Ribosomes from silk glands immersed in ice-cold physiological saline solution for approximately 4 h were translationally inactive, despite summer collection and Smsp-1 expression. The ribosomal inactivation occurs because of defects in the formation of 80S ribosomes, presumably due to splitting of 60S subunits containing 28S rRNA with central hidden break, in response to cold stress. These results suggest a novel-type ribosome-regulated translation control mechanism. PMID:26646291

  4. The advances and perspectives of recombinant protein production in the silk gland of silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hanfu

    2014-10-01

    The silk gland of silkworm Bombyx mori, is one of the most important organs that has been fully studied and utilized so far. It contributes finest silk fibers to humankind. The silk gland has excellent ability of synthesizing silk proteins and is a kind tool to produce some useful recombinant proteins, which can be widely used in the biological, biotechnical and pharmaceutical application fields. It's a very active area to express recombinant proteins using the silk gland as a bioreactor, and great progress has been achieved recently. This review recapitulates the progress of producing recombinant proteins and silk-based biomaterials in the silk gland of silkworm in addition to the construction of expression systems. Current challenges and future trends in the production of valuable recombinant proteins using transgenic silkworms are also discussed. PMID:25113390

  5. Differential Scanning Fluorimetry provides high throughput data on silk protein transitions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Hawkins, Nick; Porter, David; Holland, Chris; Boulet-Audet, Maxime

    2014-07-01

    Here we present a set of measurements using Differential Scanning Fluorimetry (DSF) as an inexpensive, high throughput screening method to investigate the folding of silk protein molecules as they abandon their first native melt conformation, dehydrate and denature into their final solid filament conformation. Our first data and analyses comparing silks from spiders, mulberry and wild silkworms as well as reconstituted `silk' fibroin show that DSF can provide valuable insights into details of silk denaturation processes that might be active during spinning. We conclude that this technique and technology offers a powerful and novel tool to analyse silk protein transitions in detail by allowing many changes to the silk solutions to be tested rapidly with microliter scale sample sizes. Such transition mechanisms will lead to important generic insights into the folding patterns not only of silks but also of other fibrous protein (bio)polymers.

  6. Silk: A Potential Medium for Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Sobajo, Cassandra; Behzad, Farhad; Yuan, Xue-Feng; Bayat, Ardeshir

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Human skin is a complex bilayered organ that serves as a protective barrier against the environment. The loss of integrity of skin by traumatic experiences such as burns and ulcers may result in considerable disability or ultimately death. Therefore, in skin injuries, adequate dermal substitutes are among primary care targets, aimed at replacing the structural and functional properties of native skin. To date, there are very few single application tissue-engineered dermal constructs fulfilling this criterion. Silk produced by the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a long history of use in medicine. It has recently been increasingly investigated as a promising biomaterial for dermal constructs. Silk contains 2 fibrous proteins, sericin and fibroin. Each one exhibits unique mechanical and biological properties. Methods: Comprehensive review of randomized-controlled trials investigating current dermal constructs and the structures and properties of silk-based constructs on wound healing. Results: This review revealed that silk-fibroin is regarded as the most promising biomaterial, providing options for the construction of tissue-engineered skin. Conclusion: The research available indicates that silk fibroin is a suitable biomaterial scaffold for the provision of adequate dermal constructs. PMID:18997857

  7. Synthesis and study of sericin-g-PLA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saetae, S.; Magaraphan, R.

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we present an experiment for bulk synthesis of the sericin-g-PLA by using Sn(Oct)2 as catalyst and study the effect of Thai silk cocoon species (Dok Bua, Luang Pirote, Nang Noi and Nang Lai) on properties of the sericin-g-PLA. We investigated the chemical structure of the grafted copolymers by using FTIR and GPC. Moreover, the grafting percentage was determined by soxhlet extaction. The IR spectra of extracted sample showed peaks at 1188 and 1215 cm-1 that assigned to the symmetric C-O-C stretching modes of the ester group. The methyl rocking stretching and C-CH3 vibration of polylactide appeared at 1130 and 1045 cm-1, respectively. The peak positioned 3440 cm-1 belonged to the hydroxyl group and the amino group of sericin which became less after polymerized with lactide. These evidences suggested that the lactide was reacted with sericin. Also, the molecular weight of the grafted copolymers were in range from 5.2 to 6.1 kg/mole. And Nang Lai-g-PLA showed the highest grafting percentage of the grafted copolymers.

  8. Stability of Silk and Collagen Protein Materials in Space

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Raja, Waseem K.; An, Bo; Tokareva, Olena; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Collagen and silk materials, in neat forms and as silica composites, were flown for 18 months on the International Space Station [Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)-6] to assess the impact of space radiation on structure and function. As natural biomaterials, the impact of the space environment on films of these proteins was investigated to understand fundamental changes in structure and function related to the future utility in materials and medicine in space environments. About 15% of the film surfaces were etched by heavy ionizing particles such as atomic oxygen, the major component of the low-Earth orbit space environment. Unexpectedly, more than 80% of the silk and collagen materials were chemically crosslinked by space radiation. These findings are critical for designing next-generation biocompatible materials for contact with living systems in space environments, where the effects of heavy ionizing particles and other cosmic radiation need to be considered. PMID:24305951

  9. Mechanical performance of spider silk is robust to nutrient-mediated changes in protein composition.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Liao, Chen-Pan; Chang, Chung-Kai; Chuang, Yu-Chun; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A; Sheu, Hwo-Shuenn; Tso, I-Min

    2015-04-13

    Spider major ampullate (MA) silk is sought after as a biomimetic because of its high strength and extensibility. While the secondary structures of MA silk proteins (spidroins) influences silk mechanics, structural variations induced by spinning processes have additional effects. Silk properties may be induced by spiders feeding on diets that vary in certain nutrients, thus providing researchers an opportunity to assess the interplay between spidroin chemistry and spinning processes on the performance of MA silk. Here, we determined the relative influence of spidroin expression and spinning processes on MA silk mechanics when Nephila pilipes were fed solutions with or without protein. We found that spidroin expression differed across treatments but that its influence on mechanics was minimal. Mechanical tests of supercontracted fibers and X-ray diffraction analyses revealed that increased alignment in the amorphous region and to a lesser extent in the crystalline region led to increased fiber strength and extensibility in spiders on protein rich diets. PMID:25764227

  10. Structural Model for the Spider Silk Protein Spidroin-1.

    PubMed

    dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Arcuri, Helen Andrade; Priewalder, Helga; Salles, Heliana Clara; Palma, Mario Sergio; Lubec, Gert

    2015-09-01

    Most reports about the 3-D structure of spidroin-1 have been proposed for the protein in solid state or for individual domains of these proteins. A gel-based mass spectrometry strategy using collision-induced dissociation (CID) and electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) fragmentation methods was used to completely sequence spidroins-1A and -1B and to assign a series of post-translational modifications (PTMs) on to the spidroin sequences. A total of 15 and 16 phosphorylation sites were detected on spidroin-1A and -1B, respectively. In this work, we present the nearly complete amino acid sequence of spidroin-1A and -1B, including the nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains and a highly repetitive central core. We also described a fatty acid layer surrounding the protein fibers and PTMs in the sequences of spidroin-1A and -1B, including phosphorylation. Thus, molecular models for phosphorylated spidroins were proposed in the presence of a mixture fatty acids/water (1:1) and submitted to molecular dynamics simulation. The resulting models presented high content of coils, a higher percentage of ?-helix, and an almost neglected content of 310-helix than the previous models. Knowledge of the complete structure of spidroins-1A and -1B would help to explain the mechanical features of silk fibers. The results of the current investigation provide a foundation for biophysical studies of the mechanoelastic properties of web-silk proteins. PMID:26211688

  11. Electroresponsive aqueous silk protein as "smart" mechanical damping fluid.

    PubMed

    Jose, Rod R; Elia, Roberto; Tien, Lee W; Kaplan, David L

    2014-05-14

    Here we demonstrate the effectiveness of an electroresponsive aqueous silk protein polymer as a smart mechanical damping fluid. The aqueous polymer solution is liquid under ambient conditions, but is reversibly converted into a gel once subjected to an electric current, thereby increasing or decreasing in viscosity. This nontoxic, biodegradable, reversible, edible fluid also bonds to device surfaces and is demonstrated to reduce friction and provide striking wear protection. The friction and mechanical damping coefficients are shown to modulate with electric field exposure time and/or intensity. Damping coefficient can be modulated electrically, and then preserved without continued power for longer time scales than conventional "smart" fluid dampers. PMID:24750065

  12. Electroresponsive Aqueous Silk Protein As “Smart” Mechanical Damping Fluid

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Here we demonstrate the effectiveness of an electroresponsive aqueous silk protein polymer as a smart mechanical damping fluid. The aqueous polymer solution is liquid under ambient conditions, but is reversibly converted into a gel once subjected to an electric current, thereby increasing or decreasing in viscosity. This nontoxic, biodegradable, reversible, edible fluid also bonds to device surfaces and is demonstrated to reduce friction and provide striking wear protection. The friction and mechanical damping coefficients are shown to modulate with electric field exposure time and/or intensity. Damping coefficient can be modulated electrically, and then preserved without continued power for longer time scales than conventional “smart” fluid dampers. PMID:24750065

  13. Hierarchical structures made of proteins. The complex architecture of spider webs and their constituent silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Heim, Markus; Römer, Lin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Biopolymers fulfil a variety of different functions in nature. They conduct various processes inside and outside cells and organisms, with a functionality ranging from storage of information to stabilization, protection, shaping, transport, cellular division, or movement of whole organisms. Within the plethora of biopolymers, the most sophisticated group is of proteinaceous origin: the cytoskeleton of a cell is made of protein filaments that aid in pivotal processes like intracellular transport, movement, and cell division; geckos use a distinct arrangement of keratin-like filaments on their toes which enable them to walk up smooth surfaces, such as walls, and even upside down across ceilings; and spiders spin silks that are extra-corporally used for protection of offspring and construction of complex prey traps. The following tutorial review describes the hierarchical organization of protein fibers, using spider dragline silk as an example. The properties of a dragline silk thread originate from the strictly controlled assembly of the underlying protein chains. The assembly procedure leads to protein fibers showing a complex hierarchical organization comprising three different structural phases. This structural organization is responsible for the outstanding mechanical properties of individual fibers, which out-compete even those of high-performance artificial fibers like Kevlar. Web-weaving spiders produce, in addition to dragline silk, other silks with distinct properties, based on slightly variant constituent proteins--a feature that allows construction of highly sophisticated spider webs with well designed architectures and with optimal mechanical properties for catching prey. PMID:20023846

  14. Biological responses to spider silk-antibiotic fusion protein

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Gallego-Llamas, Jabier; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    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 mice subcutaneous implants were studied to access the in vivo biological response to the 6mer+hepcidin, which were compared with controls of silk alone (6mer), poly-lactic-glycolic-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. PMID:22514077

  15. Purification and cytotoxcicity of tag-free bioengineered spider silk proteins3

    PubMed Central

    Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna; Majer, Agnieszka; Tomasiewicz, Paulina; Lozinska, Jolanta; Kaplan, David L.; Mackiewicz, Andrzej

    2012-01-01

    Bioengineered spider silk-like proteins can serve as biomaterials for various biomedical applications. These proteins can be assembled in several morphological forms such as films, microcapsules, spheres, fibers, gels and scaffolds. However, crucial points for recombinant spider silks for human use are toxicity and immunogenicity. To assess this issue two bioengineered spider silk proteins composed of different numbers of repetitive motifs of the consensus repeats from spidroin-1 from Nephila clavipes (15X and 6X) were cloned and expressed in E. coli. The proteins were free of tag-sequence and were purified using two methods based on (i) thermal and (ii) organic acid resistance of the spider silks. The soluble spider silk proteins were not cytotoxic and did not activate macrophages over a wide range of concentrations, except when present at the highest concentration. Films made of the different silk variants supported the growth of the cells. Based on these data, and since the biodegradation rate of silk is very slow, the bioengineered spider silks are presumed safe biomaterials for biomedical applications. PMID:22865581

  16. Enhancing analysis of cells and proteins by fluorescence imaging on silk-based biomaterials: modulating the autofluorescence of silk.

    PubMed

    Neo, Puay Yong; Tan, Daryl Jian-An; Shi, Pujiang; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James Cho-Hong

    2015-02-01

    Silk is a versatile and established biomaterial for various tissue engineering purposes. However, it also exhibits strong autofluorescence signals-thereby hindering fluorescence imaging analysis of cells and proteins on silk-derived biomaterials. Sudan Black B (SB) is a lysochrome dye commonly used to stain lipids in histology. It has also been reported to be able to quench autofluorescence of tissues in histology and has been tested on artificial biomedical polymers in recent years. It was hypothesized that SB would exert similar quenching effects on silk, modulating the autofluorescence signals, and thereby enabling improved imaging analysis of cells and molecules of interests. The quenching effect of SB on the intrinsic fluorescence properties of silk and on commercial fluorescent dyes were first investigated in this study. SB was then incorporated into typical fluorescence-based staining protocols to study its effectiveness in improving fluorescence-based imaging of the cells and proteins residing with the silk-based biomaterials. Silk processed into various forms of biomaterials (e.g., films, sponges, fibers, and electrospun mats) was seeded with cells and cultured in vitro. At sacrificial time points, specimens were harvested, fixed, and prepared for fluorescence staining. SB, available commercially as a powder, was dissolved in 70% ethanol (0.3% [w/v]) to form staining solutions. SB treatment was introduced at the last step of typical immunofluorescence staining protocols for 15-120?min. For actin staining protocols by phalloidin toxin, SB staining solutions were added before and after permeabilization with Triton-X for 15-30?min. Results showed that ideal SB treatment duration is about 15?min. Apart from being able to suppress the autofluorescence of silk, this treatment duration was also not too long to adversely affect the fluorescent labeling probes used. The relative improvement brought about by SB treatment was most evident in the blue and green emission wavelengths compared with the red emission wavelength. This study has showed that the use of SB is a cost and time effective approach to enhance fluorescence-based imaging analyses of cell-seeded silk biomaterials, which otherwise would have been hindered by the unmodulated autofluorescence signals. PMID:25050876

  17. Processing and modification of films made from recombinant spider silk proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huemmerich, D.; Slotta, U.; Scheibel, T.

    2006-02-01

    Protein films represent an interesting class of materials with various possibilities for applications. We investigated films made of two different synthetic spider silk proteins derived from the garden spider’s (Araneus diadematus) two dragline silk proteins ADF-3 and ADF-4. Protein films cast from hexafluoroisopropanol solutions displayed a predominantly ?-helical secondary structure. Processing such films with potassium phosphate or methanol resulted in a transition to a ?-sheet rich structure. While as-cast films could be dissolved in water, processed ?-sheet rich films were water insoluble. The chemical stability of processed films depended on the amino acid sequence of the respective protein employed. As a proof of principle, fluorescent probes or enzymes were covalently attached to the film surface. The presented approach provides a basis for designing tailor-made protein films using silk proteins as scaffold, in which the film properties can be controlled by genetic engineering of the underlying silks.

  18. Protein composition correlates with the mechanical properties of spider ( Argiope trifasciata ) dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Marhabaie, Mohammad; Leeper, Thomas C; Blackledge, Todd A

    2014-01-13

    We investigated the natural variation in silk composition and mechanical performance of the orb-weaving spider Argiope trifasciata at multiple spatial and temporal scales in order to assess how protein composition contributes to the remarkable material properties of spider dragline silk. Major ampullate silk in orb-weaving spiders consists predominantly of two proteins (MaSp1 and MaSp2) with divergent amino acid compositions and functionally different microstructures. Adjusting the expression of these two proteins therefore provides spiders with a simple mechanism to alter the material properties of their silk. We first assessed the reliability and precision of the Waters AccQ-Tag amino acid composition analysis kit for determining the amino acid composition of small quantities of spider silk. We then tested how protein composition varied within single draglines, across draglines spun by the same spider on different days, and finally between spiders. Then, we correlated chemical composition with the material properties of dragline silk. Overall, we found that the chemical composition of major ampullate silk was in general homogeneous among individuals of the same population. Variation in chemical composition was not detectable within silk spun by a single spider on a single day. However, we found that variation within a single spider's silk across different days could, in rare instances, be greater than variation among individual spiders. Most of the variation in silk composition in our investigation resulted from a small number of outliers (three out of sixteen individuals) with a recent history of stress, suggesting stress affects silk production process in orb web spiders. Based on reported sequences for MaSp genes, we developed a gene expression model showing the covariation of the most abundant amino acids in major ampullate silk. Our gene expression model supports that dragline silk composition was mostly determined by the relative abundance of MaSp1 and MaSp2. Finally, we showed that silk composition (especially proline content) strongly correlated with some measures of mechanical performance, particularly how much fibers shrunk during supercontraction as well as their breaking strains. Our findings suggest that spiders are able to change the relative expression rates of different MaSp genes to produce silk fibers with different chemical compositions, and hence, different material properties. PMID:24313814

  19. Quantitative Correlation Between the Protein Primary Sequences and Secondary Structures in Spider Dragline Silks

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Janelle E.; Creager, Melinda S.; Lewis, Randolph V.; Holland, Gregory P.; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic spider silk holds great potential for use in various applications spanning medical uses to ultra lightweight armor, however producing synthetic fibers with mechanical properties comparable to natural spider silk has eluded the scientific community. Natural dragline spider silks are commonly made from proteins that contain highly repetitive amino acid motifs, adopting an array of secondary structures. Before further advances can be made in the production of synthetic fibers based on spider silk proteins, it is imperative to know the percentage of each amino acid in the protein that forms a specific secondary structure. Linking these percentages to the primary amino acid sequence of the protein will establish a structural foundation for synthetic silk. In this study, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques are used to quantify the percentage of Ala, Gly, and Ser that form both ?-sheet and helical secondary structures. The fraction of these three amino acids and their secondary structure are quantitatively correlated to the primary amino acid sequence for the proteins that comprise major and minor ampullate silk from the Nephila clavipes spider providing a blueprint for synthetic spider silks. PMID:20000730

  20. Review the role of terminal domains during storage and assembly of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Eisoldt, Lukas; Thamm, Christopher; Scheibel, Thomas

    2012-06-01

    Fibrous proteins in nature fulfill a wide variety of functions in different structures ranging from cellular scaffolds to very resilient structures like tendons and even extra-corporal fibers such as silks in spider webs or silkworm cocoons. Despite their different origins and sequence varieties many of these fibrous proteins share a common building principle: they consist of a large repetitive core domain flanked by relatively small non-repetitive terminal domains. Amongst protein fibers, spider dragline silk shows prominent mechanical properties that exceed those of man-made fibers like Kevlar. Spider silk fibers assemble in a spinning process allowing the transformation from an aqueous solution into a solid fiber within milliseconds. Here, we highlight the role of the non-repetitive terminal domains of spider dragline silk proteins during storage in the gland and initiation of the fiber assembly process. PMID:22057429

  1. Sequence-structure correlations in the MaSp1 protein of N. clavipes dragline silk

    E-print Network

    Bratzel, Graham Hayden

    2011-01-01

    Silk is a hierarchically structured protein fiber with exceptional tensile strength and extensibility, making it one of the toughest and most versatile biocompatible materials. While experimental studies have shown that ...

  2. Brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) major ampullate silk protein and its material properties.

    PubMed

    Motriuk-Smith, Dagmara; Lewis, Randolph V

    2004-01-01

    Major ampullate (dragline) silk is the main web component as well as the silk that spiders use for a lifeline when they fall. This silk has a breaking stress of 4.6 GPa, which is similar to that of Kevlar. The majority of the previous mechanical testing studies involved the major ampullate silk from orb-weaving spiders. To date, there have been no reports on dragline silk mechanical properties from a cob-weaver, brown widow Latrodectus geometricus. L. geometricus dragline was found to be composed of MaSp1, MaSp2, and MaSp-like proteins all of which have highly conserved amino acid motifs, especially the GGX, GA and poly A for MaSp1 and GPGGX and poly A for MaSp2. These sequences are the same as those found in the silks of orb-weaving spiders. To determine if protein sequences influence the material properties of the silk, mechanical testing was performed on single strands of silk fibers from adult female L. geometricus spiders. The 3 cm long silk fibers were tested for breaking stress and strain with a MTS Synergie 100 mechanical testing system using a 50 g load cell with the cross-head speed set at 10 mm/min. The breaking stress and strain were measured for 20 replicate samples and averaged. The values of 0.83 +/- 0.19 GPa for stress and 0.14 +/- 0.06 for strain shows that brown widow dragline is weaker than the orb-weaving spiders. PMID:15133936

  3. Recombinant Minimalist Spider Wrapping Silk Proteins Capable of Native-Like Fiber Formation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lingling; Rainey, Jan K.; Meng, Qing; Liu, Xiang-Qin

    2012-01-01

    Spider silks are desirable biomaterials characterized by high tensile strength, elasticity, and biocompatibility. Spiders produce different types of silks for different uses, although dragline silks have been the predominant focus of previous studies. Spider wrapping silk, made of the aciniform protein (AcSp1), has high toughness because of its combination of high elasticity and tensile strength. AcSp1 in Argiope trifasciata contains a 200-aa sequence motif that is repeated at least 14 times. Here, we produced in E. coli recombinant proteins consisting of only one to four of the 200-aa AcSp1 repeats, designated W1 to W4. We observed that purified W2, W3 and W4 proteins could be induced to form silk-like fibers by shear forces in a physiological buffer. The fibers formed by W4 were ?3.4 µm in diameter and up to 10 cm long. They showed an average tensile strength of 115 MPa, elasticity of 37%, and toughness of 34 J cm?3. The smaller W2 protein formed fewer fibers and required a higher protein concentration to form fibers, whereas the smallest W1 protein did not form silk-like fibers, indicating that a minimum of two of the 200-aa repeats was required for fiber formation. Microscopic examinations revealed structural features indicating an assembly of the proteins into spherical structures, fibrils, and silk-like fibers. CD and Raman spectral analysis of protein secondary structures suggested a transition from predominantly ?-helical in solution to increasingly ?-sheet in fibers. PMID:23209681

  4. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    E-print Network

    Keten, Sinan

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown ...

  5. Bio-inspired Silicification of Silica-binding Peptide-Silk Protein Chimeras: Comparison of Chemically and Genetically Produced Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Canabady-Rochelle, Laetitia L.S.; Belton, David J.; Deschaume, Olivier; Currie, Heather A.; Kaplan, David L.; Perry, Carole C.

    2012-01-01

    Novel protein chimeras constituted of ‘silk’ and a silica-binding peptide (KSLSRHDHIHHH) were synthesized by genetic or chemical approaches and their influence on silica-silk based chimera composite formation evaluated. Genetic chimeras were constructed from 6 or 15 repeats of the 32 amino acid consensus sequence of Nephila clavipes spider silk ([SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQG]n) to which one silica binding peptide was fused at the N terminus. For the chemical chimera, 25 equivalents of the silica binding peptide were chemically coupled to natural Bombyx mori silk after modification of tyrosine groups by diazonium coupling and EDC/NHS activation of all acid groups. After silica formation under mild, biomaterial compatible conditions the effect of peptide addition on the properties of the silk and chimeric silk-silica composite materials was explored. The composite biomaterial properties could be related to the extent of silica condensation and to the higher number of silica binding sites in the chemical chimera as compared to the genetically derived variants. In all cases, the structure of the protein / chimera in solution dictated the type of composite structure that formed with the silica deposition process having little effect on the secondary structural composition of the silk based materials. Similarly to our study of genetic silk based chimeras containing the R5 peptide (SSKKSGSYSGSKGSKRRIL), the role of the chimeras (genetic and chemical) used in the present study resided more in aggregation and scaffolding than in the catalysis of condensation. The variables of peptide identity, silk construct (number of consensus repeats or silk source) and approach to synthesis (genetic or chemical) can be used to ‘tune’ the properties of the composite materials formed and is a general approach which can be used to prepare a range of materials for biomedical and sensor based applications. PMID:22229696

  6. Carbonization of a stable ?-sheet-rich silk protein into a pseudographitic pyroprotein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Se Youn; Yun, Young Soo; Lee, Sungho; Jang, Dawon; Park, Kyu-Young; Kim, Jae Kyung; Kim, Byung Hoon; Kang, Kisuk; Kaplan, David L.; Jin, Hyoung-Joon

    2015-05-01

    Silk proteins are of great interest to the scientific community owing to their unique mechanical properties and interesting biological functionality. In addition, the silk proteins are not burned out following heating, rather they are transformed into a carbonaceous solid, pyroprotein; several studies have identified potential carbon precursors for state-of-the-art technologies. However, no mechanism for the carbonization of proteins has yet been reported. Here we examine the structural and chemical changes of silk proteins systematically at temperatures above the onset of thermal degradation. We find that the ?-sheet structure is transformed into an sp2-hybridized carbon hexagonal structure by simple heating to 350 °C. The pseudographitic crystalline layers grew to form highly ordered graphitic structures following further heating to 2,800 °C. Our results provide a mechanism for the thermal transition of the protein and demonstrate a potential strategy for designing pyroproteins using a clean system with a catalyst-free aqueous wet process for in vivo applications.

  7. A protocol for the production of recombinant spider silk-like proteins for artificial fiber spinning

    PubMed Central

    Teulé, Florence; Cooper, Alyssa R; Furin, William A; Bittencourt, Daniela; Rech, Elibio L; Brooks, Amanda; Lewis, Randolph V

    2009-01-01

    The extreme strength and elasticity of spider silks originate from the modular nature of their repetitive proteins. To exploit such materials and mimic spider silks, comprehensive strategies to produce and spin recombinant fibrous proteins are necessary. This protocol describes silk gene design and cloning, protein expression in bacteria, recombinant protein purification and fiber formation. With an improved gene construction and cloning scheme, this technique is adaptable for the production of any repetitive fibrous proteins, and ensures the exact reproduction of native repeat sequences, analogs or chimeric versions. The proteins are solubilized in 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) at 25–30% (wt/vol) for extrusion into fibers. This protocol, routinely used to spin single micrometer-size fibers from several recombinant silk-like proteins from different spider species, is a powerful tool to generate protein libraries with corresponding fibers for structure–function relationship investigations in protein-based biomaterials. This protocol may be completed in 40 d. PMID:19229199

  8. Study of Protein Conformation and Orientation in Silkworm and Spider Silk Fibers Using Raman Microspectroscopy

    E-print Network

    Pezolet, Michel

    Study of Protein Conformation and Orientation in Silkworm and Spider Silk Fibers Using Raman Microspectroscopy Marie-Eve Rousseau, Thierry Lefe`vre, Lilyane Beaulieu, Tetsuo Asakura, and Michel Pe´zolet*, De species are composed of proteins of particular primary structures and are expected to exhibit variability

  9. Anti-fungal activity of maize silk proteins and role of chitinases in Aspergillus flavus resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteins were extracted from silks of two Aspergillus flavus resistant maize (Zea mays L.) inbreds, two susceptible inbreds, and one intermediately-resistant inbred grown in the field. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to identify and compare expression patterns of the proteins in the m...

  10. High yield recombinant silk-like protein production in transgenic plants through protein targeting.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianjun; Barr, Leslie A; Fahnestock, Stephen R; Liu, Zhan-Bin

    2005-06-01

    DP1B is a synthetic analogue of spider dragline silk protein. It can be spun to form silk fiber. Previously, it had been expressed in transgenic plants, showing the general feasibility of the plant-based DP1B production. However, success of such a plant-based platform requires a great increase of DP1B productivity in plant cells to reduce production cost. This report describes a protein targeting approach to accumulate DP1B in apoplast, ER lumen, and vacuole in Arabidopsis cells, by utilizing appropriate combinations of sporamin-targeting determinant peptides and ER retention peptide. The approach has dramatically enhanced DP1B accumulation, resulting in high production yield. The accumulation can be as high as 8.5 and 6.7% total soluble protein in leaf tissue by targeting to apoplast and ER lumen, respectively, or as high as 18 and 8.2% total soluble protein in seeds by targeting to ER lumen and vacuole, respectively. However, the vacuole targeting in leaves and the apoplast targeting in seeds have failed to accumulate full length DP1B molecules or any DP1B at all, respectively, suggesting that they may not be suitable for applications in leaf tissues and seeds. Data in this study recommend a combination of seed-specific expression and ER-targeting as one of the best strategies for yield enhancement of plant-based DP1B production. PMID:16145839

  11. Snmp-1, a Novel Membrane Protein of Olfactory Neurons of the Silk Moth Antheraea polyphemus with Homology to the CD36 Family of

    E-print Network

    Vogt, Richard G.

    Snmp-1, a Novel Membrane Protein of Olfactory Neurons of the Silk Moth Antheraea polyphemus of silk moths are well known for their exquisite sensitivity to sex pheromone odor- ants, molecular of the wild silk moth Antheraea polyphemus. We have purified and cloned a prominent 67-kDa protein which we

  12. Function of a TGF-beta inducible nuclear protein in the silk gland in Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wang, J-L; Zhang, Y-P; Gu, Y-Y; Wang, J-X; Zhao, X-F

    2009-04-01

    A TGF-beta inducible nuclear protein 1 (BmTINP1) was cloned from silkworm, Bombyx mori. Polyclonal antibodies against BmTINP1 were produced and subsequently used in immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry analyses. The immunoblotting analyses demonstrated that BmTINP1 was specifically expressed in the anterior silk gland (ASG) and the middle silk gland (MSG) but not in the posterior silk gland (PSG). There were two bands that suggested the existence of an isoform of BmTINP1. The expression profiles of BmTINP1 in ASGs and MSGs were similar, and they manifested a high level of expression throughout the period during which silk gland grew exponentially. Immunohistochemistry results revealed that BmTINP1 was translocated from the nucleus into the cytoplasm when larvae developed from the 4th-HCS into the 5th instar. 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) promotes the translocation, while the methoprene [a juvenile hormone (JH) analog] restrains the process. Our findings indicate that BmTINP1 is involved in silk produce along with the rapid growth of ASGs and MSGs during the last instar larvae, and the process could be regulated by hormones via control of BmTINP1 translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. PMID:19220509

  13. Integration of silk protein in organic and light-emitting transistors.

    PubMed

    Capelli, R; Amsden, J J; Generali, G; Toffanin, S; Benfenati, V; Muccini, M; Kaplan, D L; Omenetto, F G; Zamboni, R

    2011-07-01

    We present the integration of a natural protein into electronic and optoelectronic devices by using silk fibroin as a thin film dielectric in an organic thin film field-effect transistor (OFET) ad an organic light emitting transistor device (OLET) structures. Both n- (perylene) and p-type (thiophene) silk-based OFETs are demonstrated. The measured electrical characteristics are in agreement with high-efficiency standard organic transistors, namely charge mobility of the order of 10(-2) cm(2)/Vs and on/off ratio of 10(4). The silk-based optolectronic element is an advanced unipolar n-type OLET that yields a light emission of 100nW. PMID:22899899

  14. Analysis of tissue-specific region in sericin 1 gene promoter of Bombyx mori

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yan; Yu Lian; Guo Xiuyang; Guo Tingqing; Wang Shengpeng; Lu Changde . E-mail: cdlu@sibs.ac.cn

    2006-03-31

    The gene encoding sericin 1 (Ser1) of silkworm (Bombyx mori) is specifically expressed in the middle silk gland cells. To identify element involved in this transcription-dependent spatial restriction, truncation of the 5' terminal from the sericin 1 (Ser1) promoter is studied in vivo. A 209 bp DNA sequence upstream of the transcriptional start site (-586 to -378) is found to be responsible for promoting tissue-specific transcription. Analysis of this 209 bp region by overlapping deletion studies showed that a 25 bp region (-500 to -476) suppresses the ectopic expression of the Ser1 promoter. An unknown factor abundant in fat body nuclear extracts is shown to bind to this 25 bp fragment. These results suggest that this 25 bp region and the unknown factor are necessary for determining the tissue-specificity of the Ser1 promoter.

  15. Immobilization of sericin molecules via amorphous carbon plasma modified-polystyrene dish for serum-free culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tunma, Somruthai; Song, Doo-Hoon; Kim, Si-Eun; Kim, Kyoung-Nam; Han, Jeon-Geon; Boonyawan, Dheerawan

    2013-10-01

    In this study, we focused on sericin hydrolysates, originating from silkworm used in serum-free human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) culture. We reported the effect of a covalent linkage between a bioactive protein molecule and polystyrene dish surface via a carbon intermediate layer which can slow down the release rate of protein compounds into the phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution. Films of amorphous carbon (a-C) and functionalized-carbon were deposited on PS culture dish surfaces by using a DC magnetron sputtering system and RF PECVD system. We found that a-C based-films can increase the hydrophilicity and biocompatibility of polystyrene (PS) dishes, especially a-C films and a-C:N2 films showed good attachment of hBM-MSCs at 24 h. However, in the case of silica surface (a-C:SiOx films), the cells showed a ragged and unattached boundary resulting from the presence of surface silanol groups. For the UV-vis absorbance, all carbon modified-PS dishes showed a lower release rate of sericin molecules into PBS solution than PS control. This revealed that the functionalized carbon could be enhanced by specific binding properties with given molecules. The carbon-coated PS dishes grafting with sericin protein were used in a serum-free condition. We also found that hBM-MSCs have higher percentage of proliferated cells at day 7 for the modified dishes with carbon films and coated with sericin than the PS control coated with sericin. The physical film properties were measured by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and contact angle measurement. The presence of sbnd NH2 groups of sericin compounds on the PS dish was revealed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The stability of covalent bonds of sericin molecules after washing out ungrafted sericin was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

  16. Structural changes of thin films from recombinant spider silk proteins upon post-treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metwalli, E.; Slotta, U.; Darko, C.; Roth, S. V.; Scheibel, T.; Papadakis, C. M.

    2007-11-01

    Engineering of spider silk proteins offers the possibility to control their molecular sequence and thus their material properties. Spin coating was used to prepare films of engineered spider silk protein derived from the garden spider’s ( Araneus diadematus) dragline silk protein ADF-4. A conformational transition from ?-helix to ?-sheet-rich structures upon methanol treatment of the films was detected by external reflection IR spectroscopy. We present direct evidence for this structural transformation using grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD) and small-angle scattering (GISAXS). The protein film structure after the methanol treatment consists mainly of ?-sheet polyalanine crystals dispersed in an amorphous protein matrix. The GIXRD intensity profiles show Bragg peaks from ?-sheet polyalanine crystallites having an average size of 7.5 nm. The non-uniform and large crystal size distributions within the film were explained based on the protein composition. The effect of the chemical nature of the interface on the protein film structure was investigated as well.

  17. Carbonization of a stable ?-sheet-rich silk protein into a pseudographitic pyroprotein

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Se Youn; Yun, Young Soo; Lee, Sungho; Jang, Dawon; Park, Kyu-Young; Kim, Jae Kyung; Kim, Byung Hoon; Kang, Kisuk; Kaplan, David L.; Jin, Hyoung-Joon

    2015-01-01

    Silk proteins are of great interest to the scientific community owing to their unique mechanical properties and interesting biological functionality. In addition, the silk proteins are not burned out following heating, rather they are transformed into a carbonaceous solid, pyroprotein; several studies have identified potential carbon precursors for state-of-the-art technologies. However, no mechanism for the carbonization of proteins has yet been reported. Here we examine the structural and chemical changes of silk proteins systematically at temperatures above the onset of thermal degradation. We find that the ?-sheet structure is transformed into an sp2-hybridized carbon hexagonal structure by simple heating to 350?°C. The pseudographitic crystalline layers grew to form highly ordered graphitic structures following further heating to 2,800?°C. Our results provide a mechanism for the thermal transition of the protein and demonstrate a potential strategy for designing pyroproteins using a clean system with a catalyst-free aqueous wet process for in vivo applications. PMID:25990218

  18. Air filter devices including nonwoven meshes of electrospun recombinant spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Lang, Gregor; Jokisch, Stephan; Scheibel, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Based on the natural sequence of Araneus diadematus Fibroin 4 (ADF4), the recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(C16) has been engineered. This highly repetitive protein has a molecular weight of 48kDa and is soluble in different solvents (hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP), formic acid and aqueous buffers). eADF4(C16) provides a high potential for various technical applications when processed into morphologies such as films, capsules, particles, hydrogels, coatings, fibers and nonwoven meshes. Due to their chemical stability and controlled morphology, the latter can be used to improve filter materials. In this protocol, we present a procedure to enhance the efficiency of different air filter devices, by deposition of nonwoven meshes of electrospun recombinant spider silk proteins. Electrospinning of eADF4(C16) dissolved in HFIP results in smooth fibers. Variation of the protein concentration (5-25% w/v) results in different fiber diameters (80-1,100 nm) and thus pore sizes of the nonwoven mesh. Post-treatment of eADF4(C16) electrospun from HFIP is necessary since the protein displays a predominantly ?-helical secondary structure in freshly spun fibers, and therefore the fibers are water soluble. Subsequent treatment with ethanol vapor induces formation of water resistant, stable ?-sheet structures, preserving the morphology of the silk fibers and meshes. Secondary structure analysis was performed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and subsequent Fourier self-deconvolution (FSD). The primary goal was to improve the filter efficiency of existing filter substrates by adding silk nonwoven layers on top. To evaluate the influence of electrospinning duration and thus nonwoven layer thickness on the filter efficiency, we performed air permeability tests in combination with particle deposition measurements. The experiments were carried out according to standard protocols. PMID:23685883

  19. Activation of the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway by Silk Fibroin Modified Chitosan Nanoparticles in Hepatic Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ming-Hui; Chung, Tze-Wen; Lu, Yi-Shan; Chen, Yi-Ling; Tsai, Wan-Chi; Jong, Shiang-Bin; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou; Liao, Pao-Chi; Lin, Po-Chiao; Tyan, Yu-Chang

    2015-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a protein with bulky hydrophobic domains and can be easily purified as sericin-free silk-based biomaterial. Silk fibroin modified chitosan nanoparticle (SF-CSNP), a biocompatible material, has been widely used as a potential drug delivery system. Our current investigation studied the bio-effects of the SF-CSNP uptake by liver cells. In this experiment, the characterizations of SF-CSNPs were measured by particle size analysis and protein assay. The average size of the SF-CSNP was 311.9 ± 10.7 nm, and the average zeta potential was +13.33 ± 0.3 mV. The SF coating on the SF-CSNP was 6.27 ± 0.17 ?g/mL. Moreover, using proteomic approaches, several proteins involved in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway were identified by analysis of differential protein expressions of HepG2 cell uptake the SF-CSNP. Our experimental results have demonstrated that the SF-CSNP may be involved in liver cancer cell survival and proliferation. PMID:25588218

  20. Harnessing disorder: onychophorans use highly unstructured proteins, not silks, for prey capture.

    PubMed

    Haritos, Victoria S; Niranjane, Ajay; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Sutherland, Tara D

    2010-11-01

    Onychophora are ancient, carnivorous soft-bodied invertebrates which capture their prey in slime that originates from dedicated glands located on either side of the head. While the biochemical composition of the slime is known, its unusual nature and the mechanism of ensnaring thread formation have remained elusive. We have examined gene expression in the slime gland from an Australian onychophoran, Euperipatoides rowelli, and matched expressed sequence tags to separated proteins from the slime. The analysis revealed three categories of protein present: unique high-molecular-weight proline-rich proteins, and smaller concentrations of lectins and small peptides, the latter two likely to act as protease inhibitors and antimicrobial agents. The predominant proline-rich proteins (200 kDa+) are composed of tandem repeated motifs and distinguished by an unusually high proline and charged residue content. Unlike the highly structured proteins such as silks used for prey capture by spiders and insects, these proteins lack ordered secondary structure over their entire length. We propose that on expulsion of slime from the gland onto prey, evaporative water loss triggers a glass transition change in the protein solution, resulting in adhesive and enmeshing thread formation, assisted by cross-linking of complementary charged and hydrophobic regions of the protein. Euperipatoides rowelli has developed an entirely new method of capturing prey by harnessing disordered proteins rather than structured, silk-like proteins. PMID:20519222

  1. [So-called "wild silk" asthma--an ever current inhalation allergy to silk waste].

    PubMed

    Wüthrich, B; Dietschi, R; Keter, A; Zortea-Caflisch, C

    1985-10-01

    From the end of 1979 to June 1985 an inhalative allergy to silk wastes was diagnosed in the allergy station of the Dermatological Clinic of the University of Zurich in 118 patients, 54,2% of whom were women. Usually, bed quilts advertised as filled with "wild silk" were the cause of the sensitization. Occupational exposure to silk materials was found in only 4 cases. Average age at the time of first appearance of symptoms was 30.5 years, and sensitization time from first exposure to appearance of symptoms was 8.5 months. Monovalent sensitization was found in 44.1%. In most cases exposure prophylaxis sufficed to avoid symptoms. "Wild silk", unlike cultivated (mulberry Bombyx mori) silk, is the product of wild silk moths of the genus Antheraea feeding on oak leaves. Silk wastes are a byproduct of silk manufacturing, consisting of short silk threads (e.g. the end or the beginning of the cocoons), and make highly suitable filling material. During further silk processing the allergenic components, especially sericin, are eliminated by boiling off and degummed. For closer identification of the allergen(s), various kinds of raw and cleaned mulberry and wild silk were tested in sensitized patients by skin and RAST tests. The filling content of different bed quilts was investigated by the Swiss Textile Industry Test Institute. None consisted entirely or mainly of wild silk, and all contained a predominant portion of cultivated silk. The aggressive potency of the "wild silk" bed quilts is due to the insufficiently cleaned and degummed mulberry and wild silk wastes. Contamination of the silk wastes by an insect of the genus Anthrenus was also found.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:4071013

  2. Synthetic spider dragline silk proteins and their production in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Fahnestock, S R; Irwin, S L

    1997-01-01

    Synthetic genes were designed to encode analogs of the two proteins of Nephila clavipes dragline silk, spidroins 1 and 2. The genes were constructed of tandem repeats of relatively long (more than 300 bp) DNA sequences assembled from synthetic oligonucleotides, and encoded proteins of high molecular mass (65-163 kDa). Both analogs were produced efficiently in Escherichia coli. The yield and homogeneity of the products of longer genes were limited by premature termination of synthesis, probably as a result of processivity errors in protein synthesis. Average termination rates were determined to be 1 in 1100 codons to 1 in 300 codons, depending on the length and synonymous codon choices of the gene. Both analog proteins could be induced to form stable aqueous solutions without denaturants. Circular dichroism spectra of the purified proteins in dilute solution resembled spectra of redissolved natural dragline silk in reflecting a largely disordered structure in water and more ordered structures in mixed solvents with methanol and trifluoroethanol. PMID:9035407

  3. Structure and expression of the silk adhesive protein Ser2 in Bombyx mori Barbara Kludkiewicz a,b

    E-print Network

    ?urovec, Michal

    Structure and expression of the silk adhesive protein Ser2 in Bombyx mori Barbara Kludkiewicz a genes, of which Ser1 and Ser3 have been characterized. The Ser1 and Ser3 proteins were shown to appear of the Ser2 gene. We also describe the sequence, exoneintron structure, alternative splicing and deduced

  4. Characterization of Silk Fibroin Modified Surface: A Proteomic View of Cellular Response Proteins Induced by Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ming-Hui; Yuan, Shyng-Shiou; Chung, Tze-Wen; Jong, Shiang-Bin; Lu, Chi-Yu; Tsai, Wan-Chi; Chen, Wen-Cheng; Lin, Po-Chiao; Chiang, Pei-Wen; Tyan, Yu-Chang

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop the pathway of silk fibroin (SF) biopolymer surface induced cell membrane protein activation. Fibroblasts were used as an experimental model to evaluate the responses of cellular proteins induced by biopolymer material using a mass spectrometry-based profiling system. The surface was covered by multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and SF to increase the surface area, enhance the adhesion of biopolymer, and promote the rate of cell proliferation. The amount of adhered fibroblasts on CNTs/SF electrodes of quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) greatly exceeded those on other surfaces. Moreover, analyzing differential protein expressions of adhered fibroblasts on the biopolymer surface by proteomic approaches indicated that CD44 may be a key protein. Through this study, utilization of mass spectrometry-based proteomics in evaluation of cell adhesion on biopolymer was proposed. PMID:24818131

  5. Sericin enhances the bioperformance of collagen-based matrices preseeded with human-adipose derived stem cells (hADSCs).

    PubMed

    Dinescu, Sorina; Galateanu, Bianca; Albu, Madalina; Cimpean, Anisoara; Dinischiotu, Anca; Costache, Marieta

    2013-01-01

    Current clinical strategies for adipose tissue engineering (ATE), including autologous fat implants or the use of synthetic surrogates, not only are failing in the long term, but also can't face the latest requirements regarding the aesthetic restoration of the resulted imperfections. In this context, modern strategies in current ATE applications are based on the implantation of 3D cell-scaffold bioconstructs, designed for prospective achievement of in situ functional de novo tissue. Thus, in this paper, we reported for the first time the evaluation of a spongious 60% collagen and 40% sericin scaffold preseeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) in terms of biocompatibility and adipogenic potential in vitro. We showed that the addition of the sticky protein sericin in the composition of a classical collagen sponge enhanced the adhesion and also the proliferation rate of the seeded cells, thus improving the biocompatibility of the novel scaffold. In addition, sericin stimulated PPAR?2 overexpression, triggering a subsequent upregulated expression profile of FAS, aP2 and perilipin adipogenic markers. These features, together with the already known sericin stimulatory potential on cellular collagen production, promote collagen-sericin biomatrix as a good candidate for soft tissue reconstruction and wound healing applications. PMID:23325052

  6. Sericin Enhances the Bioperformance of Collagen-Based Matrices Preseeded with Human-Adipose Derived Stem Cells (hADSCs)

    PubMed Central

    Dinescu, Sorina; Galateanu, Bianca; Albu, Madalina; Cimpean, Anisoara; Dinischiotu, Anca; Costache, Marieta

    2013-01-01

    Current clinical strategies for adipose tissue engineering (ATE), including autologous fat implants or the use of synthetic surrogates, not only are failing in the long term, but also can’t face the latest requirements regarding the aesthetic restoration of the resulted imperfections. In this context, modern strategies in current ATE applications are based on the implantation of 3D cell-scaffold bioconstructs, designed for prospective achievement of in situ functional de novo tissue. Thus, in this paper, we reported for the first time the evaluation of a spongious 60% collagen and 40% sericin scaffold preseeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) in terms of biocompatibility and adipogenic potential in vitro. We showed that the addition of the sticky protein sericin in the composition of a classical collagen sponge enhanced the adhesion and also the proliferation rate of the seeded cells, thus improving the biocompatibility of the novel scaffold. In addition, sericin stimulated PPAR?2 overexpression, triggering a subsequent upregulated expression profile of FAS, aP2 and perilipin adipogenic markers. These features, together with the already known sericin stimulatory potential on cellular collagen production, promote collagen-sericin biomatrix as a good candidate for soft tissue reconstruction and wound healing applications. PMID:23325052

  7. Silk as a Biomaterial

    PubMed Central

    Vepari, Charu

    2009-01-01

    Silks are fibrous proteins with remarkable mechanical properties produced in fiber form by silkworms and spiders. Silk fibers in the form of sutures have been used for centuries. Recently regenerated silk solutions have been used to form a variety of biomaterials, such as gels, sponges and films, for medical applications. Silks can be chemically modified through amino acid side chains to alter surface properties or to immobilize cellular growth factors. Molecular engineering of silk sequences has been used to modify silks with specific features, such as cell recognition or mineralization. The degradability of silk biomaterials can be related to the mode of processing and the corresponding content of beta sheet crystallinity. Several primary cells and cell lines have been successfully grown on different silk biomaterials to demonstrate a range of biological outcomes. Silk biomaterials are biocompatible when studied in vitro and in vivo. Silk scaffolds have been successfully used in wound healing and in tissue engineering of bone, cartilage, tendon and ligament tissues. PMID:19543442

  8. Fabrication of Highly Uniform Nanoparticles from Recombinant Silk-Elastinlike Protein Polymers for Therapeutic Agent Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Anumolu, Rajasekhar; Gustafson, Joshua A.; Magda, Jules J.; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Pease, Leonard F.

    2011-01-01

    Here we generate silk-elastinlike protein (SELP) polymeric nanoparticles and demonstrate precise control over their dimensions using an electrospray differential mobility analyzer (ES-DMA). Electrospray produces droplets encompassing several polymer strands. Evaporation ensues, leading polymer strands to accumulate at the droplet interface forming a hollow nanoparticle. The resulting nanoparticle size distributions which govern particle yield, depend on buffer concentration to the ?1/3 power, polymer concentration to the 1/3 power, and ratio of silk to elastin blocks. Three recombinantly tuned ratios of silk to elastin blocks, 8:16, 4:8, and 4:16, respectively named SELP-815K, SELP-47K, and SELP-415K, are employed with the latter ratio resulting in a thinner shell and larger diameter for the nanoparticles than the former. The DMA narrows the size distribution by electrostatically classifying the aerosolized nanoparticles. These highly uniform nanoparticles have variations of 1.2 nm and 1.4 nm for 24.0 nm and 36.0 nm particles, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy reveals the nanoparticles to be faceted, as a buckling instability releases compression energy arising from evaporation after the shell has formed by bending it. A thermodynamic equilibrium exists between compression and bending energies, where the facet length is 1/2 the particle diameter, in agreement with experiments. Rod-like particles also formed from polymer stabilized filaments when the viscous length exceeds the jet radius at higher solution viscosities. The unusual uniformity in composition and dimension indicates the potential of these nanoparticles to deliver bioactive and imaging agents. PMID:21696150

  9. A novel marine silk.

    PubMed

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex ?-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements. PMID:22057952

  10. A novel marine silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kronenberger, Katrin; Dicko, Cedric; Vollrath, Fritz

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of a novel silk production system in a marine amphipod provides insights into the wider potential of natural silks. The tube-building corophioid amphipod Crassicorophium bonellii produces from its legs fibrous, adhesive underwater threads that combine barnacle cement biology with aspects of spider silk thread extrusion spinning. We characterised the filamentous silk as a mixture of mucopolysaccharides and protein deriving from glands representing two distinct types. The carbohydrate and protein silk secretion is dominated by complex ?-sheet structures and a high content of charged amino acid residues. The filamentous secretion product exits the gland through a pore near the tip of the secretory leg after having moved through a duct, which subdivides into several small ductules all terminating in a spindle-shaped chamber. This chamber communicates with the exterior and may be considered the silk reservoir and processing/mixing space, in which the silk is mechanically and potentially chemically altered and becomes fibrous. We assert that further study of this probably independently evolved, marine arthropod silk processing and secretion system can provide not only important insights into the more complex arachnid and insect silks but also into crustacean adhesion cements.

  11. E-Spun Composite Fibers of Collagen and Dragline Silk Protein: Fiber Mechanics, Biocompatibility, and Application in Stem Cell Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Biocomposite matrices with high mechanical strength, high stability, and the ability to direct matrix-specific stem cell differentiation are essential for the reconstruction of lesioned tissues in tissue engineering and cell therapeutics. Toward this end, we used the electrospinning technique to fabricate well-aligned composite fibers from collagen and spider dragline silk protein, obtained from the milk of transgenic goats, mimicking the native extracellular matrix (ECM) on a similar scale. Collagen and the dragline silk proteins were found to mix homogeneously at all ratios in the electrospun (E-spun) fibers. As a result, the ultimate tensile strength and elasticity of the fibers increased monotonically with silk percentage, whereas the stretchability was slightly reduced. Strikingly, we found that the incorporation of silk proteins to collagen dramatically increased the matrix stability against excessive fiber swelling and shape deformation in cell culture medium. When human decidua parietalis placental stem cells (hdpPSCs) were seeded on the collagen–silk matrices, the matrices were found to support cell proliferation at a similar rate as that of the pure collagen matrix, but they provided cell adhesion with reduced strengths and induced cell polarization at varied levels. Matrices containing 15 and 30 wt % silk in collagen (CS15, CS30) were found to induce a level of neural differentiation comparable to that of pure collagen. In particular, CS15 matrix induced the highest extent of cell polarization and promoted the development of extended 1D neural filaments strictly in-line with the aligned fibers. Taking the increased mechanical strength and fiber stability into consideration, CS15 and CS30 E-spun fibers offer better alternatives to pure collagen fibers as scaffolds that can be potentially utilized in neural tissue repair and the development of future nanobiodevices. PMID:25405355

  12. High yield exogenous protein HPL production in the Bombyx mori silk gland provides novel insight into recombinant expression systems

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Huan; Wang, Lu; Wang, Yulong; Tao, Hui; Yin, Weimin; SiMa, Yanghu; Wang, Yujun; Xu, Shiqing

    2015-01-01

    The silk gland of Bombyx mori (BmSG) has gained significant attention by dint of superior synthesis and secretion of proteins. However, the application of BmSG bioreactor is still a controversial issue because of low yields of recombinant proteins. Here, a 3057?bp full-length coding sequence of Hpl was designed and transformed into the silkworm genome, and then the mutant (Hpl/Hpl) with specific expression of Hpl in posterior BmSG (BmPSG) was obtained. In the mutants, the transcription level of Fib-L and P25, and corresponding encoding proteins, did not decrease. However, the mRNA level of Fib-H was reduced by 71.1%, and Fib-H protein in the secreted fibroin was decreased from 91.86% to 71.01%. The mRNA level of Hpl was 0.73% and 0.74% of Fib-H and Fib-L, respectively, while HPL protein accounted for 18.85% of fibroin and 15.46% of the total amount of secreted silk protein. The exogenous protein was therefore very efficiently translated and secreted. Further analysis of differentially expressed gene (DEG) was carried out in the BmPSG cells and 891 DEGs were detected, of which 208 genes were related to protein metabolism. Reduced expression of endogenous silk proteins in the BmPSG could effectively improve the production efficiency of recombinant exogenous proteins. PMID:26370318

  13. Self-assembly of silk-elastinlike protein polymers into three-dimensional scaffolds for biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Like

    Production of brand new protein-based materials with precise control over the amino acid sequences at single residue level has been made possible by genetic engineering, through which artificial genes can be developed that encode protein-based materials with desired features. As an example, silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs), composed of tandem repeats of amino acid sequence motifs from Bombyx mori (silkworm) silk and mammalian elastin, have been produced in this approach. SELPs have been studied extensively in the past two decades, however, the fundamental mechanism governing the self-assembly process to date still remains largely unresolved. Further, regardless of the unprecedented success when exploited in areas including drug delivery, gene therapy, and tissue augmentation, SELPs scaffolds as a three-dimensional cell culture model system are complicated by the inability of SELPs to provide the embedded tissue cells with appropriate biochemical stimuli essential for cell survival and function. In this dissertation, it is reported that the self-assembly of silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs) into nanofibers in aqueous solutions can be modulated by tuning the curing temperature, the size of the silk blocks, and the charge of the elastin blocks. A core-sheath model was proposed for nanofiber formation, with the silk blocks in the cores and the hydrated elastin blocks in the sheaths. The folding of the silk blocks into stable cores -- affected by the size of the silk blocks and the charge of the elastin blocks -- plays a critical role in the assembly of silk-elastin nanofibers. The assembled nanofibers further form nanofiber clusters on the microscale, and the nanofiber clusters then coalesce into nanofiber micro-assemblies, interconnection of which eventually leads to the formation of three-dimensional scaffolds with distinct nanoscale and microscale features. SELP-Collagen hybrid scaffolds were also fabricated to enable independent control over the scaffolds' biochemical input and matrix stiffness. It is reported herein that in the hybrid scaffolds, collagen provides essential biochemical cues needed to promote cell attachment and function while SELP imparts matrix stiffness tunability. To obtain tissue-specificity in matrix stiffness that spans over several orders of magnitude covering from soft brain to stiff cartilage, the hybrid SELP-Collagen scaffolds were crosslinked by transglutaminase at physiological conditions compatible for simultaneous cell encapsulation. The effect of the increase in matrix stiffness induced by such enzymatic crosslinking on cellular viability and proliferation was also evaluated using in vitro cell assays.

  14. Structure and applications of a temperature responsive recombinant protein hydrogel based on silk- and elastin-like amino acid motifs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drummy, Lawrence; Tomczak, Melanie; Macauliffe, Joseph; Vaia, Richard; Naik, Rajesh

    2008-03-01

    Proteins form the main components of many natural materials, and they can be designed to offer tailored functionality and material properties. Silk elastin-like proteins (SELP)s come from a family of repeat sequence protein polymers based on Bombyx mori silk and mammalian elastin that are recombinantly expressed in E. coli. SELP gels are formed by heating the protein solutions in order to induce physical crosslinking of the silk ?-sheet regions, they contain approximately 80-90% water by weight and they can be used for encapsulation of enzymes or nanoparticles. For example, horseradish peroxidase demonstrates added resistance to drying and heat treatment when encapsulated in the gel matrix. During gel formation, small angle X-ray scattering shows intensity increases in two distinct regions of reciprocal space, one reversible with temperature and one irreversible. By fitting the scattering data to a unified power-law/Gunier model, morphological parameters are extracted. The thermally reversible intensity changes are attributed to a hydrophilic/hydrophobic transition in the elastin segments, while the irreversible intensity change is due to the crystalline regions formed by the silk blocks.

  15. In situ gelling silk-elastinlike protein polymer for transarterial chemoembolization.

    PubMed

    Poursaid, Azadeh; Price, Robert; Tiede, Andrea; Olson, Erik; Huo, Eugene; McGill, Lawrence; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Cappello, Joseph

    2015-07-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma annually affects over 700,000 people worldwide and trends indicate increasing prevalence. Patients ineligible for surgery undergo loco-regional treatments such as transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) to selectively target tumoral blood supply. Using a microcatheter, chemotherapeutics are infused followed by an embolic agent, or the drug is encapsulated by the embolic moiety; simultaneously inducing stasis while delivering localized chemotherapy. Presently, several products are used, but no universally accepted system is promoted because very disparate limitations exist. The goal of this investigation was to design and develop in situ gelling recombinant silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs) for TACE. Two SELP compositions, SELP-47K and SELP-815K, with varying lengths of silk and elastin blocks, were investigated to formulate a new embolic that was injectable through commercially available microcatheters. The goal was to develop a composition providing maximal permeation of tumor vasculature while exhibiting effective embolic activity. The SELPs evaluated remain soluble until reaching 37 °C, when irreversible transition ensues forming a solid hydrogel network. SELP-815K formulated at 12% w/w with shear processing demonstrated acceptable rheological properties and clear embolic capability under flow conditions in vitro. A rabbit model showed feasibility of embolization in vivo allowing selective occlusion of lobar hepatic arterial branches. PMID:25916502

  16. Influence of polymer structure and biodegradation on DNA release from silk-elastinlike protein polymer hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Hwang, David; Moolchandani, Vikas; Dandu, Ramesh; Haider, Mohamed; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza

    2009-02-23

    Silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs) of varying ratios and lengths of silk and elastin blocks capable of hydrogel formation were evaluated as matrices for controlled delivery of plasmid DNA. Influence of polymer structure, ionic strength of the media and gelation time on DNA release from two structurally related hydrogels, SELP-47K and SELP-415K, was evaluated. The influence of elastase-induced degradation on the swelling behavior and DNA release from these hydrogels was investigated. Results indicate that release is a function of polymer structure, concentration and cure time. SELP-415K which has twice the number of elastin units as that of SELP-47K demonstrated higher release than that of SELP-47K. DNA release from these hydrogels is an inverse function of polymer concentration and cure time, with higher release observed at lower polymer concentration and shorter cure time. Results indicate that ionic strength of the media governs the rate of release. An increase in swelling ratio was observed in the presence of elastase at 12 wt.% composition for both SELP analogs. Release in the presence of elastase was enhanced due to increased swelling ratio and loss of hydrogel integrity. These studies allude to the utility of recombinant techniques to control plasmid DNA release and biodegradation in SELP hydrogels. PMID:19027056

  17. Genetically programmable thermoresponsive plasmonic gold/silk-elastin protein core/shell nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yinan; Xia, Xiaoxia; Wang, Ming; Wang, Qianrui; An, Bo; Tao, Hu; Xu, Qiaobing; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-22

    The design and development of future molecular photonic/electronic systems pose the challenge of integrating functional molecular building blocks in a controlled, tunable, and reproducible manner. The modular nature and fidelity of the biosynthesis method provides a unique chemistry approach to one-pot synthesis of environmental factor-responsive chimeric proteins capable of energy conversion between the desired forms. In this work, facile tuning of dynamic thermal response in plasmonic nanoparticles was facilitated by genetic engineering of the structure, size, and self-assembly of the shell silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs). Recombinant DNA techniques were implemented to synthesize a new family of SELPs, S4E8Gs, with amino acid repeats of [(GVGVP)4(GGGVP)(GVGVP)3(GAGAGS)4] and tunable molecular weight. The temperature-reversible conformational switching between the hydrophilic random coils and the hydrophobic ?-turns in the elastin blocks were programmed to between 50 and 60 °C by site-specific glycine mutation, as confirmed by variable-temperature proton NMR and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, to trigger the nanoparticle aggregation. The dynamic self-aggregation/disaggregation of the Au-SELPs nanoparticles was regulated in size and pattern by the ?-sheet-forming, thermally stable silk blocks, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The thermally reversible, shell dimension dependent, interparticle plasmon coupling was investigated by both variable-temperature UV-vis spectroscopy and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)-based simulations. Good agreement between the calculated and measured spectra sheds light on design and synthesis of responsive plasmonic nanostructures by independently tuning the refractive index and size of the SELPs through genetic engineering. PMID:24712906

  18. Genetically Programmable Thermoresponsive Plasmonic Gold/Silk-Elastin Protein Core/Shell Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The design and development of future molecular photonic/electronic systems pose the challenge of integrating functional molecular building blocks in a controlled, tunable, and reproducible manner. The modular nature and fidelity of the biosynthesis method provides a unique chemistry approach to one-pot synthesis of environmental factor-responsive chimeric proteins capable of energy conversion between the desired forms. In this work, facile tuning of dynamic thermal response in plasmonic nanoparticles was facilitated by genetic engineering of the structure, size, and self-assembly of the shell silk-elastin-like protein polymers (SELPs). Recombinant DNA techniques were implemented to synthesize a new family of SELPs, S4E8Gs, with amino acid repeats of [(GVGVP)4(GGGVP)(GVGVP)3(GAGAGS)4] and tunable molecular weight. The temperature-reversible conformational switching between the hydrophilic random coils and the hydrophobic ?-turns in the elastin blocks were programmed to between 50 and 60 °C by site-specific glycine mutation, as confirmed by variable-temperature proton NMR and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, to trigger the nanoparticle aggregation. The dynamic self-aggregation/disaggregation of the Au-SELPs nanoparticles was regulated in size and pattern by the ?-sheet-forming, thermally stable silk blocks, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The thermally reversible, shell dimension dependent, interparticle plasmon coupling was investigated by both variable-temperature UV–vis spectroscopy and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)-based simulations. Good agreement between the calculated and measured spectra sheds light on design and synthesis of responsive plasmonic nanostructures by independently tuning the refractive index and size of the SELPs through genetic engineering. PMID:24712906

  19. Topical Anti-Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Small Interfering RNA with Functional Peptides Containing Sericin-Based Hydrogel for Atopic Dermatitis

    PubMed Central

    Kanazawa, Takanori; Shizawa, Yuki; Takeuchi, Mayu; Tamano, Kuniko; Ibaraki, Hisako; Seta, Yasuo; Takashima, Yuuki; Okada, Hiroaki

    2015-01-01

    The small interfering RNA (siRNA) is suggested to offer a novel means of treating atopic dermatitis (AD) because it allows the specific silencing of genes related to AD pathogenesis. In our previous study, we found that siRNA targeted against RelA, an important nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) subdomain, with functional peptides, showed therapeutic effects in a mouse model of AD. In the present study, to develop a topical skin application against AD, we prepared a hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA and functional peptides and determined the intradermal permeation and the anti-AD effects in an AD mouse model. We selected the silk protein, sericin (SC), which is a versatile biocompatible biomaterial to prepare hydrogel as an aqueous gel base. We found that the siRNA was more widely delivered to the site of application in AD-induced ear skin of mice after topical application via the hydrogel containing functional peptides than via the preparation without functional peptides. In addition, the ear thickness and clinical skin severity of the AD-induced mice treated with hydrogel containing anti-RelA siRNA with functional peptides improved more than that of mice treated with the preparation formulated with negative siRNA. PMID:26371030

  20. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion.

    PubMed

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments. PMID:25761668

  1. Ubiquitous distribution of salts and proteins in spider glue enhances spider silk adhesion

    PubMed Central

    Amarpuri, Gaurav; Chaurasia, Vishal; Jain, Dharamdeep; Blackledge, Todd A.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Modern orb-weaving spiders use micron-sized glue droplets on their viscid silk to retain prey in webs. A combination of low molecular weight salts and proteins makes the glue viscoelastic and humidity responsive in a way not easily achieved by synthetic adhesives. Optically, the glue droplet shows a heterogeneous structure, but the spatial arrangement of its chemical components is poorly understood. Here, we use optical and confocal Raman microscopy to show that salts and proteins are present ubiquitously throughout the droplet. The distribution of adhesive proteins in the peripheral region explains the superior prey capture performance of orb webs as it enables the entire surface area of the glue droplet to act as a site for prey capture. The presence of salts throughout the droplet explains the recent Solid-State NMR results that show salts directly facilitate protein mobility. Understanding the function of individual glue components and the role of the droplet's macro-structure can help in designing better synthetic adhesives for humid environments. PMID:25761668

  2. Proteomic Evidence for Components of Spider Silk Synthesis from Black Widow Silk Glands and Fibers.

    PubMed

    Chaw, Ro Crystal; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Ayoub, Nadia A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2015-10-01

    Spider silk research has largely focused on spidroins, proteins that are the primary components of spider silk fibers. Although a number of spidroins have been characterized, other types of proteins associated with silk synthesis are virtually unknown. Previous analyses of tissue-specific RNA-seq libraries identified 647 predicted genes that were differentially expressed in silk glands of the Western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus. Only ?5% of these silk-gland specific transcripts (SSTs) encode spidroins; although the remaining predicted genes presumably encode other proteins associated with silk production, this is mostly unverified. Here, we used proteomic analysis of multiple silk glands and dragline silk fiber to investigate the translation of the differentially expressed genes. We find 48 proteins encoded by the differentially expressed transcripts in L. hesperus major ampullate, minor ampullate, and tubuliform silk glands and detect 17 SST encoded proteins in major ampullate silk fibers. The observed proteins include known silk-related proteins, but most are uncharacterized, with no annotation. These unannotated proteins likely include novel silk-associated proteins. Major and minor ampullate glands have the highest overlap of identified proteins, consistent with their shared, distinctive ampullate shape and the overlapping functions of major and minor ampullate silks. Our study substantiates and prioritizes predictions from differential expression analysis of spider silk gland transcriptomes. PMID:26302244

  3. Molecular cloning, gene expression analysis, and recombinant protein expression of novel silk proteins from larvae of a retreat-maker caddisfly, Stenopsyche marmorata.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xue; Sakaguchi, Mayo; Yamaguchi, Yuko; Ishihara, Shiori; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Hirabayashi, Kimio; Ohkawa, Kousaku; Nomura, Takaomi; Arai, Ryoichi

    2015-08-28

    Retreat-maker larvae of Stenopsyche marmorata, one of the major caddisfly species in Japan, produce silk threads and adhesives to build food capture nets and protective nests in water. Research on these underwater adhesive silk proteins potentially leads to the development of new functional biofiber materials. Recently, we identified four major S. marmorata silk proteins (Smsps), Smsp-1, Smsp-2, Smsp-3, and Smsp-4 from silk glands of S. marmorata larvae. In this study, we cloned full-length cDNAs of Smsp-2, Smsp-3, and Smsp-4 from the cDNA library of the S. marmorata silk glands to reveal the primary sequences of Smsps. Homology search results of the deduced amino acid sequences indicate that Smsp-2 and Smsp-4 are novel proteins. The Smsp-2 sequence [167 amino acids (aa)] has an array of GYD-rich repeat motifs and two (SX)4E motifs. The Smsp-4 sequence (132 aa) contains a number of GW-rich repeat motifs and three (SX)4E motifs. The Smsp-3 sequence (248 aa) exhibits high homology with fibroin light chain of other caddisflies. Gene expression analysis of Smsps by real-time PCR suggested that the gene expression of Smsp-1 and Smsp-3 was relatively stable throughout the year, whereas that of Smsp-2 and Smsp-4 varied seasonally. Furthermore, Smsps recombinant protein expression was successfully performed in Escherichia coli. The study provides new molecular insights into caddisfly aquatic silk and its potential for future applications. PMID:26168724

  4. Effects of the amino acid sequence on thermal conduction through ?-sheet crystals of natural silk protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lin; Bai, Zhitong; Ban, Heng; Liu, Ling

    2015-10-28

    Recent experiments have discovered very different thermal conductivities between the spider silk and the silkworm silk. Decoding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the distinct thermal properties may guide the rational design of synthetic silk materials and other biomaterials for multifunctionality and tunable properties. However, such an understanding is lacking, mainly due to the complex structure and phonon physics associated with the silk materials. Here, using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics, we demonstrate that the amino acid sequence plays a key role in the thermal conduction process through ?-sheets, essential building blocks of natural silks and a variety of other biomaterials. Three representative ?-sheet types, i.e. poly-A, poly-(GA), and poly-G, are shown to have distinct structural features and phonon dynamics leading to different thermal conductivities. A fundamental understanding of the sequence effects may stimulate the design and engineering of polymers and biopolymers for desired thermal properties. PMID:26455593

  5. Expression of a Truncated ATHB17 Protein in Maize Increases Ear Weight at Silking

    PubMed Central

    Creelman, Robert A.; Griffith, Cara; Ahrens, Jeffrey E.; Taylor, J. Philip; Murphy, Lesley R.; Manjunath, Siva; Thompson, Rebecca L.; Lingard, Matthew J.; Back, Stephanie L.; Larue, Huachun; Brayton, Bonnie R.; Burek, Amanda J.; Tiwari, Shiv; Adam, Luc; Morrell, James A.; Caldo, Rico A.; Huai, Qing; Kouadio, Jean-Louis K.; Kuehn, Rosemarie; Sant, Anagha M.; Wingbermuehle, William J.; Sala, Rodrigo; Foster, Matt; Kinser, Josh D.; Mohanty, Radha; Jiang, Dongming; Ziegler, Todd E.; Huang, Mingya G.; Kuriakose, Saritha V.; Skottke, Kyle; Repetti, Peter P.; Reuber, T. Lynne; Ruff, Thomas G.; Petracek, Marie E.; Loida, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    ATHB17 (AT2G01430) is an Arabidopsis gene encoding a member of the ?-subclass of the homeodomain leucine zipper class II (HD-Zip II) family of transcription factors. The ATHB17 monomer contains four domains common to all class II HD-Zip proteins: a putative repression domain adjacent to a homeodomain, leucine zipper, and carboxy terminal domain. However, it also possesses a unique N-terminus not present in other members of the family. In this study we demonstrate that the unique 73 amino acid N-terminus is involved in regulation of cellular localization of ATHB17. The ATHB17 protein is shown to function as a transcriptional repressor and an EAR-like motif is identified within the putative repression domain of ATHB17. Transformation of maize with an ATHB17 expression construct leads to the expression of ATHB17?113, a truncated protein lacking the first 113 amino acids which encodes a significant portion of the repression domain. Because ATHB17?113 lacks the repression domain, the protein cannot directly affect the transcription of its target genes. ATHB17?113 can homodimerize, form heterodimers with maize endogenous HD-Zip II proteins, and bind to target DNA sequences; thus, ATHB17?113 may interfere with HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional activity via a dominant negative mechanism. We provide evidence that maize HD-Zip II proteins function as transcriptional repressors and that ATHB17?113 relieves this HD-Zip II mediated transcriptional repression activity. Expression of ATHB17?113 in maize leads to increased ear size at silking and, therefore, may enhance sink potential. We hypothesize that this phenotype could be a result of modulation of endogenous HD-Zip II pathways in maize. PMID:24736658

  6. Effect of degumming time on silkworm silk fibre for biodegradable polymer composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Mei-po; Wang, Hao; Lau, Kin-tak

    2012-02-01

    Recently, many studies have been conducted on exploitation of natural materials for modern product development and bioengineering applications. Apart from plant-based materials (such as sisal, hemp, jute, bamboo and palm fibre), animal-based fibre is a kind of sustainable natural materials for making novel composites. Silkworm silk fibre extracted from cocoon has been well recognized as a promising material for bio-medical engineering applications because of its superior mechanical and bioresorbable properties. However, when producing silk fibre reinforced biodegradable/bioresorbable polymer composites, hydrophilic sericin has been found to cause poor interfacial bonding with most polymers and thus, it results in affecting the resultant properties of the composites. Besides, sericin layers on fibroin surface may also cause an adverse effect towards biocompatibility and hypersensitivity to silk for implant applications. Therefore, a proper pre-treatment should be done for sericin removal. Degumming is a surface modification process which allows a wide control of the silk fibre's properties, making the silk fibre possible to be used for the development and production of novel bio-composites with unique/specific mechanical and biodegradable properties. In this paper, a cleaner and environmentally friendly surface modification technique for tussah silk in polymer based composites is proposed. The effectiveness of different degumming parameters including degumming time and temperature on tussah silk is discussed through the analyses of their mechanical and morphological properties. Based on results obtained, it was found that the mechanical properties of tussah silk are affected by the degumming time due to the change of the fibre structure and fibroin alignment.

  7. Silk inverse opals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sunghwan; Mitropoulos, Alexander N.; Spitzberg, Joshua D.; Tao, Hu; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2012-12-01

    Periodic nanostructures provide the facility to control and manipulate the flow of light through their lattices. Three-dimensional photonic crystals enable the controlled design of structural colour, which can be varied by infiltrating the structure with different (typically liquid) fillers. Here, we report three-dimensional photonic crystals composed entirely of a purified natural protein (silk fibroin). The biocompatibility of this protein, as well as its favourable material properties and ease of biological functionalization, present opportunities for otherwise unattainable device applications such as bioresorbable integration of structural colour within living tissue or lattice functionalization by means of organic and inorganic material doping. We present a silk inverse opal that demonstrates a pseudo-photonic bandgap in the visible spectrum and show its associated structural colour beneath biological tissue. We also leverage silk's facile dopability to manufacture a gold nanoparticle silk inverse opal and demonstrate patterned heating mediated by enhancement of nanoparticle absorption at the band-edge frequency of the photonic crystal.

  8. Self-assembled semi-crystallinity at parallel ?-sheet nanocrystal interfaces in clustered MaSp1 (spider silk) proteins.

    PubMed

    Sintya, Erly; Alam, Parvez

    2016-01-01

    In this communication, we use molecular dynamics methods to model the self-assembly of semi-crystalline domains at ?-sheet nanocrystal interfaces in clusters of spider silk (MaSp1) proteins. Our research elucidates that the energetics at interfaces between crystalline and amorphous domains control effectively, the extent to which semi-crystalline domains can form at interfaces. Stability at nanocrystal interfaces is not linearly related to the internal (bulk) stability of the ?-sheet nanocrystal. Rather, interfacial stability is found to be highly sensitive to the number of alanine repeat units that make up each sheet. Intriguingly, the most stable interface for the development of semi-crystallinity is built up of polyalanine ?-sheets of a length similar to that which is spun naturally in spider dragline silk. PMID:26478322

  9. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  10. Modifying the Mechanical Properties of Silk Fiber by Genetically Disrupting the Ionic Environment for Silk Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xin; Zhao, Ping; Li, Yi; Yi, Qiying; Ma, Sanyuan; Xie, Kang; Chen, Huifang; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-10-12

    Silks are widely used biomaterials, but there are still weaknesses in their mechanical properties. Here we report a method for improving the silk fiber mechanical properties by genetic disruption of the ionic environment for silk fiber formation. An anterior silk gland (ASG) specific promoter was identified and used for overexpressing ion-transporting protein in the ASG of silkworm. After isolation of the transgenic silkworms, we found that the metal ion content, conformation and mechanical properties of transgenic silk fibers changed accordingly. Notably, overexpressing endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase in ASG decreased the calcium content of silks. As a consequence, silk fibers had more ?-helix and ?-sheet conformations, and their tenacity and extension increased significantly. These findings represent the in vivo demonstration of a correlation between metal ion content in the spinning duct and the mechanical properties of silk fibers, thus providing a novel method for modifying silk fiber properties. PMID:26302212

  11. Structural Origins of Silk Piezoelectricity

    PubMed Central

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy

    2012-01-01

    Uniaxially oriented, piezoelectric silk films were prepared by a two-step method that involved: (1) air drying aqueous, regenerated silk fibroin solutions into films, and (2) drawing the silk films to a desired draw ratio. The utility of two different drawing techniques, zone drawing and water immersion drawing were investigated for processing the silk for piezoelectric studies. Silk films zone drawn to a ratio of ?= 2.7 displayed relatively high dynamic shear piezoelectric coefficients of d14 = ?1.5 pC/N, corresponding to over two orders of magnitude increase in d14 due to film drawing. A strong correlation was observed between the increase in the silk II, ?-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (C?? e2.5 ?), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of ?-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for ?= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d14? e2.4 ?). Water immersion drawing led to a predominantly silk I structure with a low degree of orientation (FWHM = 75°) and a much weaker piezoelectric response compared to zone drawing. Similarly, increasing the ?-sheet crystallinity without inducing crystal alignment, e.g. by methanol treatment, did not result in a significant enhancement of silk piezoelectricity. Overall, a combination of a high degree of silk II, ?-sheet crystallinity and crystalline orientation are prerequisites for a strong piezoelectric effect in silk. Further understanding of the structural origins of silk piezoelectricity will provide important options for future biotechnological and biomedical applications of this protein. PMID:23335872

  12. Spider wrapping silk fibre architecture arising from its modular soluble protein precursor

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Lefèvre, Thierry; Sarker, Muzaddid; Orrell, Kathleen E.; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Pézolet, Michel; Auger, Michèle; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K.

    2015-01-01

    Spiders store spidroins in their silk glands as high concentration aqueous solutions, spinning these dopes into fibres with outstanding mechanical properties. Aciniform (or wrapping) silk is the toughest spider silk and is devoid of the short amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of the other spidroins. Using solution-state NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the 200 amino acid Argiope trifasciata AcSp1 repeat unit contrasts with previously characterized spidroins, adopting a globular 5-helix bundle flanked by intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal tails. Split-intein-mediated segmental NMR-active isotope-enrichment allowed unambiguous demonstration of modular and malleable “beads-on-a-string” concatemeric behaviour. Concatemers form fibres upon manual drawing with silk-like morphology and mechanical properties, alongside secondary structuring and orientation consistent with native AcSp1 fibres. AcSp1 structural stability varies locally, with the fifth helix denaturing most readily. The structural transition of aciniform spidroin from a mostly ?-helical dope to a mixed ?-helix/?-sheet-containing fibre can be directly related to spidroin architecture and stability. PMID:26112753

  13. Spider wrapping silk fibre architecture arising from its modular soluble protein precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Lefèvre, Thierry; Sarker, Muzaddid; Orrell, Kathleen E.; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Pézolet, Michel; Auger, Michèle; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K.

    2015-06-01

    Spiders store spidroins in their silk glands as high concentration aqueous solutions, spinning these dopes into fibres with outstanding mechanical properties. Aciniform (or wrapping) silk is the toughest spider silk and is devoid of the short amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of the other spidroins. Using solution-state NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the 200 amino acid Argiope trifasciata AcSp1 repeat unit contrasts with previously characterized spidroins, adopting a globular 5-helix bundle flanked by intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal tails. Split-intein-mediated segmental NMR-active isotope-enrichment allowed unambiguous demonstration of modular and malleable “beads-on-a-string” concatemeric behaviour. Concatemers form fibres upon manual drawing with silk-like morphology and mechanical properties, alongside secondary structuring and orientation consistent with native AcSp1 fibres. AcSp1 structural stability varies locally, with the fifth helix denaturing most readily. The structural transition of aciniform spidroin from a mostly ?-helical dope to a mixed ?-helix/?-sheet-containing fibre can be directly related to spidroin architecture and stability.

  14. Spider wrapping silk fibre architecture arising from its modular soluble protein precursor.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Marie-Laurence; Xu, Lingling; Lefèvre, Thierry; Sarker, Muzaddid; Orrell, Kathleen E; Leclerc, Jérémie; Meng, Qing; Pézolet, Michel; Auger, Michèle; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2015-01-01

    Spiders store spidroins in their silk glands as high concentration aqueous solutions, spinning these dopes into fibres with outstanding mechanical properties. Aciniform (or wrapping) silk is the toughest spider silk and is devoid of the short amino acid sequence motifs characteristic of the other spidroins. Using solution-state NMR spectroscopy, we demonstrate that the 200 amino acid Argiope trifasciata AcSp1 repeat unit contrasts with previously characterized spidroins, adopting a globular 5-helix bundle flanked by intrinsically disordered N- and C-terminal tails. Split-intein-mediated segmental NMR-active isotope-enrichment allowed unambiguous demonstration of modular and malleable "beads-on-a-string" concatemeric behaviour. Concatemers form fibres upon manual drawing with silk-like morphology and mechanical properties, alongside secondary structuring and orientation consistent with native AcSp1 fibres. AcSp1 structural stability varies locally, with the fifth helix denaturing most readily. The structural transition of aciniform spidroin from a mostly ?-helical dope to a mixed ?-helix/?-sheet-containing fibre can be directly related to spidroin architecture and stability. PMID:26112753

  15. NMR analysis of the fibronectin cell-adhesive sequence, Arg-Gly-Asp, in a recombinant silk-like protein and a model peptide.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Tetsuo; Nishi, Hirohito; Nagano, Aya; Yoshida, Ai; Nakazawa, Yasumoto; Kamiya, Masakatsu; Demura, Makoto

    2011-11-14

    It is well established that by introducing the cell-adhesive sequence Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) from fibronectin into Bombyx mori silk fibroin by covalent coupling or bioengineering techniques, excellent biomaterials have been developed with the modified silk fibroin. However, there is no report about the structure and dynamics of the RGD moiety in the silk fibroin. To clarify the origin of such a high cell adhesion character and to design new recombinant silk protein with higher cell adhesion ability, it is necessary to characterize the structure and dynamics of the RGD moiety introduced into silk fibroin. In this study, the structure and dynamics of the RGD moiety in a recombinant silk-like protein, SLPF(10), consisting of the repeated silk fibroin sequence (AGSGAG)(3) and the sequence ASTGRGDSPA including the RGD moiety, were studied using solution NMR. The (1)H, (15)N, and (13)C chemical shifts indicate that the RGD moiety, as well as the silk fibroin sequence, takes a random coil form with high mobility in aqueous solution. Next, a (13)C solid-state NMR study was performed on a (13)C selectively labeled model peptide, AGSGAG[3-(13)C]A(7)GSGAGAGSGGT[2-(13)C]G(19)R[1-(13)C]G(21)DSPAGGGAGAGSGAG. After formic acid treatment, an increase in the ?-sheet fraction for the AGSGAG sequence and peak narrowing of the residues around the RGD moiety were observed in the dry state. The latter indicates a decrease in the chemical shift distribution although the RGD moiety is still in random coil. A decrease in the peak intensities of the RGD moiety in the swollen state after immersing it in distilled water was observed, indicating high mobility of the RGD sequence in the peptide in the swollen state. Thus, the random coil state of the RGD moiety in the recombinant silk-like protein is maintained in aqueous solution and also in both dry and swollen state. This is similar to the case of the RGD moiety in fibronectin. The presence of the linker ASTG at the N-terminus and SPAGG at the C-terminus seems important to maintain the random coil form and the flexible state of the RGD sequence in order to permit access for binding to various integrins. PMID:21955288

  16. Protein secondary structure of Green Lynx spider dragline silk investigated by solid-state NMR and X-ray diffraction.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dian; Shi, Xiangyan; Thompson, Forrest; Weber, Warner S; Mou, Qiushi; Yarger, Jeffery L

    2015-11-01

    In this study, the secondary structure of the major ampullate silk from Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx) spiders is characterized by X-ray diffraction and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. From X-ray diffraction measurement, ?-sheet nanocrystallites were observed and found to be highly oriented along the fiber axis, with an orientational order, fc?0.98. The size of the nanocrystallites was determined to be on average 2.5nm×3.3nm×3.8nm. Besides a prominent nanocrystalline region, a partially oriented amorphous region was also observed with an fa?0.89. Two-dimensional (13)C-(13)C through-space and through-bond solid-state NMR experiments were employed to elucidate structure details of P. viridans silk proteins. It reveals that ?-sheet nanocrystallites constitutes 40.0±1.2% of the protein and are dominated by alanine-rich repetitive motifs. Furthermore, based upon the NMR data, 18±1% of alanine, 60±2% glycine and 54±2% serine are incorporated into helical conformations. PMID:26226457

  17. Prediction of the structure of a silk-like protein in oligomeric states using explicit and implicit solvent models.

    PubMed

    Razzokov, Jamoliddin; Naderi, Saber; van der Schoot, Paul

    2014-08-01

    We perform Replica Exchange Molecular Dynamics (REMD) simulations on a silk-like protein design with amino-acid sequence [(Gly-Ala)3-Gly-Glu]5 to investigate the stability of a single protein, a dimer, a trimer and a tetramer made up of these proteins starting from ?-roll and ?-sheet structures in both explicit (TIP3P) and implicit (GBSA) solvent models. Our simulation results for the implicit solvent model agree with those for the explicit solvent model for simulation times up to the longest tested, being 30 ns per replica. From this we infer that the implicit solvent model that we use is reliable, allowing us to reach much longer time scales (up to 200 ns per replica). We find that the self-assembly of fibers of these proteins in solution must be a nucleated process, involving nuclei made up of at least three monomers. We also find that the conformation of the protein changes upon assembly, i.e., there is a transition from a disordered globular state to an ordered ?-sheet structure in the self-assembled state of aggregates containing more than two monomers. This indicates that autosteric effects must be important in the polymerization of this protein, reminiscent of what is observed for ?-amyloids. Our findings are consistent with recent experimental results on a protein with an amino acid sequence similar to that of the protein we study. PMID:24937549

  18. Solubilization of the ecdysone binding protein from anterior silk gland cell membranes of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Elmogy, Mohamed; Iwami, Masafumi; Sakurai, Sho

    2007-10-01

    We previously provided preliminary evidence for the presence of a putative membrane ecdysone receptor (mEcR) anchored in the plasma membranes of anterior silk glands (ASGs) in Bombyx mori. This receptor may act in concert with the conventional EcR in 20E-dependent programmed cell death of these glands. We report here, for the first time, the solubilization of mEcR from ASG membranes using the zwitterionic detergent CHAPS in the presence of NaCl. Our results show by ligand binding assay that mEcR solubilized this way is functionally active and retains 75% of its native binding activity. We also defined experimental conditions that yielded protein/detergent complexes with partial binding activity, which makes it possible to purify the membrane-bound ecdysone binding protein. PMID:18088173

  19. From Micelles to Fibers: Balancing Self-Assembling and Random Coiling Domains in pH-Responsive Silk-Collagen-Like Protein-Based Polymers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    We study the self-assembly of genetically engineered protein-based triblock copolymers consisting of a central pH-responsive silk-like middle block (SHn, where SH is a silk-like octapeptide, (GA)3GH and n is the number of repeats) flanked by hydrophilic random coil outer blocks (C2). Our previous work has already shown that triblocks with very long midblocks (n = 48) self-assemble into long, stiff protein filaments at pH values where the middle blocks are uncharged. Here we investigate the self-assembly behavior of the triblock copolymers for a range of midblock lengths, n = 8, 16, 24, 48. Upon charge neutralization of SHn by adjusting the pH, we find that C2SH8C2 and C2SH16C2 form spherical micelles, whereas both C2SH24C2 and C2SH48C2 form protein filaments with a characteristic beta-roll secondary structure of the silk midblocks. Hydrogels formed by C2SH48C2 are much stronger and form much faster than those formed by C2SH24C2. Enzymatic digestion of much of the hydrophilic outer blocks is used to show that with much of the hydrophilic outer blocks removed, all silk-midblocks are capable of self-assembling into stiff protein filaments. In that case, reduction of the steric repulsion by the hydrophilic outer blocks also leads to extensive fiber bundling. Our results highlight the opposing roles of the hydrophilic outer blocks and central silk-like midblocks in driving protein filament formation. They provide crucial information for future designs of triblock protein-based polymers that form stiff filaments with controlled bundling, that could mimick properties of collagen in the extracellular matrix. PMID:25133990

  20. The role of 3D structure and protein conformation on the innate and adaptive immune responses to silk-based biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Schultz-Thater, Elke; Trella, Emanuele; Miot, Sylvie; Das, Sanskrita; Loparic, Marko; Ray, Alok R; Martin, Ivan; Spagnoli, Giulio C; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2013-11-01

    We have investigated monocyte and T cell responsiveness to silk based biomaterials of different physico-chemical characteristics. Here we report that untransformed CD14+ human monocytes respond to overnight exposure to silk fibroin-based biomaterials in tridimensional form by IL-1? and IL-6, but not IL-10 gene expression and protein production. In contrast, fibroin based materials in bidimensional form are unable to stimulate monocyte responsiveness. The elicitation of these effects critically requires contact between biomaterials and responding cells, is not sustained and becomes undetectable in longer term cultures. We also observed that NF-?? and p38 MAP kinase play key roles in monocyte activation by silk-based biomaterials. On the other hand, fibroin based materials, irrespective of their physico-chemical characteristics appeared to be unable to induce the activation of peripheral blood T cells from healthy donors, as evaluated by the expression of activation markers and IFN-? gene. PMID:23896003

  1. Biomimetic magnetic silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Samal, Sangram K; Dash, Mamoni; Shelyakova, Tatiana; Declercq, Heidi A; Uhlarz, Marc; Bañobre-López, Manuel; Dubruel, Peter; Cornelissen, Maria; Herrmannsdörfer, Thomas; Rivas, Jose; Padeletti, Giuseppina; De Smedt, Stefaan; Braeckmans, Kevin; Kaplan, David L; Dediu, V Alek

    2015-03-25

    Magnetic silk fibroin protein (SFP) scaffolds integrating magnetic materials and featuring magnetic gradients were prepared for potential utility in magnetic-field assisted tissue engineering. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) were introduced into SFP scaffolds via dip-coating methods, resulting in magnetic SFP scaffolds with different strengths of magnetization. Magnetic SFP scaffolds showed excellent hyperthermia properties achieving temperature increases up to 8 °C in about 100 s. The scaffolds were not toxic to osteogenic cells and improved cell adhesion and proliferation. These findings suggest that tailored magnetized silk-based biomaterials can be engineered with interesting features for biomaterials and tissue-engineering applications. PMID:25734962

  2. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks’ Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    PubMed Central

    An, Bo; Jenkins, Janelle E.; Sampath, Sujatha; Holland, Gregory P.; Hinman, Mike; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph

    2012-01-01

    Dragline silk from orb-weaving spiders is a copolymer of two large proteins, major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) and 2 (MaSp2). The ratio of these proteins is known to have a large variation across different species of orb-weaving spiders. NMR results from gland material of two different species of spiders, N. clavipes and A. aurantia, indicates that MaSp1 proteins are more easily formed into ?-sheet nanostructures, while MaSp2 proteins form random coil and helical structures. To test if this behavior of natural silk proteins could be reproduced by recombinantly produced spider silk mimic protein, recombinant MaSp1/MaSp2 mixed fibers as well as chimeric silk fibers from MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequences in a single protein were produced based on the variable ratio and conserved motifs of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in native silk fiber. Mechanical properties, solid-state NMR, and XRD results of tested synthetic fibers indicate the differing roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in the fiber and verify the importance of postspin stretching treatment in helping the fiber to form the proper spatial structure. PMID:23110450

  3. Fabrication of highly uniform nanoparticles from recombinant silk-elastin-like protein polymers for therapeutic agent delivery.

    PubMed

    Anumolu, Rajasekhar; Gustafson, Joshua A; Magda, Jules J; Cappello, Joseph; Ghandehari, Hamidreza; Pease, Leonard F

    2011-07-26

    Here we generate silk-elastin-like protein (SELP) polymeric nanoparticles and demonstrate precise control over their dimensions using an electrospray differential mobility analyzer (ES-DMA). Electrospray produces droplets encompassing several polymer strands. Evaporation ensues, leading polymer strands to accumulate at the droplet interface, forming a hollow nanoparticle. The resulting nanoparticle size distributions, which govern particle yield, depend on buffer concentration to the -1/3 power, polymer concentration to the 1/3 power, and ratio of silk-to-elastin blocks. Three recombinantly tuned ratios of 8:16, 4:8, and 4:16, respectively named SELP-815K, SELP-47K, and SELP-415K, are employed, with the latter ratio resulting in a thinner shell and larger diameter for the nanoparticles than the former. The DMA narrows the size distribution by electrostatically classifying the aerosolized nanoparticles. These highly uniform nanoparticles have variations of 1.2 and 1.4 nm for 24.0 and 36.0 nm particles, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy reveals the nanoparticles to be faceted, as a buckling instability releases compression energy arising from evaporation after the shell has formed by bending it. A thermodynamic equilibrium exists between compression and bending energies, where the facet length is half the particle diameter, in agreement with experiments. Rod-like particles also formed from polymer-stabilized filaments when the viscous length exceeds the jet radius at higher solution viscosities. The unusual uniformity in composition and dimension indicates the potential of these nanoparticles to deliver bioactive and imaging agents. PMID:21696150

  4. Silk as an innovative biomaterial for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Jastrzebska, Katarzyna; Kucharczyk, Kamil; Florczak, Anna; Dondajewska, Ewelina; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2015-01-01

    Silk has been used for centuries in the textile industry and as surgical sutures. In addition to its unique mechanical properties, silk possesses other properties, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability and ability to self-assemble, which make it an interesting material for biomedical applications. Although silk forms only fibers in nature, synthetic techniques can be used to control the processing of silk into different morphologies, such as scaffolds, films, hydrogels, microcapsules, and micro- and nanospheres. Moreover, the biotechnological production of silk proteins broadens the potential applications of silk. Synthetic silk genes have been designed. Genetic engineering enables modification of silk properties or the construction of a hybrid silk. Bioengineered hybrid silks consist of a silk sequence that self-assembles into the desired morphological structure and the sequence of a polypeptide that confers a function to the silk biomaterial. The functional domains can comprise binding sites for receptors, enzymes, drugs, metals or sugars, among others. Here, we review the current status of potential applications of silk biomaterials in the field of oncology with a focus on the generation of implantable, injectable and targeted drug delivery systems and the three-dimensional cancer models based on silk scaffolds for cancer research. However, the systems described could be applied in many biomedical fields. PMID:25859397

  5. A novel method for dissolution and stabilization of non-mulberry silk gland protein fibroin using anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Biman B; Kundu, S C

    2008-04-15

    The importance of silk protein has increased because of its potential use as a natural biopolymer for tissue engineering and biomedical applications. In this report we show a novel and ecofriendly method for dissolution of gland silk protein fibroin. Non-mulberry silk fibroin from mature fifth instar larvae of Antheraea mylitta was found to be optimally soluble in 1% (w/v) anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). Regenerated fibroin showed distinct bands of approximately 395 and 197 kDa on electrophoresis in non-reducing and reducing conditions, respectively. Enhanced fibroin dissolution via internalization of hydrophobic amino groups inside a hydrophilic amino acid core in the form of micelles was observed. Prolonged storage stability without gelation of SDS-extracted fibroin was seen. Atomic force microscopy showed micellar aggregation with mean micellar aggregation size of 8 nm. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed predominantly helical conformation due to surfactant addition with internal protein conformational changes as revealed by fluorescence spectroscopic studies. PMID:17969177

  6. The Thr- and Ala-rich hyperactive antifreeze protein from inchworm folds as a flat silk-like ?-helix.

    PubMed

    Lin, Feng-Hsu; Davies, Peter L; Graham, Laurie A

    2011-05-31

    Inchworm larvae of the pale beauty geometer moth, Campaea perlata, exhibit strong (6.4 °C) freezing point depression activity, indicating the presence of hyperactive antifreeze proteins (AFPs). We have purified two novel Thr- and Ala-rich AFPs from the larvae as small (?3.5 kDa) and large (?8.3 kDa) variants and have cloned the cDNA sequences encoding both. They have no homology to known sequences in current BLAST databases. However, these proteins and the newly characterized AFP from the Rhagium inquisitor beetle both contain stretches rich in alternating Thr and Ala residues. On the basis of these repeats, as well as the discontinuities between them, a detailed structural model is proposed for the 8.3 kDa variant. This 88-residue protein is organized into an extended parallel-stranded ?-helix with seven strands connected by classic ?-turns. The alternating ?-strands form two ?-sheets with a thin core composed of interdigitating Ala and Ser residues, similar to the thin hydrophobic core proposed for some silks. The putative ice-binding face of the protein has a 4 × 5 regular array of Thr residues and is remarkably flat. In this regard, it resembles the nonhomologous Thr-rich AFPs from other moths and some beetles, which contain two longer rows of Thr in contrast to the five shorter rows in the inchworm protein. Like that of some other hyperactive AFPs, the spacing between these ice-binding Thr residues is a close match to the spacing of oxygen atoms on several planes of ice. PMID:21486083

  7. Microdissection of Black Widow Spider Silk-producing Glands

    PubMed Central

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Zhao, Liang; Franz, Andreas; Vierra, Craig

    2011-01-01

    Modern spiders spin high-performance silk fibers with a broad range of biological functions, including locomotion, prey capture and protection of developing offspring 1,2. Spiders accomplish these tasks by spinning several distinct fiber types that have diverse mechanical properties. Such specialization of fiber types has occurred through the evolution of different silk-producing glands, which function as small biofactories. These biofactories manufacture and store large quantities of silk proteins for fiber production. Through a complex series of biochemical events, these silk proteins are converted from a liquid into a solid material upon extrusion. Mechanical studies have demonstrated that spider silks are stronger than high-tensile steel 3. Analyses to understand the relationship between the structure and function of spider silk threads have revealed that spider silk consists largely of proteins, or fibroins, that have block repeats within their protein sequences 4. Common molecular signatures that contribute to the incredible tensile strength and extensibility of spider silks are being unraveled through the analyses of translated silk cDNAs. Given the extraordinary material properties of spider silks, research labs across the globe are racing to understand and mimic the spinning process to produce synthetic silk fibers for commercial, military and industrial applications. One of the main challenges to spinning artificial spider silk in the research lab involves a complete understanding of the biochemical processes that occur during extrusion of the fibers from the silk-producing glands. Here we present a method for the isolation of the seven different silk-producing glands from the cobweaving black widow spider, which includes the major and minor ampullate glands [manufactures dragline and scaffolding silk] 5,6, tubuliform [synthesizes egg case silk] 7,8, flagelliform [unknown function in cob-weavers], aggregate [makes glue silk], aciniform [synthesizes prey wrapping and egg case threads] 9 and pyriform [produces attachment disc silk] 10. This approach is based upon anesthetizing the spider with carbon dioxide gas, subsequent separation of the cephalothorax from the abdomen, and microdissection of the abdomen to obtain the silk-producing glands. Following the separation of the different silk-producing glands, these tissues can be used to retrieve different macromolecules for distinct biochemical analyses, including quantitative real-time PCR, northern- and western blotting, mass spectrometry (MS or MS/MS) analyses to identify new silk protein sequences, search for proteins that participate in the silk assembly pathway, or use the intact tissue for cell culture or histological experiments. PMID:21248709

  8. Microdissection of black widow spider silk-producing glands.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, Felicia; La Mattina, Coby; Tuton-Blasingame, Tiffany; Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Zhao, Liang; Franz, Andreas; Vierra, Craig

    2011-01-01

    Modern spiders spin high-performance silk fibers with a broad range of biological functions, including locomotion, prey capture and protection of developing offspring. Spiders accomplish these tasks by spinning several distinct fiber types that have diverse mechanical properties. Such specialization of fiber types has occurred through the evolution of different silk-producing glands, which function as small biofactories. These biofactories manufacture and store large quantities of silk proteins for fiber production. Through a complex series of biochemical events, these silk proteins are converted from a liquid into a solid material upon extrusion. Mechanical studies have demonstrated that spider silks are stronger than high-tensile steel. Analyses to understand the relationship between the structure and function of spider silk threads have revealed that spider silk consists largely of proteins, or fibroins, that have block repeats within their protein sequences. Common molecular signatures that contribute to the incredible tensile strength and extensibility of spider silks are being unraveled through the analyses of translated silk cDNAs. Given the extraordinary material properties of spider silks, research labs across the globe are racing to understand and mimic the spinning process to produce synthetic silk fibers for commercial, military and industrial applications. One of the main challenges to spinning artificial spider silk in the research lab involves a complete understanding of the biochemical processes that occur during extrusion of the fibers from the silk-producing glands. Here we present a method for the isolation of the seven different silk-producing glands from the cobweaving black widow spider, which includes the major and minor ampullate glands [manufactures dragline and scaffolding silk], tubuliform [synthesizes egg case silk], flagelliform [unknown function in cob-weavers], aggregate [makes glue silk], aciniform [synthesizes prey wrapping and egg case threads] and pyriform [produces attachment disc silk]. This approach is based upon anesthetizing the spider with carbon dioxide gas, subsequent separation of the cephalothorax from the abdomen, and microdissection of the abdomen to obtain the silk-producing glands. Following the separation of the different silk-producing glands, these tissues can be used to retrieve different macromolecules for distinct biochemical analyses, including quantitative real-time PCR, northern- and western blotting, mass spectrometry (MS or MS/MS) analyses to identify new silk protein sequences, search for proteins that participate in the silk assembly pathway, or use the intact tissue for cell culture or histological experiments. PMID:21248709

  9. Antheraea pernyi Silk Fiber: A Potential Resource for Artificially Biospinning Spider Dragline Silk

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yaopeng; Yang, Hongxia; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2010-01-01

    The outstanding properties of spider dragline silk are likely to be determined by a combination of the primary sequences and the secondary structure of the silk proteins. Antheraea pernyi silk has more similar sequences to spider dragline silk than the silk from its domestic counterpart, Bombyx mori. This makes it much potential as a resource for biospinning spider dragline silk. This paper further verified its possibility as the resource from the mechanical properties and the structures of the A. pernyi silks prepared by forcible reeling. It is surprising that the stress-strain curves of the A. pernyi fibers show similar sigmoidal shape to those of spider dragline silk. Under a controlled reeling speed of 95?mm/s, the breaking energy was 1.04 × 105?J/kg, the tensile strength was 639 MPa and the initial modulus was 9.9 GPa. It should be noted that this breaking energy of the A. pernyi silk approaches that of spider dragline silk. The tensile properties, the optical orientation and the ?-sheet structure contents of the silk fibers are remarkably increased by raising the spinning speeds up to 95?mm/s. PMID:20454537

  10. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk

    E-print Network

    Buehler, Markus J.

    Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies Sinan Keten1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA Spider silk is a self clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject

  11. Identification and classification of silks using infrared spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Boulet-Audet, Maxime; Vollrath, Fritz; Holland, Chris

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Lepidopteran silks number in the thousands and display a vast diversity of structures, properties and industrial potential. To map this remarkable biochemical diversity, we present an identification and screening method based on the infrared spectra of native silk feedstock and cocoons. Multivariate analysis of over 1214 infrared spectra obtained from 35 species allowed us to group silks into distinct hierarchies and a classification that agrees well with current phylogenetic data and taxonomies. This approach also provides information on the relative content of sericin, calcium oxalate, phenolic compounds, poly-alanine and poly(alanine-glycine) ?-sheets. It emerged that the domesticated mulberry silkmoth Bombyx mori represents an outlier compared with other silkmoth taxa in terms of spectral properties. Interestingly, Epiphora bauhiniae was found to contain the highest amount of ?-sheets reported to date for any wild silkmoth. We conclude that our approach provides a new route to determine cocoon chemical composition and in turn a novel, biological as well as material, classification of silks. PMID:26347557

  12. Identification and classification of silks using infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Boulet-Audet, Maxime; Vollrath, Fritz; Holland, Chris

    2015-10-01

    Lepidopteran silks number in the thousands and display a vast diversity of structures, properties and industrial potential. To map this remarkable biochemical diversity, we present an identification and screening method based on the infrared spectra of native silk feedstock and cocoons. Multivariate analysis of over 1214 infrared spectra obtained from 35 species allowed us to group silks into distinct hierarchies and a classification that agrees well with current phylogenetic data and taxonomies. This approach also provides information on the relative content of sericin, calcium oxalate, phenolic compounds, poly-alanine and poly(alanine-glycine) ?-sheets. It emerged that the domesticated mulberry silkmoth Bombyx mori represents an outlier compared with other silkmoth taxa in terms of spectral properties. Interestingly, Epiphora bauhiniae was found to contain the highest amount of ?-sheets reported to date for any wild silkmoth. We conclude that our approach provides a new route to determine cocoon chemical composition and in turn a novel, biological as well as material, classification of silks. PMID:26347557

  13. Post-secretion processing influences spider silk performance.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A; Tso, I-Min

    2012-10-01

    Phenotypic variation facilitates adaptations to novel environments. Silk is an example of a highly variable biomaterial. The two-spidroin (MaSp) model suggests that spider major ampullate (MA) silk is composed of two proteins-MaSp1 predominately contains alanine and glycine and forms strength enhancing ?-sheet crystals, while MaSp2 contains proline and forms elastic spirals. Nonetheless, mechanical properties can vary in spider silks without congruent amino acid compositional changes. We predicted that post-secretion processing causes variation in the mechanical performance of wild MA silk independent of protein composition or spinning speed across 10 species of spider. We used supercontraction to remove post-secretion effects and compared the mechanics of silk in this 'ground state' with wild native silks. Native silk mechanics varied less among species compared with 'ground state' silks. Variability in the mechanics of 'ground state' silks was associated with proline composition. However, variability in native silks did not. We attribute interspecific similarities in the mechanical properties of native silks, regardless of amino acid compositions, to glandular processes altering molecular alignment of the proteins prior to extrusion. Such post-secretion processing may enable MA silk to maintain functionality across environments, facilitating its function as a component of an insect-catching web. PMID:22628213

  14. Post-secretion processing influences spider silk performance

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chung-Lin; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Phenotypic variation facilitates adaptations to novel environments. Silk is an example of a highly variable biomaterial. The two-spidroin (MaSp) model suggests that spider major ampullate (MA) silk is composed of two proteins—MaSp1 predominately contains alanine and glycine and forms strength enhancing ?-sheet crystals, while MaSp2 contains proline and forms elastic spirals. Nonetheless, mechanical properties can vary in spider silks without congruent amino acid compositional changes. We predicted that post-secretion processing causes variation in the mechanical performance of wild MA silk independent of protein composition or spinning speed across 10 species of spider. We used supercontraction to remove post-secretion effects and compared the mechanics of silk in this ‘ground state’ with wild native silks. Native silk mechanics varied less among species compared with ‘ground state’ silks. Variability in the mechanics of ‘ground state’ silks was associated with proline composition. However, variability in native silks did not. We attribute interspecific similarities in the mechanical properties of native silks, regardless of amino acid compositions, to glandular processes altering molecular alignment of the proteins prior to extrusion. Such post-secretion processing may enable MA silk to maintain functionality across environments, facilitating its function as a component of an insect-catching web. PMID:22628213

  15. Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, François; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A.; Soares, Jason W.; Karatzas, Costas N.

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks are protein-based ``biopolymer'' filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to ``biomimic'' the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence.

  16. Spider Webs and Silks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vollrath, Fritz

    1992-01-01

    Compares the attributes of the silk from spiders with those of the commercially harvested silk from silkworms. Discusses the evolution, design, and effectiveness of spider webs; the functional mechanics of the varieties of silk that can be produced by the same spider; and the composite, as well as molecular, structure of spider silk thread. (JJK)

  17. Hypotensive and Vasorelaxant Effects of Sericin-Derived Oligopeptides in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Pantan, Rungusa; Tocharus, Chainarong

    2013-01-01

    Sericin-derived oligopeptides obtained from silk cocoons were investigated for the in vivo hypotensive effect and investigated for the underlying mechanism involved in vasodilation in isolated rat thoracic aorta. In normotensive anesthetized rats, oligopeptides induced an immediate and transient hypotensive activity. In rat aortic rings, oligopeptides induced a concentration-dependent vasorelaxation in vessels precontracted with both KCl and phenylephrine (PE) with endothelium-intact or endothelium-denuded rings. In endothelium-intact rings, pretreatment with N?-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME, 100?µM), an inhibitor of the NO synthase (NOS) or 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 1?µM), a selective inhibitor of the guanylyl cyclase enzyme, significantly reduced the relaxant effect of oligopeptides. However, indomethacin, an inhibitor of the cyclooxygenase, had no effect on oligopeptides-induced relaxation. In addition, pretreatment with tetraethylammonium (TEA, 5?mM) reduced the maximal relaxant effect induced by oligopeptides. By contrast, relaxation was not affected by 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, 1?mM), glibenclamide (10?µM), or barium chloride (BaCl2, 1?mM). In depolarization Ca2+-free solution, oligopeptides inhibited calcium chloride- (CaCl2-) induced contraction in endothelium-denuded rings in a concentration-dependent manner. Nevertheless, oligopeptides attenuated transient contractions in Ca2+-free medium containing EGTA (1?mM) induced by 1?µM PE, but they were not affected by 20?mM caffeine. It is obvious that potent vasodilation effect of oligopeptides is mediated through both the endothelium and the vascular smooth muscle. PMID:24312733

  18. Biodegradation of Silk Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Yang; Wang, Bochu

    2009-01-01

    Silk fibroin from the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has excellent properties such as biocompatibility, biodegradation, non-toxicity, adsorption properties, etc. As a kind of ideal biomaterial, silk fibroin has been widely used since it was first utilized for sutures a long time ago. The degradation behavior of silk biomaterials is obviously important for medical applications. This article will focus on silk-based biomaterials and review the degradation behaviors of silk materials. PMID:19468322

  19. Clay enriched silk biomaterials for bone formation.

    PubMed

    Mieszawska, Aneta J; Llamas, Jabier Gallego; Vaiana, Christopher A; Kadakia, Madhavi P; Naik, Rajesh R; Kaplan, David L

    2011-08-01

    The formation of silk protein/clay composite biomaterials for bone tissue formation is described. Silk fibroin serves as an organic scaffolding material offering mechanical stability suitable for bone-specific uses. Clay montmorillonite (Cloisite® Na(+)) and sodium silicate are sources of osteoinductive silica-rich inorganic species, analogous to bioactive bioglass-like bone repair biomaterial systems. Different clay particle-silk composite biomaterial films were compared with silk films doped with sodium silicate as controls for the support of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells in osteogenic culture. The cells adhered to and proliferated on the silk/clay composites over 2 weeks. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed increased transcript levels for alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, and collagen type 1 osteogenic markers in the cells cultured on the silk/clay films in comparison with the controls. Early evidence of bone formation based on collagen deposition at the cell-biomaterial interface was also found, with more collagen observed for the silk films with higher contents of clay particles. The data suggest that silk/clay composite systems may be useful for further study for bone regenerative needs. PMID:21549864

  20. Structural characterization of nanofiber silk produced by embiopterans (webspinners)†

    PubMed Central

    Addison, J. Bennett; Popp, Thomas M. Osborn; Weber, Warner S.; Edgerly, Janice S.; Holland, Gregory P.; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2014-01-01

    Embiopterans produce silken galleries and sheets using exceptionally fine silk fibers in which they live and breed. In this study, we use electron microscopy (EM), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) techniques to elucidate the molecular level protein structure of webspinner (embiid) silks. Silks from two species Antipaluria urichi and Aposthonia ceylonica are studied in this work. Electron microscopy images show that the fibers are about 90–100 nm in diameter, making webspinner silks among the finest of all known animal silks. Structural studies reveal that the silk protein core is dominated by ?-sheet structures, and that the protein core is coated with a hydrophobic alkane-rich surface coating. FTIR spectra of native embiid silk shows characteristic alkane CH2 stretchings near 2800–2900 cm?1, which decrease approximately 50% after washing the silk with 2 : 1 CHCl3 : MeOH. Furthermore, 13C ssNMR data shows a significant CH2 resonance that is strongly affected by the presence of water, supporting the idea that the silk fibers are coated with a hydrocarbon-rich layer. Such a layer is likely used to protect the colonies from rain. FTIR data also suggests that embiid silks are dominated by ?-sheet secondary structures similar to spider and silkworm silk fibers. NMR data confirms the presence of ?-sheet nanostructures dominated by serine-rich repetitive regions. A deconvolution of the serine C? NMR resonance reveals that approximately 70% of all seryl residues exist in a ?-sheet structure. This is consistent with WAXD results that suggest webspinner silks are 70% crystalline, which is the highest crystalline fraction reported for any animal silks. The work presented here provides a molecular level structural picture of silk fibers produced by webspinners. PMID:25383190

  1. Synthesis and characterization of water-soluble silk peptides and recombinant silk protein containing polyalanine, the integrin binding site, and two glutamic acids at each terminal site as a possible candidate for use in bone repair materials.

    PubMed

    Asakura, Tetsuo; Suzuki, Yu; Nagano, Aya; Knight, David; Kamiya, Masakatsu; Demura, Makoto

    2013-10-14

    The recombinant proteins [EE(A)12EETGRGDSPAAS]n (n = 5,10) were prepared as a potential scaffold material for bone repair. The construct was based on Antheraea perni silk fibroin to which cells adhere well and combined poly(alanine), the integrin binding site TGRGDSPA, and a pair of glutamic acids (E2) at both the N- and C-terminal sites to render the construct water-soluble and with the hope that it might enhance mineralization with hydroxyapatite. Initially, two peptides E2(A)nE2TGRGDSPAE2(A)nE2 (n = 6, 12) were prepared by solid state synthesis to examine the effect of size on conformation and on cell binding. The larger peptide bound osteoblasts more readily and had a higher helix content than the smaller one. Titration of the side chain COO(-) to COOH of the E2 and D units in the peptide was monitored by solution NMR. On the basis of these results, we produced the related recombinant His tagged protein [EE(A)12EETGRGDSPAAS]n (n = 5,10) by expression in Escherichia coli . The solution NMR spectra of the recombinant protein indicated that the poly(alanine) regions are helical, and one E2 unit is helical and the other is a random coil. A molecular dynamics simulation of the protein supports these conclusions from NMR. We showed that the recombinant protein, especially, [EE(A)12EETGRGDSPAAS]10 has some of the properties required for bone tissue engineering scaffold including insolubility, and evidence of enhanced cell binding through focal adhesions, and enhanced osteogenic expression of osteoblast-like cells bound to it, and has potential for use as a bone repair material. PMID:24004453

  2. Structural heterogeneity in silk fibers and its effects on failure mechanics and supercontraction

    E-print Network

    Giesa, Tristan

    2015-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is a protein material that has evolved over millions of years to become one of the strongest and toughest natural fibers known. Silk features a heterogeneous structure that comprises [beta]-sheet ...

  3. The effect of sterilization on silk fibroin biomaterial properties.

    PubMed

    Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; DesRochers, Teresa M; Burke, Kelly A; Kaplan, David L

    2015-06-01

    The effects of common sterilization techniques on the physical and biological properties of lyophilized silk fibroin sponges are described. Sterile silk fibroin sponges were cast using a pre-sterilized silk fibroin solution under aseptic conditions or post-sterilized via autoclaving, ? radiation, dry heat, exposure to ethylene oxide, or hydrogen peroxide gas plasma. Low average molecular weight and low concentration silk fibroin solutions could be sterilized via autoclaving or filtration without significant loses of protein. However, autoclaving reduced the molecular weight distribution of the silk fibroin protein solution, and silk fibroin sponges cast from autoclaved silk fibroin were significantly stiffer compared to sponges cast from unsterilized or filtered silk fibroin. When silk fibroin sponges were sterilized post-casting, autoclaving increased scaffold stiffness, while decreasing scaffold degradation rate in vitro. In contrast, ? irradiation accelerated scaffold degradation rate. Exposure to ethylene oxide significantly decreased cell proliferation rate on silk fibroin sponges, which was rescued by leaching ethylene oxide into PBS prior to cell seeding. PMID:25761231

  4. Characteristics of platelet gels combined with silk

    PubMed Central

    Pallotta, Isabella; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Moreau, Jodie; Calabrese, Rossella

    2014-01-01

    Platelet gel, a fibrin network containing activated platelets, is widely used in regenerative medicine due the capacity of platelet-derived growth factors to accelerate and direct healing processes. However, limitations to this approach include poor mechanical properties, relatively rapid degradation, and the lack of control of release of growth factors at the site of injection. These issues compromise the ability of platelet gels for sustained function in regenerative medicine. In the present study, a combination of platelet gels with silk fibroin gel was studied to address the above limitations. Mixing sonicated silk gels with platelet gels extended the release of growth factors without inhibiting gel forming ability. The released growth factors were biologically active and their delivery was modified further by manipulation of the charge of the silk protein. Moreover, the silk gel augmented both the rheological properties and compressive stiffness of the platelet gel, tuned by the silk concentration and/or silk/platelet gel ratio. Silk-platelet gel injections in nude rats supported enhanced cell infiltration and blood vessel formation representing a step towards new platelet gel formulations with enhanced therapeutic impact. PMID:24480538

  5. Materials Fabrication from Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin

    PubMed Central

    Rockwood, Danielle N.; Preda, Rucsanda C.; Yücel, Tuna; Wang, Xiaoqin; Lovett, Michael L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Silk fibroin, derived from Bombyx mori cocoons, is a widely used and studied protein polymer for biomaterial applications. Silk fibroin has remarkable mechanical properties when formed into different materials, demonstrates biocompatibility, has controllable degradation rates from hours to years, and it can be chemically modified to alter surface properties or to immobilize growth factors. A variety of aqueous or organic solvent processing methods can be used to generate silk biomaterials for a range of applications. In this protocol we include methods to extract silk from B. mori cocoons in order to fabricate hydrogels, tubes, sponges, composites, fibers, microspheres and thin films. These materials can be used directly as biomaterials for implants, as scaffolding in tissue engineering and in vitro disease models, and for drug delivery. PMID:21959241

  6. Silks as scaffolds for skin reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Reimers, Kerstin; Liebsch, Christina; Radtke, Christine; Kuhbier, Jörn W; Vogt, Peter M

    2015-11-01

    In this short review, we describe the use of high molecular weight proteins produced in the glands of several arthropods-commonly called silks-for the purpose to enhance human skin wound healing. To this end an extensive literature search has been performed, the publications have been categorized concerning silk preparation and application and summarized accordingly: Scaffolds to promote wound healing were prepared by processing the silks in different ways including solubilization of the protein fibers followed by casting or electrospinning. The silk scaffolds were additionally modified by coating or blending with the intention of further functionalization. In several approaches, the scaffolds were also vitalized with skin cells or stem cells. In vitro and in vivo models were implied to test for safety and efficiency. We conclude that silk scaffolds are characterized by an advantageous biocompatibility as well as an impressive versatility rendering them ideally suited for application in wounds. Nevertheless, further investigation is needed to exploit the full capacity of silk in different wound models and to achieve clinical transfer in time. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2015;112: 2201-2205. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25995140

  7. Structure-Function-Property-Design Interplay in Biopolymers: Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures, and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. PMID:23962644

  8. More than one way to spin a crystallite: multiple trajectories through liquid crystallinity to solid silk

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Andrew A.; Holland, Chris; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2015-01-01

    Arthropods face several key challenges in processing concentrated feedstocks of proteins (silk dope) into solid, semi-crystalline silk fibres. Strikingly, independently evolved lineages of silk-producing organisms have converged on the use of liquid crystal intermediates (mesophases) to reduce the viscosity of silk dope and assist the formation of supramolecular structure. However, the exact nature of the liquid-crystal-forming-units (mesogens) in silk dope, and the relationship between liquid crystallinity, protein structure and silk processing is yet to be fully elucidated. In this review, we focus on emerging differences in this area between the canonical silks containing extended-?-sheets made by silkworms and spiders, and ‘non-canonical’ silks made by other insect taxa in which the final crystallites are coiled-coils, collagen helices or cross-?-sheets. We compared the amino acid sequences and processing of natural, regenerated and recombinant silk proteins, finding that canonical and non-canonical silk proteins show marked differences in length, architecture, amino acid content and protein folding. Canonical silk proteins are long, flexible in solution and amphipathic; these features allow them both to form large, micelle-like mesogens in solution, and to transition to a crystallite-containing form due to mechanical deformation near the liquid–solid transition. By contrast, non-canonical silk proteins are short and have rod or lath-like structures that are well suited to act both as mesogens and as crystallites without a major intervening phase transition. Given many non-canonical silk proteins can be produced at high yield in E. coli, and that mesophase formation is a versatile way to direct numerous kinds of supramolecular structure, further elucidation of the natural processing of non-canonical silk proteins may to lead to new developments in the production of advanced protein materials. PMID:26041350

  9. Antimicrobial functionalized genetically engineered spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Sílvia; Leonor, Isabel B.; Mano, João F.; Reis, Rui L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Genetically engineered fusion proteins offer potential as multifunctional biomaterials for medical use. Fusion or chimeric proteins can be formed using recombinant DNA technology by combining nucleotide sequences encoding different peptides or proteins that are otherwise not found together in nature. In the present study, three new fusion proteins were designed, cloned and expressed and assessed for function, by combining the consensus sequence of dragline spider silk with three different antimicrobial peptides. The human antimicrobial peptides human neutrophil defensin 2 (HNP-2), human neutrophil defensins 4 (HNP-4) and hepcidin were fused to spider silk through bioengineering. The spider silk domain maintained its self-assembly features, a key aspect of these new polymeric protein biomaterials, allowing the formation of ?-sheets to lock in structures via physical interactions without the need for chemical cross-linking. These new functional silk proteins were assessed for antimicrobial activity against Gram - Escherichia coli and Gram + Staphylococcus aureus and microbicidal activity was demonstrated. Dynamic light scattering was used to assess protein aggregation to clarify the antimicrobial patterns observed. Attenuated-total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and circular dichroism (CD) were used to assess the secondary structure of the new recombinant proteins. In vitro cell studies with a human osteosarcoma cell line (SaOs-2) demonstrated the compatibility of these new proteins with mammalian cells. PMID:21458065

  10. Sequential origin in the high performance properties of orb spider dragline silk

    PubMed Central

    Blackledge, Todd A.; Pérez-Rigueiro, José; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Perea, Belén; Navarro, Andrés; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Major ampullate (MA) dragline silk supports spider orb webs, combining strength and extensibility in the toughest biomaterial. MA silk evolved ~376?MYA and identifying how evolutionary changes in proteins influenced silk mechanics is crucial for biomimetics, but is hindered by high spinning plasticity. We use supercontraction to remove that variation and characterize MA silk across the spider phylogeny. We show that mechanical performance is conserved within, but divergent among, major lineages, evolving in correlation with discrete changes in proteins. Early MA silk tensile strength improved rapidly with the origin of GGX amino acid motifs and increased repetitiveness. Tensile strength then maximized in basal entelegyne spiders, ~230?MYA. Toughness subsequently improved through increased extensibility within orb spiders, coupled with the origin of a novel protein (MaSp2). Key changes in MA silk proteins therefore correlate with the sequential evolution high performance orb spider silk and could aid design of biomimetic fibers. PMID:23110251

  11. Electrodeposited silk coatings for bone implants.

    PubMed

    Elia, Roberto; Michelson, Courtney D; Perera, Austin L; Brunner, Teresa F; Harsono, Masly; Leisk, Gray G; Kugel, Gerard; Kaplan, David L

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the mechanical properties and drug elution features of silk protein-based electrodeposited dental implant coatings. Silk processing conditions were modified to obtain coatings with a range of mechanical properties on titanium studs. These coatings were assessed for adhesive strength and dissolution, with properties tuned using water vapor annealing or glycerol incorporation to modulate crystalline content. Coating reproducibility was demonstrated over a range of silk concentrations from 1% to 10%. Surface roughness of titanium substrates was altered using industry relevant acid etching and grit blasting, and the effect of surface topography on silk coating adhesion was assessed. Florescent compounds were incorporated into the silk coatings, which were modulated for crystalline content, to achieve four days of sustained release of the compounds. This silk electrogelation technique offers a safe and relatively simple approach to generate mechanically robust, biocompatible, and degradable implant coatings that can also be functionalized with bioactive compounds to modulate the local regenerative tissue environment. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 103B: 1602-1609, 2015. PMID:25545462

  12. Multifunctional silk-tropoelastin biomaterial systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghezzi, Chiara E.; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    New multifunctional, degradable, polymeric biomaterial systems would provide versatile platforms to address cell and tissue needs in both in vitro and in vivo environments. While protein-based composites or alloys are the building blocks of biological organisms, similar systems have not been largely exploited to dates to generate ad hoc biomaterials able to control and direct biological functions, by recapitulating their inherent structural and mechanical complexities. Therefore, we have recently proposed silk-tropoelastin material platforms able to conjugate a mechanically robust and durable protein, silk, to a highly flexible and biologically active protein, tropoelastin. This review focuses on the elucidation of the interactions between silk and tropoelastin in order to control material structure, properties, and ultimately functions. In addition, an approach is provided for novel material designs to provide tools to control biological outcomes via surface roughness, elasticity, and net charge for neuronal and mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue engineering. PMID:26005219

  13. Early Events in the Evolution of Spider Silk Genes

    PubMed Central

    Starrett, James; Garb, Jessica E.; Kuelbs, Amanda; Azubuike, Ugochi O.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2012-01-01

    Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers), from the suborder Araneomorphae (‘true spiders’). Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs), is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow). In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders), which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders) and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae). We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid compositions of spidroins that perform different ecological functions. PMID:22761664

  14. Safety Evaluation of Silk Protein Film (A Novel Wound Healing Agent) in Terms of Acute Dermal Toxicity, Acute Dermal Irritation and Skin Sensitization

    PubMed Central

    Padol, Amol R.; Jayakumar, K.; Shridhar, N. B.; Narayana Swamy, H. D.; Narayana Swamy, M.; Mohan, K.

    2011-01-01

    Acute dermal toxicity study was conducted in rats. The parameters studied were body weight, serum biochemistry and gross pathology. The animals were also observed for clinical signs and mortality after the application of test film. The dermal irritation potential of silk protein film was examined using Draize test. In the initial test, three test patches were applied sequentially for 3 min, 1 and 4 hours, respectively, and skin reaction was graded. The irritant or negative response was confirmed using two additional animals, each with one patch, for an exposure period of 4 hours. The responses were scored at 1, 24, 48 and 72 hours after the patch removal. Skin sensitization study was conducted according to Buehler test in guinea pigs, in which on day 0, 7 and 14, the animals were exposed to test material for 6 hours (Induction phase) and on day 28, the animals were exposed for a period of 24 hours (Challenge phase). The skin was observed and recorded at 24 and 48 hours after the patch removal. In acute dermal toxicity study, the rats dermally treated with silk film did not show any abnormal clinical signs and the body weight, biochemical parameters and gross pathological observations were not significantly different from the control group. In acute dermal irritation study, the treated rabbits showed no signs of erythema, edema and eschar, and the scoring was given as “0” for all time points of observations according to Draize scoring system. In skin sensitization study, there were no skin reactions 24 and 48 hours after the removal of challenge patch, which was scored “0” based on Magnusson/Kligman grading scale. PMID:21430915

  15. Vortex-Induced Injectable Silk Fibroin Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract A novel, to our knowledge, technique was developed to control the rate of ?-sheet formation and resulting hydrogelation kinetics of aqueous, native silk solutions. Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated that vortexing aqueous solutions of silkworm silk lead to a transition from an overall protein structure that is initially rich in random coil to one that is rich in ?-sheet content. Dynamic oscillatory rheology experiments collected under the same assembly conditions as the circular dichroism experiments indicated that the increase in ?-sheet content due to intramolecular conformational changes and intermolecular self-assembly of the silk fibroin was directly correlated with the subsequent changes in viscoelastic properties due to hydrogelation. Vortexing low-viscosity silk solutions lead to orders-of-magnitude increase in the complex shear modulus, G?, and formation of rigid hydrogels (G? ? 70 kPa for 5.2 wt % protein concentration). Vortex-induced, ?-sheet-rich silk hydrogels consisted of permanent, physical, intermolecular crosslinks. The hydrogelation kinetics could be controlled easily (from minutes to hours) by changing the vortex time, assembly temperature and/or protein concentration, providing a useful timeframe for cell encapsulation. The stiffness of preformed hydrogels recovered quickly, immediately after injection through a needle, enabling the potential use of these systems for injectable cell delivery scaffolds. PMID:19804736

  16. Water-insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, Q.; Hu, X; Wang, X; Kluge, J; Lu, S; Cebe, P; Kaplan, D

    2010-01-01

    Water-insoluble regenerated silk materials are normally produced by increasing the {beta}-sheet content (silk II). In the present study water-insoluble silk films were prepared by controlling the very slow drying of Bombyx mori silk solutions, resulting in the formation of stable films with a predominant silk I instead of silk II structure. Wide angle X-ray scattering indicated that the silk films stabilized by slow drying were mainly composed of silk I rather than silk II, while water- and methanol-annealed silk films had a higher silk II content. The silk films prepared by slow drying had a globule-like structure at the core surrounded by nano-filaments. The core region was composed of silk I and silk II, surrounded by hydrophilic nano-filaments containing random turns and {alpha}-helix secondary structures. The insoluble silk films prepared by slow drying had unique thermal, mechanical and degradative properties. Differential scanning calorimetry results revealed that silk I crystals had stable thermal properties up to 250 C, without crystallization above the T{sub g}, but degraded at lower temperatures than silk II structure. Compared with water- and methanol-annealed films the films prepared by slow drying had better mechanical ductility and were more rapidly enzymatically degraded, reflecting the differences in secondary structure achieved via differences in post processing of the cast silk films. Importantly, the silk I structure, a key intermediate secondary structure for the formation of mechanically robust natural silk fibers, was successfully generated by the present approach of very slow drying, mimicking the natural process. The results also point to a new mode of generating new types of silk biomaterials with enhanced mechanical properties and increased degradation rates, while maintaining water insolubility, along with a low {beta}-sheet content.

  17. Art on Silk Hoops

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Padrick, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Painting on silk has a magic all its own. Versions of painting on silk can be found throughout the world from Japan and Europe to the United States. Themes for the paintings can be most any type of design or imagery. Applying the liquid dyes is exciting, as the vivid liquid colors flow and blend into the fabric. The process captures students'…

  18. Silk Batik using Cochineal Dye

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The history of silk, including sericulture (the production of raw silk, which requires the raising of silkworms on their natural diet, mulberry leaves) and silk manufacturing, is rich and extensive. It encompasses several famous “silk roads” (trade routes), various cultures and technologies, ideas,...

  19. Liquid crystalline spinning of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Knight, David P.

    2001-03-01

    Spider silk has outstanding mechanical properties despite being spun at close to ambient temperatures and pressures using water as the solvent. The spider achieves this feat of benign fibre processing by judiciously controlling the folding and crystallization of the main protein constituents, and by adding auxiliary compounds, to create a composite material of defined hierarchical structure. Because the `spinning dope' (the material from which silk is spun) is liquid crystalline, spiders can draw it during extrusion into a hardened fibre using minimal forces. This process involves an unusual internal drawdown within the spider's spinneret that is not seen in industrial fibre processing, followed by a conventional external drawdown after the dope has left the spinneret. Successful copying of the spider's internal processing and precise control over protein folding, combined with knowledge of the gene sequences of its spinning dopes, could permit industrial production of silk-based fibres with unique properties under benign conditions.

  20. Carbonic anhydrase generates a pH gradient in Bombyx mori silk glands.

    PubMed

    Domigan, L J; Andersson, M; Alberti, K A; Chesler, M; Xu, Q; Johansson, J; Rising, A; Kaplan, D L

    2015-10-01

    Silk is a protein of interest to both biological and industrial sciences. The silkworm, Bombyx mori, forms this protein into strong threads starting from soluble silk proteins using a number of biochemical and physical cues to allow the transition from liquid to fibrous silk. A pH gradient has been measured along the gland, but the methodology employed was not able to precisely determine the pH at specific regions of interest in the silk gland. Furthermore, the physiological mechanisms responsible for the generation of this pH gradient are unknown. In this study, concentric ion selective microelectrodes were used to determine the luminal pH of B. mori silk glands. A gradient from pH 8.2 to 7.2 was measured in the posterior silk gland, with a pH 7 throughout the middle silk gland, and a gradient from pH 6.8 to 6.2 in the beginning of the anterior silk gland where silk processing into fibers occurs. The small diameter of the most anterior region of the anterior silk gland prevented microelectrode access in this region. Using a histochemical method, the presence of active carbonic anhydrase was identified in the funnel and anterior silk gland of fifth instar larvae. The observed pH gradient collapsed upon addition of the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor methazolamide, confirming an essential role for this enzyme in pH regulation in the B. mori silk gland. Plastic embedding of whole silk glands allowed clear visualization of the morphology, including the identification of four distinct epithelial cell types in the gland and allowed correlations between silk gland morphology and silk stages of assembly related to the pH gradient. B. mori silk glands have four different epithelial cell types, one of which produces carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase is necessary for the mechanism that generates an intraluminal pH gradient, which likely regulates the assembly of silk proteins and then the formation of fibers from soluble silk proteins. These new insights into native silk formation may lead to a more efficient production of artificial or regenerated silkworm silk fibers. PMID:26365738

  1. Carbondioxide gating in silk cocoon.

    PubMed

    Roy, Manas; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Das, Mainak

    2012-12-01

    Silk is the generic name given to the fibrous proteins spun by a number of arthropods. During metamorphosis, the larva of the silk producing arthropods excrete silk-fiber from its mouth and spun it around the body to form a protective structure called cocoon. An adult moth emerges out from the cocoon after the dormant phase (pupal phase) varying from 2 weeks to 9 months. It is intriguing how CO(2)/O(2) and ambient temperature are regulated inside the cocoon during the development of the pupa. Here we show that the cocoon membrane is asymmetric, it allows preferential gating of CO(2) from inside to outside and it regulates a physiological temperature inside the cocoon irrespective of the surrounding environment temperature. We demonstrate that under simulating CO(2) rich external environment, the CO(2) does not diffuse inside the cocoon. Whereas, when CO(2) was injected inside the cocoon, it diffuses out in 20 s, indicating gating of CO(2) from inside to outside the membrane. Removal of the calcium oxalate hydrate crystals which are naturally present on the outer surface of the cocoon affected the complete blockade of CO(2) flow from outside to inside suggesting its role to trap most of the CO(2) as hydrogen bonded bicarbonate on the surface. The weaved silk of the cocoon worked as the second barrier to prevent residual CO(2) passage. Furthermore, we show that under two extreme natural temperature regime of 5 and 50 °C, a temperature of 25 and 34 °C respectively were maintained inside the cocoons. Our results demonstrate, how CO(2) gating and thermoregulation helps in maintaining an ambient atmosphere inside the cocoon for the growth of pupa. Such natural architectural control of gas and temperature regulation could be helpful in developing energy saving structures and gas filters. PMID:22791361

  2. GC/MS-based metabolomic studies reveal key roles of glycine in regulating silk synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Chen, Quanmei; Liu, Xinyu; Zhao, Ping; Sun, Yanhui; Zhao, Xinjie; Xiong, Ying; Xu, Guowang; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-02-01

    Metabolic profiling of silkworm, especially the factors that affect silk synthesis at the metabolic level, is little known. Herein, metabolomic method based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was applied to identify key metabolic changes in silk synthesis deficient silkworms. Forty-six differential metabolites were identified in Nd group with the defect of silk synthesis. Significant changes in the levels of glycine and uric acid (up-regulation), carbohydrates and free fatty acids (down-regulation) were observed. The further metabolomics of silk synthesis deficient silkworms by decreasing silk proteins synthesis using knocking out fibroin heavy chain gene or extirpating silk glands operation showed that the changes of the metabolites were almost consistent with those of the Nd group. Furthermore, the increased silk yields by supplying more glycine or its related metabolite confirmed that glycine is a key metabolite to regulate silk synthesis. These findings provide important insights into the regulation between metabolic profiling and silk synthesis. PMID:25533535

  3. An Unlikely Silk: The Composite Material of Green Lacewing Cocoons

    SciTech Connect

    Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Mudie, Stephen T.; Church, Jeffrey S.; Sutherland, Tara D.; Haritos, Victoria S.

    2009-01-15

    Spiders routinely produce multiple types of silk; however, common wisdom has held that insect species produce one type of silk each. This work reports that the green lacewing (Mallada signata, Neuroptera) produces two distinct classes of silk. We identified and sequenced the gene that encodes the major protein component of the larval lacewing cocoon silk and demonstrated that it is unrelated to the adult lacewing egg-stalk silk. The cocoon silk protein is 49 kDa in size and is alanine rich (>40%), and it contains an {alpha}-helical secondary structure. The final instar lacewing larvae spin protein fibers of {approx}2 {mu}m diameter to construct a loosely woven cocoon. In a second stage of cocoon construction, the insects lay down an inner wall of lipids that uses the fibers as a scaffold. We propose that the silk protein fibers provide the mechanical strength of the composite lacewing cocoon whereas the lipid layer provides a barrier to water loss during pupation.

  4. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of glycylglycylarginine as a part of spider silk protein: Spectroscopic and theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Ar?, Hatice; Özpozan, Talat

    2016-01-01

    Glycylglycylarginine as a part of GGX motif of spider silk spidroin in nonionic (non-GGR) and zwitterionic (zwt-GGR) forms have been examined from theoretical and spectroscopic aspects. The most stable conformational isomers of non-GGR and zwt-GGR were obtained through relaxed scan using the DFT/B3LYP with 6-31G(d) basis set. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of 310-helix structures of GGR have also been calculated and compared with the most stable conformers obtained as a result of conformer analysis of isolated three peptide structures. This comparison should give an idea about the stability contribution of intermolecular interactions between the 310-helix structured peptide chains. O3LYP and B3PW91 hybrid functionals beside B3LYP have also been used for further calculations of geometry optimization, vibrational analysis, Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis, HOMO-LUMO analysis and hydrogen bonding analysis. Normal Mode Analysis was carried through Potential Energy Distribution (PED) calculations by means of VEDA4 program package. IR and Raman spectra of GGR have also been used to relate the spectroscopic data obtained to electronic and structural features. PMID:25677985

  5. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of glycylglycylarginine as a part of spider silk protein: Spectroscopic and theoretical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ar?, Hatice; Özpozan, Talat

    2016-01-01

    Glycylglycylarginine as a part of GGX motif of spider silk spidroin in nonionic (non-GGR) and zwitterionic (zwt-GGR) forms have been examined from theoretical and spectroscopic aspects. The most stable conformational isomers of non-GGR and zwt-GGR were obtained through relaxed scan using the DFT/B3LYP with 6-31G(d) basis set. Nonionic and zwitterionic forms of 310-helix structures of GGR have also been calculated and compared with the most stable conformers obtained as a result of conformer analysis of isolated three peptide structures. This comparison should give an idea about the stability contribution of intermolecular interactions between the 310-helix structured peptide chains. O3LYP and B3PW91 hybrid functionals beside B3LYP have also been used for further calculations of geometry optimization, vibrational analysis, Natural Bond Orbital (NBO) analysis, HOMO-LUMO analysis and hydrogen bonding analysis. Normal Mode Analysis was carried through Potential Energy Distribution (PED) calculations by means of VEDA4 program package. IR and Raman spectra of GGR have also been used to relate the spectroscopic data obtained to electronic and structural features.

  6. Regenerated Spider Silk Possess Mechanical Properties of Super- and Cyclic Contraction in Response to Environmental Humidity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Shan; Swaminathan, Ganesh; Evans, Samuel; Blackledge, Todd

    2013-06-01

    Major Ampullate (MA) spider silk is among the most impressive biomaterials due to its unparalleled mechanical properties, such as super-contraction and cyclic response to changes in humidity. Electro-spinning enables the generation of engineered silk fibers with controlled parameters and dimentions for various medical and commercial applications. However, their applications hinge on the ability to reproduce the mechanical properties such as a precise expansion-contraction response existed in natural silk fibers. Here, we successfully reproduced MA spider-silk fibers from solutions of natural MA silk proteins via electrospinning, which exhibit the super-contraction and cyclic response to humidity change in a manner mirroring the natural fibers.

  7. Electrospun sulfated silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haifeng; Li, Xiaoming; Zhou, Gang; Fan, Hongbin; Fan, Yubo

    2011-05-01

    One of the major downfalls of tissue-engineered small-diameter vascular grafts is the inability to obtain a confluent endothelium on the lumenal surface. Loosely attached endothelial cells (ECs) are easily separated from the vessel wall when exposed to the in vivo vascular system. Thus any denuded areas on the lumenal surface of vascular grafts may lead to thrombus formation via platelet deposition and activation. If the denuded areas could express anticoagulant activity until the endothelial cell lining is fully achieved, it may greatly improve the chances of successful vascular reconstruction. In this study, we fabricate sulfated silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffolds (S-silk scaffolds) and assess the anticoagulant activity and cytocompatibility of S-silk scaffolds in vitro in order to improve the antithrombogenicity and get some insights into its potential use for vascular tissue engineering. Sulfated silk fibroin was prepared by reaction with chlorosulphonic acid in pyridine, and then was developed to form an S-silk scaffold by electrospinning technique. FTIR analyses identified the successful incorporation of sulfate groups in silk fibroin molecules. It was found that the anticoagulant activity of S-silk scaffolds was significantly enhanced compared with silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffolds (Silk scaffolds). Vascular cells, including ECs and smooth muscle cells (SMCs), demonstrated strong attachment to S-silk scaffolds and proliferated well with higher expression of some phenotype-related marker genes and proteins. Overall, the data in this study suggest the suitability of S-silk scaffolds used along with vascular cells for the development of tissue-engineered vascular grafts. PMID:21376391

  8. Silk material modification and microfabrication strategies for applications in biosensors and drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsioris, Konstantinos

    Silk has proven to be a promising biomaterial for the development of a novel generation of biomedical devices due to the material's intrinsic properties of biocompatibility and biodegradability. To further the development of silk-based devices, augmented functionality can be provided to silk by means of microfabrication and material functionalization. In this dissertation, we set out to explore possibilities of silk-based biomedical device development with particular attention to different fabrication strategies that can be leveraged for this purpose, taking inspiration from conventional lithography, contact imprinting and chemical modification of the silk biomaterial. In particular, we have produced a novel silk-based drug delivery device, in the form of microneedles. For this purpose we have developed micromolding strategies which allow the fabrication of high aspect ratio silk structures. Furthermore, we have produced a THz split ring resonator based sensor device on silk films. To realize this device, we have developed a convenient fabrication method, allowing transfer of previously microfabricated metal and oxide microstructures to the silk film surface. This method has proven useful for hard masking and patterning silk films with reactive ion etching. Moreover, we have explored patterning semiconductor and glass substrates with silk films. For this purpose we have modified a standard microfabrication method -lift off- to be amendable to silk. Furthermore, combining silk based fabrication and material functionalization has lead to microfluidics pH sensing applications. Finally we have explored the possibility of utilizing silk for injectable and biodegradable glucose sensors. For this purpose, we have doped silk hydrogels with a fluorescence based protein biosensor. The advanced silk fabrication and material synthesis strategies and the resulting novel devices presented here could potentially lead to a new class of biomedical applications.

  9. Molecular dynamics analysis of supercontraction in spider dragline silk

    E-print Network

    Batty, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Spider dragline silk is a material that has evolved over millions of years to develop finely tuned mechanical properties. It is a protein-based fiber, used as the main structural component in spider webs and as a lifeline ...

  10. Porous nitrogen-doped carbon derived from silk fibroin protein encapsulating sulfur as a superior cathode material for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiawei; Cai, Yurong; Zhong, Qiwei; Lai, Dongzhi; Yao, Juming

    2015-11-14

    The features of a carbon substrate are crucial for the electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Nitrogen doping of carbon materials is assumed to play an important role in sulfur immobilisation. In this study, natural silk fibroin protein is used as a precursor of nitrogen-rich carbon to fabricate a novel, porous, nitrogen-doped carbon material through facile carbonisation and activation. Porous carbon, with a reversible capacity of 815 mA h g(-1) at 0.2 C after 60 cycles, serves as the cathode material in Li-S batteries. Porous carbon retains a reversible capacity of 567 mA h g(-1), which corresponds to a capacity retention of 98% at 1 C after 200 cycles. The promising electrochemical performance of porous carbon is attributed to its mesoporous structure, high specific surface area and nitrogen doping into the carbon skeleton. This study provides a general strategy to synthesise nitrogen-doped carbons with a high specific surface area, which is crucial to improve the energy density and electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries. PMID:26456870

  11. Porous nitrogen-doped carbon derived from silk fibroin protein encapsulating sulfur as a superior cathode material for high-performance lithium-sulfur batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiawei; Cai, Yurong; Zhong, Qiwei; Lai, Dongzhi; Yao, Juming

    2015-10-01

    The features of a carbon substrate are crucial for the electrochemical performance of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries. Nitrogen doping of carbon materials is assumed to play an important role in sulfur immobilisation. In this study, natural silk fibroin protein is used as a precursor of nitrogen-rich carbon to fabricate a novel, porous, nitrogen-doped carbon material through facile carbonisation and activation. Porous carbon, with a reversible capacity of 815 mA h g-1 at 0.2 C after 60 cycles, serves as the cathode material in Li-S batteries. Porous carbon retains a reversible capacity of 567 mA h g-1, which corresponds to a capacity retention of 98% at 1 C after 200 cycles. The promising electrochemical performance of porous carbon is attributed to its mesoporous structure, high specific surface area and nitrogen doping into the carbon skeleton. This study provides a general strategy to synthesise nitrogen-doped carbons with a high specific surface area, which is crucial to improve the energy density and electrochemical performance of Li-S batteries.

  12. Lysine-doped polypyrrole/spider silk protein/poly(l-lactic) acid containing nerve growth factor composite fibers for neural application.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong; Wang, Kefeng; Xing, Yiming; Yu, Qiaozhen

    2015-11-01

    Lysine-doped polypyrrole (PPy)/regenerated spider silk protein (RSSP)/poly(l-lactic) acid (PLLA)/nerve growth factor (NGF) (L-PRPN) composite scaffold was fabricated by co-axial electrospraying and electrospinning. This L-PRPN composite scaffold had a structure of microfibers with a core-shell structure as the stems and nanofibers as branches. Assessment in vitro demonstrated that the L-PRPN composite micro/nano-fibrous scaffold could maintain integrated structure for at least 4months and the pH value of PBS at about 7.28. It had good biocompatibility and cell adhesion and relatively stable conductivity. PC 12 cells cultured on this scaffold, anisotropic cell-neurite-cell-neurite or neurite-neurite sheets were formed after being cultured for 6days. Evaluations in vivo also showed that L-PRPN composite fibrous conduit was effective at bridging 2.0cm sciatic nerve gap in adult rat within 10months. This conduit and electrical stimulation (ES) through it promoted Schwann cell migration and axonal regrowth. PMID:26249628

  13. Enzymatic mineralization of silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Samal, Sangram K; Dash, Mamoni; Declercq, Heidi A; Gheysens, Tom; Dendooven, Jolien; Van Der Voort, Pascal; Cornelissen, Ria; Dubruel, Peter; Kaplan, David L

    2014-07-01

    The present study focuses on the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) mediated formation of apatitic minerals on porous silk fibroin protein (SFP) scaffolds. Porous SFP scaffolds impregnated with different concentrations of ALP are homogeneously mineralized under physiological conditions. The mineral structure is apatite while the structures differ as a function of the ALP concentration. Cellular adhesion, proliferation, and colonization of osteogenic MC3T3 cells improve on the mineralized SFP scaffolds. These findings suggest a simple process to generate mineralized scaffolds that can be used to enhanced bone tissue engineering-related utility. PMID:24610728

  14. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in a Rabbit Model Using Silk-Collagen Scaffold and Comparison with Autograft

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Fanggang; Shi, Zhongli; Liu, An; Guo, Peng; Yan, Shigui

    2015-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to perform an in vivo assessment of a novel silk-collagen scaffold for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. First, a silk-collagen scaffold was fabricated by combining sericin-extracted knitted silk fibroin mesh and type I collagen to mimic the components of the ligament. Scaffolds were electron-beam sterilized and rolled up to replace the ACL in 20 rabbits in the scaffold group, and autologous semitendinosus tendons were used to reconstruct the ACL in the autograft control group. At 4 and 16 weeks after surgery, grafts were retrieved and analyzed for neoligament regeneration and tendon-bone healing. To evaluate neoligament regeneration, H&E and immunohistochemical staining was performed, and to assess tendon-bone healing, micro-CT, biomechanical test, H&E and Russell-Movat pentachrome staining were performed. Cell infiltration increased over time in the scaffold group, and abundant fibroblast-like cells were found in the core of the scaffold graft at 16 weeks postoperatively. Tenascin-C was strongly positive in newly regenerated tissue at 4 and 16 weeks postoperatively in the scaffold group, similar to observations in the autograft group. Compared with the autograft group, tendon-bone healing was better in the scaffold group with trabecular bone growth into the scaffold. The results indicate that the silk-collagen scaffold has considerable potential for clinical application. PMID:25938408

  15. Highly tunable elastomeric silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Partlow, Benjamin P.; Hanna, Craig W.; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Moreau, Jodie E.; Applegate, Matthew B.; Burke, Kelly A.; Marelli, Benedetto; Mitropoulos, Alexander N.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2014-01-01

    Elastomeric, fully degradable and biocompatible biomaterials are rare, with current options presenting significant limitations in terms of ease of functionalization and tunable mechanical and degradation properties. We report a new method for covalently crosslinking tyrosine residues in silk proteins, via horseradish peroxidase and hydrogen peroxide, to generate highly elastic hydrogels with tunable properties. The tunable mechanical properties, gelation kinetics and swelling properties of these new protein polymers, in addition to their ability to withstand shear strains on the order of 100%, compressive strains greater than 70% and display stiffness between 200 – 10,000 Pa, covering a significant portion of the properties of native soft tissues. Molecular weight and solvent composition allowed control of material mechanical properties over several orders of magnitude while maintaining high resilience and resistance to fatigue. Encapsulation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) showed long term survival and exhibited cell-matrix interactions reflective of both silk concentration and gelation conditions. Further biocompatibility of these materials were demonstrated with in vivo evaluation. These new protein-based elastomeric and degradable hydrogels represent an exciting new biomaterials option, with a unique combination of properties, for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. PMID:25395921

  16. Effect of Sequence Features on Assembly of Spider Silk Block Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Tokareva, Olena S.; Lin, Shangchao; Jacobsen, Matthew M.; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel; Li, David; Simon, Marc; Staii, Cristian; Cebe, Peggy; Wong, Joyce Y.; Buehler, Markus J.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Bioengineered spider silk block copolymers were studied to understand the effect of protein chain length and sequence chemistry on the formation of secondary structure and materials assembly. Using a combination of in vitro protein design and assembly studies, we demonstrate that silk block copolymers possessing multiple repetitive units self-assemble into lamellar microstructures. Additionally, the study provides insights into the assembly behavior of spider silk block copolymers in concentrated salt solutions. PMID:24613991

  17. Unravelling the biodiversity of nanoscale signatures of spider silk fibres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Luciano P.; Rech, Elibio L.

    2013-12-01

    Living organisms are masters at designing outstanding self-assembled nanostructures through a hierarchical organization of modular proteins. Protein-based biopolymers improved and selected by the driving forces of molecular evolution are among the most impressive archetypes of nanomaterials. One of these biomacromolecules is the myriad of compound fibroins of spider silks, which combine surprisingly high tensile strength with great elasticity. However, no consensus on the nano-organization of spider silk fibres has been reached. Here we explore the biodiversity of spider silk fibres, focusing on nanoscale characterization with high-resolution atomic force microscopy. Our results reveal an evolution of the nanoroughness, nanostiffness, nanoviscoelastic, nanotribological and nanoelectric organization of microfibres, even when they share similar sizes and shapes. These features are related to unique aspects of their molecular structures. The results show that combined nanoscale analyses of spider silks may enable the screening of appropriate motifs for bioengineering synthetic fibres from recombinant proteins.

  18. An Australian webspinner species makes the finest known insect silk fibers

    SciTech Connect

    Okada, Shoko; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Mudie, Stephen T.; Haritos, Victoria S.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2009-01-15

    Aposthonia gurneyi, an Australian webspinner species, is a primitive insect that constructs and lives in a silken tunnel which screens it from the attentions of predators. The insect spins silk threads from many tiny spines on its forelegs to weave a filmy sheet. We found that the webspinner silk fibers have a mean diameter of only 65 nm, an order of magnitude smaller than any previously reported insect silk. The purpose of such fine silk may be to reduce the metabolic cost of building the extensive tunnels. At the molecular level, the A. gurneyi silk has a predominantly beta-sheet protein structure. The most abundant clone in a cDNA library produced from the webspinner silk glands encoded a protein with extensive glycine-serine repeat regions. The GSGSGS repeat motif of the A. gurneyi silk protein is similar to the well-known GAGAGS repeat motif found in the heavy fibroin of silkworm silk, which also has beta-sheet structure. As the webspinner silk gene is unrelated to the silk gene of the phylogenetically distant silkworm, this is a striking example of convergent evolution.

  19. Proteomic Analysis of Silk Viability in Maize Inbred Lines and Their Corresponding Hybrids

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yafei; Zhao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Fangfang; Tang, Jihua; Fu, Zhiyuan

    2015-01-01

    A long period of silk viability is critical for a good seed setting rate in maize (Zea mays L.), especially for inbred lines and hybrids with a long interval between anthesis and silking. To explore the molecular mechanism of silk viability and its heterosis, three inbred lines with different silk viability characteristics (Xun928, Lx9801, and Zong3) and their two hybrids (Xun928×Zong3 and Lx9801×Zong3) were analyzed at different developmental stages by a proteomic method. The differentially accumulated proteins were identified by mass spectrometry and classified into metabolism, protein biosynthesis and folding, signal transduction and hormone homeostasis, stress and defense responses, and cellular processes. Proteins involved in nutrient (methionine) and energy (ATP) supply, which support the pollen tube growth in the silk, were important for silk viability and its heterosis. The additive and dominant effects at a single locus, as well as complex epistatic interactions at two or more loci in metabolic pathways, were the primary contributors for mid-parent heterosis of silk viability. Additionally, the proteins involved in the metabolism of anthocyanins, which indirectly negatively regulate local hormone accumulation, were also important for the mid-parent heterosis of silk viability. These results also might imply the developmental dependence of heterosis, because many of the differentially accumulated proteins made distinct contributions to the heterosis of silk viability at specific developmental stages. PMID:26630375

  20. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    PubMed Central

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  1. Structural Properties of Silk Electro-Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tabatabai, A. P.; Urbach, J. S.; Blair, D. L.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2013-03-01

    The interest in Bombyx Mori silk emerges from its biocompatibility and its structural superiority to synthetic polymers. Our particular interest lies in understanding the capabilities of silk electro-gels because of their reversibility and tunable adhesion. We create an electro-gel by applying a DC electric potential across a reconstituted silk fibroin solution derived directly from Bombyx Mori cocoons. This process leads to the intermolecular self-assembly of fibroin proteins into a weak gel. In this talk we will present our results on the effects of applied shear on electro-gels. We quantify the structural properties while dynamically imaging shear induced fiber formation; known as fibrillogenesis. It is observed that the mechanical properties and microstructure of these materials are highly dependent on shear history. We will also discuss the role of surface modification, through micro-patterning, on the observed gel structure. Our results provide an understanding of both the viscoelastiticity and microstucture of reconstituted silks that are being utilized as tissue scaffolds. This work is supported by a grant from the AFOSR FA9550-07-1-0130.

  2. The elaborate structure of spider silk: structure and function of a natural high performance fiber.

    PubMed

    Römer, Lin; Scheibel, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Biomaterials, having evolved over millions of years, often exceed man-made materials in their properties. Spider silk is one outstanding fibrous biomaterial which consists almost entirely of large proteins. Silk fibers have tensile strengths comparable to steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber on a weight to weight basis. In combining these two properties, silks reveal a toughness that is two to three times that of synthetic fibers like Nylon or Kevlar. Spider silk is also antimicrobial, hypoallergenic and completely biodegradable. This article focuses on the structure-function relationship of the characterized highly repetitive spider silk spidroins and their conformational conversion from solution into fibers. Such knowedge is of crucial importance to understanding the intrinsic properties of spider silk and to get insight into the sophisticated assembly processes of silk proteins. This review further outlines recent progress in recombinant production of spider silk proteins and their assembly into distinct polymer materials as a basis for novel products. PMID:19221522

  3. Optically switchable natural silk

    SciTech Connect

    Krasnov, Igor Müller, Martin; Krekiehn, Nicolai R.; Jung, Ulrich; Magnussen, Olaf M.; Krywka, Christina; Zillohu, Ahnaf U.; Strunskus, Thomas; Elbahri, Mady

    2015-03-02

    An optically active bio-material is created by blending natural silk fibers with photoisomerizable chromophore molecules—azobenzenebromide (AzBr). The material converts the energy of unpolarized light directly into mechanical work with a well-defined direction of action. The feasibility of the idea to produce optically driven microsized actuators on the basis of bio-material (silk) is proven. The switching behavior of the embedded AzBr molecules was studied in terms of UV/Vis spectroscopy. To test the opto-mechanical properties of the modified fibers and the structural changes they undergo upon optically induced switching, single fiber X-ray diffraction with a micron-sized synchrotron radiation beam was combined in situ with optical switching as well as with mechanical testing and monitoring. The crystalline regions of silk are not modified by the presence of the guest molecules, hence occupy only the amorphous part of the fibers. It is shown that chromophore molecules embedded into fibers can be reversibly switched between the trans and cis conformation by illumination with light of defined wavelengths. The host fibers respond to this switching with a variation of the internal stress. The amplitude of the mechanical response is independent of the applied external stress and its characteristic time is shorter than the relaxation time of the usual mechanical response of silk.

  4. Electrospun Silk Biomaterial Scaffolds for Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaohui; Reagan, Michaela R; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Electrospinning is a versatile technique that enables the development of nanofiber-based biomaterial scaffolds. Scaffolds can be generated that are useful for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine since they mimic the nanoscale properties of certain fibrous components of the native extracellular matrix in tissues. Silk is a natural protein with excellent biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical properties as well as tailorable degradability. Integrating these protein polymer advantages with electrospinning results in scaffolds with combined biochemical, topographical and mechanical cues with versatility for a range of biomaterial, cell and tissue studies and applications. This review covers research related to electrospinning of silk, including process parameters, post treatment of the spun fibers, functionalization of nanofibers, and the potential applications for these material systems in regenerative medicine. Research challenges and future trends are also discussed. PMID:19643154

  5. Electrodeposited silk coatings for functionalized implant applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elia, Roberto

    The mechanical and morphological properties of titanium as well as its biocompatibility and osteoinductive characteristics have made it the material of choice for dental implant systems. Although the success rate of titanium implants exceeds 90% in healthy individuals, a large subset of the population has one or more risk factors that inhibit implant integration. Treatments and coatings have been developed to improve clinical outcomes via introduction of appropriate surface topography, texture and roughness or incorporation of bioactive molecules. It is essential that the coatings and associated deposition techniques are controllable and reproducible. Currently, methods of depositing functional coatings are dictated by numerous parameters (temperature, particle size distribution, pH and voltage), which result in variable coating thickness, strength, porosity and weight, and hinder or preclude biomolecule incorporation. Silk is a highly versatile protein with a unique combination of mechanical and physical properties, including tunable degradation, biocompatibility, drug stabilizing capabilities and mechanical properties. Most recently an electrogelation technique was developed which allows for the deposition of gels which dry seamlessly over the contoured topography of the conductive substrate. In this work we examine the potential use of silk electrogels as mechanically robust implant coatings capable of sequestering and releasing therapeutic agents. Electrodeposition of silk electrogels formed in uniform electric fields was characterized with respect to field intensity and deposition time. Gel formation kinetics were used to derive functions which allowed for the prediction of coating deposition over a range of process and solution parameters. Silk electrogel growth orientation was shown to be influenced by the applied electric field. Coatings were reproducible and tunable via intrinsic silk solution properties and extrinsic process parameters. Adhesion was modulated over a 10-fold range and implant insertion into bone mimics demonstrated that the coatings were able to withstand delamination forces experienced during these mock implantations. Antibiotic release from coated implant studs inhibited bacterial growth and dexamethasone release was shown to stimulate calcium deposition in mesenchymal stem cells.

  6. Scrutinizing the datasets obtained from nanoscale features of spider silk fibres

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Luciano P; Rech, Elibio L

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibres share unprecedented structural and mechanical properties which span from the macroscale to nanoscale and beyond. This is possible due to the molecular features of modular proteins termed spidroins. Thus, the investigation of the organizational scaffolds observed for spidroins in spider silk fibres is of paramount importance for reverse bioengineering. This dataset consists in describing a rational screening procedure to identify the nanoscale features of spider silk fibres. Using atomic force microscopy operated in multiple acquisition modes, we evaluated silk fibres from nine spider species. Here we present the complete results of the analyses and decrypted a number of novel features that could even rank the silk fibres according to desired mechanostructural features. This dataset will allow other researchers to select the most appropriate models for synthetic biology and also lead to better understanding of spider silk fibres extraordinary performance that is comparable to the best manmade materials. PMID:25977795

  7. In vitro study on silk fibroin textile structure for anterior cruciate ligament regeneration.

    PubMed

    Farè, Silvia; Torricelli, Paola; Giavaresi, Gianluca; Bertoldi, Serena; Alessandrino, Antonio; Villa, Tomaso; Fini, Milena; Tanzi, Maria Cristina; Freddi, Giuliano

    2013-10-01

    A novel hierarchical textile structure made of silk fibroin from Bombyx mori capable of matching the mechanical performance requirements of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and in vitro cell ingrowth is described. This sericin-free, Silk Fibroin Knitted Sheath with Braided Core (SF-KSBC) structure was fabricated using available textile technologies. Micro-CT analysis confirmed that the core was highly porous and had a higher degree of interconnectivity than that observed for the sheath. The in vivo cell colonization of the scaffolds is thus expected to penetrate even the internal parts of the structure. Tensile mechanical tests demonstrated a maximum load of 1212.4±56.4 N (under hydrated conditions), confirming the scaffold's suitability for ACL reconstruction. The absence of cytotoxic substances in the extracts of the SF-KSBC structure in culture medium was verified by in vitro tests with L929 fibroblasts. In terms of extracellular matrix production, Human Periodontal Ligament Fibroblasts (HPdLFs) cultured in direct contact with SF-KSBC, compared to control samples, demonstrated an increased secretion of aggrecan (PG) and fibronectin (FBN) at 3 and 7 days of culture, and no change in IL-6 and TNF-? secretion. Altogether, the outcomes of this investigation confirm the significant utility of this novel scaffold for ACL tissue regeneration. PMID:23910255

  8. Transcriptomic Analysis of the Anterior Silk Gland in the Domestic Silkworm (Bombyx mori) – Insight into the Mechanism of Silk Formation and Spinning

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Huaipu; Cheng, Tingcai; Wu, Yuqian; Hu, Wenbo; Long, Renwen; Liu, Chun; Zhao, Ping; Xia, Qingyou

    2015-01-01

    Silk proteins are synthesized in the middle and posterior silk glands of silkworms, then transit into the anterior of the silk gland, where the silk fibers are produced, stored and processed. The mechanism of formation and spinning of the silk fibers has not been fully elucidated, and transcriptome analyses specific to the anterior silk gland have not been reported. In the present study, we explored gene expression profiles in five regions of silk gland samples using the RNA-Seq method. As a result, there were 959,979,570 raw reads obtained, of which 583,068,172 reads were mapped to the silkworm genome. A total of 7419 genes were found to be expressed in terms of reads per kilobase of exon model per million mapped reads ? 5 in at least one sample. The gene numbers and expression levels of the expressed genes differed between these regions. The differentially expressed genes were analyzed, and 282 genes were detected as up-regulated in the anterior silk gland, compared with the other parts. Functions of these genes were addressed using the gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases, and seven key pathways were enriched. It suggested that the ion transportation, energy metabolism, protease inhibitors and cuticle proteins played essential roles in the process of silk formation and spinning in the anterior silk gland. In addition, 210 genes were found differently expressed between males and females, which should help to elucidate the mechanism of the quality difference in silk fibers from male and female silkworms. PMID:26418001

  9. Effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor-1 axis in a rat model of type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Song, Cheng-Jun; Yang, Zhen-Jun; Tang, Qi-Feng; Chen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of sericin on the testicular growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) axis in rats with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Forty rats were randomly assigned to normal control, type 2 diabetes mellitus, sericin and metformin treated groups. Type 2 diabetes was established by repeated intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin, and identified by blood glucose ?16.7 mmol/L at 1 week. The diabetic rats were given no other treatment, these rats in the sericin group were intragastrically perfused with 2.4 g/kg sericin and the metformin treated rats were intragastrically perfused with 55.33 mg/kg Metformin daily for 35 consecutive days. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to determine serum testosterone, growth hormone and IGF-1 levels. Immunohistochemical staining, western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR were used to determine testicular growth hormone, growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. The sericin significantly reduced serum growth hormone levels, downregulated growth hormone expression, increased serum testosterone and IGF-1 levels, and upregulated testicular growth hormone receptor and IGF-1 expression. Moreover, there were no significant differences in any of the parameters between the sericin and metformin treated groups. These findings indicated that sericin improved spermatogenic function through regulating the growth hormone/IGF-1 axis, thereby protecting reproductive function against diabetes-induced damage. PMID:26379831

  10. Ingrowth of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells into Porous Silk Particle Reinforced Silk Composite Scaffolds: An In Vitro Study

    PubMed Central

    Rockwood, Danielle N.; Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Grayson, Warren; Bhumiratana, Sarindr; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Wang, Xungai; Kim, Sung Jun; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2010-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein is biodegradable and biocompatible, exhibiting excellent mechanical properties for various biomedical applications. However, porous 3D silk fibroin scaffolds, or silk sponges, usually fall short in matching the initial mechanical requirements for bone tissue engineering. In the present study, silk sponge matrices were reinforced with silk microparticles to generate protein-protein composite scaffolds with desirable mechanical properties for in vitro osteogenic tissue formation. It was found that increasing the silk microparticle loading led to a substantial increase in the scaffold compressive modulus from 0.3 MPa (nonreinforced) to 1.9 MPa for 1:2 (matrix:particle) reinforcement loading by dry mass. Biochemical, gene expression, and histological assays were employed to study the possible effects of increasing composite scaffold stiffness, due to microparticle reinforcement, on in vitro osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Increasing silk microparticle loading increased the osteogenic capability of hMSCs in the presence of bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2) and other osteogenic factors in static culture for up to six weeks. The calcium adsorption increased dramatically with increasing loading, as observed from biochemical assays, histological staining, and microCT (?CT) analysis. Specifically, calcium content in the scaffolds increased by 0.57, 0.71, and 1.27 mg (per ?g of DNA) from 3 to 6 weeks for matrix to particle dry mass loading ratios of 1:0, 1:1 and 1:2, respectively. In addition, ?CT imaging revealed that at 6 weeks, bone volume fraction increased from 0.78% for nonreinforced to 7.1% and 6.7% for 1:1 and 1:2 loading, respectively. Our results support the hypothesis that scaffold stiffness may strongly influence the 3D in vitro differentiation capabilities of hMSCs, providing a means to improve osteogenic outcomes. PMID:20656075

  11. Transdermal Delivery Devices: Fabrication, Mechanics and Drug Release from Silk**

    PubMed Central

    Raja, Waseem K.; MacCorkle, Scott; Diwan, Izzuddin M.; Abdurrob, Abdurrahman; Lu, Jessica; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Microneedles are a relatively simple, minimally invasive and painless approach to deliver drugs across the skin. However, there remain limitations with this approach because of the materials most commonly utilized for such systems. Silk protein, with tunable and biocompatibility properties, is a useful biomaterial to overcome the current limitations with microneedles. Silk devices preserve drug activity, offer superior mechanical properties and biocompatibility, can be tuned for biodegradability, and can be processed under aqueous, benign conditions. In the present work, we report the fabrication of dense microneedle arrays from silk with different drug release kinetics. The mechanical properties of the microneedle patches are tuned by post-fabrication treatments or by loading the needles with silk microparticles to increase capacity and mechanical strength. Drug release is further enhanced by the encapsulation of the drugs in the silk matrix and coating with a thin dissolvable drug layer. The microneedles are used on human cadaver skin and drugs were delivered successfully. The various attributes demonstrated suggest that silk-based microneedle devices can provide significant benefit as a platform material for transdermal drug delivery. PMID:23653252

  12. Silk Film Embossing System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paquette, Mark S.

    New tools are often required to facilitate new discoveries and test new methods. Commercial offerings can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to customize. The development of ad-hoc tools provides the most flexibility and provides an opportunity to modify and refine a technology. An embossing system was developed for silk film imprinting and stamping in order to facilitate and add versatility to the efforts involving micro- and nanoscale device manufacturing in biopolymers. This system features temperature controlled embossing surfaces, adjustable embossing pressures, and variable embossing times. The device can also be fitted with interchangeable temperature controlled embossing and stamping tools. The design, development, fabrication, applications, and future improvements are explored for the system. This device may facilitate new discoveries in the realm of biopolymer micro- and nanomanufacturing and may provide a path towards high volume production of silk film based technologies.

  13. Silk constructs for delivery of muskuloskeletal therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Meinel, Lorenz; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a biopolymer with distinguishing features from many other bio- as well as synthetic polymers. From a biomechanical and drug delivery perspective, SF combines remarkable versatility for scaffolding (solid implants, hydrogels, threads, solutions), with advanced mechanical properties and good stabilization and controlled delivery of entrapped protein and small molecule drugs, respectively. It is this combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical features which render SF so exciting for biomedical applications. his pattern along with the versatility of this biopolymer have been translated into progress for musculoskeletal applications. We review the use and potential of silk fibroin for systemic and localized delivery of therapeutics in diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We also present future directions for this biopolymer as well as the necessary research and development steps for their achievement. PMID:22522139

  14. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ...Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food...Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is...

  15. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ...Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food...Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is...

  16. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ...Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food...Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is...

  17. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ...Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food...Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is...

  18. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ...Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section 184.1262 Food...Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is...

  19. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  20. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  1. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  2. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... SAFE Listing of Specific Substances Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk....

  3. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section... Affirmed as GRAS § 184.1262 Corn silk and corn silk extract. (a) Corn silk is the fresh styles and stigmas of Zea mays L. collected when the corn is in milk. The filaments are extracted with dilute ethanol...

  4. Synthetic spider silk production on a laboratory scale.

    PubMed

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  5. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  6. Nutrient deprivation induces property variations in spider gluey silk.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  7. Effect of sericin supplementation in maturation medium on cumulus cell expansion, oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent embryo development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Aghaz, F; Hajarian, H; Shabankareh, H Karami; Abdolmohammadi, A

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of sericin with different concentrations (0% [control], 0.1%, 0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.5%) added to the IVM medium on cumulus cell expansion, oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent embryo development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season. The resumption of meiosis was assessed by the frequency of germinal vesicle breakdown and the first polar body extrusion. After IVF with fresh ram semen, presumptive zygotes were cultured 8 days in potassium simplex optimization medium supplemented by amino acids, and the percentages developing to the two-cell and blastocyst stages were measured as the indicators of early embryonic developmental competence. More cumulus-oocyte complexes matured with 0.5% sericin underwent germinal vesicle breakdown and reached metaphase II stage compared with the control cumulus-oocyte complexes matured without sericin (P ? 0.05). The present findings indicated that supplementation with 0.5% sericin during the maturation culture may improve the nuclear maturation and the cumulus cell expansion. Furthermore, the percentage of blastocysts obtained from 0.5% and 0.1% sericin (37.8 ± 1.76% and 34.8 ± 1.09%, respectively) was higher (P ? 0.05) than that of the control medium (29.60 ± 1.67%). However, addition of 1% and 2.5% of sericin to the IVM medium oocytes had a negative effect on nuclear maturation and cumulus cell expansion. Furthermore, the percentage of cleavage and blastocyst rate was significantly lower in the 1% and 2.5% sericin groups than in the control group. These findings showed that supplementation of IVM medium with 0.5% sericin may improve the meiotic competence of oocytes and early embryonic development in Sanjabi ewes during the breeding season. PMID:26411362

  8. Increasing silk fibre strength through heterogeneity of bundled fibrils

    PubMed Central

    Cranford, Steven W.

    2013-01-01

    Can naturally arising disorder in biological materials be beneficial? Materials scientists are continuously attempting to replicate the exemplary performance of materials such as spider silk, with detailed techniques and assembly procedures. At the same time, a spider does not precisely machine silk—imaging indicates that its fibrils are heterogeneous and irregular in cross section. While past investigations either focused on the building material (e.g. the molecular scale protein sequence and behaviour) or on the ultimate structural component (e.g. silk threads and spider webs), the bundled structure of fibrils that compose spider threads has been frequently overlooked. Herein, I exploit a molecular dynamics-based coarse-grain model to construct a fully three-dimensional fibril bundle, with a length on the order of micrometres. I probe the mechanical behaviour of bundled silk fibrils with variable density of heterogenic protrusions or globules, ranging from ideally homogeneous to a saturated distribution. Subject to stretching, the model indicates that cooperativity is enhanced by contact through low-force deformation and shear ‘locking’ between globules, increasing shear stress transfer by up to 200 per cent. In effect, introduction of a random and disordered structure can serve to improve mechanical performance. Moreover, addition of globules allows a tuning of free volume, and thus the wettability of silk (with implications for supercontraction). These findings support the ability of silk to maintain near-molecular-level strength at the scale of silk threads, and the mechanism could be easily adopted as a strategy for synthetic fibres. PMID:23486175

  9. Silk properties determined by gland-specific expression of a spider fibroin gene family.

    PubMed

    Guerette, P A; Ginzinger, D G; Weber, B H; Gosline, J M

    1996-04-01

    Spiders produce a variety of silks that range from Lycra-like elastic fibers to Kevlar-like superfibers. A gene family from the spider Araneus diadematus was found to encode silk-forming proteins (fibroins) with different proportions of amorphous glycine-rich domains and crystal domains built from poly(alanine) and poly(glycine-alanine) repeat motifs. Spiders produce silks of different composition by gland-specific expression of this gene family, which allows for a range of mechanical properties according to the crystal-forming potential of the constituent fibroins. These principles of fiber property control may be important in the development of genetically engineered structural proteins. PMID:8600519

  10. Behavior of a silkworm silk fiber web structure under wind load

    E-print Network

    Su, Isabelle

    2015-01-01

    Optimized by Nature for millions of years, silk is one of the strongest biomaterials with outstanding mechanical properties, it is both extensible and tough in order to ensure specific functions. In particular, protein-based ...

  11. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Madurga, R; Blackledge, T A; Perea, B; Plaza, G R; Riekel, C; Burghammer, M; Elices, M; Guinea, G; Pérez-Rigueiro, J

    2015-01-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers. PMID:26438975

  12. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-01-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers. PMID:26438975

  13. Persistence and variation in microstructural design during the evolution of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madurga, R.; Blackledge, T. A.; Perea, B.; Plaza, G. R.; Riekel, C.; Burghammer, M.; Elices, M.; Guinea, G.; Pérez-Rigueiro, J.

    2015-10-01

    The extraordinary mechanical performance of spider dragline silk is explained by its highly ordered microstructure and results from the sequences of its constituent proteins. This optimized microstructural organization simultaneously achieves high tensile strength and strain at breaking by taking advantage of weak molecular interactions. However, elucidating how the original design evolved over the 400 million year history of spider silk, and identifying the basic relationships between microstructural details and performance have proven difficult tasks. Here we show that the analysis of maximum supercontracted single spider silk fibers using X ray diffraction shows a complex picture of silk evolution where some key microstructural features are conserved phylogenetically while others show substantial variation even among closely related species. This new understanding helps elucidate which microstructural features need to be copied in order to produce the next generation of biomimetic silk fibers.

  14. Silk materials--a road to sustainable high technology.

    PubMed

    Tao, Hu; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2012-06-01

    This review addresses the use of silk protein as a sustainable material in optics and photonics, electronics and optoelectronic applications. These options represent additional developments for this technology platform that compound the broad utility and impact of this material for medical needs that have been recently described in the literature. The favorable properties of the material certainly make a favorable case for the use of silk, yet serve as a broad inspiration to further develop biological foundries for both the synthesis and processing of Nature's materials for technological applications. PMID:22553118

  15. Neural Responses to Electrical Stimulation on Patterned Silk Films

    PubMed Central

    Hronik-Tupaj, Marie; Raja, Waseem Khan; Tang-Schomer, Min; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Peripheral nerve injury is a critical issue for trauma patients. Following injury, incomplete axon regeneration or misguided axon innervation into tissue will result in loss of sensory and motor functions. The objective of this study was to examine axon outgrowth and axon alignment in response to surface patterning and electrical stimulation. To accomplish our objective, metal electrodes with dimensions of 1.5 mm × 4 cm, were sputter coated onto micropatterned silk protein films, with surface grooves 3.5 ?m wide × 500 nm deep. P19 neurons were seeded on the patterned electronic silk films and stimulated at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 minutes each day for 7 days. Responses were compared to neurons on flat electronic silk films, patterned silk films without stimulation, and flat silk films without stimulation. Significant alignment was found on the patterned film groups compared to the flat film groups. Axon outgrowth was greater (p < 0.05) on electronic films on day 5 and day 7 compared to the unstimulated groups. In conclusion, electrical stimulation, at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 minutes daily, in addition to surface patterning, of 3.5 ?m wide × 500 nm deep grooves, offered control of nerve axon outgrowth and alignment. PMID:23401351

  16. A fibronectin mimetic motif improves integrin mediated cell biding to recombinant spider silk matrices.

    PubMed

    Widhe, Mona; Shalaly, Nancy Dekki; Hedhammar, My

    2016-01-01

    The cell binding motif RGD is the most widely used peptide to improve cell binding properties of various biomaterials, including recombinant spider silk. In this paper we use genetic engineering to further enhance the cell supportive capacity of spider silk by presenting the RGD motif as a turn loop, similar to the one found in fibronectin (FN), but in the silk stabilized by cysteines, and therefore denoted FNCC. Human primary cells cultured on FNCC-silk showed increased attachment, spreading, stress fiber formation and focal adhesions, not only compared to RGD-silk, but also to silk fused with linear controls of the RGD containing motif from fibronectin. Cell binding to FNCC-silk was shown to involve the ?5?1 integrin, and to support proliferation and migration of keratinocytes. The FNCC-silk protein allowed efficient assembly, and could even be transformed into free standing films, on which keratinocytes could readily form a monolayer culture. The results hold promise for future applications within tissue engineering. PMID:26461118

  17. All-water-based electron-beam lithography using silk as a resist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sunghwan; Marelli, Benedetto; Brenckle, Mark A.; Mitropoulos, Alexander N.; Gil, Eun-Seok; Tsioris, Konstantinos; Tao, Hu; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2014-04-01

    Traditional nanofabrication techniques often require complex lithographic steps and the use of toxic chemicals. To move from the laboratory scale to large scales, nanofabrication should be carried out using alternative procedures that are simple, inexpensive and use non-toxic solvents. Recent efforts have focused on nanoimprinting and the use of organic resists (such as quantum dot-polymer hybrids, DNA and poly(ethylene glycol)), which still require, for the most part, noxious chemicals for processing. Significant advances have been achieved using `green' resists that can be developed with water, but so far these approaches have suffered from low electron sensitivity, line edge roughness and scalability constraints. Here, we present the use of silk as a natural and biofunctional resist for electron-beam lithography. The process is entirely water-based, starting with the silk aqueous solution and ending with simple development of the exposed silk film in water. Because of its polymorphic crystalline structure, silk can be used either as a positive or negative resist through interactions with an electron beam. Moreover, silk can be easily modified, thereby enabling a variety of `functional resists', including biologically active versions. As a proof of principle of the viability of all-water-based silk electron-beam lithography (EBL), we fabricate nanoscale photonic lattices using both neat silk and silk doped with quantum dots, green fluorescent proteins (GFPs) or horseradish peroxidase (HRP).

  18. Cell culture's spider silk road.

    PubMed

    Perkel, Jeffrey

    2014-06-01

    A number of synthetic and natural materials have been tried in cell culture and tissue engineering applications in recent years. Now Jeffrey Perkel takes a look at one new culture component that might surprise you-spider silk. PMID:24924388

  19. Different Types of Peptide Detected by Mass Spectrometry among Fresh Silk and Archaeological Silk Remains for Distinguishing Modern Contamination.

    PubMed

    Li, Li; Gong, Yuxuan; Yin, Hao; Gong, Decai

    2015-01-01

    Archaeological silk provides abundant information for studying ancient technologies and cultures. However, due to the spontaneous degradation and the damages from burial conditions, most ancient silk fibers which suffered the damages for thousands of years were turned into invisible molecular residues. For the obtained rare samples, extra care needs to be taken to accurately identify the genuine archaeological silk remains from modern contaminations. Although mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for identifying and analyzing the ancient protein residues, the traditional approach could not directly determine the dating and contamination of each sample. In this paper, a series of samples with a broad range of ages were tested by MS to find an effective and innovative approach to determine whether modern contamination exists, in order to verify the authenticity and reliability of the ancient samples. The new findings highlighted that the detected peptide types of the fibroin light chain can indicate the degradation levels of silk samples and help to distinguish contamination from ancient silk remains. PMID:26186676

  20. Different Types of Peptide Detected by Mass Spectrometry among Fresh Silk and Archaeological Silk Remains for Distinguishing Modern Contamination

    PubMed Central

    Li, Li; Gong, Yuxuan; Yin, Hao; Gong, Decai

    2015-01-01

    Archaeological silk provides abundant information for studying ancient technologies and cultures. However, due to the spontaneous degradation and the damages from burial conditions, most ancient silk fibers which suffered the damages for thousands of years were turned into invisible molecular residues. For the obtained rare samples, extra care needs to be taken to accurately identify the genuine archaeological silk remains from modern contaminations. Although mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful tool for identifying and analyzing the ancient protein residues, the traditional approach could not directly determine the dating and contamination of each sample. In this paper, a series of samples with a broad range of ages were tested by MS to find an effective and innovative approach to determine whether modern contamination exists, in order to verify the authenticity and reliability of the ancient samples. The new findings highlighted that the detected peptide types of the fibroin light chain can indicate the degradation levels of silk samples and help to distinguish contamination from ancient silk remains. PMID:26186676

  1. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure, morphological features and assembly. Aside from fundamental perspectives, we anticipate that these results will provide a blueprint for the design of precise materials for a range of potential applications such as controlled release devices, functional coatings, components of tissue regeneration materials and environmentally friendly polymers in future studies. In the second part of this work, human collagen type I was studied as another representative of the family of fibrous proteins. Collagen type I is the most abundant extracellular matrix protein in the human body, providing the basis for tissue structure and directing cellular functions. Collagen has a complex structural hierarchy, organized at different length scales, including the characteristic triple helical feature. In the present study we assessed the relationship between collagen structure (native vs. denatured) and sensitivity to UV radiation with a focus on changes in the primary structure, conformation, microstructure and material properties. Free radical reactions are involved in collagen degradation and a mechanism for UV-induced collagen degradation related to structure was proposed. The results from this study demonstrated the role of collagen supramolecular organization (triple helix) in the context of the effects of electromagnetic radiation on extracellular matrices. Owing to the fact that both silks and collagens are proteins that have found widespread interest for biomaterial related needs, we anticipate that the current studies will serve as a foundation for future biomaterial designs with controlled properties. Furthermore, fundamental insight into self-assembly and environmentally-2mediated degradation, will build a foundation for fundamental understanding of the remodeling and functions of these types of fibrous proteins in vivo and in vitro. This type of insight is essential for many areas of scientific inquiry, from drug delivery, to scaffolds for tissue engineering, and to the stability of materials in space.

  2. Sonication-Induced Gelation of Silk Fibroin for Cell Encapsulation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Kluge, Jon; Leisk, Gary G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Purified native silk fibroin forms ?-sheet-rich, physically crosslinked, hydrogels from aqueous solution, in a process influenced by environmental parameters. Previously we reported gelation times of days to weeks for aqueous native silk protein solutions, with high ionic strength and temperature and low pH responsible for increasing gelation kinetics. Here we report a novel method to accelerate the process and control silk fibroin gelation through ultrasonication. Depending on the sonication parameters, including power output and time, along with silk fibroin concentration, gelation could be controlled from minutes to hours, allowing the post-sonication addition of cells prior to final gel setting. Mechanistically, ultrasonication initiated the formation of ?-sheets by alteration in hydrophobic hydration, thus accelerating the formation of physical crosslinks responsible for gel stabilization. K+ at physiological concentrations and low pH promoted gelation which was not observed in the presence of Ca2+. The hydrogels were assessed for mechanical properties and proteolytic degradation; reported values matched or exceeded other cell-encapsulating gel material systems. Human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were successfully incorporated into these silk fibroin hydrogels after sonication, followed by rapid gelation and sustained cell function. Sonicated silk fibroin solutions at 4, 8, and 12% (w/v), followed by mixing in hMSCs, gelled within 0.5 to 2 hrs. The cells grew and proliferated in the 4% gels over 21 days, while survival was lower in the gels with higher protein content. Thus, sonication provides a useful new tool with which to initiate rapid sol-gel transitions, such as for cell encapsulation. PMID:18031805

  3. Carbon nanotubes on a spider silk scaffold

    PubMed Central

    Steven, Eden; Saleh, Wasan R.; Lebedev, Victor; Acquah, Steve F. A.; Laukhin, Vladimir; Alamo, Rufina G.; Brooks, James S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the compatibility between spider silk and conducting materials is essential to advance the use of spider silk in electronic applications. Spider silk is tough, but becomes soft when exposed to water. Here we report a strong affinity of amine-functionalised multi-walled carbon nanotubes for spider silk, with coating assisted by a water and mechanical shear method. The nanotubes adhere uniformly and bond to the silk fibre surface to produce tough, custom-shaped, flexible and electrically conducting fibres after drying and contraction. The conductivity of coated silk fibres is reversibly sensitive to strain and humidity, leading to proof-of-concept sensor and actuator demonstrations. PMID:24022336

  4. Nephila clavipes Flagelliform Silk-like GGX Motifs Contribute to Extensibility and Spacer Motifs Contribute to Strength in Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Adrianos, Sherry L.; Teulé, Florence; Hinman, Michael B.; Jones, Justin A.; Weber, Warner S.; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2013-01-01

    Flagelliform spider silk is the most extensible silk fiber produced by orb weaver spiders, though not as strong as the dragline silk of the spider. The motifs found in the core of the Nephila clavipes flagelliform Flag protein are: GGX, spacer, and GPGGX. Flag does not contain the polyalanine motif known to provide the strength of dragline silk. To investigate the source of flagelliform fiber strength, four recombinant proteins were produced containing variations of the three core motifs of the Nephila clavipes flagelliform Flag protein that produces this type of fiber. The as-spun fibers were processed in 80% aqueous isopropanol using a standardized process for all four fiber types, which produced improved mechanical properties. Mechanical testing of the recombinant proteins determined that the GGX motif contributes extensibility and the spacer motif contributes strength to the recombinant fibers. Recombinant protein fibers containing the spacer motif were stronger than the proteins constructed without the spacer that contained only the GGX motif or the combination of the GGX and GPGGX motifs. The mechanical and structural X-ray diffraction analysis of the recombinant fibers provide data that suggests a functional role of the spacer motif that produces tensile strength though the spacer motif is not clearly defined structurally. These results indicate that the spacer is likely a primary contributor of strength with the GGX motif supplying mobility to the protein network of native N. clavipes flagelliform silk fibers. PMID:23646825

  5. Fifty Years Later: The Sequence, Structure and Function of Lacewing Cross-beta Silk

    SciTech Connect

    Weisman, Sarah; Okada, Shoko; Mudie, Stephen T.; Huson, Mickey G.; Trueman, Holly E.; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Haritos, Victoria S.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2009-12-01

    Classic studies of protein structure in the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated that green lacewing egg stalk silk possesses a rare native cross-beta sheet conformation. We have identified and sequenced the silk genes expressed by adult females of a green lacewing species. The two encoded silk proteins are 109 and 67 kDa in size and rich in serine, glycine and alanine. Over 70% of each protein sequence consists of highly repetitive regions with 16-residue periodicity. The repetitive sequences can be fitted to an elegant cross-beta sheet structural model with protein chains folded into regular 8-residue long beta strands. This model is supported by wide-angle X-ray scattering data and tensile testing from both our work and the original papers. We suggest that the silk proteins assemble into stacked beta sheet crystallites bound together by a network of cystine cross-links. This hierarchical structure gives the lacewing silk high lateral stiffness nearly threefold that of silkworm silk, enabling the egg stalks to effectively suspend eggs and protect them from predators.

  6. Preparation and characterization of silk fibroin as a biomaterial with potential for drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Degummed silk fibroin from Bombyx mori (silkworm) has potential carrier capabilities for drug delivery in humans; however, the processing methods have yet to be comparatively analyzed to determine the differential effects on the silk protein properties, including crystalline structure and activity. Methods In this study, we treated degummed silk with four kinds of calcium-alcohol solutions, and performed secondary structure measurements and enzyme activity test to distinguish the differences between the regenerated fibroins and degummed silk fibroin. Results Gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that Ca(NO3)2-methanol, Ca(NO3)2-ethanol, or CaCl2-methanol treatments produced more lower molecular weights of silk fibroin than CaCl2-ethanol. X-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed that CaCl2-ethanol produced a crystalline structure with more silk I (?-form, type II ?-turn), while the other treatments produced more silk II (?-form, anti-parallel ?-pleated sheet). Solid-State 13C cross polarization and magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance measurements suggested that regenerated fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol were nearly identical to degummed silk fibroin, while the other treatments produced fibroins with significantly different chemical shifts. Finally, enzyme activity test indicated that silk fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol had higher activity when linked to a known chemotherapeutic drug, L-asparaginase, than the fibroins from other treatments. Conclusions Collectively, these results suggest that the CaCl2-ethanol processing method produces silk fibroin with biomaterial properties that are appropriate for drug delivery. PMID:22676291

  7. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    SciTech Connect

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2?3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  8. The expression patterns of a eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit H in the silk glands in Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jia-Lin; Wang, Li-Fu; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2010-09-01

    Eukaryotic initiation factor 3 subunit H has been characterized in many organisms, and it has been found to play many roles including help regulate translation initiation. In this work, we studied the tissue distribution and expression profiles of Bombyx mori (B. mori) eIF3 subunit H (BmeIF3h). BmeIF3h was prominently expressed in silk glands, with anterior silk glands (ASGs), middle silk glands (MSGs), and posterior silk glands (PSGs) all expressing BmeIF3h. The expression levels of BmeIF3h in MSGs and PSGs were higher than that in ASGs during 0 d and 2 d of the 5th instar larvae. The expression levels of BmeIF3h in MSGs and PSGs were up-regulated once the silk glands began to synthesize silk protein during the feeding stage of the 4th instar larvae. Immunohistochemistry showed that BmeIF3h was distributed in the cytoplasm of MSGs cells and in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm of PSGs cells. These data suggest that BmeIF3h had different action behaviors in the MSGs and PSGs related to the production of the silk glue proteins and silk fibre proteins, respectively. PMID:20734419

  9. Effect of metallic ions on silk formation in the Mulberry silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li; Chen, Xin; Shao, Zhengzhong; Huang, Yufang; Knight, David P

    2005-09-01

    A protein conformation transition from random coil and/or helical conformation to beta-sheet is known to be central to the process used by silk-spinning spiders and insects to convert concentrated protein solutions to tough insoluble threads. Several factors including pH, metallic ions, shear force, and/or elongational flow can initiate this transition in both spiders and silkworms. Here, we report the use of proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE), inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and atomic adsorption spectroscopy (AAS) to investigate the concentrations of six metal elements (Na, K, Mg, Ca, Cu, and Zn) at different stages in the silk secretory pathway in the Bombyx mori silkworm. We also report the use of Raman spectra to monitor the effects of these six metallic ions on the conformation transition of natural silk fibroin dope and concentrated regenerated silk fibroin solution at concentrations similar to the natural dope. The results showed that the metal element contents increased from the posterior part to the anterior part of silk gland with the exception of Ca which decreased significantly in the anterior part. We show that these changes in composition can be correlated with (i) the ability of Mg2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ to induce the conformation transition of silk fibroin to beta-sheet, (ii) the effect of Ca2+ in forming a stable protein network (gel), and (iii) the ability of Na+ and K+ to break down the protein network. PMID:16853155

  10. Silk Farm / St. Paul's School HARVEST TOUR

    E-print Network

    Audubon, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord. DIRECTIONS TO NH AUDUBON: From Clinton Street in Concord: head towards Bow and at the flashing light at the top of the hill, bear right onto Silk Farm Road. The Audubon Concord toward Bow to flashing light. Bear right onto Silk Farm Road. NH Audubon is on the left. COST

  11. Will silk fibroin nanofiber scaffolds ever hold a useful place in Translational Regenerative Medicine?

    PubMed Central

    Ubaldo, Armato; Ilaria, Dal Prà; Anna, Chiarini; Giuliano, Freddi

    2011-01-01

    Presently, some view silk fibroin-based biomaterials as obsolete, being outperformed by a host of newly discovered biomaterials. But several lines of evidence support the notion that silk fibroin proteins, especially those from B. mori and spiders and their recombinant forms, particularly in the form of electrospun nanofiber scaffolds, still represent promising tools for human tissue engineering/regeneration. Inevitably, the allure of recently reported biomaterials turns away many scientists and resources from the aim of more deeply elucidating the biological interactions of the various kinds of silk fibroin nanofiber scaffolds in vivo. But, even the biological features of newly reported biomaterials are not investigated in adequate depth. Hence, collaborative efforts among biomaterialists, biomedical experts, and private firms must be undertaken on a much greater scale than hitherto done to assess the real usefulness of silk fibroin proteins, thereby allowing or denying their useful introduction into the fields of Translational Regenerative Medicine. PMID:22928155

  12. Impact of processing parameters on the haemocompatibility of Bombyx mori silk films

    PubMed Central

    Seib, F. Philipp; Maitz, Manfred F.; Hu, Xiao; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Silk has traditionally been used for surgical sutures due to its lasting strength and durability; however, the use of purified silk proteins as a scaffold material for vascular tissue engineering goes beyond traditional use and requires application-orientated biocompatibility testing. For this study, a library of Bombyx mori silk films was generated and exposed to various solvents and treatment conditions to reflect current silk processing techniques. The films, along with clinically relevant reference materials, were exposed to human whole blood to determine silk blood compatibility. All substrates showed an initial inflammatory response comparable to polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA), and a low to moderate haemostasis response similar to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) substrates. In particular, samples that were water annealed at 25 °C for 6 h demonstrated the best blood compatibility based on haemostasis parameters (e.g. platelet decay, thrombin-antithrombin complex, platelet factor 4, granulocytes-platelet conjugates) and inflammatory parameters (e.g. C3b, C5a, CD11b, surface-associated leukocytes). Multiple factors such as treatment temperature and solvent influenced the biological response, though no single physical parameter such as ?-sheet content, isoelectric point or contact angle accurately predicted blood compatibility. These findings, when combined with prior in vivo data on silk, support a viable future for silk-based vascular grafts. PMID:22079005

  13. Rate-Dependent Behavior of the Amorphous Phase of Spider Dragline Silk

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Sandeep P.; Markert, Bernd; Gräter, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    The time-dependent stress-strain behavior of spider dragline silk was already observed decades ago, and has been attributed to the disordered sequences in silk proteins, which compose the soft amorphous matrix. However, the actual molecular origin and magnitude of internal friction within the amorphous matrix has remained inaccessible, because experimentally decomposing the mechanical response of the amorphous matrix from the embedded crystalline units is challenging. Here, we used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to obtain friction forces for the relative sliding of peptide chains of Araneus diadematus spider silk within bundles of these chains as a representative unit of the amorphous matrix in silk fibers. We computed the friction coefficient and coefficient of viscosity of the amorphous phase to be in the order of 10?6 Ns/m and 104 Ns/m2, respectively, by extrapolating our simulation data to the viscous limit. Finally, we used a finite element method for the amorphous phase, solely based on parameters derived from molecular dynamics simulations including the newly determined coefficient of viscosity. With this model the time scales of stress relaxation, creep, and hysteresis were assessed, and found to be in line with the macroscopic time-dependent response of silk fibers. Our results suggest the amorphous phase to be the primary source of viscosity in silk and open up the avenue for finite element method studies of silk fiber mechanics including viscous effects. PMID:24896131

  14. Biocompatible silk step-index optical waveguides

    PubMed Central

    Applegate, Matthew B.; Perotto, Giovanni; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2015-01-01

    Biocompatible optical waveguides were constructed entirely of silk fibroin. A silk film (n=1.54) was encapsulated within a silk hydrogel (n=1.34) to form a robust and biocompatible waveguide. Such waveguides were made using only biologically and environmentally friendly materials without the use of harsh solvents. Light was coupled into the silk waveguides by direct incorporation of a glass optical fiber. These waveguides are extremely flexible, and strong enough to survive handling and manipulation. Cutback measurements showed propagation losses of approximately 2 dB/cm. The silk waveguides were found to be capable of guiding light through biological tissue. PMID:26600988

  15. Analytical markers for silk degradation: comparing historic silk and silk artificially aged in different environments.

    PubMed

    Vilaplana, Francisco; Nilsson, Johanna; Sommer, Dorte V P; Karlsson, Sigbritt

    2015-02-01

    Suitable analytical markers to assess the degree of degradation of historic silk textiles at molecular and macroscopic levels have been identified and compared with silk textiles aged artificially in different environments, namely (i) ultraviolet (UV) exposure, (ii) thermo-oxidation, (iii) controlled humidity and (iv) pH. The changes at the molecular level in the amino acid composition, the formation of oxidative moieties, crystallinity and molecular weight correlate well with the changes in the macroscopic properties such as brightness, pH and mechanical properties. These analytical markers are useful to understand the degradation mechanisms that silk textiles undergo under different degradation environments, involving oxidation processes, hydrolysis, chain scission and physical arrangements. Thermo-oxidation at high temperatures proves to be the accelerated ageing procedure producing silk samples that most resembled the degree of degradation of early seventeenth-century silk. These analytical markers will be valuable to support the textile conservation tasks currently being performed in museums to preserve our heritage. PMID:25492090

  16. Formulation of Biologically-Inspired Silk-Based Drug Carriers for Pulmonary Delivery Targeted for Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sally Yunsun; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C.; Bishop, David P.; Doble, Philip A.; Boddy, Alan V.; Chan, Hak-Kim; Wall, Ivan B.; Chrzanowski, Wojciech

    2015-01-01

    The benefits of using silk fibroin, a major protein in silk, are widely established in many biomedical applications including tissue regeneration, bioactive coating and in vitro tissue models. The properties of silk such as biocompatibility and controlled degradation are utilized in this study to formulate for the first time as carriers for pulmonary drug delivery. Silk fibroin particles are spray dried or spray-freeze-dried to enable the delivery to the airways via dry powder inhalers. The addition of excipients such as mannitol is optimized for both the stabilization of protein during the spray-freezing process as well as for efficient dispersion using an in vitro aerosolisation impactor. Cisplatin is incorporated into the silk-based formulations with or without cross-linking, which show different release profiles. The particles show high aerosolisation performance through the measurement of in vitro lung deposition, which is at the level of commercially available dry powder inhalers. The silk-based particles are shown to be cytocompatible with A549 human lung epithelial cell line. The cytotoxicity of cisplatin is demonstrated to be enhanced when delivered using the cross-linked silk-based particles. These novel inhalable silk-based drug carriers have the potential to be used as anti-cancer drug delivery systems targeted for the lungs. PMID:26234773

  17. Analyses of the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Silk Production in Silkworm by iTRAQ-Based Proteomics and RNA-Sequencing-Based Transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shaohua; You, Zhengying; Feng, Mao; Che, Jiaqian; Zhang, Yuyu; Qian, Qiujie; Komatsu, Setsuko; Zhong, Boxiong

    2016-01-01

    Silkworm is used as a model organism to analyze two standard complex traits, which are high and low silk yields. To understand the molecular mechanisms of silk production, the posterior silk glands aged to the third day of the fifth instar were analyzed from the ZB strain with low silk production and from the control strain Lan10. Using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) quantitative shotgun proteomics and RNA-sequencing-based transcriptomics, 139 proteins and 630 transcripts were identified as novel in the ZB strain compared with the Lan10 strain, indicating that these results significantly expand the coverage of proteins and transcripts of the posterior silk glands in the silkworm. Of the 89 differently changed proteins, 23 were increased, and 66 were decreased. Of the 788 transcripts, 779 were upregulated, and 9 were downregulated. These results confirm that decreased energy utilization/protein translation and enhanced protein degradation are the key factors in lower silk production. Moreover, this study provides novel insight into the molecular changes that may result in lower silk production, namely, a combination of impaired transcription activity, missed protein folding/transport, and lowered yields of the main components of fibroin, along with weakened growth/development of the posterior silk gland. PMID:26626507

  18. Size-dependent mechanical properties of beta-structures in protein materials

    E-print Network

    Keten, Sinan

    2010-01-01

    Protein materials such as spider silk can be exceptionally strong, and they can stretch tremendously before failure. Notably, silks are made entirely of proteins, which owe their structure and stability to weak molecular ...

  19. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery.

    PubMed

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew J; Seib, F Philipp

    2015-11-01

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of "stealth" design principals is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving ?-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential -56 ± 5.6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using clinically established and emerging anticancer drugs. Overall, PEGylated silk nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency (>93%) and a pH-dependent release over 14 days. Finally, we demonstrated significant cytotoxicity of drug loaded silk nanoparticles applied as single and combination nanomedicines to human breast cancer cells. In conclusion, these results, taken together with prior silk nanoparticle data, support a viable future for silk-based nanomedicines. PMID:26418537

  20. Pancreatic Islet Survival and Engraftment Is Promoted by Culture on Functionalized Spider Silk Matrices

    PubMed Central

    Johansson, Ulrika; Dekki Shalaly, Nancy; Zaitsev, Sergei V.; Berggren, Per-Olof; Hedhammar, My

    2015-01-01

    Transplantation of pancreatic islets is one approach for treatment of diabetes, however, hampered by the low availability of viable islets. Islet isolation leads to disruption of the environment surrounding the endocrine cells, which contributes to eventual cell death. The reestablishment of this environment is vital, why we herein investigated the possibility of using recombinant spider silk to support islets in vitro after isolation. The spider silk protein 4RepCT was formulated into three different formats; 2D-film, fiber mesh and 3D-foam, in order to provide a matrix that can give the islets physical support in vitro. Moreover, cell-binding motifs from laminin were incorporated into the silk protein in order to create matrices that mimic the natural cell environment. Pancreatic mouse islets were thoroughly analyzed for adherence, necrosis and function after in vitro maintenance on the silk matrices. To investigate their suitability for transplantation, we utilized an eye model which allows in vivo imaging of engraftment. Interestingly, islets that had been maintained on silk foam during in vitro culture showed improved revascularization. This coincided with the observation of preserved islet architecture with endothelial cells present after in vitro culture on silk foam. Selected matrices were further evaluated for long-term preservation of human islets. Matrices with the cell-binding motif RGD improved human islet maintenance (from 36% to 79%) with preserved islets architecture and function for over 3 months in vitro. The islets established cell-matrix contacts and formed vessel-like structures along the silk. Moreover, RGD matrices promoted formation of new, insulin-positive islet-like clusters that were connected to the original islets via endothelial cells. On silk matrices with islets from younger donors (<35 year), the amount of newly formed islet-like clusters found after 1 month in culture were almost double compared to the initial number of islets added. PMID:26090859

  1. The other prey-capture silk: Fibres made by glow-worms (Diptera: Keroplatidae) comprise cross-?-sheet crystallites in an abundant amorphous fraction.

    PubMed

    Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Merritt, David J; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-09-01

    Glow-worms (larvae of dipteran genus Arachnocampa) are restricted to moist habitats where they capture flying prey using snares composed of highly extensible silk fibres and sticky mucus droplets. Little is known about the composition or structure of glow-worm snares, or the extent of possible convergence between glow-worm and arachnid capture silks. We characterised Arachnocampa richardsae silk and mucus using X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis. Silk but not mucus contained crystallites of the cross-?-sheet type, which occur in unrelated insect silks but have not been reported previously in fibres used for prey capture. Mucus proteins were rich in Gly (28.5%) and existed in predominantly a random coil structure, typical of many adhesive proteins. In contrast, the silk fibres were unusually rich in charged and polar residues, particularly Lys (18.1%), which we propose is related to their use in a highly hydrated state. Comparison of X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis data suggests that silk fibres contain a high fraction of disordered protein. We suggest that in the native hydrated state, silk fibres are capable of extension via deformation of both disordered regions and cross-?-sheet crystallites, and that high extensibility is an adaptation promoting successful prey capture. This study illustrates the rich variety of protein motifs that are available for recruitment into biopolymers, and how convergently evolved materials can nevertheless be based on fundamentally different protein structures. PMID:26006749

  2. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles relieve silk gland damage and increase cocooning of Bombyx mori under phoxim-induced toxicity.

    PubMed

    Li, Bing; Yu, Xiaohong; Gui, Suxin; Xie, Yi; Hong, Jie; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Sheng, Lei; Sang, Xuezi; Sun, Qingqing; Wang, Ling; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2013-12-18

    Organophosphate pesticides are applied widely in the world for agricultural purposes, and their exposures often resulted in non-cocooning of Bombyx mori in China. TiO2 nanoparticles have been demonstrated to increase pesticide resistance of Bombyx mori. While the toxicity of phoxim is well-documented, very limited information exists on the mechanisms of TiO2 nanoparticles improving the cocooning function of Bombyx mori following exposure to phoxim. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to determine whether TiO2 nanoparticles attenuate silk gland injury and elevate cocooning of B. mori following exposure to phoxim. The findings suggested that phoxim exposure resulted in severe damages of the silk gland structure and significantly decreased the cocooning in the silk gland of Bombyx mori. Furthermore, phoxim exposure significantly resulted in reductions of total protein concentrations and suppressed expressions of silk protein synthesis-related genes, including Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3, in the silk gland. TiO2 nanoparticle pretreatment, however, could significantly relieve silk gland injury of Bombyx mori. Importantly, TiO2 nanoparticles could remarkably elevate cocooning and total protein contents and promote expressions of Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3 in the silk gland following exposure to phoxim. PMID:24224746

  3. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Kundu, Banani; Schlimp, Christoph J.; Nürnberger, Sylvia; Redl, Heinz; Kundu, S. C.

    2014-01-01

    Silkworm's silk is natural biopolymer with unique properties including mechanical robustness, all aqueous base processing and ease in fabrication into different multifunctional templates. Additionally, the nonmulberry silks have cell adhesion promoting tri-peptide (RGD) sequences, which make it an immensely potential platform for regenerative medicine. The compatibility of nonmulberry silk with human blood is still elusive; thereby, restricts its further application as implants. The present study, therefore, evaluate the haematocompatibility of silk biomaterials in terms of platelet interaction after exposure to nonmulberry silk of Antheraea mylitta using thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The mulberry silk of Bombyx mori and clinically used Uni-Graft W biomaterial serve as references. Shortened clotting time, clot formation times as well as enhanced clot strength indicate the platelet mediated activation of blood coagulation cascade by tested biomaterials; which is comparable to controls. PMID:24824624

  4. Polarized light microscopy, variability in spider silk diameters, and the mechanical characterization of spider silk

    E-print Network

    Blackledge, Todd

    Polarized light microscopy, variability in spider silk diameters, and the mechanical characterization of spider silk Todd A. Blackledge,a Richard A. Cardullo, and Cheryl Y. Hayashi Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA Abstract. Spider silks possess

  5. Fabrication and Biocompatibility of Electrospun Silk Biocomposites

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Kai; Kim, Byoung-Suhk; Kim, Ick-Soo

    2011-01-01

    Silk fibroin has attracted great interest in tissue engineering because of its outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability and minimal inflammatory reaction. In this study, two kinds of biocomposites based on regenerated silk fibroin are fabricated by electrospinning and post-treatment processes, respectively. Firstly, regenerated silk fibroin/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) hybrid nanofibers with high hydrophilicity are prepared, which is superior for fibroblast attachment. The electrospinning process causes adjacent fibers to ‘weld’ at contact points, which can be proved by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The water contact angle of silk/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) composites shows a sharper decrease than pure regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber, which has a great effect on the early stage of cell attachment behavior. Secondly, a novel tissue engineering scaffold material based on electrospun silk fibroin/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) biocomposites is prepared by means of an effective calcium and phosphate (Ca–P) alternate soaking method. nHA is successfully produced on regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber within several min without any pre-treatments. The osteoblastic activities of this novel nanofibrous biocomposites are also investigated by employing osteoblastic-like MC3T3-E1 cell line. The cell functionality such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity is ameliorated on mineralized silk nanofibers. All these results indicate that this silk/nHA biocomposite scaffold material may be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering. PMID:24957869

  6. To spin or not to spin: spider silk fibers and more.

    PubMed

    Doblhofer, Elena; Heidebrecht, Aniela; Scheibel, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Spider silk fibers have a sophisticated hierarchical structure composed of proteins with highly repetitive sequences. Their extraordinary mechanical properties, defined by a unique combination of strength and extensibility, are superior to most man-made fibers. Therefore, spider silk has fascinated mankind for thousands of years. However, due to their aggressive territorial behavior, farming of spiders is not feasible on a large scale. For this reason, biotechnological approaches were recently developed for the production of recombinant spider silk proteins. These recombinant proteins can be assembled into a variety of morphologies with a great range of properties for technical and medical applications. Here, the different approaches of biotechnological production and the advances in material processing toward various applications will be reviewed. PMID:26362683

  7. Nephila clavipes Spider Dragline Silk Microstructure Studied by Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy

    E-print Network

    Hitchcock, Adam P.

    -ray Microscopy Marie-Eve Rousseau, Daniel Herna´ndez Cruz, M. Marcia West, Adam P. Hitchcock, and Michel Pe spider silk sections consists of a 30-120 nm thick layer of highly oriented protein chains, which speeds were investigated. While the average level of orientation of the protein chains is unaffected

  8. NMR study of the structures of repeated sequences, GAGXGA (X = S, Y, V), in Bombyx mori liquid silk.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Yu; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Aoki, Akihiro; Shindo, Heisaburo; Asakura, Tetsuo

    2014-01-13

    The silk fibroin stored in the silk gland of the Bombyx mori silkworm, called "liquid silk", is spun out and converted into the silk fiber with extremely high strength and high toughness. Therefore it is important to determine the silk structure before spinning called Silk I at an atomic level to clarify the fiber formation mechanism. We proposed the repeated type II ?-turn structure as Silk I in the solid state with the model peptide (AG)15 and several solid state NMR techniques previously. In this paper, the solution structure of native "liquid silk" was determined with solution NMR, especially for tandem repeated sequences with (GAGXGA)n (X = S, Y, V) and GAASGA motifs in the B. mori silk fibroin. The assignment of the (13)C, (15)N, and (1)H solution NMR spectra for the repetitive sequence motifs was achieved, and the chemical shifts were obtained. The program, TALOS-N, to predict the backbone torsion angles from the chemical shifts of proteins was applied to these motifs with (13)C?, (13)C?, (13)CO, (1)H?, (1)HN, and (15)N chemical shifts. The twenty-five best matches of torsion angles (?, ?) were well populated and mainly fell into the regions for typical type II ?-turn structures in the (?, ?) map for the GAGXGA (X = S, Y, V) motifs. In contrast, (?, ?) plots for motif GAASGA were scattered, indicating that the motif is in a disordered structure. Furthermore, inter-residue HN-H? NOE cross peaks between i-th and (i+2)th residues in GAGXGA (X = S, Y, V) motifs were observed, supporting the repeated type II ?-turn structure. Thus, we could show the presence of the repeated type II ?-turn structure in "liquid silk". PMID:24266784

  9. Pyriform Spidroin 1, a Novel Member of the Silk Gene Family That Anchors Dragline Silk Fibers in Attachment Discs of the Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus hesperus*

    PubMed Central

    Blasingame, Eric; Tuton-Blasingame, Tiffany; Larkin, Leah; Falick, Arnold M.; Zhao, Liang; Fong, Justine; Vaidyanathan, Veena; Visperas, Anabelle; Geurts, Paul; Hu, Xiaoyi; La Mattina, Coby; Vierra, Craig

    2009-01-01

    Spiders spin high performance threads that have diverse mechanical properties for specific biological applications. To better understand the molecular mechanism by which spiders anchor their threads to a solid support, we solubilized the attachment discs from black widow spiders and performed in-solution tryptic digests followed by MS/MS analysis to identify novel peptides derived from glue silks. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and cDNA library screening, we isolated a novel member of the silk gene family called pysp1 and demonstrate that its protein product is assembled into the attachment disc silks. Alignment of the PySp1 amino acid sequence to other fibroins revealed conservation in the non-repetitive C-terminal region of the silk family. MS/MS analysis also confirmed the presence of MaSp1 and MaSp2, two important components of dragline silks, anchored within the attachment disc materials. Characterization of the ultrastructure of attachment discs using scanning electron microscopy studies support the localization of PySp1 to small diameter fibers embedded in a glue-like cement, which network with large diameter dragline silk threads, producing a strong, adhesive material. Consistent with elevated PySp1 mRNA levels detected in the pyriform gland, MS analysis of the luminal contents extracted from the pyriform gland after tryptic digestion support the assertion that PySp1 represents one of the major constituents manufactured in the pyriform gland. Taken together, our data demonstrate that PySp1 is spun into attachment disc silks to help affix dragline fibers to substrates, a critical function during spider web construction for prey capture and locomotion. PMID:19666476

  10. Modified silk fibroin scaffolds with collagen/decellularized pulp for bone tissue engineering in cleft palate: Morphological structures and biofunctionalities.

    PubMed

    Sangkert, Supaporn; Meesane, Jirut; Kamonmattayakul, Suttatip; Chai, Wen Lin

    2016-01-01

    Cleft palate is a congenital malformation that generates a maxillofacial bone defect around the mouth area. The creation of performance scaffolds for bone tissue engineering in cleft palate is an issue that was proposed in this research. Because of its good biocompatibility, high stability, and non-toxicity, silk fibroin was selected as the scaffold of choice in this research. Silk fibroin scaffolds were prepared by freeze-drying before immerging in a solution of collagen, decellularized pulp, and collagen/decellularized pulp. Then, the immersed scaffolds were freeze-dried. Structural organization in solution was observed by Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The molecular organization of the solutions and crystal structure of the scaffolds were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), respectively. The weight increase of the modified scaffolds and the pore size were determined. The morphology was observed by a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Mechanical properties were tested. Biofunctionalities were considered by seeding osteoblasts in silk fibroin scaffolds before analysis of the cell proliferation, viability, total protein assay, and histological analysis. The results demonstrated that dendrite structure of the fibrils occurred in those solutions. Molecular organization of the components in solution arranged themselves into an irregular structure. The fibrils were deposited in the pores of the modified silk fibroin scaffolds. The modified scaffolds showed a beta-sheet structure. The morphological structure affected the mechanical properties of the silk fibroin scaffolds with and without modification. Following assessment of the biofunctionalities, the modified silk fibroin scaffolds could induce cell proliferation, viability, and total protein particularly in modified silk fibroin with collagen/decellularized pulp. Furthermore, the histological analysis indicated that the cells could adhere in modified silk fibroin scaffolds. Finally, it can be deduced that modified silk fibroin scaffolds with collagen/decellularized pulp had the performance for bone tissue engineering and a promise for cleft palate treatment. PMID:26478414

  11. The effect of water on the structure and dynamics of spider silk and silk-like polymers studied by magnetic resonance and x-ray diffraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhitong

    Due to its unique combination of tensile strength and elasticity, the dragline silk of the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes has attracted much attention. Most importantly, it has a high energy to break that is unparalleled in other fibers. Though the basis for the strength of the silk fiber has been uncovered, the molecular reason of the fiber's large shrinkage in water is unknown. This has been a major hurdle in the practical applications of the fiber, and to any man-made copy of this material. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is used to probe of the long-range structures in the semicrystalline silk. Scattering patterns of wet and dry samples indicate that the crystalline regions stack along the fiber axis to form lamellar structures. These structures are sparsely dispersed in a softer matrix with a long spacing of 8.4 nm. This spacing increases reversibly by 4% when fibers are stretched by 10%, and shrinks to 5.8 nm when fibers shrink 45% in length on wetting. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) experiments are performed to reveal the microscopic details of the dynamics in the silk. Cross-polarization magic-angle spinning 13C NMR demonstrates that a substantial fraction of the glycine, glutamine, tyrosine, serine, and leucine residues experience dramatic increases in the rate of large-amplitude reorientation at the protein backbone when fibers are wet. Variable temperature deuterium NMR measurements were carried out on silk samples that incorporate leucine deuterated at the methyl group. Results show that only a subset of these leucine residues is strongly affected by water. Quantitative analysis and chemical considerations suggest that the highly conserved YGGLGS(N)QGAGR blocks, only found in the dragline silk protein, play a major role in the supercontraction process. Protein sequences are proposed to produce artificial spider silk with similar mechanical properties, but without the undesired phenomenon of supercontraction. The spinning and postspinning processing procedures are investigated by regenerating fibers from dissolved native dragline silk. Tensile tests and structural characterization of the regenerated fibers have correlated the properties of the final material and the processing history of the fiber. An aqueous environment is important in the annealing of the material.

  12. Mandibular Repair in Rats with Premineralized Silk Scaffolds and BMP-2-modified bMSCs

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xinquan; Zhao, Jun; Wang, Shaoyi; Sun, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Xiuli; Chen, Jake; Kaplan, David L.; Zhang, Zhiyuan

    2010-01-01

    Premineralized silk fibroin protein scaffolds (mSS) were prepared to combine the osteoconductive properties of biological apatite with aqueous-derived silk scaffold (SS) as a composite scaffold for bone regeneration. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effect of premineralized silk scaffolds combined with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) modified bone marrow stromal cells (bMSCs) to repair mandibular bony defects in a rat model. bMSCs were expanded and transduced with adenovirus AdBMP-2, AdLacZ gene in vitro. These genetically modified bMSCs were then combined with premineralized silk scaffolds to form tissue engineered bone. Mandibular repairs with AdBMP-2 transduced bMSCs/mSS constructs were compared with those treated with AdLacZ transduced bMSCs/mSS constructs, native (nontransduced) bMSCs/mSS constructs and mSS alone. Eight weeks post-operation, the mandibles were explanted and evaluated by radiographic observation, micro-CT, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry. The presence of BMP-2 gene enhanced tissue engineered bone in terms of the most new bone formed and the highest local bone mineral densities (BMD) found. These results demonstrated that premineralized silk scaffold could serve as a potential substrate for bMSCs to construct tissue engineered bone for mandibular bony defects. BMP-2 gene therapy and tissue engineering techniques could be used in mandibular repair and bone regeneration. PMID:19501905

  13. Gel spinning of silk tubes for tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Tubular vessels for tissue engineering are typically fabricated using a molding, dipping, or electrospinning technique. While these techniques provide some control over inner and outer diameters of the tube, they lack the ability to align the polymers or fibers of interest throughout the tube. This is an important aspect of biomaterial composite structure and function for mechanical and biological impact of tissue outcomes. We present a novel aqueous process system to spin tubes from biopolymers and proteins such as silk fibroin. Using silk as an example, this method of winding an aqueous solution around a reciprocating rotating mandrel offers substantial improvement in the control of the tube properties, specifically with regard to winding pattern, tube porosity, and composite features. Silk tube properties are further controlled via different post-spinning processing mechanisms such as methanol-treatment, air-drying, and lyophilization. This approach to tubular scaffold manufacture offers numerous tissue engineering applications such as complex composite biomaterial matrices, blood vessel grafts and nerve guides, among others. PMID:18801570

  14. Mechanisms and Control of Silk-based Electrospinning

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Zuo, Baoqi; Fan, Zhihai; Xie, Zonggang; Lu, Qiang; Zhang, Xueguang; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) nanofibers, formed through electrospinning, have attractive utility in regenerative medicine due to the biocompatibility, mechanical properties and tailorable degradability. The mechanism of SF electrospun nanofiber formation was studied to gain new insight into the formation and control of nanofibers. SF electrospinning solutions with different nanostructures (nanospheres or nanofilaments) were prepared by controlling the drying process during the preparation of regenerated SF films. Compared to SF nanospheres in solution, SF nanofilaments had better spinnability with lower viscosity when the concentration of silk protein was below 10%, indicating a critical role for SF morphology, and in particular, nanostructures for the formation of electrospun fibers. More interesting, the diameter of electrospun fibers gradually increased from 50 nm to 300 nm as the increase in concentration of SF nanofilaments in the solution from 6% to 12%, implying size control by simply adjusting SF nanostructure and concentration. Aside from process parameters investigated in previous studies, such as SF concentration, viscosity and electrical potential, the present mechanism emphasizes significant influence of SF nanostructure on spinnability and diameter control of SF electrospun fibers, providing a controllable option for the preparation of silk-based electrospun scaffolds for biomaterials, drug delivery and tissue engineering needs. PMID:22300335

  15. Silk fibroin aerogels: potential scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Mallepally, Rajendar R; Marin, Michael A; Surampudi, Vasudha; Subia, Bano; Rao, Raj R; Kundu, Subhas C; McHugh, Mark A

    2015-06-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a natural protein, which is derived from the Bombyx mori silkworm. SF based porous materials are extensively investigated for biomedical applications, due to their biocompatibility and biodegradability. In this work, CO2 assisted acidification is used to synthesize SF hydrogels that are subsequently converted to SF aerogels. The aqueous silk fibroin concentration is used to tune the morphology and textural properties of the SF aerogels. As the aqueous fibroin concentration increases from 2 to 6?wt%, the surface area of the resultant SF aerogels increases from 260 to 308?m(2)?g(-1) and the compressive modulus of the SF aerogels increases from 19.5 to 174?kPa. To elucidate the effect of the freezing rate on the morphological and textural properties, SF cryogels are synthesized in this study. The surface area of the SF aerogels obtained from supercritical CO2 drying is approximately five times larger than the surface area of SF cryogels. SF aerogels exhibit distinct pore morphology compared to the SF cryogels. In vitro cell culture studies with human foreskin fibroblast cells demonstrate the cytocompatibility of the silk fibroin aerogel scaffolds and presence of cells within the aerogel scaffolds. The SF aerogels scaffolds created in this study with tailorable properties have potential for applications in tissue engineering. PMID:25953953

  16. In vivo Degradation of Three-Dimensional Silk Fibroin Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yongzhong; Rudym, Darya D.; Walsh, Ashley; Abrahamsen, Lauren; Kim, Hyeon-Joo; Kim, Hyun Suk; Kirker-Head, Carl; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Three-dimensional porous scaffolds prepared from regenerated silk fibroin using either an all aqueous process or a process involving an organic solvent, hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) have shown promise in cell culture and tissue engineering applications. However, their biocompatibility and in vivo degradation has not been fully established. The present study was conducted to systematically investigate how processing method (aqueous vs. organic solvent) and processing variables (silk fibroin concentration and pore size) affect the short-term (up to 2 months) and long-term (up to 1 year) in vivo behavior of the protein scaffolds in both nude and Lewis rats. The samples were analyzed by histology for scaffold morphological changes and tissue ingrowth, and by real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry for immune responses. Throughout the period of implantation, all scaffolds were well-tolerated by the host animals and immune responses to the implants were mild. Most scaffolds prepared from the all aqueous process degraded to completion between two and six months, while those prepared from organic solvent (hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP)) process persisted beyond one year. Due to widespread cellular invasion throughout the scaffold, the degradation of aqueous-derived scaffolds appears to be more homogeneous than that of HFIP-derived scaffolds. In general and especially for the HFIP-derived scaffolds, a higher original silk fibroin concentration (e.g. 17%) and smaller pore size (e.g. 100–200 µm) resulted in lower levels of tissue ingrowth and slower degradation. These results demonstrate that the in vivo behavior of the three-dimensional silk fibroin scaffolds is related to the morphological and structural features that resulted from different scaffold preparation processes. The insights gained in this study can serve as a guide for processing scenarios to match desired morphological and structural features and degradation time with tissue-specific applications. PMID:18502501

  17. Spider Silks-Biomimetics Beyond Silk Fibers: Hydrogels, films & Adhesives from Aqueous Recombinant Spider Silk dopes: A Synchrotron X-Ray Nano-Structural Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampath, Sujatha; Jones, Justin; Harris, Thomas; Lewis, Randolph

    2015-03-01

    With a combination of high strength and extensibility, spider silk's (SS) mechanical properties surpass those of any man made fiber. The superior properties are due to the primary protein composition and the complex hierarchical structural organization from nanoscale to macroscopic length scales. Considerable progress has been made to synthetically mimic the production of fibers based on SS proteins. We present synchrotron x-ray micro diffraction (SyXRD) results on new fibers and gels (hydrogels, lyogels) from recombinant SS protein water-soluble dopes. Novelty in these materials is two-fold: water based rather than widely used HFIP acid synthesis, makes them safe in medical applications (replacement for tendons & ligaments). Secondly, hydrogels morphology render them as excellent carriers for targeted drug delivery biomedical applications. SyXRD results reveal semi-crystalline structure with ordered beta-sheets and relatively high degree of axial orientation in the fibers, making them the closest yet to natural spider silks. SyXRD on the gels elucidate the structural transformations during the self-recovery process through mechanical removal and addition of water. Studies correlating the observed structural changes to mechanical properties are underway.

  18. Production, structure and in vitro degradation of electrospun honeybee silk nanofibers

    PubMed Central

    Wittmer, Corinne R.; Hu, Xiao; Gauthier, Pierre-Chanel; Weisman, Sarah; Kaplan, David L.; Sutherland, Tara D.

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees produce silken cocoons containing four related fibrous proteins. High levels of each of the honeybee silk proteins can be produced recombinantly by fermentation in E. coli. In this study we have used electrospinning to fabricate a single recombinant honeybee silk protein, AmelF3, into nanofibres of around 200 nm diameter. Infrared spectroscopy found that the molecular structure of the nanofibres was predominantly coiled coil, essentially the same as native honeybee silk. Mats of the honeybee nanofibres were treated with methanol or by water annealing, which increased their ß-sheet content and rendered them water-insensitive. The insoluble mats were degraded by protease on a time scale of hours to days. The protease gradually released proteins from the solid state and these were subsequently rapidly degraded into small peptides without the accumulation of partial degradation products. Cell culture assays demonstrated that the mats allowed survival, attachment and proliferation of fibroblasts. These results indicate that honeybee silk proteins meet many prerequisites for use as a biomaterial. PMID:21689795

  19. Evaluation of Gel Spun Silk-Based Biomaterials in a Murine Model of Bladder Augmentation

    PubMed Central

    Mauney, Joshua R.; Cannon, Glenn M.; Lovett, Michael L.; Gong, Edward M.; DiVizio, Dolores; Kaplan, David L.; Adam, Rosalyn M.; Estrada, Carlos R.

    2013-01-01

    Currently, gastrointestinal segments are considered the gold standard for bladder reconstructive procedures. However, significant complications including chronic urinary tract infection, metabolic abnormalities, urinary stone formation, bowel dysfunction, and secondary malignancies are associated with this approach. Biomaterials derived from silk fibroin may represent a superior alternative due their robust mechanical properties, biodegradable features, and processing plasticity. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of a gel spun silk-based matrix for bladder augmentation in a murine model. Over the course of 70 d implantation period, H&E and Masson’s trichrome (MTS) analysis revealed that silk matrices were capable of supporting both urothelial and smooth muscle regeneration at the defect site. Prominent uroplakin and contractile protein expression (?-actin, calponin, and SM22?) was evident by immunohistochemical analysis demonstrating maturation of the reconstituted bladder wall compartments. Gel spun silk matrices also elicited a minimal acute inflammatory reaction following 70 d of bladder integration, in contrast to parallel assessments of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) matrices which routinely promoted evidence of fibrosis and chronic inflammatory responses. Voided stain on paper analysis revealed that silk augmented animals displayed similar voiding patterns in comparison to non surgical controls by 42 d of implantation. In addition, cystometric evaluations of augmented bladders at 70 d post-op demonstrated that silk scaffolds supported significant increases in bladder capacity, voided volume, and flow rate while maintaining similar degrees of compliance relative to the control group. These results provide evidence for the utility of gel spun silk-based matrices for functional bladder tissue engineering applications. PMID:20951426

  20. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-12-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering.

  1. Spider silk gut: Development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ping; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Madurga, Rodrigo; Arroyo-Hernández, María; Solanas, Concepción; Gañán, Alfonso; Daza, Rafael; Plaza, Gustavo R.; Guinea, Gustavo V.; Elices, Manuel; Cenis, José Luis; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers were produced through an alternative processing route that differs widely from natural spinning. The process follows a procedure traditionally used to obtain fibers directly from the glands of silkworms and requires exposure to an acid environment and subsequent stretching. The microstructure and mechanical behavior of the so-called spider silk gut fibers can be tailored to concur with those observed in naturally spun spider silk, except for effects related with the much larger cross-sectional area of the former. In particular spider silk gut has a proper ground state to which the material can revert independently from its previous loading history by supercontraction. A larger cross-sectional area implies that spider silk gut outperforms the natural material in terms of the loads that the fiber can sustain. This property suggests that it could substitute conventional spider silk fibers in some intended uses, such as sutures and scaffolds in tissue engineering. PMID:25475975

  2. Silk Electrogel Based Gastroretentive Drug Delivery System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qianrui

    Gastric cancer has become a global pandemic and there is imperative to develop efficient therapies. Oral dosing strategy is the preferred route to deliver drugs for treating the disease. Recent studies suggested silk electro hydrogel, which is pH sensitive and reversible, has potential as a vehicle to deliver the drug in the stomach environment. The aim of this study is to establish in vitro electrogelation e-gel based silk gel as a gastroretentive drug delivery system. We successfully extended the duration of silk e-gel in artificial gastric juice by mixing silk solution with glycerol at different ratios before the electrogelation. Structural analysis indicated the extended duration was due to the change of beta sheet content. The glycerol mixed silk e-gel had good doxorubicin loading capability and could release doxorubicin in a sustained-release profile. Doxorubicin loaded silk e-gels were applied to human gastric cancer cells. Significant cell viability decrease was observed. We believe that with further characterization as well as functional analysis, the silk e-gel system has the potential to become an effective vehicle for gastric drug delivery applications.

  3. Surface modification of silk fibroin fabric using layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte deposition and heparin immobilization for small-diameter vascular prostheses.

    PubMed

    Elahi, M Fazley; Guan, Guoping; Wang, Lu; Zhao, Xinzhe; Wang, Fujun; King, Martin W

    2015-03-01

    There is an urgent need to develop a biologically active implantable small-diameter vascular prosthesis with long-term patency. Silk-fibroin-based small-diameter vascular prosthesis is a promising candidate having higher patency rate; however, the surface modification is indeed required to improve its further hemocompatibility. In this study, silk fibroin fabric was modified by a two-stage process. First, the surface of silk fibroin fabric was coated using a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte deposition technique by stepwise dipping the silk fibroin fabric into a solution of cationic poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and anionic poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) solution. The dipping procedure was repeated to obtain the PAH/PAA multilayers deposited on the silk fibroin fabrics. Second, the polyelectrolyte-deposited silk fibroin fabrics were treated in EDC/NHS-activated low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) solution at 4 °C for 24 h, resulting in immobilization of LMWH on the silk fibroin fabrics surface. Scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray data revealed the accomplishment of LMWH immobilization on the polyelectrolyte-deposited silk fibroin fabric surface. The higher the number of PAH/PAA coating layers on the silk fibroin fabric, the more surface hydrophilicity could be obtained, resulting in a higher fetal bovine serum protein and platelets adhesion resistance properties when tested in vitro. In addition, compared with untreated sample, the surface-modified silk fibroin fabrics showed negligible loss of bursting strength and thus reveal the acceptability of polyelectrolytes deposition and heparin immobilization approach for silk-fibroin-based small-diameter vascular prostheses modification. PMID:25671295

  4. Comparative proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) posterior silk gland under high temperature treatment.

    PubMed

    Li, Jisheng; Ye, Lupeng; Lan, Tianyun; Yu, Meilan; Liang, Jianshe; Zhong, Boxiong

    2012-08-01

    The proteins from the posterior silk gland of silkworm hybrids and their parents reared under high temperatures were studied by using comparative proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis. A total of 82.07, 6.17 and 11.76 % protein spots showed additivity, overdominance and underdominance patterns, respectively. Fifteen differentially expressed protein spots were identified by peptide mass fingerprinting. Among these, four spots, including sHSPs and prohibitin protein that were directly relevant to heat response, were identified. Eleven protein spots were found to play an important role in silk synthesis, and nine protein spots expressed phosphorylation states. According to Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analysis, these nine spots played an important role in stress-induced signal transduction. Expression of most silk synthesis-related proteins was reduced, whereas stress-responsive proteins increased with heat exposure time in three breeds. Furthermore, most proteins showed under- or overdominance in the hybrids compared to the parents. The results suggested that high temperature could alter the expression of proteins related to silk synthesis and heat response in silkworm. Moreover, differentially expressed proteins occurring in the hybrid and its parents may be the main explanation of the observed heterosis. PMID:22707192

  5. Beating the Heat - Fast Scanning Melts Silk Beta Sheet Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Cebe, Peggy; Hu, Xiao; Kaplan, David L.; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Wurm, Andreas; Arbeiter, Daniela; Schick, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    Beta-pleated-sheet crystals are among the most stable of protein secondary structures, and are responsible for the remarkable physical properties of many fibrous proteins, such as silk, or proteins forming plaques as in Alzheimer's disease. Previous thinking, and the accepted paradigm, was that beta-pleated-sheet crystals in the dry solid state were so stable they would not melt upon input of heat energy alone. Here we overturn that assumption and demonstrate that beta-pleated-sheet crystals melt directly from the solid state to become random coils, helices, and turns. We use fast scanning chip calorimetry at 2,000?K/s and report the first reversible thermal melting of protein beta-pleated-sheet crystals, exemplified by silk fibroin. The similarity between thermal melting behavior of lamellar crystals of synthetic polymers and beta-pleated-sheet crystals is confirmed. Significance for controlling beta-pleated-sheet content during thermal processing of biomaterials, as well as towards disease therapies, is envisioned based on these new findings. PMID:23350037

  6. Silk microfiber-reinforced silk hydrogel composites for functional cartilage tissue repair.

    PubMed

    Yodmuang, Supansa; McNamara, Stephanie L; Nover, Adam B; Mandal, Biman B; Agarwal, Monica; Kelly, Terri-Ann N; Chao, Pen-hsiu Grace; Hung, Clark; Kaplan, David L; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2015-01-01

    Cartilage tissue lacks an intrinsic capacity for self-regeneration due to slow matrix turnover, a limited supply of mature chondrocytes and insufficient vasculature. Although cartilage tissue engineering has achieved some success using agarose as a scaffolding material, major challenges of agarose-based cartilage repair, including non-degradability, poor tissue-scaffold integration and limited processing capability, have prompted the search for an alternative biomaterial. In this study, silk fiber-hydrogel composites (SF-silk hydrogels) made from silk microfibers and silk hydrogels were investigated for their potential use as a support material for engineered cartilage. We demonstrated the use of 100% silk-based fiber-hydrogel composite scaffolds for the development of cartilage constructs with properties comparable to those made with agarose. Cartilage constructs with an equilibrium modulus in the native tissue range were fabricated by mimicking the collagen fiber and proteoglycan composite architecture of native cartilage using biocompatible, biodegradable silk fibroin from Bombyx mori. Excellent chondrocyte response was observed on SF-silk hydrogels, and fiber reinforcement resulted in the development of more mechanically robust constructs after 42 days in culture compared to silk hydrogels alone. Thus, we demonstrate the versatility of silk fibroin as a composite scaffolding material for use in cartilage tissue repair to create functional cartilage constructs that overcome the limitations of agarose biomaterials, and provide a much-needed alternative to the agarose standard. PMID:25281788

  7. Inducing ?-Sheets Formation in Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers by Aqueous Post-Spin Stretching

    PubMed Central

    Hinman, Michael B.; Holland, Gregory P.; Yarger, Jeffery L.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2012-01-01

    As a promising biomaterial with numerous potential applications, various types of synthetic spider silk fibers have been produced and studied in an effort to produce manmade fibers with mechanical and physical properties comparable to those of native spider silk. In this study, two recombinant proteins based on Nephila clavipes Major ampullate Spidroin 1 (MaSp1) consensus repeat sequence were expressed and spun into fibers. Mechanical test results showed that fiber spun from the higher molecular weight protein had better overall mechanical properties (70 KD versus 46 KD), whereas postspin stretch treatment in water helped increase fiber tensile strength significantly. Carbon-13 solid-state NMR studies of those fibers further revealed that the postspin stretch in water promoted protein molecule rearrangement and the formation of ?-sheets in the polyalanine region of the silk. The rearrangement correlated with improved fiber mechanical properties and indicated that postspin stretch is key to helping the spider silk proteins in the fiber form correct secondary structures, leading to better quality fibers. PMID:21574576

  8. Processing and characterisation of a novel electropolymerized silk fibroin hydrogel membrane

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin can be made into various forms of biocompatible medical materials, including hydrogel due to its excellent properties. Here, we report a novel method for the preparation of electropolymerized silk fibroin hydrogel membrane (ESFHM), which is formed on a nanoporous film as a barrier using a homemade device at a higher DC voltage. Regenerated silk fibroin solution in Tris buffer (pH 6.55–7.55) was added into a reservoir with a negative charge, and the silk molecules migrated toward the positive charge at 80VDC, resulting in the formation of the ESFHM on the barrier film. Barrier film with a MWCO of 10?kDa is favourable to the formation of the ESFHM. Semi-transparent ESFHM with a swelling ratio of 1056.4% predominantly consisted of a mixture of ?-sheets and ?-helix crystalline structures. SEM studies revealed that the ESFHM consisted of a 3D mesh structure woven by a chain of silk fibroin nanoparticles with a size of approximately 30 nanometres, similar to a pearl necklace. In vitro studies indicated that the ESFHM was degradable and was sufficient for cell adhesion and growth. Thus, ESFHM is a promising candidate for loading bioactive protein and appropriate cells, as artificial skin or for use in transplantation. PMID:25154713

  9. Dynamic behaviour of silks: Nature's precision nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drodge, D. R.; Mortimer, B.; Siviour, C. R.; Holland, C.

    2012-08-01

    Silk is often cited as a material worth imitating, due to its high strength and toughness. In order to produce a synthetic analogue, or enhanced natural version, the microstructural basis of these properties must be understood. Current understanding is that silk deforms through the detachment of nano-scale crystallites, in the manner of a damaged composite. This picture forms the basis for constitutive models, but validation data is limited to low strain-rates. Here we present a programme of research in which high-rate behaviour is studied through ballistic impact experiments. These have been applied to the silk of the Bombyx mori moth, as harvested from cocoons, and to the major ampullate thread of the golden orb weaver spider Nephila edulis. Longitudinal wave-speeds, and air drag coefficients, have been calculated for selected cases. Differences between the response of various silks and a similar synthetic fibre, nylon, are discussed, and future plans are presented.

  10. Injectable silk-polyethylene glycol hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Partlow, Benjamin; Liu, Jian; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Su, Bo; Wang, Yansong; Kaplan, David L

    2015-01-01

    Silk hydrogels for tissue repair are usually pre-formed via chemical or physical treatments from silk solutions. For many medical applications, it is desirable to utilize injectable silk hydrogels at high concentrations (>8%) to avoid surgical implantation and to achieve slow in vivo degradation of the gel. In the present study, injectable silk solutions that formed hydrogels in situ were generated by mixing silk with low-molecular-weight polyethylene glycol (PEG), especially PEG300 and 400 (molecular weight 300 and 400g mol(-1)). Gelation time was dependent on the concentration and molecular weight of PEG. When the concentration of PEG in the gel reached 40-45%, gelation time was less than 30min, as revealed by measurements of optical density and rheological studies, with kinetics of PEG400 faster than PEG300. Gelation was accompanied by structural changes in silk, leading to the conversion from random coil in solution to crystalline ?-sheets in the gels, based on circular dichroism, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The modulus (127.5kPa) and yield strength (11.5kPa) determined were comparable to those of sonication-induced hydrogels at the same concentrations of silk. The time-dependent injectability of 15% PEG-silk hydrogel through 27G needles showed a gradual increase of compression forces from ?10 to 50N within 60min. The growth of human mesenchymal stem cells on the PEG-silk hydrogels was hindered, likely due to the presence of PEG, which grew after a 5 day delay, presumably while the PEG solubilized away from the gel. When 5% PEG-silk hydrogel was subcutaneously injected in rats, significant degradation and tissue in-growth took place after 20 days, as revealed by ultrasound imaging and histological analysis. No significant inflammation around the gel was observed. The features of injectability, slow degradation and low initial cell attachment suggests that these PEG-silk hydrogels are of interest for many biomedical applications, such as anti-fouling and anti-adhesion. PMID:25449912

  11. In vitro evaluation of bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds for gastrointestinal tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Franck, Debra; Chung, Yeun Goo; Coburn, Jeannine; Kaplan, David L; Estrada, Carlos R

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin scaffolds were investigated for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of human gastrointestinal epithelial and smooth muscle cell lines in order to ascertain their potential for tissue engineering. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix composed of a porous silk fibroin foam annealed to a homogeneous silk fibroin film was evaluated in parallel with small intestinal submucosa scaffolds. AlamarBlue analysis revealed that silk fibroin scaffolds supported significantly higher levels of small intestinal smooth muscle cell, colon smooth muscle cell, and esophageal smooth muscle cell attachment in comparison to small intestinal submucosa. Following 7?days of culture, relative numbers of each smooth muscle cell population maintained on both scaffold groups were significantly elevated over respective 1-day levels—indicative of cell proliferation. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and small intestinal submucosa scaffolds were permissive for contractile differentiation of small intestinal smooth muscle cell, colon smooth muscle cell, esophageal smooth muscle cell as determined by significant upregulation of ?-smooth muscle actin and SM22? messenger RNA and protein expression levels following transforming growth factor-?1 stimulation. AlamarBlue analysis demonstrated that both matrix groups supported similar degrees of attachment and proliferation of gastrointestinal epithelial cell lines including colonic T84 cells and esophageal epithelial cells. Following 14?days of culture on both matrices, spontaneous differentiation of T84 cells toward an enterocyte lineage was confirmed by expression of brush border enzymes, lactase, and maltase, as determined by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical analyses. In contrast to small intestinal submucosa scaffolds, silk fibroin scaffolds supported spontaneous differentiation of esophageal epithelial cells toward a suprabasal cell lineage as indicated by significant upregulation of cytokeratin 4 and cytokeratin 13 messenger RNA transcript levels. In addition, esophageal epithelial cells maintained on silk fibroin scaffolds also produced significantly higher involucrin messenger RNA transcript levels in comparison to small intestinal submucosa counterparts, indicating an increased propensity for superficial, squamous cell specification. Collectively, these data provide evidence for the potential of silk fibroin scaffolds for gastrointestinal tissue engineering applications. PMID:25396043

  12. Mechanisms of monoclonal antibody stabilization and release from silk biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Guziewicz, Nicholas A.; Massetti, Andrew J.; Perez-Ramirez, Bernardo J.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    The availability of stabilization and sustained delivery systems for antibody therapeutics remains a major clinical challenge, despite the growing development of antibodies for a wide range of therapeutic applications due to their specificity and efficacy. A mechanistic understanding of protein-matrix interactions is critical for the development of such systems and is currently lacking as a mode to guide the field. We report mechanistic insight to address this need by using well-defined matrices based on silk gels, in combination with a monoclonal antibody. Variables including antibody loading, matrix density, charge interactions, hydrophobicity and water access were assessed to clarify mechanisms involved in the release of antibody from the biomaterial matrix. The results indicate that antibody release is primarily governed by hydrophobic interactions and hydration resistance, which are controlled by silk matrix chemistry, peptide domain distribution and protein density. Secondary ionic repulsions are also critical in antibody stabilization and release. Matrix modification by free methionine incorporation was found to be an effective strategy for mitigating encapsulation induced antibody oxidation. Additionally, these studies highlight a characterization approach to improve the understanding and development of other protein sustained delivery systems, with broad applicability to the rapidly developing monoclonal antibody field. PMID:23859659

  13. `Silk Route Disease' (Behçet's Disease)

    PubMed Central

    James, D. Geraint

    1988-01-01

    Behçet's disease is a multisystem disorder in which orogenital ulceration is associated with troublesome generalized uveitis, erythema nodosum, pyoderma, dermatographism, seronegative arthritis, and neurologic and cardiovascular symptoms. There is no diagnostic laboratory test; the diagnosis is based on the disorder's multisystem clinical features. A points scoring system is helpful in distinguishing it from other multisystem disorders that mimic it. It occurs most frequently in an area coinciding with the old Silk Route, between latitudes 30° and 45° north, in Asian and Eurasian populations, and it has an HLA-B51 affinity. The cause remains unknown, but a postulated trigger factor is a herpesvirus with cofactors that include ethnic group, human leukocyte antigen affinities, T-cell and autonomic imbalance, circulating immune complexes, autoimmunity, blood viscosity, decreased fibrinolysis, and zinc deficiency. Treatment includes administering corticosteroids, azathioprine, chlorambucil, cyclosporine, and colchicine, and fibrinolytic therapy. PMID:3291395

  14. Silk Roads or Steppe Roads? The Silk Roads in World History.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christian, David

    2000-01-01

    Explores the prehistory of the Silk Roads, reexamines their structure and history in the classical era, and explores shifts in their geography in the last one thousand years. Explains that a revised understanding of the Silk Roads demonstrates how the Afro-Eurasian land mass has been linked by networks of exchange since the Bronze Age. (CMK)

  15. The performance of silk scaffolds in a rat model of augmentation cystoplasty.

    PubMed

    Seth, Abhishek; Chung, Yeun Goo; Gil, Eun Seok; Tu, Duong; Franck, Debra; Di Vizio, Dolores; Adam, Rosalyn M; Kaplan, David L; Estrada, Carlos R; Mauney, Joshua R

    2013-07-01

    The diverse processing plasticity of silk-based biomaterials offers a versatile platform for understanding the impact of structural and mechanical matrix properties on bladder regenerative processes. Three distinct groups of 3-D matrices were fabricated from aqueous solutions of Bombyx mori silk fibroin either by a gel spinning technique (GS1 and GS2 groups) or a solvent-casting/salt-leaching method in combination with silk film casting (FF group). SEM analyses revealed that GS1 matrices consisted of smooth, compact multi-laminates of parallel-oriented silk fibers while GS2 scaffolds were composed of porous (pore size range, 5-50 ?m) lamellar-like sheets buttressed by a dense outer layer. Bi-layer FF scaffolds were comprised of porous foams (pore size, ~400 ?m) fused on their external face with a homogenous, nonporous silk film. Silk groups and small intestinal submucosa (SIS) matrices were evaluated in a rat model of augmentation cystoplasty for 10 weeks of implantation and compared to cystotomy controls. Gross tissue evaluations revealed the presence of intra-luminal stones in all experimental groups. The incidence and size of urinary calculi was the highest in animals implanted with gel spun silk matrices and SIS with frequencies ?57% and stone diameters of 3-4 mm. In contrast, rats augmented with FF scaffolds displayed substantially lower rates (20%) and stone size (2 mm), similar to the levels observed in controls (13%, 2 mm). Histological (hematoxylin and eosin, Masson's trichrome) and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses showed comparable extents of smooth muscle regeneration and contractile protein (?-smooth muscle actin and SM22?) expression within defect sites supported by all matrix groups similar to controls. Parallel evaluations demonstrated the formation of a transitional, multi-layered urothelium with prominent uroplakin and p63 protein expression in all experimental groups. De novo innervation and vascularization processes were evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by Fox3-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. In comparison to other biomaterial groups, cystometric analyses at 10 weeks post-op revealed that animals implanted with the FF matrix configuration displayed superior urodynamic characteristics including compliance, functional capacity, as well as spontaneous non voiding contractions consistent with control levels. Our data demonstrate that variations in scaffold processing techniques can influence the in vivo functional performance of silk matrices in bladder reconstructive procedures. PMID:23545287

  16. Scroop, luster, and hand : the science and sensuality of silk

    E-print Network

    Boyce, Jennifer E. (Jennifer Elaine)

    2005-01-01

    For five thousand years, silk threads have woven through the fabric of human history. Since its accidental discovery in China all that time ago, silk has played roles, major or minor, in many cultures. In both the East and ...

  17. Reversible Temperature-Switching of Hydrogel Stiffness of Coassembled, Silk-Collagen-Like Hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Rombouts, Wolf H; de Kort, Daan W; Pham, Thao T H; van Mierlo, Carlo P M; Werten, Marc W T; de Wolf, Frits A; van der Gucht, Jasper

    2015-08-10

    Recombinant protein polymers, which can combine different bioinspired self-assembly motifs in a well-defined block sequence, have large potential as building blocks for making complex, hierarchically structured materials. In this paper we demonstrate the stepwise formation of thermosensitive hydrogels by combination of two distinct, orthogonal self-assembly mechanisms. In the first step, fibers are coassembled from two recombinant protein polymers: (a) a symmetric silk-like block copolymer consisting of a central silk-like block flanked by two soluble random coil blocks and (b) an asymmetric silk-collagen-like block copolymer consisting of a central random-coil block flanked on one side by a silk-like block and on the other side a collagen-like block. In the second step, induced by cooling, the collagen-like blocks form triple helices and thereby cross-link the fibers, leading to hydrogels with a thermo-reversibly switchable stiffness. Our work demonstrates how complex self-assembled materials can be formed through careful control of the self-assembly pathway. PMID:26175077

  18. Orientational Order of Australian Spider Silks as Determined by

    E-print Network

    Watts, Anthony

    Orientational Order of Australian Spider Silks as Determined by Solid-State NMR B. Bonev1 S. Grieve to study the structure of 13 C- and 15 N- enriched silk from two Australian orb-web spider species, Nephila at biopolymers@wiley.com Keywords: solid-state NMR; spider silk; structure; Nephila edulis; Argiope keyserlingi

  19. Woven silk fabric-reinforced silk nanofibrous scaffolds for regenerating load-bearing soft tissues.

    PubMed

    Han, F; Liu, S; Liu, X; Pei, Y; Bai, S; Zhao, H; Lu, Q; Ma, F; Kaplan, D L; Zhu, H

    2014-02-01

    Although three-dimensional (3-D) porous regenerated silk scaffolds with outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability and low inflammatory reactions have promising application in different tissue regeneration, the mechanical properties of regenerated scaffolds, especially suture retention strength, must be further improved to satisfy the requirements of clinical applications. This study presents woven silk fabric-reinforced silk nanofibrous scaffolds aimed at dermal tissue engineering. To improve the mechanical properties, silk scaffolds prepared by lyophilization were reinforced with degummed woven silk fabrics. The ultimate tensile strength, elongation at break and suture retention strength of the scaffolds were significantly improved, providing suitable mechanical properties strong enough for clinical applications. The stiffness and degradation behaviors were then further regulated by different after-treatment processes, making the scaffolds more suitable for dermal tissue regeneration. The in vitro cell culture results indicated that these scaffolds maintained their excellent biocompatibility after being reinforced with woven silk fabrics. Without sacrifice of porous structure and biocompatibility, the fabric-reinforced scaffolds with better mechanical properties could facilitate future clinical applications of silk as matrices in skin repair. PMID:24090985

  20. Regeneration of Bombyx mori silk nanofibers and nanocomposite fibrils by the electrospinning process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayutsede, Jonathan Eyitouyo

    In recent years, there has been significant interest in the utilization of natural materials for novel nanoproducts such as tissue engineered scaffolds. Silkworm silk fibers represent one of the strongest natural fibers known. Silkworm silk, a protein-based natural biopolymer, has received renewed interest in recent years due to its unique properties (strength, toughness) and potential applications such as smart textiles, protective clothing and tissue engineering. The traditional 10--20 mum diameter, triangular-shaped Bombyx mori fibers have remained unchanged over the years. However, in our study, we examine the scientific implication and potential applications of reducing the diameter to the nanoscale, changing the triangular shape of the fiber and adding nanofillers in the form of single wall carbon nanotubes (SWNT) by the electrospinning process. The electrospinning process preserves the natural conformation of the silk (random and beta-sheet). The feasibility of changing the properties of the electrospun nanofibers by post processing treatments (annealing and chemical treatment) was investigated. B. mori silk fibroin solution (formic acid) was successfully electrospun to produce uniform nanofibers (as small as 12 nm). Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied for the first time to experimental results of electrospinning, to develop a processing window that can reproduce regenerated silk nanofibers of a predictable size (d < 100nm). SWNT-silk multifunctional nanocomposite fibers were fabricated for the first time with anticipated properties (mechanical, thermal and electrically conductive) that may have scientific applications (nerve regeneration, stimulation of cell-scaffold interaction). In order to realize these applications, the following areas need to be addressed: a systematic investigation of the dispersion of the nanotubes in the silk matrix, a determination of new methodologies for characterizing the nanofiber properties and establishing the nature of the silk-SWNT interactions. A new visualization system was developed to characterize the transport properties of the nanofibrous assemblies. The morphological, chemical, structural and mechanical properties of the nanofibers were determined by field emission environmental scanning microscopy, Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopy, wide angle x-ray diffraction and microtensile tester respectively.

  1. Silk Fibroin-Based Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zheng; Li, Yi; Xie, Mao-Bin

    2015-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a protein-based biomacromolecule with excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. The development of SF-based nanoparticles for drug delivery have received considerable attention due to high binding capacity for various drugs, controlled drug release properties and mild preparation conditions. By adjusting the particle size, the chemical structure and properties, the modified or recombinant SF-based nanoparticles can be designed to improve the therapeutic efficiency of drugs encapsulated into these nanoparticles. Therefore, they can be used to deliver small molecule drugs (e.g., anti-cancer drugs), protein and growth factor drugs, gene drugs, etc. This paper reviews recent progress on SF-based nanoparticles, including chemical structure, properties, and preparation methods. In addition, the applications of SF-based nanoparticles as carriers for therapeutic drugs are also reviewed. PMID:25749470

  2. Multifunctional silk-heparin biomaterials for vascular tissue engineering applications

    PubMed Central

    Seib, F. Philipp; Herklotz, Manuela; Burke, Kelly A.; Maitz, Manfred F.; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, silk has been proposed for numerous biomedical applications that go beyond its traditional use as a suture material. Silk sutures are well tolerated in humans, but the use of silk for vascular engineering applications still requires extensive biocompatibility testing. Some studies have indicated a need to modify silk to yield a hemocompatible surface. This study examined the potential of low molecular weight heparin as a material for refining silk properties by acting as a carrier for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and improving silk hemocompatibility. Heparinized silk showed a controlled VEGF release over 6 days; the released VEGF was bioactive and supported the growth of human endothelial cells. Silk samples were then assessed using a humanized hemocompatibility system that employs whole blood and endothelial cells. The overall thrombogenic response for silk was very low and similar to the clinical reference material polytetrafluoroethylene. Despite an initial inflammatory response to silk, apparent as complement and leukocyte activation, the endothelium was maintained in a resting, anticoagulant state. The low thrombogenic response and the ability to control VEGF release support the further development of silk for vascular applications. PMID:24099708

  3. Controlled release of cytokines using silk-biomaterials for macrophage polarization.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Andrew R D; Spiller, Kara L; Freytes, Donald O; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2015-12-01

    Polarization of macrophages into an inflammatory (M1) or anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotype is important for clearing pathogens and wound repair, however chronic activation of either type of macrophage has been implicated in several diseases. Methods to locally control the polarization of macrophages is of great interest for biomedical implants and tissue engineering. To that end, silk protein was used to form biopolymer films that release either IFN-? or IL-4 to control the polarization of macrophages. Modulation of the solubility of the silk films through regulation of ?-sheet (crystalline) content enabled a short-term release (4-8 h) of either cytokine, with smaller amounts released out to 24 h. Altering the solubility of the films was accomplished by varying the time that the films were exposed to water vapor. The released IFN-? or IL-4 induced polarization of THP-1 derived macrophages into the M1 or M2 phenotypes, respectively. The silk biomaterials were able to release enough IFN-? or IL-4 to repolarize the macrophage from M1 to M2 and vice versa, demonstrating the well-established plasticity of macrophages. High ?-sheet content films that are not soluble and do not release the trapped cytokines were also able to polarize macrophages that adhered to the surface through degradation of the silk protein. Chemically conjugating IFN-? to silk films through disulfide bonds allowed for longer-term release to 10 days. The release of covalently attached IFN-? from the films was also able to polarize M1 macrophages in vitro. Thus, the strategy described here offers new approaches to utilizing biomaterials for directing the polarization of macrophages. PMID:26421484

  4. Stimuli-responsive capsules prepared from regenerated silk fibroin microspheres.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Cheng; Teasdale, Ian; Brüggemann, Oliver

    2014-06-01

    Microcapsules are synthesized via the self-assembly of silk-fibroin microspheres with polycaprolactone in a colliodosome preparation procedure. The microsphere building blocks with controlled diameter are prepared from the naturally occurring biopolymer, silk fibroin, and then act as stabilizers for oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion and organized themselves on the surface of chloroform droplets to form the capsules. The concentration of the protein-based microspheres and the binding polycacrolactone is used to tailor the size, as well as the permeability of the resultant capsules. Furthermore, microencapsulation of fluorescently labeled macromolecules (20-2000 KDa) is demonstrated. The permeability of the capsules is observed to be stimuli responsive, making it possible to incorporate a pH-triggered payload release from the capsules. The relatively simple preparation of capsules with controlled dimensions and tunable permeability, alongside the biocompatibility and biodegradability of both polymer components makes these promising materials for potential use in smart drug-delivery systems. PMID:24532252

  5. Analysis of the sericin1 promoter and assisted detection of exogenous gene expression efficiency in the silkworm Bombyx mori L.

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Lupeng; Qian, Qiujie; Zhang, Yuyu; You, Zhengying; Che, Jiaqian; Song, Jia; Zhong, Boxiong

    2015-01-01

    In genetics, the promoter is one of the most important regulatory elements controlling the spatiotemporal expression of a target gene. However, most studies have focused on core or proximal promoter regions, and information on regions that are more distant from the 5?-flanking region of the proximal promoter is often lacking. Here, approximately 4-kb of the sericin1 (Ser1) promoter was predicted to contain many potential transcriptional factor binding sites (TFBSs). Transgenic experiments have revealed that more TFBSs included in the promoter improved gene transcription. However, multi-copy proximal Ser1 promoter combinations did not improve gene expression at the transcriptional level. Instead, increasing the promoter copy number repressed transcription. Furthermore, a correlation analysis between two contiguous genes, firefly luciferase (FLuc) and EGFP, was conducted at the transcriptional level; a significant correlation was obtained regardless of the insertion site. The ELISA results also revealed a significant correlation between the transcriptional and translational EGFP levels. Therefore, the exogenous gene expression level can be predicted by simply detecting an adjacent EGFP. In conclusion, our results provide important insights for further investigations into the molecular mechanisms underlying promoter function. Additionally, a new approach was developed to quickly screen transgenic strains that highly express exogenous genes. PMID:25655044

  6. Biocompatibility Assessment of Novel Collagen-Sericin Scaffolds Improved with Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin Sulfate for Cartilage Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    G?l??eanu, Bianca; Albu, M?d?lina

    2013-01-01

    Cartilage tissue engineering (CTE) applications are focused towards the use of implantable biohybrids consisting of biodegradable scaffolds combined with in vitro cultured cells. Hyaluronic acid (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) were identified as the most potent prochondrogenic factors used to design new biomaterials for CTE, while human adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) were proved to display high chondrogenic potential. In this context, our aim was not only to build novel 3D porous scaffolds based on natural compounds but also to evaluate their in vitro biological performances. Therefore, for prospective CTE, collagen-sericin (Coll-SS) scaffolds improved with HA (5% or 10%) and CS (5% or 10%) were used as temporary physical supports for ASCs and were analyzed in terms of structural, thermal, morphological, and swelling properties and cytotoxic potential. To complete biocompatibility data, ASCs viability and proliferation potential were also assessed. Our studies revealed that Coll-SS hydrogels improved with 10% HA and 5% CS displayed the best biological performances in terms of cell viability, proliferation, morphology, and distribution. Thus, further work will address a novel 3D system including both HA 10% and CS 5% glycoproteins, which will probably be exposed to prochondrogenic conditions in order to assess its potential use in CTE applications. PMID:24308001

  7. From silk spinning in insects and spiders to advanced silk fibroin drug delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Werner, Vera; Meinel, Lorenz

    2015-11-01

    The natural process of silk spinning covers a fascinating versatility of aggregate states, ranging from colloidal solutions through hydrogels to solid systems. The transition among these states is controlled by a carefully orchestrated process in vivo. Major players within the natural process include the control of spatial pH throughout passage of the silk dope, the composition and type of ions, and fluid flow mechanics within the duct, respectively. The function of these input parameters on the spinning process is reviewed before detailing their impact on the design and manufacture of silk based drug delivery systems (DDS). Examples are reported including the control of hydrogel formation during storage or significant parameters controlling precipitation in the presence of appropriate salts, respectively. The review details the use of silk fibroin (SF) to develop liquid, semiliquid or solid DDS with a focus on the control of SF crystallization, particle formation, and drug-SF interaction for tailored drug load. PMID:25801494

  8. Molecular architecture of silk fibroin of Indian golden silkmoth, Antheraea assama

    PubMed Central

    Gupta K, Adarsh; Mita, Kazuei; Arunkumar, Kallare P.; Nagaraju, Javaregowda

    2015-01-01

    The golden silk spun by Indian golden silkmoth Antheraea assama, is regarded for its shimmering golden luster, tenacity and value as biomaterial. This report describes the gene coding for golden silk H-fibroin (AaFhc), its expression, full-length sequence and structurally important motifs discerning the underlying genetic and biochemical factors responsible for its much sought-after properties. The coding region, with biased isocodons, encodes highly repetitious crystalline core, flanked by a pair of 5? and 3? non-repetitious ends. AaFhc mRNA expression is strictly territorial, confined to the posterior silk gland, encoding a protein of size 230?kDa, which makes homodimers making the elementary structural units of the fibrous core of the golden silk. Characteristic polyalanine repeats that make tight ?-sheet crystals alternate with non-polyalanine repeats that make less orderly antiparallel ?-sheets, ?-turns and partial ?-helices. Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved N-terminal amorphous motif and the comparative analysis of the crystalline region with other saturniid H-fibroins reveal that AaFhc has longer, numerous and relatively uniform repeat motifs with lower serine content that assume tighter ?-crystals and denser packing, which are speculated to be responsible for its acclaimed properties of higher tensile strength and higher refractive index responsible for golden luster. PMID:26235912

  9. Molecular architecture of silk fibroin of Indian golden silkmoth, Antheraea assama.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Adarsh K; Mita, Kazuei; Arunkumar, Kallare P; Nagaraju, Javaregowda

    2015-01-01

    The golden silk spun by Indian golden silkmoth Antheraea assama, is regarded for its shimmering golden luster, tenacity and value as biomaterial. This report describes the gene coding for golden silk H-fibroin (AaFhc), its expression, full-length sequence and structurally important motifs discerning the underlying genetic and biochemical factors responsible for its much sought-after properties. The coding region, with biased isocodons, encodes highly repetitious crystalline core, flanked by a pair of 5' and 3' non-repetitious ends. AaFhc mRNA expression is strictly territorial, confined to the posterior silk gland, encoding a protein of size 230?kDa, which makes homodimers making the elementary structural units of the fibrous core of the golden silk. Characteristic polyalanine repeats that make tight ?-sheet crystals alternate with non-polyalanine repeats that make less orderly antiparallel ?-sheets, ?-turns and partial ?-helices. Phylogenetic analysis of the conserved N-terminal amorphous motif and the comparative analysis of the crystalline region with other saturniid H-fibroins reveal that AaFhc has longer, numerous and relatively uniform repeat motifs with lower serine content that assume tighter ?-crystals and denser packing, which are speculated to be responsible for its acclaimed properties of higher tensile strength and higher refractive index responsible for golden luster. PMID:26235912

  10. Comprehensive characterization of well-defined silk fibroin surfaces: Toward multitechnique studies of surface modification effects.

    PubMed

    Amornsudthiwat, Phakdee; Nitschke, Mirko; Zimmermann, Ralf; Friedrichs, Jens; Grundke, Karina; Pöschel, Kathrin; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Werner, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    The study aims at a comprehensive surface characterization of untreated and oxygen plasma-treated silk fibroin with a particular focus on phenomena relevant to biointeraction and cell adhesion. For that purpose, a range of advanced surface diagnostic techniques is employed to thoroughly investigate well-defined and especially clean silk fibroin samples in a comparable setting. This includes surface chemistry and surface charges as factors, which control protein adsorption, but also hydration and swelling of the material as important parameters, which govern the mechanical stiffness at the interface with aqueous media. Oxygen plasma exposure of silk fibroin surfaces reveals that material ablation strongly predominates over the introduction of functional groups even for mild plasma conditions. A substantial increase in mechanical stiffness is identified as the most prominent effect upon this kind of plasma treatment. Regarding the experimental approach and the choice of techniques, the work goes beyond previous studies in this field and paves the way for well-founded investigations of other surface-selective modification procedures that enhance the applicability of silk fibroin in biomedical applications. PMID:25899685

  11. Mechanical and Physical Properties of Recombinant Spider Silk Films Using Organic and Aqueous Solvents

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Spider silk has exceptional mechanical and biocompatibility properties. The goal of this study was optimization of the mechanical properties of synthetic spider silk thin films made from synthetic forms of MaSp1 and MaSp2, which compose the dragline silk of Nephila clavipes. We increased the mechanical stress of MaSp1 and 2 films solubilized in both HFIP and water by adding glutaraldehyde and then stretching them in an alcohol based stretch bath. This resulted in stresses as high as 206 MPa and elongations up to 35%, which is 4× higher than the as-poured controls. Films were analyzed using NMR, XRD, and Raman, which showed that the secondary structure after solubilization and film formation in as-poured films is mainly a helical conformation. After the post-pour stretch in a methanol/water bath, the MaSp proteins in both the HFIP and water-based films formed aligned ?-sheets similar to those in spider silk fibers. PMID:25030809

  12. Intragenic homogenization and multiple copies of prey-wrapping silk genes in Argiope garden spiders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Spider silks are spectacular examples of phenotypic diversity arising from adaptive molecular evolution. An individual spider can produce an array of specialized silks, with the majority of constituent silk proteins encoded by members of the spidroin gene family. Spidroins are dominated by tandem repeats flanked by short, non-repetitive N- and C-terminal coding regions. The remarkable mechanical properties of spider silks have been largely attributed to the repeat sequences. However, the molecular evolutionary processes acting on spidroin terminal and repetitive regions remain unclear due to a paucity of complete gene sequences and sampling of genetic variation among individuals. To better understand spider silk evolution, we characterize a complete aciniform spidroin gene from an Argiope orb-weaving spider and survey aciniform gene fragments from congeneric individuals. Results We present the complete aciniform spidroin (AcSp1) gene from the silver garden spider Argiope argentata (Aar_AcSp1), and document multiple AcSp1 loci in individual genomes of A. argentata and the congeneric A. trifasciata and A. aurantia. We find that Aar_AcSp1 repeats have >98% pairwise nucleotide identity. By comparing AcSp1 repeat amino acid sequences between Argiope species and with other genera, we identify regions of conservation over vast amounts of evolutionary time. Through a PCR survey of individual A. argentata, A. trifasciata, and A. aurantia genomes, we ascertain that AcSp1 repeats show limited variation between species whereas terminal regions are more divergent. We also find that average dN/dS across codons in the N-terminal, repetitive, and C-terminal encoding regions indicate purifying selection that is strongest in the N-terminal region. Conclusions Using the complete A. argentata AcSp1 gene and spidroin genetic variation between individuals, this study clarifies some of the molecular evolutionary processes underlying the spectacular mechanical attributes of aciniform silk. It is likely that intragenic concerted evolution and functional constraints on A. argentata AcSp1 repeats result in extreme repeat homogeneity. The maintenance of multiple AcSp1 encoding loci in Argiope genomes supports the hypothesis that Argiope spiders require rapid and efficient protein production to support their prolific use of aciniform silk for prey-wrapping and web-decorating. In addition, multiple gene copies may represent the early stages of spidroin diversification. PMID:24552485

  13. Structure and morphology of regenerated silk nano-fibers produced by electrospinning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarkoob, Shahrzad

    The impressive physical and mechanical properties of natural silk fiberssp1 and the possibility of producing these proteins using biotechnology,sp2 have provided the impetus for recent efforts in both the biosynthesissp{3,4} and the spinning of these protein based biopolymers.sp{5,6,7} The question still remains: whether fibers spun from solutions with similar chemical makeup can produce fibers with similar structures and therefore with the possibility of improved properties. Since genetically engineered silk solutions were not readily available, the first objective of this project was to completely dissolve the Bombyx mori cocoon and the Nephila clavipes dragline silk while maintaining the molecular weight integrity of the polymer. The second objective was to develop a system for re-spinning from very small amount of the resulting silk solutions by the process of electrospinning. The third objective was, to produce regenerated silk fibers with diameters that are several orders of magnitude smaller than the original fibers, suitable for direct observation and analysis by transmission electron microscopy and electron diffraction. And finally, to compare these results to structural information obtained from natural (as spun by the organism) fibers to see if the regenerated solutions are able to form the same structure as the original fibers. Both types of silk fibers were successfully dissolved while maintaining the polymer integrity. Small quantities (25-50 mul) of these solutions were used to electrospin fibers with diameters ranging from 8nm-200nm. The fibers were observed by optical, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopy. These nano fibers showed optical retardation, appeared to have a circular cross-section, and were dimensionally stable at temperatures above 280sp°C. Electron diffraction patterns of annealed electrospun fibers of B. mori and N. clavipes showed reflections, demonstrating orientational and semicrystalline order in the material comparable to natural silk. In addition, electron diffraction was also obtained form extended microtomed single dragline fibers of N. clavipes, and the d-spacings agreed well with thoes obtained from WAXD of dragline fiber bundles.

  14. www.stke.org/cgi/content/full/sigtrans;2006/322/pe8 Page 1 Wild male silk moths can track pheromone released from fe-

    E-print Network

    Vogt, Richard G.

    www.stke.org/cgi/content/full/sigtrans;2006/322/pe8 Page 1 Wild male silk moths can track pheromone this with related processes in visual neurons. This study compared two G protein­coupled receptors (GPCRs of an olfactory neuron contains various proteins, including ORs, G proteins, adenylate cyclase (AC) enzymes

  15. Development of silk-based scaffolds for tissue engineering of bone from human adipose derived stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Correia, Cristina; Bhumiratana, Sarindr; Yan, Le-Ping; Oliveira, Ana L.; Gimble, Jeffrey M.; Rockwood, Danielle; Kaplan, David L.; Sousa, Rui A.; Reis, Rui L.; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin is a potent alternative to other biodegradable biopolymers for bone tissue engineering (TE), because of its tunable architecture and mechanical properties, and demonstrated ability to support bone formation, in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigated a range of silk scaffolds for bone TE using human adipose-derived stem cells (hASC), an attractive cell source for engineering autologous bone grafts. Our goal was to understand the effects of scaffold architecture and biomechanics and use this information to optimize silk scaffolds for bone TE applications. Silk scaffolds were fabricated using different solvents (aqueous vs. hexafluoro-2-propanol - HFIP), pore sizes (250–500?m vs. 500–1000?m) and structures (lamellar vs. spherical pores). Four types of silk scaffolds combining the properties of interest were systematically compared with respect to bone tissue outcomes with decellularized trabecular bone (DCB) included as a “gold standard”. The scaffolds were seeded with hASC and cultured for 7 weeks in osteogenic media. Bone formation was evaluated by cell proliferation and differentiation, matrix production, calcification and mechanical properties. We observed that 400–600?m porous HFIP-derived silk fibroin scaffold demonstrated the best bone tissue formation outcomes as evidenced by increased bone protein production (osteopontin, collagen type I, bone sialoprotein), enhanced calcium deposition and total bone volume. On a direct comparison basis, alkaline phosphatase activity (AP) at week 2, and new calcium deposition at week 7 were comparable to the cells cultured in DCB. Yet, among the aqueous-based structures, the lamellar architecture induced increased AP activity and demonstrated higher equilibrium modulus than the spherical-pore scaffolds. Based on the collected data, we propose a conceptual model describing the effects of silk scaffold design on bone tissue formation. PMID:22421311

  16. The Ancient Art of Silk Painting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yonker, Kim

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a silk-painting project with a sea-creature theme for eighth-grade students. Other themes can be used such as geometric quilt designs, tropical rain forest, large flowers, Art Nouveau motifs, portraits and more. (Contains 2 resources.)

  17. Constructing Knowledge with Silk Road Visuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisland, Beverly Milner

    2008-01-01

    In this study a group of elementary teachers use illustrations, rather than written text, to introduce their students to the peoples and places of the ancient silk routes. The illustrations are from two picture books; "Marco Polo," written by Gian Paolo Cesaerani and illustrated by Piero Ventura (1977), and "We're Riding on a Caravan: An Adventure…

  18. Physical and Chemical Aspects of Stabilization of Compounds in Silk

    PubMed Central

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Dennis, Patrick B.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Naik, Rajesh R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The challenge of stabilization of small molecules and proteins has received considerable interest. The biological activity of small molecules can be lost as a consequence of chemical modifications, while protein activity may be lost due to chemical or structural degradation, such as a change in macromolecular conformation or aggregation. In these cases stabilization is required to preserve therapeutic and bioactivity efficacy and safety. In addition to use in therapeutic applications, strategies to stabilize small molecules and proteins also have applications in industrial processes, diagnostics, and consumer products like food and cosmetics. Traditionally, therapeutic drug formulation efforts have focused on maintaining stability during product preparation and storage. However, with growing interest in the fields of encapsulation, tissue engineering and controlled release drug delivery systems, new stabilization challenges are being addressed; the compounds or protein of interest must be stabilized during: (1) fabrication of the protein or small molecule loaded carrier, (2) device storage, and (3) for the duration of intended release needs in vitro or in vivo. We review common mechanisms of compound degradation for small molecules and proteins during biomaterial preparation (including tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery systems), storage and in vivo implantation. We also review the physical and chemical aspects of polymer-based stabilization approaches, with a particular focus on the stabilizing properties of silk fibroin biomaterials. PMID:22270942

  19. Silk ionomers for encapsulation and differentiation of human MSCs

    PubMed Central

    Calabrese, Rossella; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    The response of human bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in silk ionomer hydrogels was studied. Silk aqueous solutions with silk-poly-L-lysine or silk-poly-L-glutamate were formed into hydrogels via ultrasonication in situ with different net charges. hMSCs were encapsulated within the hydrogels and the impact of matrix charge was assessed over weeks in osteogenic, adipogenic and maintenance growth media. These modified silk charged polymers supported cell viability and proliferative potential, and the hMSCs were able to differentiate toward osteogenic or adipogenic lineages in the corresponding differentiation media. The silk/silk-poly-L-lysine hydrogels exhibited a positive effect on selective osteogenesis of hMSCs, inducing differentiation toward an osteogenic lineage even in the absence of osteogenic supplements, while also inhibiting adipogenesis. In contrast, silk/silk fibroin-poly-L-glutamate hydrogels supported both osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of hMSCs when cultured under induction conditions. The results demonstrate the potential utility of silk-based ionomers in gel formats for hMSCs encapsulation and for directing hMSCs long term functional differentiation toward specific lineages. PMID:22824008

  20. Silk-Based Biomaterials for Sustained Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Yucel, Tuna; Lovett, Michael L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Silk presents a rare combination of desirable properties for sustained drug delivery, including aqueous-based purification and processing options without chemical cross-linkers, compatibility with common sterilization methods, controllable and surface-mediated biodegradation into non-inflammatory by-products, biocompatibility, utility in drug stabilization, and robust mechanical properties. A versatile silk-based toolkit is currently available for sustained drug delivery formulations of small molecule through macromolecular drugs, with a promise to mitigate several drawbacks associated with other degradable sustained delivery technologies in the market. Silk-based formulations utilize silk’s well-defined nano- through microscale structural hierarchy, stimuli-responsive self-assembly pathways and crystal polymorphism, as well as sequence and genetic modification options towards targeted pharmaceutical outcomes. Furthermore, by manipulating the interactions between silk and drug molecules, near-zero order sustained release may be achieved through diffusion- and degradation-based release mechanisms. Because of these desirable properties, there has been increasing industrial interest in silk-based drug delivery systems currently at various stages of the developmental pipeline from pre-clinical to FDA-approved products. Here, we discuss the unique aspects of silk technology as a sustained drug delivery platform and highlight the current state of the art in silk-based drug delivery. We also offer a potential early development pathway for silk-based sustained delivery products. PMID:24910193

  1. The Influence of Elasticity and Surface Roughness on Myogenic and Osteogenic-Differentiation of Cells on Silk-Elastin Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Park, Sang-Hyug; Gil, Eun Seok; Xia, Xiao-Xia; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The interactions of C2C12 myoblasts and human bone marrow stem cells (hMSCs) with silk-tropoelastin biomaterials, and the capacity of each to promote attachment, proliferation, and either myogenic- or osteogenic-differentiation were investigated. Temperature-controlled water vapor annealing was used to control beta-sheet crystal formation to generate insoluble silk-tropoelastin biomaterial matrices at defined ratios of the two proteins. These ratios controlled surface roughness and micro/nano-scale topological patterns, and elastic modulus, stiffness, yield stress, and tensile strength. A combination of low surface roughness and high stiffness in the silk-tropoelastin materials promoted proliferation and myogenic-differentiation of C2C12 cells. In contrast, high surface roughness with micro/nano-scale surface patterns was favored by hMSCs. Increasing the content of human tropoelastin in the silk-tropoelastin materials enhanced the proliferation and osteogenic-differentiation of hMSCs. We conclude that the silk-tropoelastin composition facilitates fine tuning of the growth and differentiation of these cells. PMID:21872326

  2. The molecular structure of the silk fibers from Hymenoptera aculeata (bees, wasps, ants).

    PubMed

    Fraser, R D Bruce; Parry, David A D

    2015-12-01

    Silks from the Hymenoptera aculeata (bees, wasps, ants) contain ropes with four ?-helical strands, rather than the more usual two strands found, for example, in ?-keratin and myosin molecules. Extensive studies of the chemical structure of the silks have shown that each of the four chains in the molecule contains a central coiled-coil rod domain. However, little progress has been made in modeling the three-dimensional structure. X-ray diffraction data on honeybee silk (Apis mellifera), recorded by Rudall and coworkers, has been re-examined in detail and possible structures developed for the various types of filament seen in the silk glands, and for the packing arrangement in the spun fibers. The original X-ray data were re-collected by scanning figures in the original publications, de-screening and averaging perpendicular to the direction of interest, thereby reducing the graininess of the original images. Sufficient numbers of equatorial and meridional reflections were collected to define the axial projection of the base of the unit cell in fibers drawn from the contents of the silk glands, and to suggest that the axial period is different from that suggested by Rudall and coworkers. Models for two types of filament of increasing diameter are developed based on the node-internode packing scheme observed in protein crystals containing four-strand ?-helical ropes. The central domains of the four component chains in the molecule are enclosed by N- and C-terminal domains with widely different lengths and compositions. The fibers thus have a composite filament-matrix texture, and possible locations for the matrix are discussed. PMID:26515761

  3. Quantitative physical and handling characteristics of novel antibacterial braided silk suture materials.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaojie; Hou, Dandan; Tang, Xiaoqi; Wang, Lu

    2015-10-01

    Surgical braided silk sutures have been widely used because these materials exhibit good handling characteristics, ease of use, and ideal knot security. However, surgical silk sutures likely cause surgical site infections because these sutures are composed of natural protein materials with a braided structure. As such, antibacterial silk sutures for clinical wound closure should be developed. Braided silk suture could be treated and modified with antibacterial agent, provided that excellent physical and handling characteristics of this material should maximize maintained. This study aimed to quantitatively investigate the effect of antibacterial treatment with different parameters on physical and handling characteristics of novel antibacterial braided silk sutures. Physical and handling characteristics, including appearance, knot-pull tensile strength, pullout friction resistance, tissue drag friction resistance, and bending stiffness, were evaluated. After physical and handling tests were conducted, images showed morphological characteristics were obtained and evaluated to investigate the relationship between antibacterial treatment and physical and handling properties. Results showed that suture diameter increased and reached the nearest thick size specification; knot-pull tensile strength decreased but remained higher than the standard value by at least 40.73%. Fracture asynchronism during knot-pull tensile strength test suggested that the fineness ratio of shell and core strands may enhance knot-pull tensile strength. Static and dynamic frictions of suture-to-suture friction behavior were slightly affected by antibacterial treatment, and changed to less than 16.07% and 32.77%, respectively. Suture-to-tissue friction and bending stiffness increased by approximately 50%; the bending stiffness of the proposed suture remained efficient compared with that of synthetic sutures. Therefore, good physical and handling characteristics can be maintained by selecting appropriate coating parameters. PMID:26143308

  4. Structural hysteresis in dragline spider silks induced by supercontraction: an X-ray fiber micro-diffraction study

    SciTech Connect

    Sampath, Sujatha; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2014-11-27

    Interaction with water causes shrinkage and significant changes in the structure of spider dragline silks, which has been referred to as supercontraction in the literature. Preferred orientation or alignment of protein chains with respect to the fiber axis is extensively changed during this supercontraction process. Synchrotron X-ray micro-fiber diffraction experiments have been performed on Nephila clavipes and Argiope aurantia major and minor ampullate dragline spider fibers in the native dry, contracted (by immersion in water) and restretched (from contracted) states. Changes in the orientation of ?-sheet nanocrystallites and the oriented component of the amorphous network have been determined from wide-angle X-ray diffraction patterns. While both the crystalline and amorphous components lose preferred orientation on wetting with water, the nano-crystallites regain their orientation on wet-restretching, whereas the oriented amorphous components only partially regain their orientation. Dragline major ampullate silks in both the species contract more than their minor ampullate silks.

  5. Structural hysteresis in dragline spider silks induced by supercontraction: an X-ray fiber micro-diffraction study

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Sampath, Sujatha; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2014-11-27

    Interaction with water causes shrinkage and significant changes in the structure of spider dragline silks, which has been referred to as supercontraction in the literature. Preferred orientation or alignment of protein chains with respect to the fiber axis is extensively changed during this supercontraction process. Synchrotron X-ray micro-fiber diffraction experiments have been performed on Nephila clavipes and Argiope aurantia major and minor ampullate dragline spider fibers in the native dry, contracted (by immersion in water) and restretched (from contracted) states. Changes in the orientation of ?-sheet nanocrystallites and the oriented component of the amorphous network have been determined from wide-anglemore »X-ray diffraction patterns. While both the crystalline and amorphous components lose preferred orientation on wetting with water, the nano-crystallites regain their orientation on wet-restretching, whereas the oriented amorphous components only partially regain their orientation. Dragline major ampullate silks in both the species contract more than their minor ampullate silks.« less

  6. Towards Silk Fiber Optics: Refractive Index Characterization, Fiber Spinning, and Spinneret Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spitzberg, Joshua David

    Of the many biologically derived materials, whose historical record of use by humans underscores an ex-vivo utility, silk is interesting for it's contemporary repurposing from textile to biocompatible substrate. And while even within this category silk is one of several materials studied for novel repurposing, it has the unique character of being evolutionarily developed specifically for fiber spinning in vivo. The work discussed here is inspired by taking what nature has given, to explore the in vitro spinning of silk towards biocompatible fiber optics applications. A common formulation of silk used in biomedical studies for re-forming it into the various structures begins with the silkworm cocoon, which is degummed and dissolved into an aqueous solution of its miscible protein, fibroin, and post-treated to fabricate solid structures. In the first aim, the optical refractive index (RI) of various post-treatment methods is discussed towards determining RI design techniques. The methods considered in this work for re-forming a solid fiber from the reconstituted silk fibroin (RSF) solution borrow from the industrial techniques of gel spinning, and dry-spinning. In the second aim, methods are applied to RSF and quality of the spun fibers discussed. A feature common to spinning techniques is passing the (silk) material through a spinneret of specific shape. In the third aim, fluid flow through a simplified native silkworm spinneret is modeled towards bio-inspired lessons in design. In chapter 1 the history, reconstitution, are discussed towards understanding the fabrication of several optical device examples. Chapter 2 then prefaces the experiments and measurements in fiber optics by reviewing electromagnetic theory of waveguide function, and loss factors, to be considered in actual device fabrication. Chapter 3 presents results and discussion for the first aim, understanding design principles for the refractive index of RSF. From this point, industrial fiber-spinning approaches are reviewed from a theoretical and methodological perspective in chapter 4. Thus, chapter 5 presents results for the second aim, efforts to apply these techniques using RSF. Chapter 6 discusses the third aim, understanding the design of the silkworm spinneret by an idealized model of natural and reconstituted silk fibroin flow. While the ultimate goal of a structurally and optically smooth and uniform fiber remains elusive, this work serves as a guide for future efforts.

  7. Silklike materials constructed from sequences of Bombyx mori silk fibroin, fibronectin, and elastin.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mingying; Tanaka, Chikako; Yamauchi, Kazuo; Ohgo, Kosuke; Kurokawa, Masato; Asakura, Tetsuo

    2008-02-01

    Two silklike proteins, [TGRGDSPAGG(GAGAGS)3AS]5 (FS5) and [TGRGDSPA-(GVPGV)2GG(GAGAGS)3AS]8 (FES8) were designed to demonstrate the superior performance as biomaterials of silklike proteins. The former protein consists of the crystalline domain sequence, (GAGAGS)n from Bombyx mori silk fibroin and cell-adhesive sequence TGRGDSPA coming from fibronectin-containing RGD triplet. The additional sequence (GVPGV)n from elastin was included in the latter protein. The considerably higher cell-adhesion activities of these proteins for NHDF and VERO cells were observed by comparing with those of silklike materials without RGD sequences and also the crystalline fraction of B. mori silk fibroin. This tendency was independent of the treatments, 4.5M LiClO4 or formic acid (FA), on silklike proteins. Their activities are also higher than those of commercial Fibronectin F for NHDF cell. Their structural characterization was studied using 13C solid-state NMR. Although the overlapped peaks in usual 13C CP/MAS NMR spectra make the detailed structural analysis difficult, the methyl resonance regions observed using dipolar dephasing NMR were very useful for the analysis. The presence of both random coil and beta-sheet structures was observed in these proteins clearly. The content of beta-sheet structure in both proteins increases after FA treatment when compared with the lyophilized samples. The production of electrospun nanofibers from their hexafluoroacetone solution was also tried. The silklike protein FES8 could prepare nonwoven silk fibers although FS5 could not. PMID:17618489

  8. Spider silk: a novel optical fibre for biochemical sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hey Tow, Kenny; Chow, Desmond M.; Vollrath, Fritz; Dicaire, Isabelle; Gheysens, Tom; Thévenaz, Luc

    2015-09-01

    Whilst being thoroughly used in the textile industry and biomedical sector, silk has not yet been exploited for fibre optics-based sensing although silk fibres directly obtained from spiders can guide light and have shown early promises to being sensitive to some solvents. In this communication, a pioneering optical fibre sensor based on spider silk is reported, demonstrating for the first time the use of spider silk as an optical fibre sensor to detect polar solvents such as water, ammonia and acetic acid.

  9. Differentiation of human endometrial stem cells into urothelial cells on a three-dimensional nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffold: an autologous cell resource for reconstruction of the urinary bladder wall.

    PubMed

    Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Mortazavi-Tabatabaei, Seyed Abdolreza; Sharif, Shiva; Seifalian, Alexander Marcus; Azimi, Alireza; Samadikuchaksaraei, Ali; Verdi, Javad

    2015-11-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder wall via in vitro differentiated stem cells on an appropriate scaffold could be used in such conditions as cancer and neurogenic urinary bladder. This study aimed to examine the potential of human endometrial stem cells (EnSCs) to form urinary bladder epithelial cells (urothelium) on nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds, for construction of the urinary bladder wall. After passage 4, EnSCs were induced by keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) and seeded on electrospun collagen-V, silk and silk-collagen nanofibres. Later we tested urothelium-specific genes and proteins (uroplakin-Ia, uroplakin-Ib, uroplakin-II, uroplakin-III and cytokeratin 20) by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot analyses. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology were used to detect cell-matrix interactions. DMEM/F12 supplemented by KGF and EGF induced EnSCs to express urothelial cell-specific genes and proteins. Either collagen, silk or silk-collagen scaffolds promoted cell proliferation. The nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds provided a three-dimensional (3D) structure to maximize cell-matrix penetration and increase differentiation of the EnSCs. Human EnSCs seeded on 3D nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds and differentiated to urothelial cells provide a suitable source for potential use in bladder wall reconstruction in women. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23319462

  10. Molecular mechanisms of phoxim-induced silk gland damage and TiO2 nanoparticle-attenuated damage in Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Li, Bing; Yu, Xiaohong; Gui, Suxin; Xie, Yi; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Hong, Jie; Sun, Qingqing; Sang, Xuezi; Sheng, Lei; Cheng, Zhe; Cheng, Jie; Hu, Rengping; Wang, Ling; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2014-06-01

    Phoxim is a useful organophosphate (OP) pesticide used in agriculture in China, however, exposure to this pesticide can result in a significant reduction in cocooning in Bombyx mori (B. mori). Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) have been shown to decrease phoxim-induced toxicity in B. mori; however, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms of silk gland damage due to OP exposure and repair of gland damage by TiO2 NP pretreatment. In the present study, exposure to phoxim resulted in a significant reduction in cocooning rate in addition to silk gland damage, whereas TiO2 NP attenuated phoxim-induced gland damage, increased the antioxidant capacity of the gland, and increased cocooning rate in B. mori. Furthermore, digital gene expression data suggested that phoxim exposure led to significant alterations in the expression of 833 genes. In particular, phoxim exposure caused significant down-regulation of Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, and P25 genes involved in silk protein synthesis, and up-regulation of SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh genes involved in silk protein hydrolysis. A combination of both phoxim and TiO2 NP treatment resulted in marked changes in the expression of 754 genes, while treatment with TiO2 NPs led to significant alterations in the expression of 308 genes. Importantly, pretreatment with TiO2 NPs increased Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, and P25 expression, and decreased SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh expression in silk protein in the silk gland under phoxim stress. Therefore, Fib-L, Ser2, Ser3, P25, SFGH, UCH3, and Salhh may be potential biomarkers of silk gland toxicity in B. mori caused by phoxim exposure. PMID:24331035

  11. Use of extension-deformation-based crystallisation of silk fibres to differentiate their functions in nature.

    PubMed

    Numata, Keiji; Masunaga, Hiroyasu; Hikima, Takaaki; Sasaki, Sono; Sekiyama, Kazuhide; Takata, Masaki

    2015-08-21

    ?-Sheet crystals play an important role in determining the stiffness, strength, and optical properties of silk and in the exhibition of silk-type-specific functions. It is important to elucidate the structural changes that occur during the stretching of silk fibres to understand the functions of different types of fibres. Herein, we elucidate the initial crystallisation behaviour of silk molecules during the stretching of three types of silk fibres using synchrotron radiation X-ray analysis. When spider dragline silk was stretched, it underwent crystallisation and the alignment of the ?-sheet crystals became disordered initially but was later recovered. On the other hand, silkworm cocoon silk did not exhibit further crystallisation, whereas capture spiral silk was predominantly amorphous. Structural analyses showed that the crystallisation of silks following extension deformation has a critical effect on their mechanical and optical properties. These findings should aid the production of artificial silk fibres and facilitate the development of silk-inspired functional materials. PMID:26166211

  12. Directional water collection on wetted spider silk.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yongmei; Bai, Hao; Huang, Zhongbing; Tian, Xuelin; Nie, Fu-Qiang; Zhao, Yong; Zhai, Jin; Jiang, Lei

    2010-02-01

    Many biological surfaces in both the plant and animal kingdom possess unusual structural features at the micro- and nanometre-scale that control their interaction with water and hence wettability. An intriguing example is provided by desert beetles, which use micrometre-sized patterns of hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions on their backs to capture water from humid air. As anyone who has admired spider webs adorned with dew drops will appreciate, spider silk is also capable of efficiently collecting water from air. Here we show that the water-collecting ability of the capture silk of the cribellate spider Uloborus walckenaerius is the result of a unique fibre structure that forms after wetting, with the 'wet-rebuilt' fibres characterized by periodic spindle-knots made of random nanofibrils and separated by joints made of aligned nanofibrils. These structural features result in a surface energy gradient between the spindle-knots and the joints and also in a difference in Laplace pressure, with both factors acting together to achieve continuous condensation and directional collection of water drops around spindle-knots. Submillimetre-sized liquid drops have been driven by surface energy gradients or a difference in Laplace pressure, but until now neither force on its own has been used to overcome the larger hysteresis effects that make the movement of micrometre-sized drops more difficult. By tapping into both driving forces, spider silk achieves this task. Inspired by this finding, we designed artificial fibres that mimic the structural features of silk and exhibit its directional water-collecting ability. PMID:20130646

  13. Silk-regulated hierarchical hollow magnetite/carbon nanocomposite spheroids for lithium-ion battery anodes.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Weiqin; Zhu, Guobin; Kaplan, David L; Cao, Chuanbao; Zhu, Hesun; Lu, Qiang

    2015-03-20

    Hierarchical olive-like structured carbon-Fe3O4 nanocomposite particles composed of a hollow interior and a carbon coated surface are prepared by a facile, silk protein-assisted hydrothermal method. Silk nanofibers as templates and carbon precursors first regulate the formation of hollow Fe2O3 microspheres and then they are converted into carbon by a reduction process into Fe3O4. This process significantly simplifies the fabrication and carbon coating processes to form complex hollow structures. When tested as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, these hollow carbon-coated particles exhibit high capacity (900 mAh g(-1)), excellent cycle stability (180 cycles) and rate performance due to their unique hierarchical hollow structure and carbon coating. PMID:25706314

  14. Silk-regulated hierarchical hollow magnetite/carbon nanocomposite spheroids for lithium-ion battery anodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheng, Weiqin; Zhu, Guobin; Kaplan, David L.; Cao, Chuanbao; Zhu, Hesun; Lu, Qiang

    2015-03-01

    Hierarchical olive-like structured carbon-Fe3O4 nanocomposite particles composed of a hollow interior and a carbon coated surface are prepared by a facile, silk protein-assisted hydrothermal method. Silk nanofibers as templates and carbon precursors first regulate the formation of hollow Fe2O3 microspheres and then they are converted into carbon by a reduction process into Fe3O4. This process significantly simplifies the fabrication and carbon coating processes to form complex hollow structures. When tested as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, these hollow carbon-coated particles exhibit high capacity (900 mAh g-1), excellent cycle stability (180 cycles) and rate performance due to their unique hierarchical hollow structure and carbon coating.

  15. Physical and biological regulation of neuron regenerative growth and network formation on recombinant dragline silks.

    PubMed

    An, Bo; Tang-Schomer, Min D; Huang, Wenwen; He, Jiuyang; Jones, Justin A; Lewis, Randolph V; Kaplan, David L

    2015-04-01

    Recombinant spider silks produced in transgenic goat milk were studied as cell culture matrices for neuronal growth. Major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) supported neuronal growth, axon extension and network connectivity, with cell morphology comparable to the gold standard poly-lysine. In addition, neurons growing on MaSp1 films had increased neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) expression at both mRNA and protein levels. The results indicate that MaSp1 films present useful surface charge and substrate stiffness to support the growth of primary rat cortical neurons. Moreover, a putative neuron-specific surface binding sequence GRGGL within MaSp1 may contribute to the biological regulation of neuron growth. These findings indicate that MaSp1 could regulate neuron growth through its physical and biological features. This dual regulation mode of MaSp1 could provide an alternative strategy for generating functional silk materials for neural tissue engineering. PMID:25701039

  16. Silk-Based Injectable Biomaterial as an Alternative to Cervical Cerclage

    PubMed Central

    Heard, Asha J.; Socrate, Simona; Burke, Kelly A.; Norwitz, Errol R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: New therapies to prevent preterm birth are needed. Our objective was to study an injectable biomaterial for human cervical tissue as an alternative to cervical cerclage. Study Design: Human cervical tissue specimens were obtained from premenopausal gynecological hysterectomies for benign indications. A 3-part biomaterial was formulated, consisting of silk protein solution blended with a 2-part polyethylene glycol gelation system. The solutions were injected into cervical tissue and the tissue was evaluated for mechanical properties, swelling, cytocompatibility, and histology. Results: The stiffness of cervical tissue more than doubled after injection (P = .02). Swelling properties of injected tissue were no different than native tissue controls. Cervical fibroblasts remained viable for at least 48 hours when cultured on the biomaterial. Conclusions: We report a silk-based, biocompatible, injectable biomaterial that increased the stiffness of cervical tissue compared to uninjected controls. Animal studies are needed to assess this biomaterial in vivo. PMID:23271162

  17. Silk Reconstitution Disrupts Fibroin Self-Assembly.

    PubMed

    Koebley, Sean R; Thorpe, Daniel; Pang, Pei; Chrisochoides, Panos; Greving, Imke; Vollrath, Fritz; Schniepp, Hannes C

    2015-09-14

    Using atomic force microscopy, we present the first molecular-scale comparison of two of the most important silk dopes, native (NSF) and reconstituted (RSF) silkworm fibroin. We found that both systems depended on shear to show self-assembly. Significant differences in the nature of self-assembly between NSF and RSF were shown. In the highest studied concentration of 1000 mg/L, NSF exhibited assembly into 20-30 nm-wide nanofibrils closely resembling the surface structures found in natural silk fibers. RSF, in contrast, showed no self-assembly whatsoever at the same concentration, which suggests that the reconstitution process significantly disrupts silk's inherent self-assembly capability. At lower concentrations, both RSF and NSF formed fibrils under shear, apparently denatured by the substrate. Using image analysis, we quantified the properties of these self-assembled fibrils as a function of concentration and found low-concentration fibrils of NSF to form larger continuous structures than those of RSF, further supporting NSF's superior self-assembly capabilities. PMID:26284914

  18. Templated Native Silk Smectic Gels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, Hyoung-Joon (Inventor); Park, Jae-Hyung (Inventor); Valluzzi, Regina (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    One aspect of the present invention relates to a method of preparing a fibrous protein smectic hydrogel by way of a solvent templating process, comprising the steps of pouring an aqueous fibrous protein solution into a container comprising a solvent that is not miscible with water; sealing the container and allowing it to age at about room temperature; and collecting the resulting fibrous protein smectic hydrogel and allowing it to dry. Another aspect of the present invention relates to a method of obtaining predominantly one enantiomer from a racemic mixture, comprising the steps of pouring an aqueous fibrous protein solution into a container comprising a solvent that is not miscible with water; sealing the container and allowing it to age at about room temperature; allowing the enantiomers of racemic mixture to diffuse selectively into the smectic hydrogel in solution; removing the smectic hydrogel from the solution; rinsing predominantly one enantiomer from the surface of the smectic hydrogel; and extracting predominantly one enantiomer from the interior of the smectic hydrogel. The present invention also relates to a smectic hydrogel prepared according to an aforementioned method.

  19. Templated native silk smectic gels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jin, Hyoung-Joon (Inventor); Park, Jae-Hyung (Inventor); Valluzzi, Regina (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    One aspect of the present invention relates to a method of preparing a fibrous protein smectic hydrogel by way of a solvent templating process, comprising the steps of pouring an aqueous fibrous protein solution into a container comprising a solvent that is not miscible with water; sealing the container and allowing it to age at about room temperature; and collecting the resulting fibrous protein smectic hydrogel and allowing it to dry. Another aspect of the present invention relates to a method of obtaining predominantly one enantiomer from a racemic mixture, comprising the steps of pouring an aqueous fibrous protein solution into a container comprising a solvent that is not miscible with water; sealing the container and allowing it to age at about room temperature; allowing the enantiomers of racemic mixture to diffuse selectively into the smectic hydrogel in solution; removing the smectic hydrogel from the solution; rinsing predominantly one enantiomer from the surface of the smectic hydrogel; and extracting predominantly one enantiomer from the interior of the smectic hydrogel. The present invention also relates to a smectic hydrogel prepared according to an aforementioned method.

  20. Signature change events: A challenge for quantum gravity? Silke Weinfurtner

    E-print Network

    Visser, Matt

    Signature change events: A challenge for quantum gravity? By Silke Weinfurtner in collaboration with Angela White Matt Visser #12;Signature change events: A challenge for quantum gravity? By Silke-Planckian beats signature? Signature change events: A challenge for quantum gravity? Motivation from Emergent

  1. Visual Literacy with Picture Books: The Silk Road

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisland, Beverly Milner Lee

    2007-01-01

    The ancient Silk Routes connecting China to Europe across the rugged mountains and deserts of central Asia are one of the primary examples of transculturation in world history. Traders on these routes dealt not only in goods such as silk and horses but also made possible the spread of art forms as well as two major religions, Buddhism and Islam. …

  2. Geographic Perspectives with Elementary Students: The Silk Road

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisland, Beverly Milner

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate elementary students' explanations of how physical features of the land influence the location of humanly defined structures including trade routes, such as the silk routes. The silk routes were a series of caravan trade routes that extended from Turkey to China and were located as far south as India and…

  3. Transgenic phenolic production in corn silks moderately enhances insect resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some phenolic compounds produced in corn silks, such as maysin, can promote resistance to caterpillar pests. We evaluated transgenic maize engineered to express a maize cDNA controlled by a putative silk specific promoter for secondary metabolite production and corn earworm resistance. Transgene e...

  4. INTRODUCTION Most spiders spin a variety of different silks that are utilized for

    E-print Network

    Agnarsson, Ingi

    ecological functions (Blackledge and Hayashi, 2006). Dragline silk, produced from major ampullate silk glands is supercontraction? Persistent versus cyclic responses to humidity in spider dragline silk Todd A. Blackledge1-mail: blackledge@uakron.edu) Accepted 15 April 2009 SUMMARY Spider dragline silk has enormous potential for the

  5. Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement Analysis of a Large Anonymous Online

    E-print Network

    Sadeh, Norman M.

    Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement Analysis of a Large Anonymous Online Marketplace Nicolas analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service a detailed picture of the type of goods sold on Silk Road, and of the revenues made both by sellers and Silk

  6. Adult spiders use tougher silk: ontogenetic changes in web architecture and silk biomechanics in the orb-weaver spider

    E-print Network

    Agnarsson, Ingi

    Adult spiders use tougher silk: ontogenetic changes in web architecture and silk biomechanics in the orb-weaver spider A. T. Sensenig1 , I. Agnarsson2 & T. A. Blackledge3 1 Department of Biology, Tabor and is often accompanied by dramatic shifts in foraging strategies and hence food resources. Orb-weaver spiders

  7. Multifunctionalized electrospun silk fibers promote axon regeneration in central nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Wittmer, Corinne R.; Claudepierre, Thomas; Reber, Michael; Wiedemann, Peter; Garlick, Jonathan A.; Kaplan, David

    2012-01-01

    The repair of central nerves remains a major challenge in regenerative neurobiology. Regenerative guides possessing critical features such as cell adhesion, physical guiding and topical stimulation are needed. To generate such a guide, silk protein materials are prepared using electrospinning. The silk is selected for this study due to its biocompatibility and ability to be electrospun for the formation of aligned biofunctional nanofibers. The addition of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor (CNTF) or both to the electrospun fibers enable enhanced function without impact to the structure or the surface morphology. Only a small fraction of the loaded growth factors is released over time allowing the fibers to continue to provide these factors to the cells for extended periods of time. The entrapped factors remain active and available to the cells as rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) exhibit longer axonal growth when in contact with the biofunctionalized fibers. Compare to non-functionalized fibers, the growth of neurites increased 2 fold on fibers containing BDNF, 2.5 fold with fibers containing CNTF and by almost 3-fold on fibers containing both factors. The results demonstrate the potential of aligned and functionalized electrospun silk fibers to promote nerve growth in the central nervous system, underlying the great potential of complex biomaterials in neuroregenerative strategies following axotomy and nerve crush traumas. PMID:22844266

  8. Tailoring the properties and functions of phosphate/silk/Ag/chitosan scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Fattah, Wafa I; Sallam, Abdel Sattar M; Diab, A M; Ali, Ghareib W

    2015-09-01

    Two novel silk composites of phosphatic phases with nanosilver/chitosan having enhanced biocompatibility were achieved. Hydroxyapatite and octa calcium phosphates were synthesized in situ within silk fibroin/chitosan/nanosilver composites recently studied. Thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) verified their thermal behavior. The structural aspects were characterized applying X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) with EDAX. Additionally X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were applied. Mercury porosimeter was used to verify the pore size distribution. The in vitro degradation was followed in D-MEM for 48 h in a cumulative manner for five successive periods. Biochemical analyses of Ca, P and total protein using relevant chemical kits and atomic absorption for silver were performed. ANOVA statistics was carried out. Phosphatic crystalline phases along with the presence of silk, chitosan and nano-silver were developed. The diameters of hydroxyapatite and octa calcium phosphate particles were ~8-17 nm and 15-22 nm respectively. Comparatively higher degradation of Octa composite possessing higher porosity proved in turn more osteoinduction with in situ apatitic development. PMID:26046279

  9. Sequence-structure correlations in silk: Poly-Ala repeat of N. clavipes MaSp1 is naturally optimized at a critical length scale.

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-03-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms many known materials in terms of its mechanical performance despite being constructed from simple and inferior building blocks. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies in particular under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. Here we report atomistic-level structures of the MaSp1 protein from the Nephila Clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) and explicit water molecular dynamics. We apply this method to study the effects of a systematic variation of the poly-alanine repeat lengths, a parameter controlled by the genetic makeup of silk, on the resulting molecular structure of silk at the nanoscale. Confirming earlier experimental and computational work, a structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly ?-sheet crystal domains while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 3(10)-helix type structures and ?-turns. Our predictions are directly validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots combined with an analysis of the secondary structure content. The key result of our study is our finding of a strong dependence of the resulting silk nanostructure depending on the poly-alanine length. We observe that the wildtype poly-alanine repeat length of six residues defines a critical minimum length that consistently results in clearly defined ?-sheet nanocrystals. For poly-alanine lengths below six, the ?-sheet nanocrystals are not well-defined or not visible at all, while for poly-alanine lengths at and above six, the characteristic nanocomposite structure of silk emerges with no significant improvement of the quality of the ?-sheet nanocrystal geometry. We present a simple biophysical model that explains these computational observations based on the mechanistic insight gained from the molecular simulations. Our findings set the stage for understanding how variations in the spidroin sequence can be used to engineer the structure and thereby functional properties of this biological superfiber, and present a design strategy for the genetic optimization of spidroins for enhanced mechanical properties. The approach used here may also find application in the design of other self-assembled molecular structures and fibers and in particular biologically inspired or completely synthetic systems. PMID:22340682

  10. Electricity from the Silk Cocoon Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tulachan, Brindan; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Rai, Ratan Kumar; Mallick, Chandrakant; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Teotia, Arun Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Sinha, Neeraj; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2014-06-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraea mylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management.

  11. The effect of steam sterilization on recombinant spider silk particles.

    PubMed

    Lucke, Matthias; Winter, Gerhard; Engert, Julia

    2015-03-15

    In this work, the recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(C16) was used to fabricate particles in the submicron range using a micromixing method. Furthermore, particles in the micrometer range were produced using an ultrasonic atomizer system. Both particle species were manufactured by an all-aqueous process. The submicroparticles were 332 nm in average diameter, whereas 6.70 ?m was the median size of the microparticles. Both particle groups showed a spherical shape and exhibited high ?-sheet content in secondary structure. Submicro- and microparticles were subsequently steam sterilized and investigated with respect to particle size, secondary structure and thermal stability. Sterilization temperature and time were increased to assess the thermal stability of eADF4(C16) particles. Actually, particles remained stable and their properties did not change even after autoclaving at 134°C. Both, the untreated and the autoclaved submicroparticles showed no overt cytotoxicity on human dermal fibroblasts after incubation for 72 h. The eADF4(C16) particles were already loaded with proteins and small molecules in previous studies. With that, we can provide a highly promising parenteral drug delivery system based on a defined polypeptide carrier, manufactured with an all-aqueous process and being fully sterilizable. PMID:25596418

  12. Nanofeatured silk fibroin membranes for dermal wound healing applications.

    PubMed

    Karahalilo?lu, Zeynep; Ercan, Batur; Denkba?, Emir B; Webster, Thomas J

    2015-01-01

    As an effort to create the next generation of improved skin graft materials, in this study, we modified the surfaces of a previously investigated material, silk fibroin, using a NaOH alkaline treatment to obtain a biologically inspired nanofeatured surface morphology. Such surfaces were characterized for roughness, energy, and chemistry. In addition, keratinocyte (skin-forming cells) adhesion and proliferation on such nanofeatured silk fibroin wound dressings were studied in an initial attempt to determine the promotion of an epidermal cover on the wound bed to form a new epidermal barrier. Dermal fibroblast adhesion and proliferation were also studied to assess the ability of nanostructured silk fibroin to replace damaged dermal tissue in chronic wounds (i.e., for diabetic foot ulcers). Results demonstrated for the first time that keratinocyte and fibroblast cell density was greater on nanofeatured silk fibroin membranes compared with non-treated silk fibroin surfaces. The enhancement in cellular functions was correlated with an increase in silk surface nanotopography, wettability and change in chemistry after NaOH treatment. Due to the present promising results, the newly developed nanofeatured silk fibroin membranes are exciting alternative skin graft materials which should be further studied for various skin patch and wound dressing applications. PMID:24616219

  13. Multilayered silk scaffolds for meniscus tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Biman B.; Park, Sang-Hyug; Gil, Eun Seok

    2010-01-01

    Removal of injured/damaged meniscus, a vital fibrocartilaginous load-bearing tissue, impairs normal knee function and predisposes patients to osteoarthritis. Meniscus tissue engineering solution is one option to improve outcomes and relieve pain. In an attempt to fabricate knee meniscus grafts three layered wedge shaped silk meniscal scaffold system was engineered to mimic native meniscus architecture. The scaffolds were seeded with human fibroblasts (outside) and chondrocytes (inside) in a spatial separated mode similar to native tissue, in order to generate meniscus-like tissue in vitro. In chondrogenic culture in the presence of TGF-b3, cell seeded constructs increased in cellularity and extracellular matrix (ECM) content. Histology and Immunohistochemistry confirmed maintenance of chondrocytic phenotype with higher levels of sulphated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) and collagen types I and II. Improved scaffold mechanical properties along with ECM alignment with time in culture suggest this multiporous silk construct as a useful micro-patterned template for directed tissue growth with respect to form and function of meniscus-like tissue. PMID:20926132

  14. Silk Fibroin as an Organic Polymer for Controlled Drug Delivery

    SciTech Connect

    Hofmann,S.; Wong Po Foo, C.; Rossetti, F.; Textor, M.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.; Merkle, H.; Meinel, L.

    2006-01-01

    The pharmaceutical utility of silk fibroin (SF) materials for drug delivery was investigated. SF films were prepared from aqueous solutions of the fibroin protein polymer and crystallinity was induced and controlled by methanol treatment. Dextrans of different molecular weights, as well as proteins, were physically entrapped into the drug delivery device during processing into films. Drug release kinetics were evaluated as a function of dextran molecular weight, and film crystallinity. Treatment with methanol resulted in an increase in {beta}-sheet structure, an increase in crystallinity and an increase in film surface hydrophobicity determined by FTIR, X-ray and contact angle techniques, respectively. The increase in crystallinity resulted in the sustained release of dextrans of molecular weights ranging from 4 to 40 kDa, whereas for less crystalline films sustained release was confined to the 40 kDa dextran. Protein release from the films was studied with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and lysozyme (Lys) as model compounds. Enzyme release from the less crystalline films resulted in a biphasic release pattern, characterized by an initial release within the first 36 h, followed by a lag phase and continuous release between days 3 and 11. No initial burst was observed for films with higher crystallinity and subsequent release patterns followed linear kinetics for HRP, or no substantial release for Lys. In conclusion, SF is an interesting polymer for drug delivery of polysaccharides and bioactive proteins due to the controllable level of crystallinity and the ability to process the biomaterial in biocompatible fashion under ambient conditions to avoid damage to labile compounds to be delivered.

  15. Synthesis, Characterization, and Secondary Structure Determination of a Silk-Inspired, Self-Assembling Peptide: A Laboratory Exercise for Organic and Biochemistry Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albin, Tyler J.; Fry, Melany M.; Murphy, Amanda R.

    2014-01-01

    This laboratory experiment gives upper-division organic or biochemistry undergraduate students a comprehensive look at the synthesis, chemical characterization, self-assembly, and secondary structure determination of small, N-acylated peptides inspired by the protein structure of silkworm silk. All experiments can be completed in one 4 h lab…

  16. Immobilized Lentivirus Vector on Chondroitin Sulfate-Hyaluronate Acid-Silk Fibroin Hybrid Scaffold for Tissue-Engineered Ligament-Bone Junction

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Liguo; Li, Hongguo; Qu, Ling; Zhu, Rui; Fan, Xiangli; Xue, Yingsen; Xie, Zhenghong; Fan, Hongbin

    2014-01-01

    The lack of a fibrocartilage layer between graft and bone remains the leading cause of graft failure after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The objective of this study was to develop a gene-modified silk cable-reinforced chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronate acid-silk fibroin (CHS) hybrid scaffold for reconstructing the fibrocartilage layer. The scaffold was fabricated by lyophilizing the CHS mixture with braided silk cables. The scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) showed that microporous CHS sponges were formed around silk cables. Each end of scaffold was modified with lentiviral-mediated transforming growth factor-?3 (TGF-?3) gene. The cells on scaffold were transfected by bonded lentivirus. In vitro culture demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on scaffolds proliferated vigorously and produced abundant collagen. The transcription levels of cartilage-specific genes also increased with culture time. After 2 weeks, the MSCs were distributed uniformly throughout scaffold. Deposited collagen was also found to increase. The chondral differentiation of MSCs was verified by expressions of collagen II and TGF-?3 genes in mRNA and protein level. Histology also confirmed the production of cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) components. The results demonstrated that gene-modified silk cable-reinforced CHS scaffold was capable of supporting cell proliferation and differentiation to reconstruct the cartilage layer of interface. PMID:25019087

  17. Synthesis and characterization of silk-inspired thermoplastic polyurethane elastomers

    E-print Network

    Pollock, Gregory S

    2005-01-01

    Segmented polyurethane elastomers containing additional ordered structures within the hard or soft domains were developed to mimic the hierarchical structure and superior properties observed in spider silk fibers. The ...

  18. VIEW ALONG SEVENTEENTH STREET. NOTE THE MATURE SILK OAK TREES ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW ALONG SEVENTEENTH STREET. NOTE THE MATURE SILK OAK TREES LINING THE STREET, WHICH DO NOT PROVIDE A CANOPY VIEW FACING NORTHWEST. - Hickam Field, Hickam Historic Housing, Honolulu, Honolulu County, HI

  19. Mechanical behaviour and formation process of silkworm silk gut.

    PubMed

    Cenis, José L; Madurga, Rodrigo; Aznar-Cervantes, Salvador D; Lozano-Pérez, A Abel; Marí-Buyé, Núria; Meseguer-Olmo, Luis; Plaza, Gustavo R; Guinea, Gustavo V; Elices, Manuel; Del Pozo, Francisco; Pérez-Rigueiro, José

    2015-11-17

    High performance silk fibers were produced directly from the silk glands of silkworms (Bombyx mori) following an alternative route to natural spinning. This route is based on a traditional procedure that consists of soaking the silk glands in a vinegar solution and stretching them by hand leading to the so called silkworm guts. Here we present, to the authors' best knowledge, the first comprehensive study on the formation, properties and microstructure of silkworm gut fibers. Comparison of the tensile properties and microstructural organization of the silkworm guts with those of naturally spun fibers allows gain of a deeper insight into the mechanisms that lead to the formation of the fiber, as well as the relationship between the microstructure and properties of these materials. In this regard, it is proved that an acidic environment and subsequent application of tensile stress in the range of 1000 kPa are sufficient conditions for the formation of a silk fiber. PMID:26403149

  20. Introduction Spider silk is an inspiration for biomimetic super fibers

    E-print Network

    Blackledge, Todd

    ). Molecular biologists are increasing the known diversity of genes that code for a variety of spider silk fibers from liquid dope has been studied from both morphological and functional perspectives (Garrido et

  1. Silk fibroin and polyethylene glycol-based biocompatible tissue adhesives.

    PubMed

    Serban, Monica A; Panilaitis, Bruce; Kaplan, David L

    2011-09-15

    Tissue sealants have emerged in recent years as strong candidates for hemostasis. A variety of formulations are currently commercially available and though they satisfy many of the markets' needs there are still key aspects of each that need improvement. Here we present a new class of blends, based on silk fibroin and chemically active polyethylene glycols (PEGs) with strong adhesive properties. These materials are cytocompatible, crosslink within seconds via chemical reaction between thiols and maleimides present on the constituent PEGs and have the potential to further stabilize through ?-sheet formation by silk. Based on the silk concentration in the final formulation, the adhesive properties of these materials are comparable or better than the current leading PEG-based sealant. In addition, the silk-PEG based materials show decreased swelling and longer degradation times. Such properties would make them suitable for applications for which the current sealants are contraindicated. PMID:21681949

  2. Silk fibroin and polyethylene glycol-based biocompatible tissue adhesives

    PubMed Central

    Serban, Monica A.; Panilaitis, Bruce; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Tissue sealants have emerged in recent years as strong candidates for hemostasis. A variety of formulations are currently commercially available and though they satisfy many of the markets’ needs there are still key aspects of each that need improvement. Here we present a new class of blends, based on silk fibroin and chemically active polyethylene glycols (PEGs) with strong adhesive properties. These materials are cytocompatible, crosslink within seconds via chemical reaction between thiols and maleimides present on the constituent PEGs and have the potential to further stabilize through ?-sheet formation by silk. Based on the silk concentration in the final formulation, the adhesive properties of these materials are comparable or better than the current leading PEG-based sealant. In addition, the silk-PEG based materials show decreased swelling and longer degradation times. Such properties would make them suitable for applications for which the current sealants are contraindicated. PMID:21681949

  3. Amorphous Silk Fibroin Membranes for Separation of CO2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aberg, Christopher M.; Patel, Anand K.; Gil, Eun Seok; Spontak, Richard J.; Hagg, May-Britt

    2009-01-01

    Amorphous silk fibroin has shown promise as a polymeric material derivable from natural sources for making membranes for use in removing CO2 from mixed-gas streams. For most applications of silk fibroin, for purposes other than gas separation, this material is used in its highly crystalline, nearly natural form because this form has uncommonly high tensile strength. However, the crystalline phase of silk fibroin is impermeable, making it necessary to convert the material to amorphous form to obtain the high permeability needed for gas separation. Accordingly, one aspect of the present development is a process for generating amorphous silk fibroin by treating native silk fibroin in an aqueous methanol/salt solution. The resulting material remains self-standing and can be prepared as thin film suitable for permeation testing. The permeability of this material by pure CO2 has been found to be highly improved, and its mixed-gas permeability has been found to exceed the mixed-gas permeabilities of several ultrahigh-CO2-permeable synthetic polymers. Only one of the synthetic polymers poly(trimethylsilylpropyne) [PTMSP] may be more highly permeable by CO2. PTMSP becomes unstable with time, whereas amorphous silk should not, although at the time of this reporting this has not been conclusively proven.

  4. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  5. Clinical Outcomes of Silk Patch in Acute Tympanic Membrane Perforation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jun Ho; Lee, Joong Seob; Kim, Dong-Kyu

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The silk patch is a thin transparent patch that is produced from silk fibroin. In this study, we investigated the treatment effects of the silk patch in patients with traumatic tympanic membrane perforation (TTMP). Methods The closure rate, otorrhea rate, and closure time in all patients and the closure time in successful patients were compared between the paper patch and silk patch groups. Results Demographic data (gender, site, age, traumatic duration, preoperative air-bone gap, and perforation size and location) were not significantly different between the two groups. The closure rate and otorrhea rate were not significantly different between the two groups. However, the closure time was different between the two groups (closure time of all patients, P=0.031; closure time of successful patients, P=0.037). Conclusion The silk patch which has transparent, elastic, adhesive, and hyper-keratinizing properties results in a more efficient closure time than the paper patch in the treatment of TTMP patients. We therefore believe that the silk patch should be recommended for the treatment of acute tympanic membrane perforation. PMID:26045909

  6. Silk Fiber Mechanics from Multiscale Force Distribution Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Cetinkaya, Murat; Xiao, Senbo; Markert, Bernd; Stacklies, Wolfram; Gräter, Frauke

    2011-01-01

    Here we decipher the molecular determinants for the extreme toughness of spider silk fibers. Our bottom-up computational approach incorporates molecular dynamics and finite element simulations. Therefore, the approach allows the analysis of the internal strain distribution and load-carrying motifs in silk fibers on scales of both molecular and continuum mechanics. We thereby dissect the contributions from the nanoscale building blocks, the soft amorphous and the strong crystalline subunits, to silk fiber mechanics. We identify the amorphous subunits not only to give rise to high elasticity, but to also ensure efficient stress homogenization through the friction between entangled chains, which also allows the crystals to withstand stresses as high as 2 GPa in the context of the amorphous matrix. We show that the maximal toughness of silk is achieved at 10–40% crystallinity depending on the distribution of crystals in the fiber. We also determined a serial arrangement of the crystalline and amorphous subunits in lamellae to outperform a random or a parallel arrangement, putting forward what we believe to be a new structural model for silk and other semicrystalline materials. The multiscale approach, not requiring any empirical parameters, is applicable to other partially ordered polymeric systems. Hence, it is an efficient tool for the design of artificial silk fibers. PMID:21354403

  7. Laminar silk scaffolds for aligned tissue fabrication

    PubMed Central

    Mandal, Biman B.; Gil, Eun Seok; Panilaitis, Bruce; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    3D biomaterial scaffolds with aligned architecture are of vital importance in tissue regeneration to mimic native tissue hierarchy and hence function. We demonstrate a generic method to produce aligned biomaterial scaffolds using the physics of directional ice freezing. Homogeneously aligned 3D silk scaffold with high porosity and alignment was demonstrated. The method can be adapted to a wide range of polymers and is devoid of any chemical reactions, thus avoiding potential complications associated with by-products and purification procedures. Subsequently, the 3D aligned system was tested for mechanical properties and cellular responses with chondrocytes and bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells, assessing survival, proliferation and differentiation. In vivo tests suggested biocompatibility of the matrices for future tissue engineering applications, specifically in areas where high cellular alignment is needed. PMID:23161731

  8. Electricity from the Silk Cocoon Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Tulachan, Brindan; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Rai, Ratan Kumar; Mallick, Chandrakant; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Teotia, Arun Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Sinha, Neeraj; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2014-01-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraea mylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management. PMID:24961354

  9. Electricity from the silk cocoon membrane.

    PubMed

    Tulachan, Brindan; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Rai, Ratan Kumar; Mallick, Chandrakant; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Teotia, Arun Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Sinha, Neeraj; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2014-01-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraea mylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management. PMID:24961354

  10. Comparative evaluation of in vivo biocompatibility and biodegradability of regenerated silk scaffolds reinforced with/without natural silk fibers.

    PubMed

    Mobini, Sahba; Taghizadeh-Jahed, Masoud; Khanmohammadi, Manijeh; Moshiri, Ali; Naderi, Mohammad-Mehdi; Heidari-Vala, Hamed; Ashrafi Helan, Javad; Khanjani, Sayeh; Springer, Armin; Akhondi, Mohammad-Mehdi; Kazemnejad, Somaieh

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays, exceptional advantages of silk fibroin over synthetic and natural polymers have impelled the scientists to application of this biomaterial for tissue engineering purposes. Recently, we showed that embedding natural degummed silk fibers in regenerated Bombyx mori silk-based scaffold significantly increases the mechanical stiffness, while the porosity of the scaffolds remains the same. In the present study, we evaluated degradation rate, biocompatibility and regenerative properties of the regenerated 2% and 4% wt silk-based composite scaffolds with or without embedded natural degummed silk fibers within 90 days in both athymic nude and wild-type C57BL/6 mice through subcutaneous implantation. In all scaffolds, a suitable interconnected porous structure for cell penetration was seen under scanning electron microscopy. Compressive tests revealed a functional relationship between fiber reinforcement and compressive modulus. In addition, the fiber/fibroin composite scaffolds support cell attachment and proliferation. On days 30 to 90 after subcutaneous implantation, the retrieved tissues were examined via gross morphology, histopathology, immunofluorescence staining and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction as shown in Figure 1. Results showed that embedding the silk fibers within the matrix enhances the biodegradability of the matrix resulting in replacement of the composite scaffolds with the fresh connective tissue. Fortification of the composites with degummed fibers not only regulates the degradation profile but also increases the mechanical performance of the scaffolds. This report also confirmed that pore size and structure play an important role in the degradation rate. In conclusion, the findings of the present study narrate key role of additional surface area in improving in vitro and in vivo biological properties of the scaffolds and suggest the potential ability of these fabricated composite scaffolds for connective tissue regeneration. spjba;30/6/793/FIG10885328215601925F1fig1-0885328215601925Figure 1.Illustrative summary of the main methods and findings.RS: regenerated silk; RSF: regenerated fibroin/ silk fiber composite scaffolds; H&E: Hematoxylin and eosin; COX-1: Cyclooxygenase. PMID:26475850

  11. Dual Thermosensitive Hydrogels Assembled from the Conserved C-Terminal Domain of Spider Dragline Silk.

    PubMed

    Qian, Zhi-Gang; Zhou, Ming-Liang; Song, Wen-Wen; Xia, Xiao-Xia

    2015-11-01

    Stimuli-responsive hydrogels have great potentials in biomedical and biotechnological applications. Due to the advantages of precise control over molecular weight and being biodegradable, protein-based hydrogels and their applications have been extensively studied. However, protein hydrogels with dual thermosensitive properties are rarely reported. Here we present the first report of dual thermosensitive hydrogels assembled from the conserved C-terminal domain of spider dragline silk. First, we found that recombinant C-terminal domain of major ampullate spidroin 1 (MaSp1) of the spider Nephila clavipes formed hydrogels when cooled to approximately 2 °C or heated to 65 °C. The conformational changes and self-assembly of the recombinant protein were studied to understand the mechanism of the gelation processes using multiple methods. It was proposed that the gelation in the low-temperature regime was dominated by hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interaction between folded protein molecules, whereas the gelation in the high-temperature regime was due to cross-linking of the exposed hydrophobic patches resulting from partial unfolding of the protein upon heating. More interestingly, genetic fusion of the C-terminal domain to a short repetitive region of N. clavipes MaSp1 resulted in a chimeric protein that formed a hydrogel with significantly improved mechanical properties at low temperatures between 2 and 10 °C. Furthermore, the formation of similar hydrogels was observed for the recombinant C-terminal domains of dragline silk of different spider species, thus demonstrating the conserved ability to form dual thermosensitive hydrogels. These findings may be useful in the design and construction of novel protein hydrogels with tunable multiple thermosensitivity for applications in the future. PMID:26457360

  12. Genetic Mystery of Behcet's Disease Unfolds Along the Ancient Silk Road

    MedlinePLUS

    ... mystery of Behcet’s disease unfolds along the ancient Silk Road NIH researchers identify new gene variants associated with ... found predominantly in people with ancestors along the Silk Road. For nearly 2,000 years, traders used this ...

  13. The Silk Road, Marco Polo, a Bible and its proteome: a detective story.

    PubMed

    Toniolo, Lucia; D'Amato, Alfonsina; Saccenti, Riccardo; Gulotta, Davide; Righetti, Pier Giorgio

    2012-06-18

    Around the end of XIII century (at the time of young Marco Polo's first trip to China at the court of Khubilai Khan in Khan Baliq) a pocket Bible was delivered by a Franciscan friar to the Mogul Emperor, in the framework of the evangelization program of the Far East. Four centuries later, in 1685, this Bible was rediscovered by the Jesuit Philippe Couplet in the house of a rich Chinese in Nanchin and donated to Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. This Bible was recently "unearthed" in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, wrapped up in a precious yellow silk cloth, in a rather ruined state. After two years of restoration, the Bible will return to China in 2012 for a celebration of its >700years of life and of its remarkable return trip on the Silk Road. On account of the thinness of the parchment (barely 80?m thickness, the size of each foil being 16.5×11cm) it was widely held that the pages were produced from foetal lambskins. On tiny fragments of the margins of a foil, after several unsuccessful attempts at digesting the vellum, we were able to obtain a tryptic peptide mixture, which, upon mass spectrometry analysis, yielded the identity of 8 unique proteins, belonging to the genus Bos taurus, thus confirming the origin of the vellum from calfskins rather than from foetal lambskins. Our results prove that it is possible to obtain reliable protein extraction and IDs from ancient parchment documents. PMID:22504796

  14. Tough silk fibers prepared in air using a biomimetic microfluidic chip.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jie; Zhang, Lele; Peng, Qingfa; Sun, Mengjie; Zhang, Yaopeng; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2014-05-01

    Microfluidic chips with single channel were built to mimic the shear and elongation conditions in the spinning apparatus of spider and silkworm. Silk fibers dry-spun from regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) aqueous solution using the chip could be tougher than degummed natural silk. The artificial silk exhibited a breaking strength up to 614 MPa, a breaking elongation up to 27% and a breaking energy of 101 kJ/kg. PMID:24613677

  15. Seljuk Muqarnas along the Silk Road Harmsen, Silvia and Jungblut, Daniel and Krmker, Susanne

    E-print Network

    Gertz, Michael

    Seljuk Muqarnas along the Silk Road Harmsen, Silvia and Jungblut, Daniel and Krömker, Susanne URL.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/volltextserver/help/license_pod.html #12;Seljuk Muqarnas along the Silk Road Silvia Harmsen, Daniel Jungblut, Susanne Kr¨omker September 2007 Abstract The film Seljuk Muqarnas along the Silk Road gives an overview of muqarnas, stalactite

  16. Research Journal Highlights The silk road to bio-integrated electronics

    E-print Network

    Rogers, John A.

    Research Journal Highlights The silk road to bio-integrated electronics Nature Materials, April 19 Mutations confer increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer (Nature Genetics) · 19 Apr The silk road to bio rights reserved. Page 1 of 1The silk road to bio-integrated electronics (Nature Materials): NPG Nature

  17. The Silk Roads. Mathematical model. A.S.Malkov, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow, Russia

    E-print Network

    White, Douglas R.

    The Silk Roads. Mathematical model. A.S.Malkov, Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Moscow. The dynamics of the Silk Roads is described by means of formal spatial equations. Historical data conveys the facts that the location of the trade routes known as the Silk Roads altered profoundly enough from epoch

  18. Elastomeric Network Models for the Frame and Viscid Silks from the Orb Web

    E-print Network

    Denny, Mark

    Chapter 27 Elastomeric Network Models for the Frame and Viscid Silks from the Orb Web of the Spider of these networks. This paper presents an analysis of frame silk and viscid silk from the orb web of the spider is produced by the major ampullate gland and is used to form the frame of the orb web, as well as the radii

  19. Zoology 112 (2009) 325331 Supercontraction forces in spider dragline silk depend on hydration rate

    E-print Network

    Agnarsson, Ingi

    2009-01-01

    ZOOLOGY Zoology 112 (2009) 325­331 Supercontraction forces in spider dragline silk depend November 2008 Abstract Spider dragline silk is a model biological polymer for biomimetic research due rapidly supercontracted fibers, as shown by thermogravimetric analysis. This suggests that spider silk

  20. Isolation and characterization of DNA polymerase epsilon from the silk glands of Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Niranjanakumari, S; Gopinathan, K P

    1993-07-25

    The silk gland of Bombyx mori, an endomitotically replicative tissue shows high levels of DNA polymerases alpha, delta, and epsilon activities. The ratio of polymerase alpha to that of delta plus epsilon is maintained at 1.1 to 1.3 in both the posterior and middle silk glands for the entire duration of late larval development. The three activities copurify in the initial stages of fractionation through phosphocellulose and DE52 but polymerase alpha gets resolved from the others on hydroxylapatite column. Separation between polymerase delta and epsilon is achieved by chromatography on QAE-Sephadex. DNA polymerase epsilon is a heterodimer comprising of 215- and 42-kDa subunits. The activity is maximum at pH 6.5 and the Km values for dNTPs vary between 3-9 microM. The enzyme possesses an intrinsically associated exonuclease activity which functions in the mismatch repair during DNA synthesis. Both polymerase and 3'-->5' exonuclease activities are associated with the 215-kDa subunit. By itself, DNA polymerase epsilon is processive and the catalytic activity is not enhanced by externally added bPCNA (Bombyx-proliferating cell nuclear antigen, an auxiliary protein for DNA polymerase delta). The enzyme resembles polymerase delta in having the exonuclease activity and in its response to aphidicolin or substrate analogs, but could be distinguished from the latter by its lack of response to the bPCNA and sensitivity to dimethyl sulfoxide. The two enzymes show partial immunological cross-reactivity with each other but no immunological relatedness to polymerase alpha. The absence of the repair enzyme DNA polymerase beta and the presence of substantial levels of polymerase epsilon in the silk glands suggest a possible role for the latter in DNA repair in that tissue. PMID:8101841

  1. 3D multi-channel bi-functionalized silk electrospun conduits for peripheral nerve regeneration.

    PubMed

    Dinis, T M; Elia, R; Vidal, G; Dermigny, Q; Denoeud, C; Kaplan, D L; Egles, C; Marin, F

    2015-01-01

    Despite technological advances over the past 25 years, a complete recovery from peripheral nerve injuries remains unsatisfactory today. The autograft is still considered the "gold standard" in clinical practice; however, postoperative complications and limited availability of nerve tissue have motivated the development of alternative approaches. Among them, the development of biomimetic nerve graft substitutes is one of the most promising strategies. In this study, multichanneled silk electrospun conduits bi-functionalized with Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Ciliary Neurotropic Factor (CNTF) were fabricated to enhance peripheral nerve regeneration. These bioactive guides consisting of longitudinally oriented channels and aligned nanofibers were designed in order to mimic the fascicular architecture and fibrous extracellular matrix found in native nerve. The simple use of the electrospinning technique followed by a manual manipulation to manufacture these conduits provides tailoring of channel number and diameter size to create perineurium-like structures. Functionalization of the silk fibroin nanofiber did not affect its secondary structure and chemical property. ELISA assays showed the absence of growth factors passive release from the functionalized fibers avoiding the topical accumulation of proteins. In addition, our biomimetic multichanneled functionalized nerve guides displayed a mechanical behavior comparable to that of rat sciatic nerve with an ultimate peak stress of 4.0 ± 0.6 MPa and a corresponding elongation at failure of 156.8 ± 46.7%. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time our ability to design and characterize a bi-functionalized nerve conduit consisting of electrospun nanofibers with multichannel oriented and nanofibers aligned for peripheral regeneration. Our bioactive silk tubes thus represent a new and promising technique towards the creation of a biocompatible nerve guidance conduit. PMID:25460402

  2. How Protein Materials Balance Strength, Robustness And Adaptability

    E-print Network

    Buehler, Markus J.

    Proteins form the basis of a wide range of biological materials such as hair, skin, bone, spider silk, or cells, which play an important role in providing key functions to biological systems. The focus of this article is ...

  3. Biodegradable Eri silk nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle for bovine lactoferrin against MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Kislay; Patel, Yogesh S; Kanwar, Rupinder K; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Wang, Xungai; Kanwar, Jagat R

    2016-01-01

    This study used the Eri silk nanoparticles (NPs) for delivering apo-bovine lactoferrin (Apo-bLf) (~2% iron saturated) and Fe-bLf (100% iron saturated) in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf-loaded Eri silk NPs with sizes between 200 and 300 nm (±10 nm) showed a significant internalization within 4 hours in MDA-MB-231 cells when compared to MCF-7 cells. The ex vivo loop assay with chitosan-coated Fe-bLf-loaded silk NPs was able to substantiate its future use in oral administration and showed the maximum absorption within 24 hours by ileum. Both Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf induced increase in expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 and lactoferrin receptor in epidermal growth factor (EGFR)-positive MDA-MB-231 cells, while transferrin receptor (TfR) and TfR2 in MCF-7 cells facilitated the receptor-mediated endocytosis of NPs. Controlled and sustained release of both bLf from silk NPs was shown to induce more cancer-specific cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells compared to normal MCF-10A cells. Due to higher degree of internalization, the extent of cytotoxicity and apoptosis was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 (EGFR+) cells when compared to MCF-7 (EGFR?) cells. The expression of a prominent anticancer target, survivin, was found to be downregulated at both gene and protein levels. Taken together, all the observations suggest the potential use of Eri silk NPs as a delivery vehicle for an anti-cancer milk protein, and indicate bLf for the treatment of breast cancer.

  4. Biodegradable Eri silk nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle for bovine lactoferrin against MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Roy, Kislay; Patel, Yogesh S; Kanwar, Rupinder K; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Wang, Xungai; Kanwar, Jagat R

    2016-01-01

    This study used the Eri silk nanoparticles (NPs) for delivering apo-bovine lactoferrin (Apo-bLf) (~2% iron saturated) and Fe-bLf (100% iron saturated) in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf-loaded Eri silk NPs with sizes between 200 and 300 nm (±10 nm) showed a significant internalization within 4 hours in MDA-MB-231 cells when compared to MCF-7 cells. The ex vivo loop assay with chitosan-coated Fe-bLf-loaded silk NPs was able to substantiate its future use in oral administration and showed the maximum absorption within 24 hours by ileum. Both Apo-bLf and Fe-bLf induced increase in expression of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 and lactoferrin receptor in epidermal growth factor (EGFR)-positive MDA-MB-231 cells, while transferrin receptor (TfR) and TfR2 in MCF-7 cells facilitated the receptor-mediated endocytosis of NPs. Controlled and sustained release of both bLf from silk NPs was shown to induce more cancer-specific cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells compared to normal MCF-10A cells. Due to higher degree of internalization, the extent of cytotoxicity and apoptosis was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 (EGFR+) cells when compared to MCF-7 (EGFR-) cells. The expression of a prominent anticancer target, survivin, was found to be downregulated at both gene and protein levels. Taken together, all the observations suggest the potential use of Eri silk NPs as a delivery vehicle for an anti-cancer milk protein, and indicate bLf for the treatment of breast cancer. PMID:26730188

  5. Peroxidase-catalysed interfacial adhesion of aquatic caddisworm silk.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ching-Shuen; Pan, Huaizhong; Weerasekare, G Mahika; Stewart, Russell J

    2015-11-01

    Casemaker caddisfly (Hesperophylax occidentalis) larvae use adhesive silk fibres to construct protective shelters under water. The silk comprises a distinct peripheral coating on a viscoelastic fibre core. Caddisworm silk peroxinectin (csPxt), a haem-peroxidase, was shown to be glycosylated by lectin affinity chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Using high-resolution H2O2 and peroxidase-dependent silver ion reduction and nanoparticle deposition, imaged by electron microscopy, csPxt activity was shown to be localized in the peripheral layer of drawn silk fibres. CsPxt catalyses dityrosine cross-linking within the adhesive peripheral layer post-draw, initiated perhaps by H2O2 generated by a silk gland-specific superoxide dismutase 3 (csSOD3) from environmental reactive oxygen species present in natural water. CsSOD3 was also shown to be a glycoprotein and is likely localized in the peripheral layer. Using a synthetic fluorescent phenolic copolymer and confocal microscopy, it was shown that csPxt catalyses oxidative cross-linking to external polyphenolic compounds capable of diffusive interpenetration into the fuzzy peripheral coating, including humic acid, a natural surface-active polyphenol. The results provide evidence of enzyme-mediated covalent cross-linking of a natural bioadhesive to polyphenol conditioned interfaces as a mechanism of permanent adhesion underwater. PMID:26490632

  6. Hemocompatibility and cytocompatibility of the hirudin-modified silk fibroin.

    PubMed

    Sun, Dan; Hao, Yunxia; Yang, Gaoqiang; Wang, Jiannan

    2015-04-01

    Hirudin (Hir), a thrombin direct inhibitor, was used to modify a polyethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (PEG-DE) crosslinked regenerated silk fibroin (SF) material to improve hemocompatibility. Hemolysis characteristics, platelet adhesion, platelet activity, and plasma recalcification time were investigated using absorption spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy, MTT analysis, and the time counting method. Hirudin could be grafted evenly to the silk fibroin, and the modified material was resistant to hemolysis at ratios of less than 0.5%. Scanning electron microscopy and MTT results showed that platelet adhesion and aggregation activity decreased after modificaton with trace amounts of hirudin, compared with PEG-DE crosslinked and ethanol-treated silk fibroin film. Plasma recalcification of PEG-DE crosslinked silk fibroin film was slower than with ethanol-treated material, and this increased slightly after hirudin modification. Furthermore, L929, HAVSMC, and HUVEC cells adhered to the modified material, grew well, and possessed high proliferation activity on SF/Hir blend films. This study suggests that hirudin could improve the anticoagulation properties of regenerated silk fibroin materials. PMID:24953970

  7. The use of silk-based devices for fracture fixation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrone, Gabriel S.; Leisk, Gary G.; Lo, Tim J.; Moreau, Jodie E.; Haas, Dylan S.; Papenburg, Bernke J.; Golden, Ethan B.; Partlow, Benjamin P.; Fox, Sharon E.; Ibrahim, Ahmed M. S.; Lin, Samuel J.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-03-01

    Metallic fixation systems are currently the gold standard for fracture fixation but have problems including stress shielding, palpability and temperature sensitivity. Recently, resorbable systems have gained interest because they avoid removal and may improve bone remodelling due to the lack of stress shielding. However, their use is limited to paediatric craniofacial procedures mainly due to the laborious implantation requirements. Here we prepare and characterize a new family of resorbable screws prepared from silk fibroin for craniofacial fracture repair. In vivo assessment in rat femurs shows the screws to be self-tapping, remain fixed in the bone for 4 and 8 weeks, exhibit biocompatibility and promote bone remodelling. The silk-based devices compare favourably with current poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid fixation systems, however, silk-based devices offer numerous advantages including ease of implantation, conformal fit to the repair site, sterilization by autoclaving and minimal inflammatory response.

  8. SILK QMC, sign-learning simulations of molecular systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Xiaoyao; Loffler, Frank; Kowalski, Karol; Hall, Randall; Moreno, Juana; Jarrell, Mark

    2015-03-01

    The Sign Learning Kink (SILK) based Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) is used to calculate the ground state energies for H2O, N2 and F2 molecules. This method is based on Feynman's path integral formalism and has two stages. The first, learning stage, reduces the minus sign problem by optimizing the Slater states which are used in the second, QMC stage. We test our method using different vector spaces and compare our results with other Quantum Chemical methods. We also perform exact diagonalization in those vector spaces as a benchmark. In each vector space and for each molecule, we perform SILK QMC for different bond lengths demonstrating that the SILK method is accurate for equilibrium and non-equilibrium geometries. Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LA-SiGMA).

  9. Carbonic Anhydrase Generates CO2 and H+ That Drive Spider Silk Formation Via Opposite Effects on the Terminal Domains

    PubMed Central

    Otikovs, Martins; Landreh, Michael; Nordling, Kerstin; Kronqvist, Nina; Westermark, Per; Jörnvall, Hans; Knight, Stefan; Ridderstråle, Yvonne; Holm, Lena; Meng, Qing; Jaudzems, Kristaps; Chesler, Mitchell; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Spider silk fibers are produced from soluble proteins (spidroins) under ambient conditions in a complex but poorly understood process. Spidroins are highly repetitive in sequence but capped by nonrepetitive N- and C-terminal domains (NT and CT) that are suggested to regulate fiber conversion in similar manners. By using ion selective microelectrodes we found that the pH gradient in the silk gland is much broader than previously known. Surprisingly, the terminal domains respond in opposite ways when pH is decreased from 7 to 5: Urea denaturation and temperature stability assays show that NT dimers get significantly stabilized and then lock the spidroins into multimers, whereas CT on the other hand is destabilized and unfolds into ThT-positive ?-sheet amyloid fibrils, which can trigger fiber formation. There is a high carbon dioxide pressure (pCO2) in distal parts of the gland, and a CO2 analogue interacts with buried regions in CT as determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Activity staining of histological sections and inhibition experiments reveal that the pH gradient is created by carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase activity emerges in the same region of the gland as the opposite effects on NT and CT stability occur. These synchronous events suggest a novel CO2 and proton-dependent lock and trigger mechanism of spider silk formation. PMID:25093327

  10. Surface Modification and Characterisation of Silk Fibroin Fabric Produced by the Layer-by-Layer Self-Assembly of Multilayer Alginate/Regenerated Silk Fibroin

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Gaotian; Hu, Xingyou; Guan, Guoping; Wang, Lu

    2015-01-01

    Silk-based medical products have a long history of use as a material for surgical sutures because of their desirable mechanical properties. However, silk fibroin fabric has been reported to be haemolytic when in direct contact with blood. The layer-by-layer self-assembly technique provides a method for surface modification to improve the biocompatibility of silk fibroin fabrics. Regenerated silk fibroin and alginate, which have excellent biocompatibility and low immunogenicity, are outstanding candidates for polyelectrolyte deposition. In this study, silk fabric was degummed and positively charged to create a silk fibroin fabric that could undergo self-assembly. The multilayer self-assembly of the silk fibroin fabric was achieved by alternating the polyelectrolyte deposition of a negatively charged alginate solution (pH = 8) and a positively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 2). Finally, the negatively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 8) was used to assemble the outermost layer of the fabric so that the surface would be negatively charged. A stable structural transition was induced using 75% ethanol. The thickness and morphology were characterised using atomic force microscopy. The properties of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabric, such as the bursting strength, thermal stability and flushing stability, indicated that the fabric was stable. In addition, the cytocompatibility and haemocompatibility of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabrics were evaluated. The results indicated that the biocompatibility of the self-assembled multilayers was acceptable and that it improved markedly. In particular, after the self-assembly, the fabric was able to prevent platelet adhesion. Furthermore, other non-haemolytic biomaterials can be created through self-assembly of more than 1.5 bilayers, and we propose that self-assembled silk fibroin fabric may be an attractive candidate for anticoagulation applications and for promoting endothelial cell adhesion for vascular prostheses. PMID:25919690

  11. The Osteogenic Potential of Mesoporous Bioglasses/Silk and Non-Mesoporous Bioglasses/Silk Scaffolds in Ovariectomized Rats: In vitro and In vivo Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yufeng; Shi, Bin

    2013-01-01

    Silk-based scaffolds have been introduced to bone tissue regeneration for years, however, their local therapeutic efficency in bone metabolic disease condition has been seldom reported. According to our previous report, mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG)/silk scaffolds exhibits superior in vitro bioactivity and in vivo osteogenic properties compared to non-mesoporous bioactive glass (BG)/silk scaffolds, but no information could be found about their efficiency in osteoporotic (OVX) environment. This study investigated a biomaterial-based approach for improving MSCs behavior in vitro, and accelerating OVX defect healing by using 3D BG/silk and MBG/silk scaffolds, and pure silk scaffolds as control. The results of SEM, CCK-8 assay and quantitative ALP activity showed that MBG/silk scaffolds can improve attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of both O-MSCs and sham control. In vivo therapeutic efficiency was evaluated by ?CT analysis, hematoxylin and eosin staining, safranin O staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, indicating accelerated bone formation with compatible scaffold degradation and reduced osteoclastic response of defect healing in OVX rats after 2 and 4 weeks treatment, with a rank order of MBG/silk > BG/silk > silk group. Immunohistochemical markers of COL I, OPN, BSP and OCN also revealed that MBG/silk scaffolds can better induce accelerated collagen and non-collagen matrix production. The findings of this study suggest that MBG/silk scaffolds provide a better environment for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation, and act as potential substitute for treating local osteoporotic defects. PMID:24265840

  12. Surface Modification and Characterisation of Silk Fibroin Fabric Produced by the Layer-by-Layer Self-Assembly of Multilayer Alginate/Regenerated Silk Fibroin.

    PubMed

    Shen, Gaotian; Hu, Xingyou; Guan, Guoping; Wang, Lu

    2015-01-01

    Silk-based medical products have a long history of use as a material for surgical sutures because of their desirable mechanical properties. However, silk fibroin fabric has been reported to be haemolytic when in direct contact with blood. The layer-by-layer self-assembly technique provides a method for surface modification to improve the biocompatibility of silk fibroin fabrics. Regenerated silk fibroin and alginate, which have excellent biocompatibility and low immunogenicity, are outstanding candidates for polyelectrolyte deposition. In this study, silk fabric was degummed and positively charged to create a silk fibroin fabric that could undergo self-assembly. The multilayer self-assembly of the silk fibroin fabric was achieved by alternating the polyelectrolyte deposition of a negatively charged alginate solution (pH = 8) and a positively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 2). Finally, the negatively charged regenerated silk fibroin solution (pH = 8) was used to assemble the outermost layer of the fabric so that the surface would be negatively charged. A stable structural transition was induced using 75% ethanol. The thickness and morphology were characterised using atomic force microscopy. The properties of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabric, such as the bursting strength, thermal stability and flushing stability, indicated that the fabric was stable. In addition, the cytocompatibility and haemocompatibility of the self-assembled silk fibroin fabrics were evaluated. The results indicated that the biocompatibility of the self-assembled multilayers was acceptable and that it improved markedly. In particular, after the self-assembly, the fabric was able to prevent platelet adhesion. Furthermore, other non-haemolytic biomaterials can be created through self-assembly of more than 1.5 bilayers, and we propose that self-assembled silk fibroin fabric may be an attractive candidate for anticoagulation applications and for promoting endothelial cell adhesion for vascular prostheses. PMID:25919690

  13. Differential scanning fluorimetry illuminates silk feedstock stability and processability.

    PubMed

    Dicko, C; Kasoju, N; Hawkins, N; Vollrath, F

    2015-12-16

    The ability to design and implement silk feedstock formulations for tailored spinning has so far eluded the bioengineers. Recently, the high throughput screening technique of differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) demonstrated the link between the instability transition temperature (Ti) and the processability of the silk feedstock. Using DSF we screened a large set of chemicals known to affect solvent quality. A multivariate analysis of the results shows that, regardless of the diversity of chemicals, three groupings are significantly distinguishable: G1 = similar to native silk; G2 = largely dominated by electrostatic interactions; and G3 = dominated by chelating interactions. We propose a thermodynamic analysis based on a pre- and post-transition fit to estimate the van't Hoff enthalpies (?Hv) and the instability temperature (Ti). Our analysis shows that the ?Ti and ?Hv values were distinct: G1 (?Ti = 0.23 ± 0.2; ?Hv = -159.1 ± 5.6 kcal mol(-1)), G2 (?Ti = -7.3 ± 0.7; ?Hv = -191.4 ± 5.5 kcal mol(-1)), and G3 (?Ti = -19.9 ± 3.3; ?Hv = -68.8 ± 6.0 kcal mol(-1)). Our analysis further combined the ?Ti value and the ?Hv value using stability ??G to find that G1 only marginally stabilizes native silks (??G = -0.15 ± 0.04 kcal mol(-1)), whereas G2 and G3 destabilize native silk (??G = 3.8 ± 0.11 and ??G = 3.8 ± 0.3 kcal mol(-1), respectively). Here our analysis shows that native silk has a complex multistep transition that is possibly non-cooperative. However, all three groupings also show a direct and cooperative transition with varied stabilization effects. This analysis suggests that native silks are able to sample multiple substates prior to undergoing (or to delay) the final transition. We conclude by hypothesizing that the observed energetic plasticity may be mediated by a fragile packaging of the silk tertiary structure that is readily lost when the solvent quality changes. PMID:26457973

  14. Environmentally friendly surface modification of silk fiber: Chitosan grafting and dyeing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davarpanah, Saideh; Mahmoodi, Niyaz Mohammad; Arami, Mokhtar; Bahrami, Hajir; Mazaheri, Firoozmehr

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, the surface modification of silk fiber using anhydrides to graft the polysaccharide chitosan and dyeing ability of the grafted silk were studied. Silk fiber was degummed and acylated with two anhydrides, succinic anhydride (SA) and phthalic anhydride (PA), in different solvents (dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and N, N-dimethyl formamide (DMF)). The effects of anhydrides, solvents, anhydride concentration, liquor ratio (L:R) and reaction time on acylation of silk were studied. The polysaccharide chitosan was grafted to the acylated silk fiber and dyed by acid dye (Acid Black NB.B). The effects of pH, chitosan concentration, and reaction time on chitosan grafting of acylated silk were investigated. The physical properties show sensible changes regardless of weight gain. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis showed the presence of foreign materials firmly attached to the surface of silk. FTIR spectroscopy provided evidence that chitosan was grafted onto the acylated silk through the formation of new covalent bonds. The dyeing of the chitosan grafted-acylated silk fiber indicated the higher dye ability in comparison to the acylated and degummed silk samples. The mechanism of chitosan grafting over degummed silk through anhydride linkage was proposed. The findings of this research support the potential production of new environmentally friendly textile fibers. It is worthwhile to mention that the grafted samples have antibacterial potential due to the antibacterial property of chitosan molecules.

  15. Predictive modelling-based design and experiments for synthesis and spinning of bioinspired silk fibres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shangchao; Ryu, Seunghwa; Tokareva, Olena; Gronau, Greta; Jacobsen, Matthew M.; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel J.; Li, David; Staii, Cristian; Pugno, Nicola M.; Wong, Joyce Y.; Kaplan, David L.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2015-05-01

    Scalable computational modelling tools are required to guide the rational design of complex hierarchical materials with predictable functions. Here, we utilize mesoscopic modelling, integrated with genetic block copolymer synthesis and bioinspired spinning process, to demonstrate de novo materials design that incorporates chemistry, processing and material characterization. We find that intermediate hydrophobic/hydrophilic block ratios observed in natural spider silks and longer chain lengths lead to outstanding silk fibre formation. This design by nature is based on the optimal combination of protein solubility, self-assembled aggregate size and polymer network topology. The original homogeneous network structure becomes heterogeneous after spinning, enhancing the anisotropic network connectivity along the shear flow direction. Extending beyond the classical polymer theory, with insights from the percolation network model, we illustrate the direct proportionality between network conductance and fibre Young's modulus. This integrated approach provides a general path towards de novo functional network materials with enhanced mechanical properties and beyond (optical, electrical or thermal) as we have experimentally verified.

  16. Predictive modelling-based design and experiments for synthesis and spinning of bioinspired silk fibres.

    PubMed

    Lin, Shangchao; Ryu, Seunghwa; Tokareva, Olena; Gronau, Greta; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Huang, Wenwen; Rizzo, Daniel J; Li, David; Staii, Cristian; Pugno, Nicola M; Wong, Joyce Y; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2015-01-01

    Scalable computational modelling tools are required to guide the rational design of complex hierarchical materials with predictable functions. Here, we utilize mesoscopic modelling, integrated with genetic block copolymer synthesis and bioinspired spinning process, to demonstrate de novo materials design that incorporates chemistry, processing and material characterization. We find that intermediate hydrophobic/hydrophilic block ratios observed in natural spider silks and longer chain lengths lead to outstanding silk fibre formation. This design by nature is based on the optimal combination of protein solubility, self-assembled aggregate size and polymer network topology. The original homogeneous network structure becomes heterogeneous after spinning, enhancing the anisotropic network connectivity along the shear flow direction. Extending beyond the classical polymer theory, with insights from the percolation network model, we illustrate the direct proportionality between network conductance and fibre Young's modulus. This integrated approach provides a general path towards de novo functional network materials with enhanced mechanical properties and beyond (optical, electrical or thermal) as we have experimentally verified. PMID:26017575

  17. Lyophilized Silk Sponges: A Versatile Biomaterial Platform for Soft Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We present a silk biomaterial platform with highly tunable mechanical and degradation properties for engineering and regeneration of soft tissues such as, skin, adipose, and neural tissue, with elasticity properties in the kilopascal range. Lyophilized silk sponges were prepared under different process conditions and the effect of silk molecular weight, concentration and crystallinity on 3D scaffold formation, structural integrity, morphology, mechanical and degradation properties, and cell interactions in vitro and in vivo were studied. Tuning the molecular weight distribution (via degumming time) of silk allowed the formation of stable, highly porous, 3D scaffolds that held form with silk concentrations as low as 0.5% wt/v. Mechanical properties were a function of silk concentration and scaffold degradation was driven by beta-sheet content. Lyophilized silk sponges supported the adhesion of mesenchymal stem cells throughout 3D scaffolds, cell proliferation in vitro, and cell infiltration and scaffold remodeling when implanted subcutaneously in vivo. PMID:25984573

  18. The Influence of Corn Silk Polysaccharide on Signal Pathway of TGF-?1 in Type 2 Diabetic Mellitus Rat

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Xianchun; Yue, Liling

    2015-01-01

    In prevention stage, comparing with normal control group, triglycerides, blood sugar (BG), 24-hour urinary protein and cholesterol (CHO) were higher in T2DM group, but weight and urea nitrogen (BUN) was less in it. 24-hour urinary protein and cholesterol (CHO) were higher in T2DM group than the intervention group. 24-hour urinary protein and BG in the intervention group were higher than normal control group, but BUN is less than normal control group; In the intervention group the weight of kidney and weight of rat were also higher than T2DM group, but CHO and 24-hour urinary protein were less than T2DM group. The expression of TGF-?1 in T2DM group were more than the other groups. In treatment stage, serum creatinine (Cr), weight, BG and CHO, TGand 24-hour urinary protein quantitative were significantly higher in the DN rats than those in the normal control rats (P>0.05). The expression level of TGF-?1 and triglyceride level in the corn silk dihydroxycorn silk3 treated group were obviously lower than those in the DN rats. PMID:26628928

  19. Osteoinductive-nanoscaled silk/HA composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering application.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xiaowei; Bai, Shumeng; Lu, Qiang; Liu, Xi; Liu, Shanshan; Zhu, Hesun

    2015-10-01

    Osteoinductive silk/hydroxyapatite (HA) composite scaffolds for bone regeneration were prepared by combining silk with HA/silk core-shell nanoparticles. The HA/silk nanoparticles were directly dispersed in silk solution to form uniform silk/HA blend and then composite scaffolds after a freeze-drying process. The HA/silk nanoparticles uniformly distributed in silk scaffolds at nanometer scale at varying HA content up to 40%, and substantially improved the compressive strength of the scaffolds produced. Rat bone mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in these scaffolds and cell proliferation was analyzed by confocal microscopy and DNA assay. Gene expression and biochemical assays were employed to study the influence of increasing HA/silk nanoparticles on in vitro osteogenic differentiation of rBMSCs. Increasing HA/silk nanoparticles inside silk scaffolds improved the growth and osteogenic capability of rBMSCs in the absence of osteogenic growth factors, and also significantly increased the calcium and collagen I deposition. In addition, compared to silk/HA composite scaffolds containing HA aggregates, the scaffolds loaded with HA/silk nanoparticles showed remarkably higher stiffness and better osteogenic property at same HA content, implying a preferable microenvironment for rBMSCs. These results suggest that the osteogenic property as well as mechanical property of silk/HA scaffolds could be further improved through fabricating their structure and topography at nanometer scale, providing more suitable systems for bone regeneration. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 103B: 1402-1414, 2015. PMID:25399838

  20. Bladder Tissue Regeneration Using Acellular Bi-Layer Silk Scaffolds in a Large Animal Model of Augmentation Cystoplasty

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Duong D.; Chung, Yeun Goo; Gil, Eun Seok; Seth, Abhishek; Franck, Debra; Cristofaro, Vivian; Sullivan, Maryrose P.; Di Vizio, Dolores; Gomez, Pablo; Adam, Rosalyn M.; Kaplan, David L.; Estrada, Carlos R.; Mauney, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    A cellular scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori silk fibroin were investigated for their ability to support functional tissue regeneration in a porcine model of augmentation cystoplasty. Two bi-layer matrix configurations were fabricated by solvent-casting/salt leaching either alone (Group 1) or in combination with silk film casting (Group 2) to yield porous foams buttressed by heterogeneous surface pore occlusions or homogenous silk films, respectively. Bladder augmentation was performed with each scaffold group (6×6cm2) in juvenile Yorkshire swine for 3 m of implantation. Augmented animals exhibited high rates of survival (Group 1: 5/6, 83%; Group 2: 4/4, 100%) and voluntary voiding over the course of the study period. Urodynamic evaluations demonstrated mean increases in bladder capacity over pre-operative levels (Group 1: 277%; Group 2: 153%) which exceeded non surgical control gains (144%) encountered due to animal growth. Similarly, elevations in bladder compliance were substantially higher in augmented animals from baseline (Group 1: 357%; Group 2: 147%) in comparison to controls (41%). Gross tissue evaluations revealed that both matrix configurations supported extensive de novo tissue formation throughout the entire original implantation site which exhibited ultimate tensile strength similar to nonsurgical counterparts. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses showed that both implant groups promoted comparable extents of smooth muscle regeneration and contractile protein (?-smooth muscle actin and SM22?) expression within defect sites similar to controls. Parallel evaluations demonstrated the formation of a transitional, multi-layered urothelium with prominent cytokeratin, uroplakin, and p63 protein expression in both matrix groups. De novo innervation and vascularization processes were evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by synaptophysin-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. Ex vivo organ bath studies demonstrated that regenerated tissues supported by both silk matrices displayed contractile responses to carbachol, ?,?-methylene-ATP, KCl, and electrical field stimulation similar to controls. Our data detail the ability of acellular silk scaffolds to support regeneration of innervated, vascularized smooth muscle and urothelial tissues within 3 m with structural, mechanical, and functional properties comparable to native tissue in a porcine model of bladder repair. PMID:23953839

  1. Evaluation of Silk Biomaterials in Combination with Extracellular Matrix Coatings for Bladder Tissue Engineering with Primary and Pluripotent Cells

    PubMed Central

    Franck, Debra; Gil, Eun Seok; Adam, Rosalyn M.; Kaplan, David L.; Chung, Yeun Goo; Estrada, Carlos R.; Mauney, Joshua R.

    2013-01-01

    Silk-based biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix (ECM) coatings were assessed as templates for cell-seeded bladder tissue engineering approaches. Two structurally diverse groups of silk scaffolds were produced by a gel spinning process and consisted of either smooth, compact multi-laminates (Group 1) or rough, porous lamellar-like sheets (Group 2). Scaffolds alone or coated with collagen types I or IV or fibronectin were assessed independently for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of primary cell lines including human bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and urothelial cells as well as pluripotent cell populations, such as murine embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. AlamarBlue evaluations revealed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest degree of primary SMC and urothelial cell attachment in comparison to uncoated Group 2 controls and all Group 1 scaffold variants. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated that both fibronectin-coated silk groups were permissive for SMC contractile differentiation as determined by significant upregulation of ?-actin and SM22? mRNA and protein expression levels following TGF?1 stimulation. Prominent expression of epithelial differentiation markers, cytokeratins, was observed in urothelial cells cultured on both control and fibronectin-coated groups following IHC analysis. Evaluation of silk matrices for ESC and iPS cell attachment by alamarBlue showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest levels in comparison to all other scaffold formulations. In addition, real time RT-PCR and IHC analyses showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds facilitated ESC and iPS cell differentiation toward both urothelial and smooth muscle lineages in response to all trans retinoic acid as assessed by induction of uroplakin and contractile gene and protein expression. These results demonstrate that silk scaffolds support primary and pluripotent cell responses pertinent to bladder tissue engineering and that scaffold morphology and fibronectin coatings influence these processes. PMID:23409160

  2. Silk fly electroantennography, a crucial step for semiochemical investigations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Silk flies (Euxesta and Chaetopsis spp., Diptera: Ulidiidae) are severe pests of sweet corn in Florida, Central, and South America. Identification of attractive semiochemicals may facilitate development of improved monitoring and management strategies for these pests. To this end, an electroantennog...

  3. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878.5030 Section 878.5030 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL AND PLASTIC SURGERY DEVICES Surgical Devices §...

  4. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878.5030 Section 878.5030 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL AND PLASTIC SURGERY DEVICES Surgical Devices §...

  5. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878.5030 Section 878.5030 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL AND PLASTIC SURGERY DEVICES Surgical Devices §...

  6. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878.5030 Section 878.5030 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL AND PLASTIC SURGERY DEVICES Surgical Devices §...

  7. Another Way of Knowing: Visualizing the Ancient Silk Routes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bisland, Beverly Milner

    2010-01-01

    One way that people learn, remember and communicate is visually. We combine past experiences with new visual information to construct meaning. In this study, elementary teachers introduced their students to the peoples and places of the ancient silk routes using illustrations from two children's picture books, "Marco Polo," written by Gian Paolo…

  8. Teaching the Silk Road: A Journey of Pedagogical Discovery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrea, A. J.; Mierse, William

    2002-01-01

    Describes a course for first-year college students that focuses on the Silk Road. Discusses the problems that occurs in such a course, types of resources used, basic strategies and tactics taken, and the focus on mapmaking in the beginning of the course. Includes an annotated bibliography. (CMK)

  9. Viscous Friction between Crystalline and Amorphous Phase of Dragline Silk

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Sandeep P.; Xiao, Senbo; Gkagkas, Konstantinos; Markert, Bernd; Gräter, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    The hierarchical structure of spider dragline silk is composed of two major constituents, the amorphous phase and crystalline units, and its mechanical response has been attributed to these prime constituents. Silk mechanics, however, might also be influenced by the resistance against sliding of these two phases relative to each other under load. We here used atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to obtain friction forces for the relative sliding of the amorphous phase and crystalline units of Araneus diadematus spider silk. We computed the coefficient of viscosity of this interface to be in the order of 102 Ns/m2 by extrapolating our simulation data to the viscous limit. Interestingly, this value is two orders of magnitude smaller than the coefficient of viscosity within the amorphous phase. This suggests that sliding along a planar and homogeneous surface of straight polyalanine chains is much less hindered than within entangled disordered chains. Finally, in a simple finite element model, which is based on parameters determined from MD simulations including the newly deduced coefficient of viscosity, we assessed the frictional behavior between these two components for the experimental range of relative pulling velocities. We found that a perfectly relative horizontal motion has no significant resistance against sliding, however, slightly inclined loading causes measurable resistance. Our analysis paves the way towards a finite element model of silk fibers in which crystalline units can slide, move and rearrange themselves in the fiber during loading. PMID:25119288

  10. Ex vivo rheology of spider silk , C. Clasen3

    E-print Network

    1 Ex vivo rheology of spider silk N. Koji1,2 , J. Bico1 , C. Clasen3 & G.H. McKinley1 1 Hatsopoulos Hamburg, Germany. Submitted to Nature Materials; May 7, 2003 The spinning process developed by spiders through the narrow spinning canals of the spider, whereas its extensional viscosity (resistance

  11. SILK: Higher Level Rules with Defaults and Semantic Scalability

    E-print Network

    is the target for KA: "The KR is the deep UI" · Web knowledge interchange (with merging) for scalability://www.mit.edu/~bgrosof/ http://silk.semwebcentral.org ** 3rd International Conference on Web Reasoning and Rules, Chantilly, VA of the world's scientific and similar knowledge on-line · Answer questions, act as personal tutor, with deep

  12. 21 CFR 878.5030 - Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Natural nonabsorbable silk surgical suture. 878.5030 Section 878.5030 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES GENERAL AND PLASTIC SURGERY DEVICES Surgical Devices §...

  13. Bioprospecting Finds the Toughest Biological Material: Extraordinary Silk from a Giant Riverine Orb Spider

    PubMed Central

    Agnarsson, Ingi; Kuntner, Matjaž; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2010-01-01

    Background Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41.000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200.000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila) or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to ‘blindly fishing’ in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? Methodology We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy ‘Darwin's bark spider’ (Caerostris darwini), which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m2) suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. Conclusions Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web into the river. This hypothesis predicts that rapid change in material properties of silk co-occurred with ecological shifts within the genus, and can thus be tested by combining material science, behavioral observations, and phylogenetics. Our findings highlight the potential benefits of natural history–informed bioprospecting to discover silks, as well as other materials, with novel and exceptional properties to serve as models in biomimicry. PMID:20856804

  14. The role of capture spiral silk properties in the diversification of orb webs

    PubMed Central

    Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J.

    2012-01-01

    Among a myriad of spider web geometries, the orb web presents a fascinating, exquisite example in architecture and evolution. Orb webs can be divided into two categories according to the capture silk used in construction: cribellate orb webs (composed of pseudoflagelliform silk) coated with dry cribellate threads and ecribellate orb webs (composed of flagelliform silk fibres) coated by adhesive glue droplets. Cribellate capture silk is generally stronger but less-extensible than viscid capture silk, and a body of phylogenic evidence suggests that cribellate capture silk is more closely related to the ancestral form of capture spiral silk. Here, we use a coarse-grained web model to investigate how the mechanical properties of spiral capture silk affect the behaviour of the whole web, illustrating that more elastic capture spiral silk yields a decrease in web system energy absorption, suggesting that the function of the capture spiral shifted from prey capture to other structural roles. Additionally, we observe that in webs with more extensible capture silk, the effect of thread strength on web performance is reduced, indicating that thread elasticity is a dominant driving factor in web diversification. PMID:22896566

  15. A study on occupational asthma among workers of silk filatures in South India

    PubMed Central

    Gowda, Giriyanna; Vijayeendra, Anagha Manakari; Sarkar, Nivedita; Shivalingaiah, Anwith Huluvadi; Shah, Ankita; Ashwathnarayana, Abhiram Gopal; Narayanaswamy, Huliraj; Nagaraj, Chitra

    2014-01-01

    Background: The production of silk is a multidimensional and multistep process involving exposure of workers to allergens at work place. The silk allergen has been implicated in the development of bronchial asthma. Objectives: To identify the prevalence of occupational asthma (OA) and to identify sensitization to silk allergen and among workers in silk filature units. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in silk filature units of Ramanagara (Silk City) in Karnataka, South India, for a period of 6 months. One hundred and twenty workers of silk filature units who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited into the study group. For comparison, a control group comprising of 120 individuals not working in silk filature units was constituted. All the subjects were interviewed using the standardized International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUATLD) Questionnaire and subjected to the skin prick test, which used the extracts of silk allergen. Results: The study group comprised of 35 males and 85 females, whereas the control group comprised of 58 males and 62 females. The prevalence of occupational asthma among workers in silk filatures was 20.83%. It was observed that 35.83% of those in the study group and 20.83% of those in the control group were found to be sensitive to silk allergen. This difference was statistically significant (?2= 6.64; P < 0.05). Conclusion: There is a high burden of sensitization to silk allergen and occupational asthma among silk filature workers in South India. PMID:25568600

  16. Supracolloidal Assemblies as Sacrificial Templates for Porous Silk-Based Biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, John G.; Ghezzi, Chiara E.; Saballos, Richard J.; Kaplan, David L.; Schmidt, Christine E.

    2015-01-01

    Tissues in the body are hierarchically structured composite materials with tissue-specific properties. Urea self-assembles via hydrogen bonding interactions into crystalline supracolloidal assemblies that can be used to impart macroscopic pores to polymer-based tissue scaffolds. In this communication, we explain the solvent interactions governing the solubility of urea and thereby the scope of compatible polymers. We also highlight the role of solvent interactions on the morphology of the resulting supracolloidal crystals. We elucidate the role of polymer-urea interactions on the morphology of the pores in the resulting biomaterials. Finally, we demonstrate that it is possible to use our urea templating methodology to prepare Bombyx mori silk protein-based biomaterials with pores that human dermal fibroblasts respond to by aligning with the long axis of the pores. This methodology has potential for application in a variety of different tissue engineering niches in which cell alignment is observed, including skin, bone, muscle and nerve. PMID:26343650

  17. Self-assembling doxorubicin silk hydrogels for the focal treatment of primary breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Seib, F. Philipp; Pritchard, Eleanor M.

    2013-01-01

    Standard care for early stage breast cancer includes tumor resection and local radiotherapy to achieve long-term remission. Systemic chemotherapy provides only low locoregional control of the disease; therefore, we describe self-assembling silk hydrogels that can retain and then deliver doxorubicin locally. Self-assembling silk hydrogels show no swelling, are readily loaded with doxorubicin under aqueous conditions and release drug over 4 weeks in amounts that can be fine-tuned by varying the silk content. Following successful in vitro studies, locally injected silk hydrogels loaded with doxorubicin show excellent antitumor response in mice, outperforming the equivalent amount of doxorubicin delivered intravenously. In addition to reducing primary tumor growth, doxorubicin-loaded silk hydrogels reduce metastatic spread and are well tolerated in vivo. Thus, silk hydrogels are well suited for the local delivery of chemotherapy and provide a promising approach to improve locoregional control of breast cancer. PMID:23646041

  18. Comparison of silk glands of diapause and non-diapause larval Sitodiplosis mosellana.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiping; Wu, Junxiang; Cheng, Weining; Song, Weiwu; Yuan, Xiangqun

    2012-01-01

    The wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is one of the most serious pests of wheat worldwide. It overwinters as cocooned larvae in diapause and non-diapause forms. The cocoon is made of silk from the salivary glands. The silk glands, therefore, play an important role in the S. mosellana diapause. In the present study, the ultra-structures of the silk glands between diapause and non-diapause larvae were examined by electro and light-microscopically. The silk glands consist of 156 cells organized like moniliform particles. Although silk gland cells of both diapause and non-diapause larvae contain developed organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum, dictyosome, mitochondria, and lipid droplet, the organelles in non-diapause larvae are more developed than those in diapause larvae. These morphological characteristics of the silk glands in the diapause and non-diapause larvae can be used to distinguish the diapause status of the larvae. PMID:23414141

  19. Proteins--The Basis of Life

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wrigley, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Proteins are a diverse class of biochemical macromolecules, including substances as (apparently) unrelated as silk and sinew, hair and horn, feathers and flagella, enzymes and epidermis, gelatine (jelly) and gluten and gore, spider web, meat and fish muscle. Yet they are unified by being polymers of amino acids. Discovery of the nature of proteins

  20. The Secretion Process of Liquid Silk with Nanopillar Structures from Stenopsyche marmorata (Trichoptera: Stenopsychidae)

    PubMed Central

    Hatano, Tomohiro; Nagashima, Takayuki

    2015-01-01

    Stenopsyche marmorata larvae spin underwater adhesive silk for constructing nests and capture nets. The silk can be divided into fiber and adhesive regions, according to their function. The silk fiber region has a two-layer structure: a core layer situated at the center of the fiber and S. marmorata fibroin, the major component of the silk. In the anterior part of the anterior silk gland, the morphological characteristics suggest that the silk insolubilization leading to fibrillation occurs by luminal pH neutralization. The adhesive region is composed of three layers: the outermost (OM), B, and C layers. On the B layer, coated with the OM layer, numerous nano-order pillar structures (nanopillar structures) are located at regular intervals. A nanopillar structure is approximately 40?nm in diameter and 125?nm in length. The precursor materials of the nanopillar structure are electron-dense globules of approximately 25?nm in diameter that are located in the A layer of the lumen of the middle silk gland. The precursor globules autonomously connect to one another on the B layer when the liquid silk is transported to the lumen of the bulbous region. The nanopillar structures probably contribute to the strong underwater adhesion of S. marmorata silk. PMID:25783626

  1. Aqueous multiphoton lithography with multifunctional silk-centred bio-resists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yun-Lu; Li, Qi; Sun, Si-Ming; Huang, Jing-Chun; Zheng, Bo-Yuan; Chen, Qi-Dai; Shao, Zheng-Zhong; Sun, Hong-Bo

    2015-10-01

    Silk and silk fibroin, the biomaterial from nature, nowadays are being widely utilized in many cutting-edge micro/nanodevices/systems via advanced micro/nanofabrication techniques. Herein, for the first time to our knowledge, we report aqueous multiphoton lithography of diversiform-regenerated-silk-fibroin-centric inks using noncontact and maskless femtosecond laser direct writing (FsLDW). Initially, silk fibroin was FsLDW-crosslinked into arbitrary two/three-dimensional micro/nanostructures with good elastic properties merely using proper photosensitizers. More interestingly, silk/metal composite micro/nanodevices with multidimension-controllable metal content can be FsLDW-customized through laser-induced simultaneous fibroin oxidation/crosslinking and metal photoreduction using the simplest silk/Ag+ or silk/[AuCl4]- aqueous resists. Noticeably, during FsLDW, fibroin functions as biological reductant and matrix, while metal ions act as the oxidant. A FsLDW-fabricated prototyping silk/Ag microelectrode exhibited 104-?-1 m-1-scale adjustable electric conductivity. This work not only provides a powerful development to silk micro/nanoprocessing techniques but also creates a novel way to fabricate multifunctional metal/biomacromolecule complex micro/nanodevices for applications such as micro/nanoscale mechanical and electrical bioengineering and biosystems.

  2. Aqueous multiphoton lithography with multifunctional silk-centred bio-resists

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yun-Lu; Li, Qi; Sun, Si-Ming; Huang, Jing-Chun; Zheng, Bo-Yuan; Chen, Qi-Dai; Shao, Zheng-Zhong; Sun, Hong-Bo

    2015-01-01

    Silk and silk fibroin, the biomaterial from nature, nowadays are being widely utilized in many cutting-edge micro/nanodevices/systems via advanced micro/nanofabrication techniques. Herein, for the first time to our knowledge, we report aqueous multiphoton lithography of diversiform-regenerated-silk-fibroin-centric inks using noncontact and maskless femtosecond laser direct writing (FsLDW). Initially, silk fibroin was FsLDW-crosslinked into arbitrary two/three-dimensional micro/nanostructures with good elastic properties merely using proper photosensitizers. More interestingly, silk/metal composite micro/nanodevices with multidimension-controllable metal content can be FsLDW-customized through laser-induced simultaneous fibroin oxidation/crosslinking and metal photoreduction using the simplest silk/Ag+ or silk/[AuCl4]? aqueous resists. Noticeably, during FsLDW, fibroin functions as biological reductant and matrix, while metal ions act as the oxidant. A FsLDW-fabricated prototyping silk/Ag microelectrode exhibited 104-??1?m?1-scale adjustable electric conductivity. This work not only provides a powerful development to silk micro/nanoprocessing techniques but also creates a novel way to fabricate multifunctional metal/biomacromolecule complex micro/nanodevices for applications such as micro/nanoscale mechanical and electrical bioengineering and biosystems. PMID:26472600

  3. Aqueous multiphoton lithography with multifunctional silk-centred bio-resists.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yun-Lu; Li, Qi; Sun, Si-Ming; Huang, Jing-Chun; Zheng, Bo-Yuan; Chen, Qi-Dai; Shao, Zheng-Zhong; Sun, Hong-Bo

    2015-01-01

    Silk and silk fibroin, the biomaterial from nature, nowadays are being widely utilized in many cutting-edge micro/nanodevices/systems via advanced micro/nanofabrication techniques. Herein, for the first time to our knowledge, we report aqueous multiphoton lithography of diversiform-regenerated-silk-fibroin-centric inks using noncontact and maskless femtosecond laser direct writing (FsLDW). Initially, silk fibroin was FsLDW-crosslinked into arbitrary two/three-dimensional micro/nanostructures with good elastic properties merely using proper photosensitizers. More interestingly, silk/metal composite micro/nanodevices with multidimension-controllable metal content can be FsLDW-customized through laser-induced simultaneous fibroin oxidation/crosslinking and metal photoreduction using the simplest silk/Ag(+) or silk/[AuCl4](-) aqueous resists. Noticeably, during FsLDW, fibroin functions as biological reductant and matrix, while metal ions act as the oxidant. A FsLDW-fabricated prototyping silk/Ag microelectrode exhibited 10(4)-?(-1?)m(-1)-scale adjustable electric conductivity. This work not only provides a powerful development to silk micro/nanoprocessing techniques but also creates a novel way to fabricate multifunctional metal/biomacromolecule complex micro/nanodevices for applications such as micro/nanoscale mechanical and electrical bioengineering and biosystems. PMID:26472600

  4. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    On the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, a female Golden-Silk Spider repairs its web. The female can be identified by its brownish-green abdomen with a white spotted irregular pattern. The golden-silk spider repairs the webbing each day, replacing half but never the whole web at one time. Its web may measure two to three feet across. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 92,000-acre refuge that is a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  5. Diffraction from the beta-sheet crystallites in spider silk

    E-print Network

    Stephan Ulrich; Anja Glišovi?; Tim Salditt; Annette Zippelius

    2008-11-25

    We analyze the wide angle x-ray scattering from oriented spider silk fibers in terms of a quantitative scattering model, including both structural and statistical parameters of the $\\beta$-sheet crystallites of spider silk in the amorphous matrix. The model is based on kinematic scattering theory and allows for rather general correlations of the positional and orientational degrees of freedom, including the crystallite's size, composition and dimension of the unit cell. The model is evaluated numerically and compared to experimental scattering intensities allowing us to extract the geometric and statistical parameters. We show explicitly that for the experimentally found mosaicity (width of the orientational distribution) inter-crystallite effects are negligible and the data can be analyzed in terms of single crystallite scattering, as is usually assumed in the literature.

  6. Evidence of the Most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta menardi

    E-print Network

    Lepore, Emiliano

    Spider silks display generally strong mechanical properties, even if differences between species and within the same species can be observed. While many different types of silks have been tested, the mechanical properties ...

  7. Corneal Stromal Bioequivalents Secreted on Patterned Silk Substrates

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jian; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Du, Yiqin; Funderburgh, Martha L.; Kaplan, David L.; Funderburgh, James L.

    2014-01-01

    Emulating corneal stromal tissue is believed to be the most challenging step in bioengineering an artificial human cornea because of the difficulty in reproducing its highly ordered microstructure, the key to the robust biomechanical properties and optical transparency of this tissue. We conducted a comparative study to assess the feasibility of human corneal stromal stem cells (hCSSCs) and human corneal fibroblasts (hCFs) in the generation of human corneal stromal tissue on groove-patterned silk substrates. In serum-free keratocyte differentiation medium, hCSSCs successfully differentiated into keratocytes secreting multilayered lamellae with orthogonally-oriented collagen fibrils, in a pattern mimicking human corneal stromal tissue. The constructs were 90~100 ?m thick, containing abundant cornea-specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components, including keratan sulfate, lumican, and keratocan. In contrast, hCFs tended to differentiate into myofibroblasts that deposited less organized collagen in a pattern resembling that of corneal scar tissue. RGD surface coupling was an essential factor in enhancing cell attachment, orientation, proliferation, differentiation and ECM deposition on the silk substratum. These results demonstrated that an approach of combining hCSSCs with an RGD surface-coupled patterned silk film offers a powerful tool to develop a highly-ordered collagen fibril-based constructs for corneal regeneration and corneal stromal tissue repair. PMID:24503156

  8. Programmable 3D silk bone marrow niche for platelet generation ex vivo and modeling of megakaryopoiesis pathologies.

    PubMed

    Di Buduo, Christian A; Wray, Lindsay S; Tozzi, Lorenzo; Malara, Alessandro; Chen, Ying; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Smoot, Daniel; Sfara, Carla; Antonelli, Antonella; Spedden, Elise; Bruni, Giovanna; Staii, Cristian; De Marco, Luigi; Magnani, Mauro; Kaplan, David L; Balduini, Alessandra

    2015-04-01

    We present a programmable bioengineered 3-dimensional silk-based bone marrow niche tissue system that successfully mimics the physiology of human bone marrow environment allowing us to manufacture functional human platelets ex vivo. Using stem/progenitor cells, megakaryocyte function and platelet generation were recorded in response to variations in extracellular matrix components, surface topography, stiffness, coculture with endothelial cells, and shear forces. Millions of human platelets were produced and showed to be functional based on multiple activation tests. Using adult hematopoietic progenitor cells our system demonstrated the ability to reproduce key steps of thrombopoiesis, including alterations observed in diseased states. A critical feature of the system is the use of natural silk protein biomaterial allowing us to leverage its biocompatibility, nonthrombogenic features, programmable mechanical properties, and surface binding of cytokines, extracellular matrix components, and endothelial-derived proteins. This in turn offers new opportunities for the study of blood component production ex vivo and provides a superior tissue system for the study of pathologic mechanisms of human platelet production. PMID:25575540

  9. Impact of silk fibroin-based scaffold structures on human osteoblast MG63 cell attachment and proliferation.

    PubMed

    Varkey, Aneesia; Venugopal, Elakkiya; Sugumaran, Ponjanani; Janarthanan, Gopinathan; Pillai, Mamatha M; Rajendran, Selvakumar; Bhattacharyya, Amitava

    2015-01-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate the impact of various types of silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds on human osteoblast-like cell (MG63) attachment and proliferation. SF was isolated from Bombyx mori silk worm cocoons after degumming. Protein concentration in the degummed SF solution was estimated using Bradford method. Aqueous SF solution was used to fabricate three different types of scaffolds, viz, electrospun nanofiber mat, sponge, and porous film. The structures of the prepared scaffolds were characterized using optical microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The changes in the secondary structure of the proteins and the thermal behavior of the scaffolds were determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermo-gravimetric analysis, respectively. The biodegradation rate of scaffolds was determined by incubating the scaffolds in simulated body fluid for 4 weeks. MG63 cells were seeded on the scaffolds and their attachment and proliferation onto the scaffolds were studied. The MTT assay was carried out to deduce the toxicity of the developed scaffolds. All the scaffolds were found to be biocompatible. The amount of collagen produced by the osteoblast-like cells growing on different scaffolds was estimated. PMID:26491306

  10. Impact of silk fibroin-based scaffold structures on human osteoblast MG63 cell attachment and proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Varkey, Aneesia; Venugopal, Elakkiya; Sugumaran, Ponjanani; Janarthanan, Gopinathan; Pillai, Mamatha M; Rajendran, Selvakumar; Bhattacharyya, Amitava

    2015-01-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate the impact of various types of silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds on human osteoblast-like cell (MG63) attachment and proliferation. SF was isolated from Bombyx mori silk worm cocoons after degumming. Protein concentration in the degummed SF solution was estimated using Bradford method. Aqueous SF solution was used to fabricate three different types of scaffolds, viz, electrospun nanofiber mat, sponge, and porous film. The structures of the prepared scaffolds were characterized using optical microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy. The changes in the secondary structure of the proteins and the thermal behavior of the scaffolds were determined by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermo-gravimetric analysis, respectively. The biodegradation rate of scaffolds was determined by incubating the scaffolds in simulated body fluid for 4 weeks. MG63 cells were seeded on the scaffolds and their attachment and proliferation onto the scaffolds were studied. The MTT assay was carried out to deduce the toxicity of the developed scaffolds. All the scaffolds were found to be biocompatible. The amount of collagen produced by the osteoblast-like cells growing on different scaffolds was estimated. PMID:26491306

  11. Reversible Hydrogel–Solution System of Silk with High Beta-Sheet Content

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Silkworm silk has been widely used as a textile fiber, as biomaterials and in optically functional materials due to its extraordinary properties. The ?-sheet-rich natural nanofiber units of about 10–50 nm in diameter are often considered the origin of these properties, yet it remains unclear how silk self-assembles into these hierarchical structures. A new system composed of ?-sheet-rich silk nanofibers about 10–20 nm in diameter is reported here, where these nanofibers formed into “flowing hydrogels” at 0.5–2% solutions and could be transformed back into the solution state at lower concentrations, even with a high ?-sheet content. This is in contrast with other silk processed materials, where significant ?-sheet content negates reversibility between solution and solid states. These fibers are formed by regulating the self-assembly process of silk in aqueous solution, which changes the distribution of negative charges while still supporting ?-sheet formation in the structures. Mechanistically, there appears to be a shift toward negative charges along the outside of the silk nanofibers in our present study, resulting in a higher zeta potential (above ?50 mV) than previous silk materials which tend to be below ?30 mV. The higher negative charge on silk nanofibers resulted in electrostatic repulsion strong enough to negate further assembly of the nanofibers. Changing silk concentration changed the balance between hydrophobic interactions and electrostatic repulsion of ?-sheet-rich silk nanofibers, resulting in reversible hydrogel–solution transitions. Furthermore, the silk nanofibers could be disassembled into shorter fibers and even nanoparticles upon ultrasonic treatment following the transition from hydrogel to solution due to the increased dispersion of hydrophobic smaller particles, without the loss of ?-sheet content, and with retention of the ability to transition between hydrogel and solution states through reversion to longer nanofibers during self-assembly. These reversible solution-hydrogel transitions were tunable with ultrasonic intensity, time, or temperature. PMID:25056606

  12. Preparation of Porous Scaffolds from Silk Fibroin Extracted from the Silk Gland of Bombyx mori (B. mori)

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Mingying; Shuai, Yajun; He, Wen; Min, Sijia; Zhu, Liangjun

    2012-01-01

    In order to use a simple and ecofriendly method to prepare porous silk scaffolds, aqueous silk fibroin solution (ASF) was extracted from silk gland of 7-day-old fifth instar larvae of Bombyx mori (B. mori). SDS-page analysis indicated that the obtained fibroin had a molecular weight higher than 200 kDa. The fabrication of porous scaffolds from ASF was achieved by using the freeze-drying method. The pore of porous scaffolds is homogenous and tends to become smaller with an increase in the concentration of ASF. Conversely, the porosity is decreased. The porous scaffolds show impressive compressive strength which can be as high as 6.9 ± 0.4 MPa. Furthermore, ASF has high cell adhesion and growth activity. It also exhibits high ALP activity. This implies that porous scaffolds prepared from ASF have biocompatibility. Therefore, the porous scaffolds prepared in this study have potential application in tissue engineering due to the impressive compressive strength and biocompatibility. PMID:22837725

  13. Evidence of the Most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta menardi

    E-print Network

    Buehler, Markus J.

    Evidence of the Most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta properties of stalks of silk taken from the egg sac of the cave spider Meta menardi have not yet been elongation has never been reported for egg sac silk stalks and suggests a huge unrolling microscopic

  14. Biosynthesis and characterization of a non-repetitive polypeptide derived from silk fibroin heavy chain.

    PubMed

    Yang, Gaoqiang; Wu, Mingyang; Yi, Honggen; Wang, Jiannan

    2016-02-01

    Silk fibroin heavy chain is the major protein component of Bombyx mori silk fibroin and is composed of 12 repetitive and 11 non-repetitive regions, with the non-repetitive domain consisting of a hydrophilic polypeptide chain. In order to determine the biomedical function of the non-repetitive domain or potentially use it to modify hydrophobic biomaterials, high-purity isolation is necessary. Previously, we cloned and extended a gene motif (f(1)) encoding the non-repetitive domain. Here, this motif and its multimers are inserted into a glutathione S-transferase (GST)-tagged fusion-protein expression vector. Motif f(1) and multimers f(4) and f(8) were expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 cells following isopropyl ?-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside induction, purified by GST-affinity chromatography, and single bands of purified fusion proteins GST-F(1), GST-F(4), and GST-F(8), were visualized by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Target polypeptides F(1), F(4), and F(8), were cleaved clearly from the GST-fusion tag following thrombin digestion. Mass spectrometry results indicate that the molecular weights associated with fusion proteins GST-F(1), GST-F(4), and GST-F(8) are 31.5, 43.8, and 59.0kDa, respectively, and with the cleaved polypeptides F(1), F(4), and F(8) are 4.8, 16.8, and 32.8kDa, respectively. The F(1), F(4), and F(8) polypeptide chains are negatively charged with isoelectric points (pI) of 3.3, 3.2, and 3.0, respectively. The molecular weight and pI values of the polypeptide chains are consistent with the predicted values and the amino acid compositions similar to predicted sequences. FTIR and CD results show the molecular conformation of F(1) was mainly random coil, and more stable ?-helix structure formed in longer molecular chain. PMID:26652374

  15. Silk fibroin scaffolds enhance cell commitment of adult rat cardiac progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Di Felice, Valentina; Serradifalco, Claudia; Rizzuto, Luigi; De Luca, Angela; Rappa, Francesca; Barone, Rosario; Di Marco, Patrizia; Cassata, Giovanni; Puleio, Roberto; Verin, Lucia; Motta, Antonella; Migliaresi, Claudio; Guercio, Annalisa; Zummo, Giovanni

    2015-11-01

    The use of three-dimensional (3D) cultures may induce cardiac progenitor cells to synthesize their own extracellular matrix (ECM) and sarcomeric proteins to initiate cardiac differentiation. 3D cultures grown on synthetic scaffolds may favour the implantation and survival of stem cells for cell therapy when pharmacological therapies are not efficient in curing cardiovascular diseases and when organ transplantation remains the only treatment able to rescue the patient's life. Silk fibroin-based scaffolds may be used to increase cell affinity to biomaterials and may be chemically modified to improve cell adhesion. In the present study, porous, partially orientated and electrospun nanometric nets were used. Cardiac progenitor cells isolated from adult rats were seeded by capillarity in the 3D structures and cultured inside inserts for 21?days. Under this condition, the cells expressed a high level of sarcomeric and cardiac proteins and synthesized a great quantity of ECM. In particular, partially orientated scaffolds induced the synthesis of titin, which is a fundamental protein in sarcomere assembly. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:23592297

  16. QUANTITATIVE TRAIT LOCUS ANALYSIS OF C-GLYCOSYL FLAVONE TYPE IN MAIZE SILKS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie) has been attributed to high concentrations of C-glycosyl flavones and chlorogenic acid in maize silks. The most common C-glycosyl flavones isolated from maize silks are maysin, apimaysin and methoxymaysin, which are distinguished by their B-ring su...

  17. More than a safety line: jump-stabilizing silk of salticids

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yung-Kang; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tsai, Feng-Yueh; Chi, Kai-Jung

    2013-01-01

    Salticids are diurnal hunters known for acute vision, remarkable predatory strategies and jumping ability. Like other jumpers, they strive for stability and smooth landings. Instead of using inertia from swinging appendages or aerodynamic forces by flapping wings as in other organisms, we show that salticids use a different mechanism for in-air stability by using dragline silk, which was previously believed to function solely as a safety line. Analyses from high-speed images of jumps by the salticid Hasarius adansoni demonstrate that despite being subject to rearward pitch at take-off, spiders with dragline silk can change body orientation in the air. Instantaneous drag and silk forces calculated from kinematic data further suggest a comparable contribution to deceleration and energy dissipation, and reveal that adjustments by the spider to the silk force can reverse its body pitch for a predictable and optimal landing. Without silk, upright-landing spiders would slip or even tumble, deferring completion of landing. Thus, for salticids, dragline silk is critical for dynamic stability and prey-capture efficiency. The dynamic functioning of dragline silk revealed in this study can advance the understanding of silk's physiological control over material properties and its significance to spider ecology and evolution, and also provide inspiration for future manoeuvrable robot designs. PMID:23925983

  18. Construction of Silk Fiber Core in Lepidoptera Frantisek Sehnal* and Michal Zurovec

    E-print Network

    ?urovec, Michal

    prevent excessive crystallization. In the "pyraloid" H-fibroins, iterations of simple motifs are absent polymers, the silk of domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, was an economically and, at the time of war, also strategically important commodity. The mechanism of silk production in the paired labial gland of caterpillars

  19. A Journal of Integrative Biology Spider Silk Aging: Initial Improvement in a High

    E-print Network

    Agnarsson, Ingi

    Material Followed by Slow Degradation INGI AGNARSSON1,2Ã, CECILIA BOUTRY1 , AND TODD A. BLACKLEDGE1 1 Wiley-Liss, Inc. How to cite this article: Agnarsson I, Boutry C, Blackledge TA. 2008. Spider silk aging discrete glands (Blackledge and Hayashi, 2006). Two of these silks play a dominant role in the spinning

  20. Hierarchical Chain Model of Spider Capture Silk Elasticity Haijun Zhou1

    E-print Network

    Zhang, Yang

    Hierarchical Chain Model of Spider Capture Silk Elasticity Haijun Zhou1 and Yang Zhang2 1 Max 2005) Spider capture silk is a biomaterial with both high strength and high elasticity steel, it is also extremely elastic, with the ability to be stretched to almost 10 times its relaxed

  1. QUANTITATIVE TRAIT LOCUS ANALYSIS OF C-GLYCOSYL FLAVONE TYPE IN MAIZE SILKS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie) has been attributed to high concentrations of C-glycosyl flavones and chlorogenic acid in maize silks. The most common C-glycosyl flavones isolated from maize silks are maysin, apimaysin, and methoxymaysin, which are distinguished by their B-ring ...

  2. Biobased silver nanocolloid coating on silk fibers for prevention of post-surgical wound infections

    PubMed Central

    Dhas, Sindhu Priya; Anbarasan, Suruthi; Mukherjee, Amitava; Chandrasekaran, Natarajan

    2015-01-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibers are an important biomaterial and are used in surgical sutures due to their remarkable biocompatibility. The major drawback to the application of biomaterials is the risk of bacterial invasion, leading to clinical complications. We have developed an easy and cost-effective method for fabrication of antibacterial silk fibers loaded with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by an in situ and ex situ process using an aqueous extract of Rhizophora apiculata leaf. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that well dispersed nanoparticles impregnated the silk fibers both in situ and ex situ. The crystalline nature of the AgNPs in the silk fibers was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction. The thermal and mechanical properties of the silk fibers were enhanced after they were impregnated with AgNPs. The silver-coated silk fibers fabricated by the in situ and ex situ method exhibited more than 90% inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Silk fibers doped with AgNPs were found to be biocompatible with 3T3 fibroblasts. The results obtained represent an important advance towards the clinical application of biocompatible AgNP-loaded silk fibers for prevention of surgical wound infections. PMID:26491317

  3. Tarantulas cling to smooth vertical surfaces by secreting silk from their feet.

    PubMed

    Rind, F Claire; Birkett, Chris Luke; Duncan, Benjamin-James A; Ranken, Alexander J

    2011-06-01

    Like all spiders, tarantulas (family Theraphosidae) synthesize silk in specialized glands and extrude it from spinnerets on their abdomen. In one species of large tarantula, Aphonopelma seemanni, it has been suggested that silk can also be secreted from the tarsi but this claim was later refuted. We provide evidence of silk secretion directly from spigots (nozzles) on the tarsi of three distantly related tarantula species: the Chilean rose, Grammostola rosea; the Indian ornamental, Poecilotheria regalis; and the Mexican flame knee, Brachypelma auratum, suggesting tarsal silk secretion is widespread among tarantulas. We demonstrate that multiple strands of silk are produced as a footprint when the spider begins to slip down a smooth vertical surface. The nozzle-like setae on the tarsi responsible for silk deposition have shanks reinforced by cuticular thickenings, which serve to prevent the shanks' internal collapse while still maintaining their flexibility. This is important as the spigots occur on the ventral surface of the tarsus, projecting beyond the finely divided setae of the dry attachment pads. We also reveal the structure and disposition of the silk-secreting spigots on the abdominal spinnerets of the three tarantula species and find they are very similar to those from the earliest known proto-spider spinneret from the Devonian period, giving another indication that silk secretion in tarantulas is close to the ancestral condition. PMID:21562174

  4. Novel two-step method to form silk fibroin fibrous hydrogel.

    PubMed

    Ming, Jinfa; Li, Mengmeng; Han, Yuhui; Chen, Ying; Li, Han; Zuo, Baoqi; Pan, Fukui

    2016-02-01

    Hydrogels prepared by silk fibroin solution have been studied. However, mimicking the nanofibrous structures of extracellular matrix for fabricating biomaterials remains a challenge. Here, a novel two-step method was applied to prepare fibrous hydrogels using regenerated silk fibroin solution containing nanofibrils in a range of tens to hundreds of nanometers. When the gelation process of silk solution occurred, it showed a top-down type gel within 30min. After gelation, silk fibroin fibrous hydrogels exhibited nanofiber network morphology with ?-sheet structure. Moreover, the compressive stress and modulus of fibrous hydrogels were 31.9±2.6 and 2.8±0.8kPa, respectively, which was formed using 2.0wt.% concentration solutions. In addition, fibrous hydrogels supported BMSCs attachment and proliferation over 12days. This study provides important insight in the in vitro processing of silk fibroin into useful new materials. PMID:26652363

  5. Arrayed Hollow Channels in Silk-based Scaffolds Provide Functional Outcomes for Engineering Critically-sized Tissue Constructs

    PubMed Central

    Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Wray, Lindsay S.; Golinski, Julianne M.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    In the field of regenerative medicine there is a need for scaffolds that support large, critically-sized tissue formation. Major limitations in reaching this goal are the delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the bulk of the engineered tissue as well as host tissue integration and vascularization upon implantation. To address these limitations we previously reported the development of a porous scaffold platform made from biodegradable silk protein that contains an array of vascular-like structures that extend through the bulk of the scaffold. Here we report that the hollow channels play a pivotal role in enhancing cell infiltration, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the scaffold bulk, and promoting in vivo host tissue integration and vascularization. The unique features of this protein biomaterial system, including the vascular structures and tunable material properties, render this scaffold a robust and versatile tool for implementation in a variety of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and disease modeling applications. PMID:25395920

  6. Diversified Structural Basis of a Conserved Molecular Mechanism for pH-Dependent Dimerization in Spider Silk N-Terminal Domains.

    PubMed

    Otikovs, Martins; Chen, Gefei; Nordling, Kerstin; Landreh, Michael; Meng, Qing; Jörnvall, Hans; Kronqvist, Nina; Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan; Jaudzems, Kristaps

    2015-08-17

    Conversion of spider silk proteins from soluble dope to insoluble fibers involves pH-dependent dimerization of the N-terminal domain (NT). This conversion is tightly regulated to prevent premature precipitation and enable rapid silk formation at the end of the duct. Three glutamic acid residues that mediate this process in the NT from Euprosthenops australis major ampullate spidroin 1 are well conserved among spidroins. However, NTs of minor ampullate spidroins from several species, including Araneus ventricosus ((Av)MiSp NT), lack one of the glutamic acids. Here we investigate the pH-dependent structural changes of (Av)MiSp NT, revealing that it uses the same mechanism but involves a non-conserved glutamic acid residue instead. Homology modeling of the structures of other MiSp NTs suggests that these harbor different compensatory residues. This indicates that, despite sequence variations, the molecular mechanism underlying pH-dependent dimerization of NT is conserved among different silk types. PMID:26033527

  7. Glucosamine loaded injectable silk-in-silk integrated system modulate mechanical properties in bovine ex-vivo degenerated intervertebral disc model.

    PubMed

    Murab, Sumit; Samal, Juhi; Shrivastava, Akshay; Ray, Alok Ranjan; Pandit, Abhay; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2015-07-01

    Injectable hydrogels offer a tremendous potential for treatment of degenerated intervertebral disc due to their ability to withstand complex loading, conforming precisely to the defect spaces and eliminating the need for invasive surgical procedures. We have developed an injectable hydrogel platform of N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) loaded silk hollow spheres embedded in silk hydrogel for in situ therapeutic release and enhanced mechanical strength. The assembled silk hydrogel provided adequate structural support to the ex vivo degenerated disc model in a cyclic compression test at par with the native tissue. Spatiotemporal release of GlcNAc in a controlled manner from the silk hollow microspheres trigger enhanced proteoglycan production from ADSCs embedded in the composite system. Role of MAPK and SMAD pathways in increasing proteoglycan production have been explored by immunohistological analysis as a result of the action of GlcNAc on the cells, elucidating the potential of injectable silk microsphere-in-silk hydrogel for the regeneration of degenerated disc tissue. PMID:25934453

  8. Modulation of Self-Assembly Process of Fibroin: An Insight for Regulating the Conformation of Silk Biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Priyanka; Murab, Sumit; Karmakar, Sandip; Chowdhury, Pramit K; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2015-12-14

    Controlling the mechanism of self-assembly in proteins has emerged as a potent tool for various biomedical applications. Silk fibroin self-assembly consists of gradual conformational transition from random coil to ?-sheet structure. In this work we elucidated the intermediate secondary conformation in the presence of Ca(2+) ions during fibroin self-assembly. The interaction of fibroin and calcium ions resulted in a predominantly ?-helical intermediate conformation, which was maintained to certain extent even in the final conformation as illustrated by circular dichroism and attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Further, to elucidate the mechanism behind this interaction molecular modeling of the N-terminal region of fibroin with Ca(2+) ions was performed. Negatively charged glutamate and aspartate amino acids play a key role in the electrostatic interaction with positively charged calcium ions. Therefore, insights about modulation of self-assembly mechanism of fibroin could potentially be utilized to develop silk-based biomaterials consisting of the desired secondary conformation. PMID:26575529

  9. Silk fibroin-based scaffolds for tissue engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zi-Heng; Ji, Shi-Chen; Wang, Ya-Zhen; Shen, Xing-Can; Liang, Hong

    2013-09-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) from the Bombyx mori silkworm exhibits attractive potential applications as biomechanical materials, due to its unique mechanical and biological properties. This review outlines the structure and properties of SF, including of its biocompatibility and biodegradability. It highlights recent researches on the fabrication of various SF-based composites scaffolds that are promising for tissue engineering applications, and discusses synthetic methods of various SF-based composites scaffolds and valuable approaches for controlling cell behaviors to promote the tissue repair. The function of extracellular matrices and their interaction with cells are also reviewed here.

  10. Nanoscale Control of Silks for Nanofibrous Scaffold Formation with Improved Porous Structure

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shasha; Lu, Guozhong; Liu, Shanshan; Bai, Shumeng; Liu, Xi; Lu, Qiang; Zuo, Baoqi; Kaplan, David L.; Zhu, Hesun

    2014-01-01

    Silk-based porous scaffolds have been used extensively in tissue engineering because of their excellent biocompatibility, tunable biodegradability and robust mechanical properties. Although many silk-based scaffolds have been prepared through freeze-drying, a challenge remains to effectively control porous structures during this process. In the present study silk fibroin with different nanostructures were self-assembled in aqueous solution by repeated drying-dissolving process and then used to improve porous structure formation in lyophilization process. Viscosity, secondary structures and water interactions were also studied to exclude their influence on the formation and control of porous structures. Following nanofiber formation in aqueous solution, silk scaffolds with improved porous structure were directly formed after lyophilization and then stabilized with water or methanol annealing treatments. Compared to silk scaffolds derived from fresh solution, the nanofibrous scaffolds showed significantly better cell compatibility in vitro. Therefore, this nanoscale control of silk offers feasible way to regulate the matrix features including porous structure and nanostructure, which are important in regulating cell and tissue outcomes in tissue engineering and regeneration, and then achieve silk-based scaffolds with improved properties. PMID:24949200

  11. Characterization and mechanical performance study of silk/PVA cryogels: towards nucleus pulposus tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Neo, Puay Yong; Shi, Pujiang; Goh, James Cho-Hong; Toh, Siew Lok

    2014-12-01

    Poly (vinyl) alcohol (PVA) cryogels are reported in the literature for application in nucleus pulposus (NP) replacement strategies. However, these studies are mainly limited to acellular approaches-in part due to the high hydrophilicity of PVA gels that renders cellular adhesion difficult. Silk is a versatile biomaterial with excellent biocompatibility. We hypothesize that the incorporation of silk with PVA will (i) improve the cell-hosting abilities of PVA cryogels and (ii) allow better tailoring of physical properties of the composite cryogels for an NP tissue engineering purpose. 5% (wt/vol) PVA is blended with 5% silk fibroin (wt/vol) to investigate the effect of silk?:?PVA ratios on the cryogels' physical properties. Results show that the addition of silk results in composite cryogels that are able to swell to more than 10 times its original dry weight and rehydrate to at least 70% of its original wet weight. Adding at least 20% silk significantly improves surface hydrophobicity and is correlated with an improvement in cell-hosting abilities. Cell-seeded cryogels also display an increment in compressive modulus and hoop stress values. In all, adding silk to PVA creates cryogels that can be potentially used as NP replacements. PMID:25329452

  12. Engineering of fluorescent emission of silk fibroin composite materials by material assembly.

    PubMed

    Lin, Naibo; Meng, Zhaohui; Toh, Guoyang William; Zhen, Yang; Diao, Yingying; Xu, Hongyao; Liu, Xiang Yang

    2015-03-01

    This novel materials assembly technology endows the designated materials with additional/enhanced performance by fixing "functional components" into the materials. Such functional components are molecularly recognized and accommodated by the designated materials. In this regard, two-photon fluorescence (TPF) organic molecules and CdTe quantum dots (QDs) are adopted as functional components to functionalize silk fibers and films. TPF organic molecules, such as, 2,7-bis[2-(4-nitrophenyl) ethenyl]-9,9-dibutylfluorene (NM), exhibit TPF emission quenching because of the molecular stacking that leads to aggregation in the solid form. The specific recognition between -NO2 in the annealed fluorescent molecules and the -NH groups in the silk fibroin molecules decouples the aggregated molecules. This gives rise to a significant increase in the TPF quantum yields of the silk fibers. Similarly, as another type of functional components, CdTe quantum dots (QDs) with different sizes were also adopted in the silk functionalization method. Compared to QDs in solution the fluorescence properties of functionalized silk materials display a long stability at room temperature. As the functional materials are well dispersed at high quantum yields in the biocompatible silk a TPF microscope can be used to pursue 3D high-resolution imaging in real time of the TPF-silk scaffold. PMID:25270616

  13. Electrophoretic deposition of tetracycline modified silk fibroin coatings for functionalization of titanium surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhen; Qu, Yinying; Li, Xiaoshuang; Zhang, Sheng; Wei, Qingsong; Shi, Yusheng; Chen, Lili

    2014-06-01

    Electrophoretic deposition has been widely used for the fabrication of functional coatings onto metal implant. A characteristic feature of this process is that positively charged materials migrate toward the cathode and can deposit on it. In this study, silk fibroin was decorated with tetracycline in aqueous solution to impart positive charge, and then deposited on negatively titanium cathode under certain electric field. The characterization of the obtained coatings indicated that the intermolecular hydrogen bonds formed between the backbone of silk fibroin and tetracycline molecular. In vitro biological tests demonstrated that osteoblast-like cells achieved acceptable cell affinity on the tetracycline cross-linked silk fibroin coatings, although greater cell viability was seen on pure silk fibroin coatings. The cationic silk fibroin coatings showed remarkable antibacterial activity against gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Therefore, we concluded that electrophoretic deposition was an effective and efficient technique to prepare cationic silk fibroin coatings on the titanium surface and that cationic silk fibroin coatings with acceptable biocompatibility and antibacterial property were promising candidates for further loading of functional agents.

  14. Folding process of silk fibroin induced by ferric and ferrous ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Dan; Deng, Yi-Bin; Zhou, Ping

    2009-12-01

    Bombyx mori silk fiber has useful mechanical properties largely due to a high content of ordered ?-sheet crystallites separated by non-crystalline spacers. Metallic ions present in the silk dope in nature could affect the ?-sheet content. In this work, we used solid-state 13C NMR, EPR and Raman spectroscopy to investigate how the ferric/ferrous ions affect the folding process of the silk fibroin. NMR and Raman results indicate that ferric and ferrous ions have different effects on the secondary structure of silk fibroin. Ferric ions can induce a conformation change from helix to ?-sheet form in silk fibroin when their concentration exceeds a critical value, while ferrous ions cannot. EPR results indicate that the ferric ions bound with silk fibroin have a high-spin state ( S = 5/2) with g-value of g1 = 1.950, g2 = 1.990 and g3 = 1.995, zero-field splitting interaction D of 1.2-2 cm -1, and symmetric character of E/ D = 1/3, resulting in an effective g-value of g' = 4.25. The hydrophilic spacer GTGSSGFGPYVAN(H)GGYSGYEYAWSSESDFGT in the heavy chain of silk fibroin is likely to be involved in the binding of ferric ions, and His, Asn and Tyr residues are considered as the potential binding sites.

  15. TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR Bmsage PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE IN SILK GLAND GENERATION IN SILKWORM, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Xin, Hu-hu; Zhang, Deng-pan; Chen, Rui-ting; Cai, Zi-zheng; Lu, Yan; Liang, Shuang; Miao, Yun-gen

    2015-10-01

    Salivary gland secretion is altered in Drosophila embryos with loss of function of the sage gene. Saliva has a reduced volume and an increased electron density according to transmission electron microscopy, resulting in regions of tube dilation and constriction with intermittent tube closure. However, the precise functions of Bmsage in silkworm (Bombyx mori) are unknown, although its sequence had been deposited in SilkDB. From this, Bmsage is inferred to be a transcription factor that regulates the synthesis of silk fibroin and interacts with another silk gland-specific transcription factor, namely, silk gland factor-1. In this study, we introduced a germline mutation of Bmsage using the Cas9/sgRNA system, a genome-editing technology, resulting in deletion of Bmsage from the genome of B. mori. Of the 15 tested samples, seven displayed alterations at the target site. The mutagenesis efficiency was about 46.7% and there were no obvious off-target effects. In the screened homozygous mutants, silk glands developed poorly and the middle and posterior silk glands (MSG and PSG) were absent, which was significantly different from the wild type. The offspring of G0 mosaic silkworms had indel mutations causing 2- or 9-bp deletions at the target site, but exhibited the same abnormal silk gland structure. Mutant larvae containing different open-reading frames of Bmsage had the same silk gland phenotype. This illustrated that the mutant phenotype was due to Bmsage knockout. We conclude that Bmsage participates in embryonic development of the silk gland. PMID:25917878

  16. Consequences of Ultra-Violet Irradiation on the Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Wee Loong; Goh, Kheng Lim

    2015-01-01

    The outstanding combination of high tensile strength and extensibility of spider silk is believed to contribute to the material’s toughness. Thus, there is great interest in engineering silk for biomedical products such as suture or implants. Additionally, over the years, many studies have also sought to enhance the mechanical properties of spider silk for wider applicability, e.g., by irradiating the material using ultra-violet radiation. However, the limitations surrounding the use of ultra-violet radiation for enhancing the mechanical properties of spider silk are not well-understood. Here, we have analyzed the mechanical properties of spider silk at short ultra-violet irradiation duration. Specimens of spider silk were subjected to ultra-violet irradiation (254-nm wavelength, i.e. UVC) for 10, 20, and 30 min, respectively, followed by tensile test to rupture to determine the strength (maximum stress), extensibility (rupture strain), and toughness (strain energy density to rupture). Controls, i.e., specimens that did not received UVC, were also subjected to tensile test to rupture to determine the respective mechanical properties. One-way analysis of variance reveals that these properties decrease significantly (p < 0.05) with increasing irradiation duration. Among the three mechanical parameters, the strength of the spider silk degrades most rapidly; the extensibility of the spider silk degrades the slowest. Overall, these changes correspond to the observed surface modifications as well as the bond rupture between the peptide chains of the treated silk. Altogether, this simple but comprehensive study provides some key insights into the dependence of the mechanical properties on ultra-violet irradiation duration. PMID:26378587

  17. Consequences of Ultra-Violet Irradiation on the Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk.

    PubMed

    Lai, Wee Loong; Goh, Kheng Lim

    2015-01-01

    The outstanding combination of high tensile strength and extensibility of spider silk is believed to contribute to the material's toughness. Thus, there is great interest in engineering silk for biomedical products such as suture or implants. Additionally, over the years, many studies have also sought to enhance the mechanical properties of spider silk for wider applicability, e.g., by irradiating the material using ultra-violet radiation. However, the limitations surrounding the use of ultra-violet radiation for enhancing the mechanical properties of spider silk are not well-understood. Here, we have analyzed the mechanical properties of spider silk at short ultra-violet irradiation duration. Specimens of spider silk were subjected to ultra-violet irradiation (254-nm wavelength, i.e. UVC) for 10, 20, and 30 min, respectively, followed by tensile test to rupture to determine the strength (maximum stress), extensibility (rupture strain), and toughness (strain energy density to rupture). Controls, i.e., specimens that did not received UVC, were also subjected to tensile test to rupture to determine the respective mechanical properties. One-way analysis of variance reveals that these properties decrease significantly (p < 0.05) with increasing irradiation duration. Among the three mechanical parameters, the strength of the spider silk degrades most rapidly; the extensibility of the spider silk degrades the slowest. Overall, these changes correspond to the observed surface modifications as well as the bond rupture between the peptide chains of the treated silk. Altogether, this simple but comprehensive study provides some key insights into the dependence of the mechanical properties on ultra-violet irradiation duration. PMID:26378587

  18. Gender inequality and entrepreneurship: the Indian silk industry.

    PubMed

    Mayoux, L

    1993-12-01

    The production of raw silk yarns from cocoons (reeling) is a crucial middle stage in the silk industry. The author reviews the experience of attempts to encourage women's entrepreneurship in this industry in Karnataka, South India. Reeling is a potentially lucrative field with possibilities for upward mobility from small-scale to large-scale production if credit is readily available. The industry in India employs large numbers of skilled female workers from all communities and is one of few in which a sectoral gender policy is being implemented. While these factors may be thought to be conducive to the development of women entrepreneurs, none were in the areas studied at the time of research. No women were involved in marketing through the official marketing system and no women's co-operatives were operating. While women were listed among registered reelers, men controlled the businesses. Men simply used women to obtain supplementary bank loans or funds through other avenues otherwise open to only women. Policies for women in reeling have therefore proved to be overwhelmingly unsuccessful. The author considers gender inequality and gender policy at length in this context and concludes that the problem is systemic and structural in nature. Policy implications are considered. PMID:12318601

  19. Biocompatible Silk-Poly(Pyrrole) Composite Trilayer Electromechanical Actuators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klemke, Carly; Bradshaw, Nathan; Larson, Jesse; Severt, Sean; Ostrovsky-Snider, Nicholas; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    2015-03-01

    Biocompatible materials capable of controlled actuation are in high demand for use in biomedical applications such as dynamic tissue scaffolding, valves, and steerable surgical tools. Conducting polymers (CPs) have some desirable traits for use as an actuator, such as the ability to operate in biologically relevant fluids and responsiveness to low voltages. However CPs alone are limited due to their brittle nature and poor solubility. Recently we have shown that a composite material of silk and the CP poly(pyrrole) (PPy) shows promising characteristics as an actuator; it is mechanically robust as well as fully biocompatible. Initial proof-of-concept experiments demonstrated that these composites bend under an applied voltage (or current) using a simple bilayer device. Here we present the development of a trilayer device, composed of two conductive layers separated by an insulating silk layer. This configuration has twice the active surface area as a bilayer, potentially increasing the amount of mechanical motion per volt applied. We will discuss the fabrication and characterization of these devices, as well as their performance and future applications of this technology.

  20. Comparison of cellular responses of mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow and synovium on combined silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haifeng; Wei, Xing; Ding, Xili; Li, Xiaoming; Zhou, Gang; Li, Ping; Fan, Yubo

    2015-01-01

    As a brand new member in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) families, synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (SMSCs) have been increasingly regarded as a promising therapeutic cell species for musculoskeletal regeneration. However, there are few reports mentioning ligamentogenesis of SMSCs and especially null for their engineering use towards ligament regeneration. The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the cellular responses of MSCs derived from bone marrow and synovium on combined silk scaffolds that can be used to determine the cell source most appropriate for tissue-engineered ligament. Rabbit SMSCs and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) were isolated and cultured in vitro for two weeks after seeding on the combined silk scaffolds. Samples were studied and compared for their cellular morphology, proliferation, collagen production, gene, and protein expression of ligament-related extracellular matrix (ECM) markers. In addition, the two cell types were transfected with green fluorescent protein to evaluate their fate after implantation in an intraarticular environment of the knee joint. After 14 days of culturing, SMSCs showed a significant increase in proliferation as compared with BMSCs. The transcript and protein expression levels of ligament-related ECM markers in SMSCs were significantly higher than those in BMSCs. Moreover, 6 weeks postoperatively, more viable cells were presented in SMSC-loaded constructs than in BMSC-loaded constructs. Therefore, based on the cellular response in vitro and in vivo, SMSCs may represent a more suitable cell source than BMSCs for further study and development of tissue-engineered ligament. PMID:24616406

  1. [The influence of formaldehyde, ethylene oxide, high pressure on the tension of silk sutures].

    PubMed

    Lin, Y L; Cai, J H

    1997-05-01

    120 pieces of silk suture (1# & 4#) were sterilized with formaldehyde at different time period. Group II and III each had 20 pieces and was disinfected with ethylene oxide or high pressure respectively. The tension of each silk suture was measured with tensomether. The result showed that there was no significant difference compared with the control groups (P > 0.05). This suggests that silk suture maintains the same tension in the experiments after repeated sterilization with formaldehyde, with ethylene oxide, or with highpressure sterilization once. PMID:9304983

  2. Microphase Separation Controlled beta-Sheet Crystallization Kinetics in Fibrous Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, X.; Lu, Q; Kaplan, D; Cebe, P

    2009-01-01

    Silk is a naturally occurring fibrous protein with a multiblock chain architecture. As such, it has many similarities with synthetic block copolymers, including the possibility for e-sheet crystallization restricted within the crystallizable blocks. The mechanism of isothermal crystallization kinetics of e-sheet crystals in silk multiblock fibrous proteins is reported in this study. Kinetics theories, such as Avrami analysis which was established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, are for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in e-sheet rich Bombyx mori silk fibroin samples, using time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and synchrotron real-time wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The Avrami exponent, n, was close to 2 for all methods and crystallization temperatures, indicating formation of e-sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in synthetic polymers. Observations by scanning electron microscopy support the view that the protein structures vary during the different stages of crystal growth, and show a microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation. We present a model to explain the crystallization of the multiblock silk fibroin protein, by analogy to block copolymers: crystallization of e-sheets occurs under conditions of geometrical restriction caused by phase separation of the crystallizable and uncrystallizable blocks. This crystallization model could be widely applicable in other proteins with multiblock (i.e., crystallizable and noncrystallizable) domains.

  3. Electromechanical response of silk fibroin hydrogel and conductive polycarbazole/silk fibroin hydrogel composites as actuator material.

    PubMed

    Srisawasdi, Thanida; Petcharoen, Karat; Sirivat, Anuvat; Jamieson, Alexander M

    2015-11-01

    Pure silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel and polycarbazole/silk fibroin (SF/PCZ) hydrogels were fabricated by solvent casting technique to evaluate electromechanical responses, dielectric properties, and cantilever deflection properties as functions of electric field strength, SF concentration, glutaraldehyde concentration, and PCZ concentration in the blends. Electromechanical properties were characterized in oscillatory shear mode at electric field strengths ranging from 0 to 600V/mm and at a temperature of 27°C. For both the pristine SF and SF/PCZ hydrogels, the storage modulus response (?G') and the storage modulus sensitivity (?G'/G'0) increased dramatically with increasing electric field strength. The pristine hydrogel possessed the highest storage modulus sensitivity value of 5.87, a relatively high value when compared with other previously studied electroactive polymers. With the addition of conductive PCZ in SF hydrogel, the storage modulus sensitivity and the relative dielectric constant decreased; the conductive polymer thus provided the softening effect under electric field. In the deflection response, the dielectrophoresis force and deflection distance increased monotonically with electric field strength, where the pure SF hydrogel showed the highest deflection distance and dielectrophoresis force. PMID:26249559

  4. Silkworms culture as a source of protein for humans in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yunan; Tang, Liman; Tong, Ling; Liu, Hong

    2009-04-01

    This paper focuses on the problem about a configuration with complete nutrition for humans in a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) applied in the spacebases. The possibility of feeding silkworms to provide edible animal protein with high quality for taikonauts during long-term spaceflights and lunar-based missions was investigated from several aspects, including the nutrition structure of silkworms, feeding method, processing methods, feeding equipment, growing conditions and the influences on the space environmental condition changes caused by the silkworms. The originally inedible silk is also regarded as a protein source. A possible process of edible silk protein was brought forward in this paper. After being processed, the silk can be converted to edible protein for humans. The conclusion provides a promising approach to solving the protein supply problem for the taikonauts living in space during an extended exploration period.

  5. Hierarchical simulations for the design of supertough nanofibers inspired by spider silk

    E-print Network

    Bosia, Federico

    Biological materials such as spider silk display hierarchical structures, from nano to macro, effectively linking nanoscale constituents to larger-scale functional material properties. Here, we develop a model that is ...

  6. A novel growth process of calcium carbonate crystals in silk fibroin hydrogel system.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yufei; Feng, Qingling; Bourrat, Xavier

    2013-05-01

    We report an interesting finding of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystal growth in the silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel with different concentrations by a simple ion diffusion method. The experimental results indicate that the CaCO3 crystals obtained from silk fibroin gels with low and high concentrations are all calcites with unusual morphologies. Time-dependent growth study was carried out to investigate the crystallization process. It is believed that silk fibroin hydrogel plays an important role in the process of crystallization. The possible formation mechanism of CaCO3 crystals is proposed. This study provides a better explanation of the influence of silk fibroin concentration and its structure on CaCO3 crystals growth. PMID:23498277

  7. Spider Capture Silk: Performance Implications of Variation in an Exceptional Biomaterial

    E-print Network

    Blackledge, Todd

    . SWANSON1,3Ã, TODD A. BLACKLEDGE2 , AND CHERYL Y. HAYASHI3 1 Department of Biology, Gonzaga University this article: Swanson BO, Blackledge TA, Hayashi CY. 2007. Spider capture silk: performance implications

  8. Silk threads function as an ‘adhesive cleaner’ for nest space in a social spider mite

    PubMed Central

    Kanazawa, Miki; Sahara, Ken; Saito, Yutaka

    2011-01-01

    Individuals of the social spider mite Stigmaeopsis longus live communally in narrow, humid nests made from silk threads and display nest sanitation behaviour through the coordinated deposition of faeces. We used artificial dust to experimentally determine that females of this species use silk threads to perform regular cleaning of the nest space and eggs. We first learned that silk-weaving behaviour is not a by-product of nest building (nest reinforcement); rather, it is actively performed as a function of cleaning the living space and eggs. Furthermore, we determined the effectiveness of the attending females by artificially manipulating their natural habitat, which is clearly connected to the cleaning behaviour by parental females. As such, we have uncovered an extraordinary new role of silk threads as devices for cleaning the nest space and/or eggs. These results strongly indicate that special adaptations for maintaining clean habitats are essential for animals to evolve aggregative social lives. PMID:21068047

  9. Hierarchical charge distribution controls self-assembly process of silk in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Cencen; Liu, Lijie; Kaplan, David L.; Zhu, Hesun; Lu, Qiang

    2015-10-01

    Silk materials with different nanostructures have been developed without the understanding of the inherent transformation mechanism. Here we attempt to reveal the conversion road of the various nanostructures and determine the critical regulating factors. The regulating conversion processes influenced by a hierarchical charge distribution were investigated, showing different transformations between molecules, nanoparticles and nanofibers. Various repulsion and compressive forces existed among silk fibroin molecules and aggregates due to the exterior and interior distribution of charge, which further controlled their aggregating and deaggregating behaviors and finally formed nanofibers with different sizes. Synergistic action derived from molecular mobility and concentrations could also tune the assembly process and final nanostructures. It is suggested that the complicated silk fibroin assembly processes comply a same rule based on charge distribution, offering a promising way to develop silk-based materials with designed nanostructures.

  10. Fabrication and photocatalytic performance of electrospun PVA/silk/TiO2 nanocomposite textile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ming-Chung; Chan, Shun-Hsiang; Lin, Ting-Han

    2015-02-01

    Many organic/inorganic nanocomposites have been fabricated into fibrous materials using electrospinning techniques, because electrospinning processes have many attractive advantages and the ability to produce relatively large-scale continuous films. In this study, the polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)/silk/titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanocomposite self-cleaning textiles were successfully produced using electrospinning technique. After optimizing electrospinning conditions, we successfully obtained the PVA/silk/TiO2 nanocomposite fibers with average diameter of ˜220 nm and TiO2 concentration can be as high as 18.0 wt.%. For the case of the PVA/silk/TiO2 nanocomposite textile, the color of brilliant green coated on the textile surface changed from the initial green color to colorless after ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Because of its worthy photocatalytic performance, the developed PVA/silk/TiO2 nanocomposite materials in this study will be beneficial for the design and fabrication of multifunctional fibers and textiles.

  11. Presence of membrane ecdysone receptor in the anterior silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Elmogy, Mohamed; Iwami, Masafumi; Sakurai, Sho

    2004-08-01

    Nongenomic action of an insect steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), has been implicated in several 20E-dependent events including the programmed cell death of Bombyx anterior silk glands (ASGs), but no information is available for the mode of the action. We provide evidence for a putative membrane receptor located in the plasma membrane of the ASGs. Membrane fractions prepared from the ASGs exhibit high binding activity to [3H]ponasterone A (PonA). The membrane fractions did not contain conventional ecdysone receptor as revealed by Western blot analysis using antibody raised against Bombyx ecdysone receptor A (EcR-A). The binding activity was not solubilized with 1 m NaCl or 0.05% (w/v) MEGA-8, indicating that the binding sites were localized in the membrane. Differential solubilization and temperature-induced phase separation in Triton X-114 showed that the binding sites might be integrated membrane proteins. These results indicated that the binding sites are located in plasma membrane proteins, which we putatively referred to as membrane ecdysone receptor (mEcR). The mEcR exhibited saturable binding for [3H]PonA (Kd = 17.3 nm, Bmax = 0.82 pmol.mg(-1) protein). Association and dissociation kinetics revealed that [3H]PonA associated with and dissociated from mEcR within minutes. The combined results support the existence of a plasmalemmal ecdysteroid receptor, which may act in concert with the conventional EcR in various 20E-dependent developmental events. PMID:15265036

  12. Low-temperature Electrospun Silk Scaffold for In Vitro Mucosal Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Bulysheva, Anna A.; Bowlin, Gary L.; Klingelhutz, Aloysius J.; Yeudall, W. Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Electrospinning is often used to create scaffolding as a biomimetic of the extracellular matrix of tissues. A frequent limitation of this technique for three-dimensional tissue modeling is poor cell infiltration throughout the void volume of scaffolds. Here, we generated low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds and compared these to conventional electrospun silk scaffolds in terms of mechanical properties, void volume, cell infiltration, cell viability and potential to support mucosal models under three-dimensional culture conditions. Low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds supported fibroblast attachment and infiltration throughout the volume of the scaffolds, while conventional electrospun scaffolds exhibited limited cell infiltration with fibroblasts attaching exclusively to the seeding surface of the scaffolds. The porosity of low-temperature electrospun scaffolds was 93% compared to 88% of conventional electrospun silk scaffolds. Uniaxial tensile testing showed a 3.5 fold reduction in strength of low-temperature electrospun silk compared to the conventional in terms of peak stress and modulus, but no significant change in strain at break. Mucosal modeling with fibroblast-keratinocyte or fibroblast-carcinoma co-cultures showed similar results, with cell infiltration occurring only in low-temperature electrospun scaffolds. Cell viability was confirmed using live/dead staining after 21 days in culture. Furthermore, low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds were able to support keratinocyte differentiation, as judged by involucrin immunoreactivity. The low-temperature electrospun silk scaffold that we have developed eliminates the limitation of electrospun silk scaffolds in terms of cell infiltration and, therefore, can potentially be used for a wide range of tissue engineering purposes ranging from in vitro tissue modeling to in vivo tissue regeneration purposes. PMID:22238242

  13. Low-temperature electrospun silk scaffold for in vitro mucosal modeling.

    PubMed

    Bulysheva, Anna A; Bowlin, Gary L; Klingelhutz, Aloysius J; Yeudall, W Andrew

    2012-03-01

    Electrospinning is often used to create scaffolding as a biomimetic of the extracellular matrix of tissues. A frequent limitation of this technique for three-dimensional tissue modeling is poor cell infiltration throughout the void volume of scaffolds. Here, we generated low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds and compared these with conventional electrospun silk scaffolds in terms of mechanical properties, void volume, cell infiltration, cell viability, and potential to support mucosal models under three-dimensional culture conditions. Low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds supported fibroblast attachment and infiltration throughout the volume of the scaffolds, while conventional electrospun scaffolds exhibited limited cell infiltration with fibroblasts attaching exclusively to the seeding surface of the scaffolds. The porosity of low-temperature electrospun scaffolds was 93% compared with 88% of conventional electrospun silk scaffolds. Uniaxial tensile testing showed a 3.5-fold reduction in strength of low-temperature electrospun silk compared with the conventional in terms of peak stress and modulus but no significant change in strain at break. Mucosal modeling with fibroblast-keratinocyte or fibroblast-carcinoma cocultures showed similar results, with cell infiltration occurring only in low-temperature electrospun scaffolds. Cell viability was confirmed using live/dead staining after 21 days in culture. Furthermore, low-temperature electrospun silk scaffolds were able to support keratinocyte differentiation, as judged by involucrin immunoreactivity. The low-temperature electrospun silk scaffold that we have developed eliminates the limitation of electrospun silk scaffolds in terms of cell infiltration and, therefore, can potentially be used for a wide range of tissue engineering purposes ranging from in vitro tissue modeling to in vivo tissue regeneration purposes. PMID:22238242

  14. Spider silk as a novel high performance biomimetic muscle driven by humidity.

    PubMed

    Agnarsson, Ingi; Dhinojwala, Ali; Sahni, Vasav; Blackledge, Todd A

    2009-07-01

    The abrupt halt of a bumble bee's flight when it impacts the almost invisible threads of an orb web provides an elegant example of the amazing strength and toughness of spider silk. Spiders depend upon these properties for survival, yet the impressive performance of silk is not limited solely to tensile mechanics. Here, we show that silk also exhibits powerful cyclic contractions, allowing it to act as a high performance mimic of biological muscles. These contractions are actuated by changes in humidity alone and repeatedly generate work 50 times greater than the equivalent mass of human muscle. Although we demonstrate that this response is general and occurs weakly in diverse hydrophilic materials, the high modulus of spider silk is such that it generates exceptional force. Furthermore, because this effect already operates at the level of single silk fibers, only 5 microm in diameter, it can easily be scaled across the entire size range at which biological muscles operate. By contrast, the most successful synthetic muscles developed so far are driven by electric voltage, such that they cannot scale easily across large ranges in cross-sectional areas. The potential applicability of silk muscles is further enhanced by our finding that silkworm fibers also exhibit cyclic contraction because they are already available in commercial quantities. The simplicity of using wet or dry air to drive the biomimetic silk muscle fibers and the incredible power generated by silk offer unique possibilities in designing lightweight and compact actuators for robots and micro-machines, new sensors, and green energy production. PMID:19525423

  15. Structure and biodegradation mechanism of milled B.mori silk particles

    PubMed Central

    Rajkhowa, Rangam; Hu, Xiao; Tsuzuki, Takuya; Kaplan, David L; Wang, Xungai

    2013-01-01

    Silk particles with a volume median d(0.5) of about 6 ?m were prepared using a chemical free and efficient wet milling-spray drying process. Milling reduced the intermolecular stacking forces within the ?-sheet crystallites without changing the intramolecular binding energy of the ?-sheets. The rough morphology and the ultrafine size of the particles were responsible for significant surface modulated protease XIV degradation, about a three-fold increase compared to silk fibres. Fracture of brittle and porous enzyme hydrolysed particles produced a 72% fall in d(0.5) within the in-vitro experimental conditions. Of note, upon biodegradation, the thermal degradation temperature of silk increased, which was attributed to the formation of tight aggregates by the hydrolysed residual fibroin macromolecules. A model of the biodegradation mechanism of silk particles was developed based on these data. The model explains the process of disintegration of ?-sheets within the microstructure, supported by quantitative secondary structural analysis and microscopic images. This study is useful to engineer silk particles for targeted biomedical applications and also in understating structural remodeling of debris if generated from silk-based implants. PMID:22746375

  16. Effect of Thickness of HA-Coating on Microporous Silk Scaffolds Using Alternate Soaking Technology

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Rui; Xue, Yingsen; Hao, Zhangying; Xie, Zhenghong; Fan, Xiangli; Fan, Hongbin

    2014-01-01

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) can be coated on various materials surface and has the function of osteogenicity. Microporous silk scaffold has excellent biocompatibility. In this study, alternate soaking technology was used to coat HA on microporous silk scaffolds. However, the cell proliferation was found to decrease with the increasing thickness (cycles of soaking) of HA-coating. This study aims to determine the best thickness (cycles of soaking) of HA-coating on microporous silk scaffolds. The SEM observation showed that group with one cycle of alternate soaking (1C-HA) has the most optimal porosity like non-HA-modified microporous silk scaffolds. The proliferation of osteoblasts has no significant difference between noncoated HA (N-HA) and 1C-HA groups, which are both significantly higher than those in two cycles of soaking (2C-HA) and three cycles of soaking (3C-HA) groups. The transcription levels of specific genes (runx2 and osteonectin) in osteoblasts of 1C-HA group were significantly higher than those of N-HA group. Moreover, the levels showed no significant difference among 1C-HA, 2C-HA, and 3C-HA groups. In conclusion, microporous silk scaffold with 1 cycle of HA-coating can combine the biocompatibility of silk and osteogenicity of HA. PMID:25093176

  17. Silk fibroin/poly(vinyl alcohol) photocrosslinked hydrogels for delivery of macromolecular drugs.

    PubMed

    Kundu, Joydip; Poole-Warren, Laura A; Martens, Penny; Kundu, Subhas C

    2012-05-01

    Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymer networks widely used in biomedical applications as drug delivery and tissue engineered scaffolds to effectively repair or replace damaged tissue. In this paper we demonstrate a newly synthesized cytocompatible and drug releasing photo-crosslinked hydrogel based on poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate and silk fibroin which possesses tailorable structural and biological properties. The initial silk fibroin content was 0%, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50% with respect to the weight of poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate. The prepared hydrogels were characterized with respect to morphology, crystallinity, stability, swelling, mass loss and cytotoxicity. FITC-dextrans of different molecular weights were chosen as model drugs molecules for release studies from the hydrogels. The hydrogels containing different silk fibroin percentages showed differences in pore size and distribution. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that amorphous silk fibroin in poly(vinyl alcohol) methacrylate is crystallized to ?-sheet secondary structure upon gelation. The sol fraction increased with increasing fibroin concentration in the co-polymer gel (from 18% to 45%), although the hydrogel extracts were non-cytotoxic. Similarly, the addition of silk fibroin increased water uptake by the gels (from 7% to 21%). FITC-dextran release from the hydrogels was dependent on the silk fibroin content and the molecular weight of encapsulated molecules. The study outlines a newer type of photo-crosslinked interpenetrating polymer network hydrogel that possess immense potential in drug delivery applications. PMID:22285428

  18. Silk wrapping of nuptial gifts as visual signal for female attraction in a crepuscular spider

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trillo, Mariana C.; Melo-González, Valentina; Albo, Maria J.

    2014-02-01

    An extensive diversity of nuptial gifts is known in invertebrates, but prey wrapped in silk is a unique type of gift present in few insects and spiders. Females from spider species prefer males offering a gift accepting more and longer matings than when males offered no gift. Silk wrapping of the gift is not essential to obtain a mating, but appears to increase the chance of a mating evidencing a particularly intriguing function of this trait. Consequently, as other secondary sexual traits, silk wrapping may be an important trait under sexual selection, if it is used by females as a signal providing information on male quality. We aimed to understand whether the white color of wrapped gifts is used as visual signal during courtship in the spider Paratrechalea ornata. We studied if a patch of white paint on the males' chelicerae is attractive to females by exposing females to males: with their chelicerae painted white; without paint; and with the sternum painted white (paint control). Females contacted males with white chelicerae more often and those males obtained higher mating success than other males. Thereafter, we explored whether silk wrapping is a condition-dependent trait and drives female visual attraction. We exposed good and poor condition males, carrying a prey, to the female silk. Males in poor condition added less silk to the prey than males in good condition, indicating that gift wrapping is an indicator of male quality and may be used by females to acquire information of the potential mate.

  19. Dual-functional composite with anticoagulant and antibacterial properties based on heparinized silk fibroin and chitosan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianglin; Hu, Wei; Liu, Qun; Zhang, Shengmin

    2011-07-01

    Heparinized biomaterials exhibit great anticoagulant properties. However, they promote proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and therefore cause infection within the bloodstream upon implantation in vivo. In the present study, an interesting dual-functional composite with anticoagulant and antibacterial properties based on heparinized silk fibroin and chitosan was synthesized. First, heparin was grafted onto the silk fibroin by covalent immobilization with N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide (EDC) and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS). All data gathered from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental analysis (EA) indicated that the heparin was successfully immobilized onto the silk fibroin. The dual-functional composite of heparinized silk fibroin and chitosan was then fabricated by a blending method. The anticoagulant activity of the heparinized materials was evaluated using the prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and thrombin time (TT). The results showed that both heparinized silk fibroin and the composite material exhibited better hemocompatibility in comparison with single silk fibroin or chitosan. The antibacterial property of the materials was investigated by the pour-plate method. Results further suggested that the composite antibacterial property with respect to S. aureus was significantly enhanced. The dual-functionality of the composite material may supply a potential choice in blood contact devices. PMID:21459560

  20. Human stem cell neuronal differentiation on silk-carbon nanotube composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chi-Shuo; Soni, Sushant; Le, Catherine; Biasca, Matthew; Farr, Erik; Chen, Eric Y.-T.; Chin, Wei-Chun

    2012-02-01

    Human embryonic stem cells [hESCs] are able to differentiate into specific lineages corresponding to regulated spatial and temporal signals. This unique attribute holds great promise for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapy for many human diseases such as spinal cord injury [SCI] and multiple sclerosis [MS]. Carbon nanotubes [CNTs] have been successfully used to promote neuronal differentiation, and silk has been widely applied in tissue engineering. This study aims to build silk-CNT composite scaffolds for improved neuron differentiation efficiency from hESCs. Two neuronal markers (?-III tubulin and nestin) were utilized to determine the hESC neuronal lineage differentiation. In addition, axonal lengths were measured to evaluate the progress of neuronal development. The results demonstrated that cells on silk-CNT scaffolds have a higher ?-III tubulin and nestin expression, suggesting augmented neuronal differentiation. In addition, longer axons with higher density were found to associate with silk-CNT scaffolds. Our silk-CNT-based composite scaffolds can promote neuronal differentiation of hESCs. The silk-CNT composite scaffolds developed here can serve as efficient supporting matrices for stem cell-derived neuronal transplants, offering a promising opportunity for nerve repair treatments for SCI and MS patients.

  1. Improving the mechanical properties of collagen-based membranes using silk fibroin for corneal tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Long, Kai; Liu, Yang; Li, Weichang; Wang, Lin; Liu, Sa; Wang, Yingjun; Wang, Zhichong; Ren, Li

    2015-03-01

    Although collagen with outstanding biocompatibility has promising application in corneal tissue engineering, the mechanical properties of collagen-based scaffolds, especially suture retention strength, must be further improved to satisfy the requirements of clinical applications. This article describes a toughness reinforced collagen-based membrane using silk fibroin. The collagen-silk fibroin membranes based on collagen [silk fibroin (w/w) ratios of 100:5, 100:10, and 100:20] were prepared by using silk fibroin and cross-linking by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide. These membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and their optical property, and NaCl and tryptophan diffusivity had been tested. The water content was found to be dependent on the content of silk fibroin, and CS10 membrane (loading 10 wt % of silk fibroin) performed the optimal mechanical properties. Also the suture experiments have proved CS10 has high suture retention strength, which can be sutured in rabbit eyes integrally. Moreover, the composite membrane proved good biocompatibility for the proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Lamellar keratoplasty shows that CS10 membrane promoted complete epithelialization in 35 ± 5 days, and their transparency is restored quickly in the first month. Corneal rejection reaction, neovascularization, and keratoconus are not observed. The composite films show potential for use in the field of corneal tissue engineering. PMID:25044509

  2. Development of artificial dermis using 3D electrospun silk fibroin nanofiber matrix.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ok Joo; Ju, Hyung Woo; Kim, Ji Heui; Lee, Jung Min; Ki, Chang Seok; Kim, Jung-Ho; Moon, Bo Mi; Park, Hyun Jung; Sheikh, Faheem A; Park, Chan Hum

    2014-07-01

    Several auto- or alloplastic dermal substitutes have been used for full thickness skin defects. However, there is no ideal dermal substitute that is biocompatible and offers adequate mechanical properties and sufficient thickness and volume. Silk fibroin can be considered a possible alternative material for the construction of dermal substitutes. Nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning silk fibroin were considered an excellent candidate due to their desirable biocompatibility. However, it is generally difficult for cells to infiltrate the electrospun silk fibroin due to its small pore size. To overcome this challenge, a key parameter is the control of the pore size of silk fibroin electrospun such that cells can easily infiltrate into the nanofibers and proliferate internally. In this work, a novel approach is introduced by dropping two different size NaCl crystals above the rotating collector, which become incorporated into the nanofibers. The structures and properties of the, resulting electrospun silk fibroin were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and its wound healing effect for a full thickness skin defect was compared with Matriderm. Although the dermal regenerative effect of the 3D-SF (3D electrospun silk fibroin nanofiber matrix) was similar to that of Matriderm, the 3D-SF was almost completely degraded and did not induce wound contracture like Matriderm. We suggest that 3D-SF can be applied to the treatment of full thickness skin defects. PMID:24804550

  3. Human Corneal Limbal-Epithelial Cell Response to Varying Silk Film Geometric Topography In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Brian D.; Pan, Zhi; Liu, Aihong; Kaplan, David L.; Rosenblatt, Mark I.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin films are a promising class of biomaterials that have a number of advantages for use in ophthalmic applications due to their transparent nature, mechanical properties and minimal inflammatory response upon implantation. Freestanding silk films with parallel line and concentric ring topographies were generated for in vitro characterization of human corneal limbal-epithelial (HCLE) cell response upon differing geometric patterned surfaces. Results indicated that silk film topography significantly affected initial HCLE culture substrate attachment, cellular alignment, cell-to-cell contact formation, actin cytoskeleton alignment, and focal adhesion (FA) localization. Most notably, parallel line patterned surfaces displayed a 36%–54% increase on average in initial cell attachment, which corresponded to an over 2-fold increase in FA localization when compared to other silk film surfaces and controls. In addition, distinct localization of FA formation was observed along the edges for all patterned silk film topographies. In conclusion, silk film feature topography appears to help direct corneal epithelial cell response and cytoskeleton development, especially in regards to FA distribution, in vitro. PMID:22705042

  4. A golden-silk spider spins its web

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    On the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, a female Golden-Silk Spider repairs its web. During the day spider hands head downward from the underside of the web near the center. Its web may measure two to three feet across and it repairs the webbing each day, replacing half but never the whole web at one time. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 92,000-acre refuge that is a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  5. Silk as a potential candidate for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Mottaghitalab, Fatemeh; Hosseinkhani, Hossein; Shokrgozar, Mohammad Ali; Mao, Chuanbin; Yang, Mingying; Farokhi, Mehdi

    2015-10-10

    Regeneration of large bone defects is challenging in the next few years because the age of the population is growing. Bone grafting as a gold standard of bone repairing is limited as a result of many disadvantages. In recent years, many novel materials and processing methods have been introduced to construct the native bone extracellular matrix (ECM) and restore the functions of degenerated bone. Silk fibroin (SF) as a natural polymer, has established a good reputation for bone tissue engineering applications due to its many unique properties, including exceptional biocompatibility, biodegradability, mechanical behavior, and ease of processability. In this review, recent advances in the design and application of SF-based scaffolds for bone regeneration are discussed. PMID:26254197

  6. Ballooning dispersal using silk: world fauna, phylogenies, genetics and models.

    PubMed

    Bell, J R; Bohan, D A; Shaw, E M; Weyman, G S

    2005-04-01

    Aerial dispersal using silk ('ballooning') has evolved in spiders (Araneae), spider mites (Acari) and in the larvae of moths (Lepidoptera). Since the 17th century, over 500 observations of ballooning behaviours have been published, yet there is an absence of any evolutionary synthesis of these data. In this paper the literature is reviewed, extensively documenting the known world fauna that balloon and the principal behaviours involved. This knowledge is then incorporated into the current evolutionary phylogenies to examine how ballooning might have arisen. Whilst it is possible that ballooning co-evolved with silk and emerged as early as the Devonian (410-355 mya), it is arguably more likely that ballooning evolved in parallel with deciduous trees, herbaceous annuals and grasses in the Cretaceous (135-65 mya). During this period, temporal (e.g. bud burst, chlorophyll thresholds) and spatial (e.g. herbivory, trampling) heterogeneities in habitat structuring predominated and intensified into the Cenozoic (65 mya to the present). It is hypothesized that from the ancestral launch mechanism known as 'suspended ballooning', widely used by individuals in plant canopies, 'tip-toe' and 'rearing' take-off behaviours were strongly selected for as habitats changed. It is contended that ballooning behaviour in all three orders can be described as a mixed Evolutionary Stable Strategy. This comprises individual bet-hedging due to habitat unpredictability, giving an underlying randomness to individual ballooning, with adjustments to the individual ballooning probability being conferred by more predictable habitat changes or colonization strategies. Finally, current methods used to study ballooning, including modelling and genetic research, are illustrated and an indication of future prospects given. PMID:15877859

  7. Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    1985-01-01

    Examines proteins which give rise to structure and, by virtue of selective binding to other molecules, make genes. Binding sites, amino acids, protein evolution, and molecular paleontology are discussed. Work with encoding segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (exons) and noncoding stretches (introns) provides new information for hypotheses. (DH)

  8. Silk fibroin sponges with cell growth-promoting activity induced by genetically fused basic fibroblast growth factor.

    PubMed

    Kambe, Yusuke; Kojima, Katsura; Tamada, Yasushi; Tomita, Naohide; Kameda, Tsunenori

    2016-01-01

    Transgenic silkworm technology has enabled the biological properties of silk fibroin protein to be altered by fusion to recombinant bioactive proteins. However, few studies have reported the fabrication of genetically modified fibroin proteins into three-dimensional spongy structures to serve as scaffolds for tissue engineering. We generated a transgenic silkworm strain that produces fibroin fused to basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and processed the fibroin into a spongy structure using a simple freeze/thaw method. NIH3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblasts grown on bFGF-fused fibroin sponges proliferated and spread out well, showing half the population doubling time of cells cultured on wild-type fibroin sponges. Furthermore, the number of primary rabbit articular chondrocytes growing on bFGF-fused fibroin sponges was around five-times higher than that of the wild-type control at 3-days post cell-seeding. As the physical properties of wild-type and bFGF-fused fibroin sponges were almost identical, it is suggested that bFGF fused to fibroin retained its biological activity, even after the bFGF-fused fibroin was fabricated into the spongy structure. The bFGF-fused fibroin sponge has the potential for widespread application in the field of tissue engineering, and the method of fabricating this structure could be applicable to other recombinant bioactive fibroin proteins. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 82-93, 2016. PMID:26190702

  9. Protein

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Go lean with protein. • Choose lean meats and poultry. Lean beef cuts include round steaks (top loin, ... main dishes. • Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to meat or poultry (i. ...

  10. Protein

    MedlinePLUS

    ... Fruits Fats and Cholesterol Types of Fat Cholesterol Dietary fat and disease Calcium and Milk Vitamins Healthy Drinks ... the high protein diet saw improvements in blood lipids and blood pressure. ( 11 ) A more recent study ...

  11. Fabrication of biocompatible electro-conductive silk films with natural compounds for tissue engineering applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrakakis, Nikolaos

    In the present study electro conductive natural compounds are incorporated in silk based films, and the effects on film conductivity and dissolution are studied. Natural conducting compounds melanin and riboflavin were blended with silk to increase conductivity. Other compounds such as Fe(0) powder ferrofluid and NaCl solution also improved conductivity. Film properties and dissolution were studied for the different blends, and tuned using addition of glycerol and horseradish peroxidase cross-linking. Techniques such as electrospinning, doctor blade, spin coating, and paper-like film fabrication techniques were also explored to generate films with controlled dimensions and properties. The findings suggest that the incorporation of riboflavin along with NaCl and glycerol in silk films, along with water vapor annealing results in semiconductor films. More specifically, the two compositions of the films that exhibited highest conductivity contain 2 % w/v silk, 20 % w/v glycerol, 2 % w/v polyethylene oxide (PEO), 30 % v/v phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and 5 % w/v silk, 20 % w/v glycerol, 10 % w/v NaCl with conductivities of 5.72*10-2 S/m and 5.96*10-2 S/m at 20 °C. When silk is doped with riboflavin, NaCl, and glycerol, semiconducting behavior similar to drinking water conductivity is observed. Mass loss studies of the films included the immersion of the films for 7 days in 37° C in PBS. Film processing included samples that were heated for 2 hours in 60 °C immediately after casting, as well as those cured at room temperature. The results indicated that the heated samples provided the lowest mass loss of approximately 27 %. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates the correlation between composition and processing of silk films with their conductivity. These semiconductive films have the potential to be applied in tissue engineering applications such as nerve conduits, where conductivity plays an instrumental role in tissue restoration.

  12. Coaxial electrospun aligned tussah silk fibroin nanostructured fiber scaffolds embedded with hydroxyapatite-tussah silk fibroin nanoparticles for bone tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Shao, Weili; He, Jianxin; Sang, Feng; Ding, Bin; Chen, Li; Cui, Shizhong; Li, Kejing; Han, Qiming; Tan, Weilin

    2016-01-01

    The bone is a composite of inorganic and organic materials and possesses a complex hierarchical architecture consisting of mineralized fibrils formed by collagen molecules and coated with oriented hydroxyapatite. To regenerate bone tissue, it is necessary to provide a scaffold that mimics the architecture of the extracellular matrix in native bone. Here, we describe one such scaffold, a nanostructured composite with a core made of a composite of hydroxyapatite and tussah silk fibroin. The core is encased in a shell of tussah silk fibroin. The composite fibers were fabricated by coaxial electrospinning using green water solvent and were characterized using different techniques. In comparison to nanofibers of pure tussah silk, composite notably improved mechanical properties, with 90-fold and 2-fold higher initial modulus and breaking stress, respectively, obtained. Osteoblast-like MG-63 cells were cultivated on the composite to assess its suitability as a scaffold for bone tissue engineering. We found that the fiber scaffold supported cell adhesion and proliferation and functionally promoted alkaline phosphatase and mineral deposition relevant for biomineralization. In addition, the composite were more biocompatible than pure tussah silk fibroin or cover slip. Thus, the nanostructured composite has excellent biomimetic and mechanical properties and is a potential biocompatible scaffold for bone tissue engineering. PMID:26478319

  13. 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim 1wileyonlinelibrary.com Silk Foam Terahertz Waveguides

    E-print Network

    Skorobogatiy, Maksim

    , such as spheres, sponges, fibers,[13­15] foams[16] and films.[4,9,11,12] Among these various forms, silk films© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim 1wileyonlinelibrary.com FULLPAPER Silk Foam for biomedical applications. Silk material from worm cocoon can be processed into different forms

  14. Effect of pH and copper(II) on the conformation transitions of silk fibroin based on EPR, NMR, and Raman spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Zong, Xiao-Hong; Zhou, Ping; Shao, Zheng-Zhong; Chen, Shi-Ming; Chen, Xin; Hu, Bing-Wen; Deng, Feng; Yao, Wen-Hua

    2004-09-28

    Much attention has been paid to the natural mechanism of silkworm spinning due to the impressive mechanical properties of the natural fibers. Our results in the present work show that the fractional changes of the conformational components in regenerated silk fibroin (SF) extracted from Bombyx mori fibers is remarkably pH- and Cu(II)-dependent as demonstrated by Cu(II) EPR, (13)C NMR, and Raman spectroscopy. Cu(II) coordination atoms in SF are changed from four nitrogens to two nitrogens and two oxygens as well as to one nitrogen and three oxygens when the pH is lowered from 8.0 to 4.0. The addition of a given amount of Cu(II) into a SF solution could induce efficiently the SF conformational fractional change from silk I, a soluble helical conformation, to silk II, an insoluble beta-sheet conformation. This behavior is strikingly similar to that seen in prion protein and amyloid beta-peptide. On the basis of the similarity in the relevant sequence in SF to the octapeptide PHGGGWGQ in PrP, we suggest that at basic and neutral pH polypeptide AHGGYSGY in SF may form a 1:1 complex with Cu(II) by coordination of imidazole N(pi) of His together with two deprotonated main-chain nitrogens from two glycine residues and one nitrogen or oxygen from serine. Such a type of coordination may make the interaction between two adjacent beta-form polypeptide chains more difficult, thereby leading to an amorphous structure. Under weakly acidic conditions, however, Cu(II)-amide linkages may be broken and Cu(II) may switch to bind two N(tau) from two histidines in adjacent peptide chains, forming an intermolecular His(N(tau))-Cu(II)-His(N(tau)) bridge. This type of coordination may induce beta-sheet formation and aggregation, leading to a crystalline structure. PMID:15379533

  15. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-07-01

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). PMID:26058392

  16. In Vitro Evaluation of Spider Silk Meshes as a Potential Biomaterial for Bladder Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Steins, Anne; Dik, Pieter; Müller, Wally H.; Vervoort, Stephin J.; Reimers, Kerstin; Kuhbier, Jörn W.; Vogt, Peter M.; van Apeldoorn, Aart A.; Coffer, Paul J.; Schepers, Koen

    2015-01-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder by means of both natural and synthetic materials remains a challenge due to severe adverse effects such as mechanical failure. Here we investigate the application of spider major ampullate gland-derived dragline silk from the Nephila edulis spider, a natural biomaterial with outstanding mechanical properties and a slow degradation rate, as a potential scaffold for bladder reconstruction by studying the cellular response of primary bladder cells to this biomaterial. We demonstrate that spider silk without any additional biological coating supports adhesion and growth of primary human urothelial cells (HUCs), which are multipotent bladder cells able to differentiate into the various epithelial layers of the bladder. HUCs cultured on spider silk did not show significant changes in the expression of various epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and fibrosis associated genes, and demonstrated only slight reduction in the expression of adhesion and cellular differentiation genes. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis showed that most of the silk-exposed HUCs maintain an undifferentiated immunophenotype. These results demonstrate that spider silk from the Nephila edulis spider supports adhesion, survival and growth of HUCs without significantly altering their cellular properties making this type of material a suitable candidate for being tested in pre-clinical models for bladder reconstruction. PMID:26689371

  17. Processing and characterization of powdered silk micro- and nanofibers by ultrasonication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hai-Yan; Chen, Yun-Yun; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2015-03-01

    Silk derived from Bombyx mori silkworm cocoons was degummed in an aqueous sodium carbonate solution, and the resulting silk fibroin fibers were placed in an acidic aqueous solution and were treated with ultrasonication to obtain powdered micro- and nanofibers. The morphologies and spectral characteristics of these powdered silk fibers were investigated in detail. The shape, surface and structural features of the powdered fibers were affected by the ultrasonic power and media. Increasing the acidity of the ultrasonic solution and increasing the ultrasonic power increased the fiber breakage speed, resulting in shorter fiber lengths. Powdered microfibers could not be obtained in a formic acid solution, while powdered nanofibers whose diameter below 1?m were obtained in a combined formic acid and hydrochloric acid ultrasonication solution. Observation via SEM and optical microscopy revealed that the microfiber diameters were approximately 5-10?m, and those of the nanofibers were approximately 30-120nm. The analysis of laser sizer showed that the microfiber sizes ranged mainly from 20 to 100?m. FT-IR and XRD spectra demonstrated that the relative amount of ?-sheets increased after the ultrasonic treatment. The ?-amino group content on the surface of the micro- and nanofibers increased significantly. These studies provide reliable methods for the preparation of nano-scale silk fibroin fibers by ultrasonication and open new avenues for the development of powdered silk fibers as advanced functional biomaterials. PMID:25579945

  18. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Thomas H.; Garb, Jessica E.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A.

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). PMID:26058392

  19. Biofunctionalized electrospun silk mats as a topical bioactive dressing for accelerated wound healing

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, A.; Wang, X.Y.; Kaplan, D.L.; Garlick, J.A.; Egles, C.

    2010-01-01

    Materials able to deliver topically bioactive molecules represent a new generation of biomaterials. In this article, we describe the use of silk mats, made of electrospun nanoscale silk fibers containing epidermal growth factor (EGF), for the promotion of wound healing processes. In our experiments, we demonstrated that EGF is incorporated into the silk mats and slowly released in a time-dependent manner (25% EGF release in 170 h). We tested these materials using a new model of wounded human skin-equivalents displaying the same structure as human skin and able to heal using the same molecular and cellular mechanisms found in vivo. This human three-dimensional model allows us to demonstrate that the biofunctionalized silk mats, when placed on the wounds as a dressing, aid the healing by increasing the time of wound closure by the epidermal tongue by 90%. The preservation of the structure of the mats during the healing period as demonstrated by electronic microscopy, the biological action of the dressing, as well as the biocompatibility of the silk demonstrate that this biomaterial is a new and very promising material for medical applications, especially for patients suffering from chronic wounds. PMID:19162575

  20. Genetically engineered silk-collagen-like copolymer for biomedical applications: production, characterization and evaluation of cellular response.

    PubMed

    W?odarczyk-Biegun, Ma?gorzata K; Werten, Marc W T; de Wolf, Frits A; van den Beucken, Jeroen J J P; Leeuwenburgh, Sander C G; Kamperman, Marleen; Cohen Stuart, Martien A

    2014-08-01

    Genetically engineered protein polymers (GEPP) are a class of multifunctional materials with precisely controlled molecular structure and property profile. Representing a promising alternative for currently used materials in biomedical applications, GEPP offer multiple benefits over natural and chemically synthesized polymers. However, producing them in sufficient quantities for preclinical research remains challenging. Here, we present results from an in vitro cellular response study of a recombinant protein polymer that is soluble at low pH but self-organizes into supramolecular fibers and physical hydrogels at neutral pH. It has a triblock structure denoted as C2S(H)48C2, which consists of hydrophilic collagen-inspired and histidine-rich silk-inspired blocks. The protein was successfully produced by the yeast Pichia pastoris in laboratory-scale bioreactors, and it was purified by selective precipitation. This efficient and inexpensive production method provided material of sufficient quantities, purity and sterility for cell culture study. Rheology and erosion studies showed that it forms hydrogels exhibiting long-term stability, self-healing behavior and tunable mechanical properties. Primary rat bone marrow cells cultured in direct contact with these hydrogels remained fully viable; however, proliferation and mineralization were relatively low compared to collagen hydrogel controls, probably because of the absence of cell-adhesive motifs. As biofunctional factors can be readily incorporated to improve material performance, our approach provides a promising route towards biomedical applications. PMID:24814883

  1. Silk gland gene expression during larval-pupal transitionin the cotton leaf roller Sylepta derogate (Lepidoptera: pyralidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The cotton leaf roller, Sylepta derogata, is a silk-producing insect pest. While young larvae feed on the underside of leaves, the older ones roll cotton leaves and feed on the leaf edges, which defoliates cotton plants. The larvae produce silk to stabilize the rolled leaf and to balloon from used t...

  2. Bundles of Spider Silk, Braided into Sutures, Resist Basic Cyclic Tests: Potential Use for Flexor Tendon Repair

    PubMed Central

    Hennecke, Kathleen; Redeker, Joern; Kuhbier, Joern W.; Strauss, Sarah; Allmeling, Christina; Kasper, Cornelia; Reimers, Kerstin; Vogt, Peter M.

    2013-01-01

    Repair success for injuries to the flexor tendon in the hand is often limited by the in vivo behaviour of the suture used for repair. Common problems associated with the choice of suture material include increased risk of infection, foreign body reactions, and inappropriate mechanical responses, particularly decreases in mechanical properties over time. Improved suture materials are therefore needed. As high-performance materials with excellent tensile strength, spider silk fibres are an extremely promising candidate for use in surgical sutures. However, the mechanical behaviour of sutures comprised of individual silk fibres braided together has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, we characterise the maximum tensile strength, stress, strain, elastic modulus, and fatigue response of silk sutures produced using different braiding methods to investigate the influence of braiding on the tensile properties of the sutures. The mechanical properties of conventional surgical sutures are also characterised to assess whether silk offers any advantages over conventional suture materials. The results demonstrate that braiding single spider silk fibres together produces strong sutures with excellent fatigue behaviour; the braided silk sutures exhibited tensile strengths comparable to those of conventional sutures and no loss of strength over 1000 fatigue cycles. In addition, the braiding technique had a significant influence on the tensile properties of the braided silk sutures. These results suggest that braided spider silk could be suitable for use as sutures in flexor tendon repair, providing similar tensile behaviour and improved fatigue properties compared with conventional suture materials. PMID:23613793

  3. Controllable in situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles on multilayered film-coated silk fibers for antibacterial application.

    PubMed

    Meng, Mei; He, Huawei; Xiao, Jing; Zhao, Ping; Xie, Jiale; Lu, Zhisong

    2016-01-01

    Layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly is a versatile technique for the preparation of multilayered polymeric films. However, fabrication of LbL polymetic film on silk for the in situ growth of high-density silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has not been realized. Herein poly(acrylic acid) (PAA)/poly(dimethyldiallylammonium chloride) (PDDA) multilayers are constructed on silk via the LbL approach, subsequently serving as a 3-dimensional matrix for in situ synthesis of AgNPs. After 8 rounds of LbL assembly, the silk is fully covered with a layer of polymeric film. AgNPs with good crystalline structures could be in-situ generated in the silk-coated multilayers and their amount could be tailored by adjusting the bilayer numbers. The as-prepared silk could effectively kill the existing bacteria and inhibit the bacterial growth, demonstrating the antimicrobial activity. Moreover, the release of Ag(+) from the modified silk can last for 120h, rendering the modified silk sustainable antimicrobial activity. This work may provide a novel method to prepare AgNPs-functionalized antimicrobial silk for potential applications in textile industry. PMID:26414419

  4. Along the Silk Road: People, Interaction, and Cultural Exchange. A Social Studies Unit Recommended for Grades 6-10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Program on International and Cross Cultural Education.

    This curriculum unit introduces students to the travelers and traders from the early part of the Han-Roman times up to the 14th century who took great risks in pursuit of silk. A variety of activities explore the development of the Silk Road trade routes, including journal writing, small group reading and writing activities, role play and…

  5. Comparison of aragonitic molluscan shell proteins Takeshi Furuhashi a,

    E-print Network

    Miksik, Ivan

    Shell Acidic protein Biomineralization Acidic macromolecules, as a nucleation factor for mollusc shell. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Mollusc shells are made of calcium carbonates to molluscs (Addadi et al., 2006). Within the widely accepted mollusc shell formation concept, chitin/ silk

  6. Controlling silk fibroin microspheres via molecular weight distribution.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Dong-Mei; Pan, Jue-Jing; Wang, Qun; Liu, Xin-Fang; Wang, Hui; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2015-05-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) microspheres were produced by salting out SF solution via the addition of potassium phosphate buffer solution (K2HPO4-KH2PO4). The morphology, size and polydispersity of SF microspheres were adjusted by changing the molecular weight (MW) distribution and concentration of SF, as well as the ionic strength and pH of the buffer solution. Changing the conditions under which the SF fiber dissolved in the Lithium Boride (LiBr) solution resulted in altering the MW distribution of SF solution. Under optimal salting-out conditions (ionic strength>0.7 M and pH>7) and using a smaller and narrower SF MW distribution, SF microspheres with smoother shapes and more uniform sizes were produced. Meanwhile, the size and polydispersity of the microspheres increased when the SF concentration was increased from 0.25 mg/mL to 20 mg/mL. The improved SF microspheres, obtained by altering the distribution of molecular weight, have potential in drug and gene delivery applications. PMID:25746265

  7. Cervical Tissue Engineering Using Silk Scaffolds and Human Cervical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, Cristina C.; Rice, William L.; Socrate, Simona; Kaplan, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Spontaneous preterm birth is a frequent complication of pregnancy and a common cause of morbidity in childhood. Obstetricians suspect abnormalities of the cervix are implicated in a significant number of preterm births. The cervix is composed of fibrous connective tissue and undergoes significant remodeling in preparation for birth. We hypothesized that a tissue engineering strategy could be used to develop three-dimensional cervical-like tissue constructs that would be suitable for investigating cervical remodeling. Cervical cells were isolated from two premenopausal women undergoing hysterectomy for a benign gynecological condition, and the cells were seeded on porous silk scaffolds in the presence or absence of dynamic culture and with 10% or 20% serum. Morphological, biochemical, and mechanical properties were measured during the 8-week culture period. Cervical cells proliferated in three-dimensions and synthesized an extracellular matrix with biochemical constituents and morphology similar to native tissue. Compared to static culture, dynamic culture was associated with significantly increased collagen deposition (p?

  8. Cervical tissue engineering using silk scaffolds and human cervical cells.

    PubMed

    House, Michael; Sanchez, Cristina C; Rice, William L; Socrate, Simona; Kaplan, David L

    2010-06-01

    Spontaneous preterm birth is a frequent complication of pregnancy and a common cause of morbidity in childhood. Obstetricians suspect abnormalities of the cervix are implicated in a significant number of preterm births. The cervix is composed of fibrous connective tissue and undergoes significant remodeling in preparation for birth. We hypothesized that a tissue engineering strategy could be used to develop three-dimensional cervical-like tissue constructs that would be suitable for investigating cervical remodeling. Cervical cells were isolated from two premenopausal women undergoing hysterectomy for a benign gynecological condition, and the cells were seeded on porous silk scaffolds in the presence or absence of dynamic culture and with 10% or 20% serum. Morphological, biochemical, and mechanical properties were measured during the 8-week culture period. Cervical cells proliferated in three-dimensions and synthesized an extracellular matrix with biochemical constituents and morphology similar to native tissue. Compared to static culture, dynamic culture was associated with significantly increased collagen deposition (p < 0.05), sulfated glycosaminoglycan synthesis (p < 0.05), and mechanical stiffness (p < 0.05). Serum concentration did not affect measured variables. Relevant human tissue-engineered cervical-like constructs constitute a novel model system for a range of fundamental and applied studies related to cervical remodeling. PMID:20121593

  9. Fluorescent silk cocoon creating fluorescent diatom using a “Water glass-fluorophore ferry”

    PubMed Central

    Kusurkar, Tejas S.; Tandon, Ishita; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2013-01-01

    Fluorophores are ubiquitous in nature. Naturally occurring fluorophores are exceptionally stable and have high quantum yield. Several natural systems have acquired fluorescent signature due to the presence of these fluorophores. Systematic attempt to harvest these fluorophores from natural systems could reap rich commercial benefit to bio-imaging industry. Silk cocoon biomaterial is one such example of natural system, which has acquired a fluorescent signature. The objective of this study is to develop simple, rapid, commercially viable technique to isolate silk cocoon membrane fluorophores and exploring the possibility of using them as fluorescent dye in bio-imaging. Here, we report an innovative water glass (Na2SiO3) based strategy to isolate the silk cocoon fluorophores. Isolated fluorophore is majorly quercetin derivatives and exhibited remarkable photo- and heat stability. Fluorescence and mass spectrometric analysis confirmed presence of a quercetin derivative. We further used this fluorophore to successfully label the silicate shell of diatom species Nitzschia palea. PMID:24256845

  10. Novel and simple route to fabricate fully biocompatible plasmonic mushroom arrays adhered on silk biopolymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Joonhan; Choi, Yunkyoung; Lee, Myungjae; Jeon, Heonsu; Kim, Sunghwan

    2014-12-01

    A fully biocompatible plasmonic quasi-3D nanostructure is demonstrated by a simple and reliable fabrication method using strong adhesion between gold and silk fibroin. The quasi-3D nature gives rise to complex photonic responses in reflectance that are prospectively useful in bio/chemical sensing applications. Laser interference lithography is utilized to fabricate large-area plasmonic nanostructures.A fully biocompatible plasmonic quasi-3D nanostructure is demonstrated by a simple and reliable fabrication method using strong adhesion between gold and silk fibroin. The quasi-3D nature gives rise to complex photonic responses in reflectance that are prospectively useful in bio/chemical sensing applications. Laser interference lithography is utilized to fabricate large-area plasmonic nanostructures. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: The incident angle dependence of reflectance spectra and the atomic force microscopy image of the Au nanoparticle array on a silk film after 1 hour of ultrasonication. See DOI: 10.1039/c4nr05172f

  11. Fluorescent silk cocoon creating fluorescent diatom using a “Water glass-fluorophore ferry”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusurkar, Tejas S.; Tandon, Ishita; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2013-11-01

    Fluorophores are ubiquitous in nature. Naturally occurring fluorophores are exceptionally stable and have high quantum yield. Several natural systems have acquired fluorescent signature due to the presence of these fluorophores. Systematic attempt to harvest these fluorophores from natural systems could reap rich commercial benefit to bio-imaging industry. Silk cocoon biomaterial is one such example of natural system, which has acquired a fluorescent signature. The objective of this study is to develop simple, rapid, commercially viable technique to isolate silk cocoon membrane fluorophores and exploring the possibility of using them as fluorescent dye in bio-imaging. Here, we report an innovative water glass (Na2SiO3) based strategy to isolate the silk cocoon fluorophores. Isolated fluorophore is majorly quercetin derivatives and exhibited remarkable photo- and heat stability. Fluorescence and mass spectrometric analysis confirmed presence of a quercetin derivative. We further used this fluorophore to successfully label the silicate shell of diatom species Nitzschia palea.

  12. Effect of Storage Time and Concentration on Structure of Regenerated Silk Fibroin Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Fang; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    Concentrated regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) aqueous solutions with concentration close to that of the native silk fibroin (15.5%, 25.5% and 31%) were prepared. The effect of storage time and concentration on the conformational transition of the concentrated RSF aqueous solution was studied by Raman spectroscopy and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. At the same time, the conformational change of RSF aqueous solution in flowing state was also investigated. It was found that the conformation of silk fibroin was changed gradually from random coil/?-helix to ?-sheet structure during the storage. And the conformational transformation was accelerated with the increasing of the RSF aqueous solution concentration. When the solution was in flowing state, the conformational transformation was also accelerated.

  13. Effects of electrospinning and solution casting protocols on the secondary structure of a genetically engineered dragline spider silk analogue investigated via Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Jean S; Fahnestock, Stephen R; Farmer, Robin S; Kiick, Kristi L; Chase, D Bruce; Rabolt, John F

    2005-01-01

    Micrometer and submicrometer diameter fibers of recombinant dragline spider silk analogues, synthesized via protein engineering strategies, have been electrospun from 1,1,1,3,3,3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) and compared with cast films via Raman spectroscopy in order to assess changes in protein conformation that may result from the electrospinning process. Although the solvent casting process was shown to result in predominantly beta-sheet conformation similar to that observed in the bulk, the electrospinning process causes a major change in conformation from beta-sheet to alpha-helix. A possible mechanism involving electric field-induced stabilization of alpha-helical segments in HFIP solution during the electrospinning process is discussed. PMID:15877359

  14. Development of structure in natural silk spinning and poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willcox, Patricia Jeanene

    This research involves the characterization of structure and structure formation in aqueous systems. Particularly, these studies investigate the effect of various processing variables on the structure formation that occurs upon conversion from aqueous solution to fiber or hydrogel. The two processes studied include natural silk fiber spinning and physical gelation of poly(vinyl alcohol), PVOH, in water. The techniques employed combine cryogenic technology for sample preparation and direct observation by transmission electron microscopy with electron diffraction, atomic force microscopy, optical rheometry, X-ray scattering and optical microscopy. In order to explore the full range of structure formation in natural silk spinning, studies are conducted in vivo and in vitro. In vivo structural investigations are accomplished through the cryogenic quenching and subsequent microtoming of live silk-spinning animals, Nephila clavipes (spider) and Bombyx mori (silkworm). Observations made using transmission electron microscopy, electron diffraction and atomic force microscopy indicate a cholesteric liquid crystalline mesophase of aqueous silk fibroin in both species. The mechanism of structure formation in solution is studied in vitro using optical rheometry on aqueous solutions made from regenerated Bombyx mori cocoon silk. Concentrated solutions exhibit birefringence under flow, with a wormlike conformation of the silk molecules in concentrated salt solution. Changes in salt concentration and pH of the aqueous silk solutions result in differing degrees of alignment and aggregation. These results suggest that structural control in the natural silk spinning process is accomplished by chemical manipulation of the electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonding between chains. Application of cryogenic methods in transmission electron microscopy also provides a unique look at hydration-dependent structures in gels of poly(vinyl alcohol) produced by freeze-thaw processing. Morphologies ranging from circular pores to fibrillar networks are observed in gels formed from aqueous PVOH solutions subjected to cycles of freezing and thawing. These morphologies can be directly associated with the progressive nature of the mechanism of gelation as it proceeds from liquid-liquid phase separation to crystallization with increased cycling. A comparison of the structures produced by cycling and by aging suggests that there is a similarity in structural changes, but a superposition of the effects of cycling and aging is not possible.

  15. Earliest tea as evidence for one branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lu, Houyuan; Zhang, Jianping; Yang, Yimin; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xu, Baiqing; Yang, Wuzhan; Tong, Tao; Jin, Shubo; Shen, Caiming; Rao, Huiyun; Li, Xingguo; Lu, Hongliang; Fuller, Dorian Q; Wang, Luo; Wang, Can; Xu, Deke; Wu, Naiqin

    2016-01-01

    Phytoliths and biomolecular components extracted from ancient plant remains from Chang'an (Xi'an, the city where the Silk Road begins) and Ngari (Ali) in western Tibet, China, show that the tea was grown 2100 years ago to cater for the drinking habits of the Western Han Dynasty (207BCE-9CE), and then carried toward central Asia by ca.200CE, several hundred years earlier than previously recorded. The earliest physical evidence of tea from both the Chang'an and Ngari regions suggests that a branch of the Silk Road across the Tibetan Plateau, was established by the second to third century CE. PMID:26738699

  16. Effect of mechanical deformation on the structure of regenerated Bombyx mori silk fibroin films as revealed using Raman and infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Huot, Alexandrine; Lefèvre, Thierry; Rioux-Dubé, Jean-François; Paquet-Mercier, François; Nault, Anne-Philipe; Auger, Michèle; Pézolet, Michel

    2015-06-01

    To better understand the effect of mechanical stress during the spinning of silk, the protein orientation and conformation of Bombyx mori regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) films have been studied as a function of deformation in a static mode or in real time by tensile-Raman experiments and polarization modulation infrared linear dichroism (PM-IRLD), respectively. The data show that either for step-by-step or continuous stretching, elongation induces the progressive formation of ?-sheets that align along the drawing axis, in particular above a draw ratio of ~2. The formation of ?-sheets begins before their alignment during a continuous drawing. Unordered chains were, however, never found to be oriented, which explains the very low level of orientation of the amorphous phase of the natural fiber. Stress-perturbed unordered chains readily convert into ?-sheets, the strain-induced transformation following a two-state process. The final level of orientation and ?-sheet content are lower than those found in the native fiber, indicating that various parameters have to be optimized in order to implement a spinning process as efficient as the natural one. Finally, during the stress relaxation period in a step-by-step drawing, there is