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Sample records for seeded knitted silk

  1. The interaction between a combined knitted silk scaffold and microporous silk sponge with human mesenchymal stem cells for ligament tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haifeng; Fan, Hongbin; Wang, Yue; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James C H

    2008-02-01

    Cell seeding on knitted scaffolds often require a gel system, which was found to be practically unsuitable for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction as the cell-gel composite often gets dislodged from the scaffold in the in vivo dynamic situations. In order to solve this problem, we fabricated this combined silk scaffold with weblike microporous silk sponges formed in the openings of a knitted silk scaffold and subsequently combined with adult human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) for in vitro ligament tissue engineering. Human MSCs adhered and grew well on the combined silk scaffolds. Moreover, in comparison with the knitted silk scaffolds seeded with hMSCs in fibroin gel the cellular function was more actively exhibited on the combined silk scaffolds, as evident by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis for ligament-related gene markers (e.g., type I, III collagen and tenascin-C), immunohistochemical and western blot evaluations of ligament-related extracellular matrix (ECM) components. While the knitted structure holds the microporous silk sponges together and provides the structural strength of the combined silk scaffold, the microporous structure of the silk sponges mimic the ECM which consequently promotes cell proliferation, function, and differentiation. This feature overcomes the limitation of knitted scaffold for ligament tissue engineering application.

  2. Effect of fibroin sponge coating on in vivo performance of knitted silk small diameter vascular grafts

    PubMed Central

    Fukayama, Toshiharu; Ozai, Yusuke; Shimokawadoko, Haruka; Aytemiz, Derya; Tanaka, Ryou; Machida, Noboru; Asakura, Tetsuo

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vascular grafts under 5 mm or less in diameter are not developed due to a problem caused by early thrombus formation, neointimal hyperplasia, etc. Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) which has biodegradability and tissue infiltration is focused as tube and coating material of vascular grafts. Coating is an important factor to maintain the strength of the anastomotic region of vascular grafts, and to prevent the blood leak from the vascular grafts after implantation. Therefore, in this research, we focused on the SF concentration of the coating solution, and tissue infiltration and remodeling were compared among each SF concentration. Silk poly (-ethylene) glycol diglycidyl ether (PGDE) coating with concentrations of 1.0%, 2.5%, 5.0%, and 7.5% SF were applied for the double-raschel knitted small-sized vessel with 1.5 mm diameter and 1cm in length. The grafts were implanted in the rat abdominal aorta and removed after 3 weeks or 3 months. Vascular grafts patency was monitored by ultrasound, and morphological evaluation was performed by histopathological examination. SF concentration had no significant effects on the patency rate. However, tissue infiltration was significantly higher in the sample of 2.5% SF in 3 weeks, and 1.0% and 2.5% SF in 3 months. Also, in comparison of length inside of the graft, stenosis were not found in 3 weeks, however, found with 5.0% and 7.5% in 3 months. From these results, it is clear that 2.5% SF coating is the most suitable concentration, based on the characteristics of less stenosis, early tissue infiltration, and less neointimal hyperplasia. PMID:26496652

  3. Alignment of collagen fiber in knitted silk scaffold for functional massive rotator cuff repair.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Zefeng; Ran, Jisheng; Chen, Weishan; Hu, Yejun; Zhu, Ting; Chen, Xiao; Yin, Zi; Heng, Boon Chin; Feng, Gang; Le, Huihui; Tang, Chenqi; Huang, Jiayun; Chen, Yangwu; Zhou, Yiting; Dominique, Pioletti; Shen, Weiliang; Ouyang, Hong-Wei

    2017-03-15

    Rotator cuff tear is one of the most common types of shoulder injuries, often resulting in pain and physical debilitation. Allogeneic tendon-derived decellularized matrices do not have appropriate pore size and porosity to facilitate cell infiltration, while commercially-available synthetic scaffolds are often inadequate at inducing tenogenic differentiation. The aim of this study is to develop an advanced 3D aligned collagen/silk scaffold (ACS) and investigate its efficacy in a rabbit massive rotator cuff tear model. ACS has similar 3D alignment of collagen fibers as natural tendon with superior mechanical characteristics. Based on ectopic transplantation studies, the optimal collagen concentration (10mg/ml), pore diameter (108.43±7.25μm) and porosity (97.94±0.08%) required for sustaining a stable macro-structure conducive for cellular infiltration was determined. Within in vitro culture, tendon stem/progenitor cells (TSPCs) displayed spindle-shaped morphology, and were well-aligned on ACS as early as 24h. TSPCs formed intercellular contacts and deposited extracellular matrix after 7days. With the in vivo rotator cuff repair model, the regenerative tendon of the ACS group displayed more conspicuous native microstructures with larger diameter collagen fibrils (48.72±3.75 vs. 44.26±5.03nm) that had better alignment and mechanical properties (139.85±49.36vs. 99.09±33.98N) at 12weeks post-implantation. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the positive efficacy of the macroporous 3D aligned scaffold in facilitating rotator cuff tendon regeneration, and its practical applications for rotator cuff tendon tissue engineering.

  4. In vitro evaluation of combined sulfated silk fibroin scaffolds for vascular cell growth.

    PubMed

    Liu, Haifeng; Ding, Xili; Bi, Yanxue; Gong, Xianghui; Li, Xiaoming; Zhou, Gang; Fan, Yubo

    2013-06-01

    A combined sulfated silk fibroin scaffold is fabricated by modifying a knitted silk scaffold with sulfated silk fibroin sponges. In vitro hemocompatibility evaluation reveals that the combined sulfated silk fibroin scaffolds reduce platelet adhesion and activation, and prolong the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), and prothrombin time (PT). The response of porcine endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs) on the scaffolds is studied to evaluate the cytocompatibility of the scaffolds. Vascular cells are seeded on the scaffolds and cultured for 2 weeks. The scaffolds demonstrate enhanced EC adhesion, proliferation, and maintenance of cellular functions. Moreover, the scaffolds inhibit SMC proliferation and induce expression of contractile SMC marker genes.

  5. Seed-Specific Expression of Spider Silk Protein Multimers Causes Long-Term Stability

    PubMed Central

    Weichert, Nicola; Hauptmann, Valeska; Helmold, Christine; Conrad, Udo

    2016-01-01

    Seeds enable plants to germinate and to grow in situations of limited availability of nutrients. The stable storage of different seed proteins is a remarkable presumption for successful germination and growth. These strategies have been adapted and used in several molecular farming projects. In this study, we explore the benefits of seed-based expression to produce the high molecular weight spider silk protein FLAG using intein-based trans-splicing. Multimers larger than 460 kDa in size are routinely produced, which is above the native size of the FLAG protein. The storage of seeds for 8 weeks and 1 year at an ambient temperature of 15°C does not influence the accumulation level. Even the extended storage time does not influence the typical pattern of multimerized bands. These results show that seeds are the method of choice for stable accumulation of products of complex transgenes and have the capability for long-term storage at moderate conditions, an important feature for the development of suitable downstream processes. PMID:26858734

  6. Cryopreservation of hMSCs seeded silk nanofibers based tissue engineered constructs.

    PubMed

    Bissoyi, Akalabya; Pramanik, K; Panda, Niladri Nath; Sarangi, S K

    2014-06-01

    Long term cryopreservation of tissue engineering constructs is of paramount importance to meet off-the shelf requirements for medical applications. In the present study, the effect of cryopreservation using natural osmolytes such as trehalose and ectoin with and without conventional Me2SO on the cryopreservation of tissue engineered constructs (TECs) was evaluated. MSCs derived from umbilical cord were seeded on electrospun nanofibrous silk fibroin scaffolds and cultured to develop TECs. TECs were subjected to controlled rate freezing using nine different freezing solutions. Among these, freezing medium consisting of natural osmolytes like trehalose (40mM), ectoin (40mM), catalase (100μg) as antioxidant and Me2SO (2.5%) was found to be the most effective. Optimality of the chosen cryoprotectants was confirmed by cell viability (PI live/dead staining), cell proliferation (MTT assay), microstructure analysis (SEM), membrane integrity (confocal microscopy) and in vitro osteogenic differentiation (ALP assay, RT-PCR and histology) study carried out with post-thaw cryopreserved TECs. The mechanical integrity of the cryopreserved scaffold was found to be unaltered. The performance of the freezing medium towards cryopreservation of TEC was superior than the performance achieved using conventional Me2SO and similar to the non cryopreserved TEC. Overall we have formulated an efficient freezing medium that may pave the way of long term preservation of TECs with maintaining its integrity, MSCs viability and differentiation potentiality. It was observed that the performance of freezing medium for cryopreservation of TECs was better than the Me2SO.

  7. Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells and Gingival Fibroblasts Seeded into Silk Fibroin Scaffolds Have the Same Ability in Attracting Vessels

    PubMed Central

    Woloszyk, Anna; Buschmann, Johanna; Waschkies, Conny; Stadlinger, Bernd; Mitsiadis, Thimios A.

    2016-01-01

    Neovascularization is one of the most important processes during tissue repair and regeneration. Current healing approaches based on the use of biomaterials combined with stem cells in critical-size bone defects fail due to the insufficient implant vascularization and integration into the host tissues. Therefore, here we studied the attraction, ingrowth, and distribution of blood vessels from the chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane into implanted silk fibroin scaffolds seeded with either human dental pulp stem cells or human gingival fibroblasts. Perfusion capacity was evaluated by non-invasive in vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging while the number and density of blood vessels were measured by histomorphometry. Our results demonstrate that human dental pulp stem cells and gingival fibroblasts possess equal abilities in attracting vessels within silk fibroin scaffolds. Additionally, the prolonged in vitro pre-incubation period of these two cell populations favors the homogeneous distribution of vessels within silk fibroin scaffolds, which further improves implant survival and guarantees successful healing and regeneration. PMID:27148078

  8. Characterization and Schwann Cell Seeding of up to 15.0 cm Long Spider Silk Nerve Conduits for Reconstruction of Peripheral Nerve Defects

    PubMed Central

    Kornfeld, Tim; Vogt, Peter M.; Bucan, Vesna; Peck, Claas-Tido; Reimers, Kerstin; Radtke, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Nerve reconstruction of extended nerve defect injuries still remains challenging with respect to therapeutic options. The gold standard in nerve surgery is the autologous nerve graft. Due to the limitation of adequate donor nerves, surgical alternatives are needed. Nerve grafts made out of either natural or artificial materials represent this alternative. Several biomaterials are being explored and preclinical and clinical applications are ongoing. Unfortunately, nerve conduits with successful enhancement of axonal regeneration for nerve defects measuring over 4.0 cm are sparse and no conduits are available for nerve defects extending to 10.0 cm. In this study, spider silk nerve conduits seeded with Schwann cells were investigated for in vitro regeneration on defects measuring 4.0 cm, 10.0 cm and 15.0 cm in length. Schwann cells (SCs) were isolated, cultured and purified. Cell purity was determined by immunofluorescence. Nerve grafts were constructed out of spider silk from Nephila edulis and decellularized ovine vessels. Finally, spider silk implants were seeded with purified Schwann cells. Cell attachment was observed within the first hour. After 7 and 21 days of culture, immunofluorescence for viability and determination of Schwann cell proliferation and migration throughout the conduits was performed. Analyses revealed that SCs maintained viable (>95%) throughout the conduits independent of construct length. SC proliferation on the spider silk was determined from day 7 to day 21 with a proliferation index of 49.42% arithmetically averaged over all conduits. This indicates that spider silk nerve conduits represent a favorable environment for SC attachment, proliferation and distribution over a distance of least 15.0 cm in vitro. Thus spider silk nerve implants are a highly adequate biomaterial for nerve reconstruction. PMID:27916868

  9. Characterization and Schwann Cell Seeding of up to 15.0 cm Long Spider Silk Nerve Conduits for Reconstruction of Peripheral Nerve Defects.

    PubMed

    Kornfeld, Tim; Vogt, Peter M; Bucan, Vesna; Peck, Claas-Tido; Reimers, Kerstin; Radtke, Christine

    2016-11-30

    Nerve reconstruction of extended nerve defect injuries still remains challenging with respect to therapeutic options. The gold standard in nerve surgery is the autologous nerve graft. Due to the limitation of adequate donor nerves, surgical alternatives are needed. Nerve grafts made out of either natural or artificial materials represent this alternative. Several biomaterials are being explored and preclinical and clinical applications are ongoing. Unfortunately, nerve conduits with successful enhancement of axonal regeneration for nerve defects measuring over 4.0 cm are sparse and no conduits are available for nerve defects extending to 10.0 cm. In this study, spider silk nerve conduits seeded with Schwann cells were investigated for in vitro regeneration on defects measuring 4.0 cm, 10.0 cm and 15.0 cm in length. Schwann cells (SCs) were isolated, cultured and purified. Cell purity was determined by immunofluorescence. Nerve grafts were constructed out of spider silk from Nephila edulis and decellularized ovine vessels. Finally, spider silk implants were seeded with purified Schwann cells. Cell attachment was observed within the first hour. After 7 and 21 days of culture, immunofluorescence for viability and determination of Schwann cell proliferation and migration throughout the conduits was performed. Analyses revealed that SCs maintained viable (>95%) throughout the conduits independent of construct length. SC proliferation on the spider silk was determined from day 7 to day 21 with a proliferation index of 49.42% arithmetically averaged over all conduits. This indicates that spider silk nerve conduits represent a favorable environment for SC attachment, proliferation and distribution over a distance of least 15.0 cm in vitro. Thus spider silk nerve implants are a highly adequate biomaterial for nerve reconstruction.

  10. Experimental bladder regeneration using a poly-l-lactide/silk fibroin scaffold seeded with nanoparticle-labeled allogenic bone marrow stromal cells

    PubMed Central

    Yudintceva, Natalia M; Nashchekina, Yulia A; Blinova, Miralda I; Orlova, Nadezhda V; Muraviov, Alexandr N; Vinogradova, Tatiana I; Sheykhov, Magomed G; Shapkova, Elena Y; Emeljannikov, Dmitriy V; Yablonskii, Petr K; Samusenko, Igor A; Mikhrina, Anastasiya L; Pakhomov, Artem V; Shevtsov, Maxim A

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, a poly-l-lactide/silk fibroin (PL-SF) bilayer scaffold seeded with allogenic bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) was investigated as a potential approach for bladder tissue engineering in a model of partial bladder wall cystectomy in rabbits. The inner porous layer of the scaffold produced from silk fibroin was designed to promote cell proliferation and the outer layer produced from poly-l-lactic acid to serve as a waterproof barrier. To compare the feasibility and efficacy of BMSC application in the reconstruction of bladder defects, 12 adult male rabbits were divided into experimental and control groups (six animals each) that received a scaffold seeded with BMSCs or an acellular one, respectively. For BMSC tracking in the graft in in vivo studies using magnetic resonance imaging, cells were labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. In vitro studies demonstrated high intracellular incorporation of nanoparticles and the absence of a toxic influence on BMSC viability and proliferation. Following implantation of the graft with BMSCs into the bladder, we observed integration of the scaffold with surrounding bladder tissues (as detected by magnetic resonance imaging). During the follow-up period of 12 weeks, labeled BMSCs resided in the implanted scaffold. The functional activity of the reconstructed bladder was confirmed by electromyography. Subsequent histological assay demonstrated enhanced biointegrative properties of the PL-SF scaffold with cells in comparison to the control graft, as related to complete regeneration of the smooth muscle and urothelium tissues in the implant. Confocal microscopy studies confirmed the presence of the superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle-labeled BMSCs in newly formed bladder layers, thus indicating the role of stem cells in bladder regeneration. The results of this study demonstrate that application of a PL-SF scaffold seeded with allogenic BMSCs can enhance biointegration of the graft in

  11. The stiffness of bone marrow cell-knit composites is increased during mechanical load.

    PubMed

    Bruinink, A; Siragusano, D; Ettel, G; Brandsberg, T; Brandsberg, F; Petitmermet, M; Müller, B; Mayer, J; Wintermantel, E

    2001-12-01

    A novel device for mechanical stimulation of primary adult rat bone marrow cells cultured on three-dimensional knitted textiles has been prototyped. A method has been developed ensuring a well-defined, high-density, and reproducible cell seeding on the knitted fabric. After culturing for 18-52 days the cell-knit composites were subjected to uniaxial 2% stretching and relaxation. The frequency was altered between 0.1 Hz (196 min, loading phase) and 0.01 Hz (360 min, resting phase). Identically treated knits without cells exhibited a slight stiffness reduction, whereas the stiffness of knits with cells increased from cycle to cycle. The stiffness increase was found to depend on the duration of the culture period before mechanical loading. Our data suggest that the extracellular matrix deposited by the cells on the knit and intact microtubuli of living cells cause the observed stiffness increase. In comparison to the unstrained static cell-knit composites cell proliferation and bone cell differentiation were reduced by the mechanical load.

  12. Knitting: A Craft Makes a Comeback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McIntosh, Phyllis

    2011-01-01

    Hand knitting is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States. Once considered the province of grannies and expectant mothers stitching layettes, knitting is enjoying a 21st century resurgence, especially among young people. Knitting, it turns out, is a trendy, often eco-friendly pastime with a wide range of appeals. And, thanks to the…

  13. Silk fabrics in the management of atopic dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Ricci, Giampaolo; Neri, Iria; Ricci, Lorenza; Patrizi, Annalisa

    2012-03-01

    Many factors may worsen atopic dermatitis (AD) including sweating, skin infections, food, inhalant allergens, climatic conditions, stress, and chemical or physical irritants. Especially in children, clothing can be an effective barrier against flare-inducing factors and persistent scratching, allowing more rapid improvement of the eczematous lesions. On the contrary, some fabrics used for clothing may exacerbate skin conditions due to their rough fibers, such as wool and nylon. Conventional silk has smooth fibers that are generally woven for textiles in the manufacturing of clothes, but this material is not particularly useful in the management of children with AD since it reduces transpiration and may cause discomfort. Herein, we evaluate the data concerning a special silk fabric (MICROAIR DermaSilk®) shown to be suitable for patients with AD. The unique properties of this knitted silk allow the skin to breathe and lack irritative potential. Moreover, this fabric is treated with a water-resistant antimicrobial finish known as AEGIS AEM 5772/5. This novel knitted silk fabric appears to be useful in managing children with AD due to its non-irritating and antibacterial features. Additionally, a synthetic silk-like fabric (DermaTherapy®) has received US FDA clearance as a Class I medical device and is commercially available as bedding; their use by AD patients has shown interesting results.

  14. Smarten up garments through knitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz-Pfeiffer, A.; Obermann, M.; Weber, M. O.; Ehrmann, A.

    2016-07-01

    Smart textiles are a growing and fascinating field with enormous potential in the field of wearable electronics: shirts with integrated electrodes, socks stimulating the blood circulation or heating clothing are just a few examples of wearable, smart textile products. Most often, the technology of choice for on-the-body-worn smart textiles is knitting as it results in stretchable and, hence comfortable garments. This presentation explores the knitting technology in respect to smart textiles giving an overview of current research activities as well as commercially available products on the market. It further intends to foster the transfer of research approaches into business applications as well as to develop new challenging research ideas.

  15. Synergistic effect of exogeneous and endogeneous electrostimulation on osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells seeded on silk scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Çakmak, Anıl S; Çakmak, Soner; White, James D; Raja, Waseem K; Kim, Kyungsook; Yiğit, Sezin; Kaplan, David L; Gümüşderelioğlu, Menemşe

    2016-04-01

    Bioelectrical regulation of bone fracture healing is important for many cellular events such as proliferation, migration, and differentiation. The aim of this study was to investigate the osteogenic differentiation potential of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultivated on silk scaffolds in response to different modes of electrostimulation (e.g., exogeneous and/or endogeneous). Endogeneous electrophysiology was altered through the use of monensin (10 nM) and glibenclamide (10 μM), along with external electrostimulation (60 kHz; 100-500 mV). Monensin enhanced the expression of early osteogenic markers such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX-2). When exogeneous electrostimulation was combined with glibenclamide, more mature osteogenic marker upregulation based on bone sialoprotein expression (BSP) and mineralization was found. These results suggest the potential to exploit both exogeneous and endogeneous biophysical control of cell functions towards tissue-specific goals.

  16. A Silk Fibroin/Collagen Nerve Scaffold Seeded with a Co-Culture of Schwann Cells and Adipose-Derived Stem Cells for Sciatic Nerve Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunqiang; Zhang, Zhenhui; Chen, Xuyi; Li, Ruixin; Li, Dong; Feng, Shiqing

    2016-01-01

    As a promising alternative to autologous nerve grafts, tissue-engineered nerve grafts have been extensively studied as a way to bridge peripheral nerve defects and guide nerve regeneration. The main difference between autogenous nerve grafts and tissue-engineered nerve grafts is the regenerative microenvironment formed by the grafts. If an appropriate regenerative microenvironment is provided, the repair of a peripheral nerve is feasible. In this study, to mimic the body's natural regenerative microenvironment closely, we co-cultured Schwann cells (SCs) and adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) as seed cells and introduced them into a silk fibroin (SF)/collagen scaffold to construct a tissue-engineered nerve conduit (TENC). Twelve weeks after the three different grafts (plain SF/collagen scaffold, TENC, and autograft) were transplanted to bridge 1-cm long sciatic nerve defects in rats, a series of electrophysiological examinations and morphological analyses were performed to evaluate the effect of the tissue-engineered nerve grafts on peripheral nerve regeneration. The regenerative outcomes showed that the effect of treatment with TENCs was similar to that with autologous nerve grafts but superior to that with plain SF/collagen scaffolds. Meanwhile, no experimental animals had inflammation around the grafts. Based on this evidence, our findings suggest that the TENC we developed could improve the regenerative microenvironment and accelerate nerve regeneration compared to plain SF/collagen and may serve as a promising strategy for peripheral nerve repair.

  17. Knitting and weaving artificial muscles

    PubMed Central

    Maziz, Ali; Concas, Alessandro; Khaldi, Alexandre; Stålhand, Jonas; Persson, Nils-Krister; Jager, Edwin W. H.

    2017-01-01

    A need exists for artificial muscles that are silent, soft, and compliant, with performance characteristics similar to those of skeletal muscle, enabling natural interaction of assistive devices with humans. By combining one of humankind’s oldest technologies, textile processing, with electroactive polymers, we demonstrate here the feasibility of wearable, soft artificial muscles made by weaving and knitting, with tunable force and strain. These textile actuators were produced from cellulose yarns assembled into fabrics and coated with conducting polymers using a metal-free deposition. To increase the output force, we assembled yarns in parallel by weaving. The force scaled linearly with the number of yarns in the woven fabric. To amplify the strain, we knitted a stretchable fabric, exhibiting a 53-fold increase in strain. In addition, the textile construction added mechanical stability to the actuators. Textile processing permits scalable and rational production of wearable artificial muscles, and enables novel ways to design assistive devices. PMID:28138542

  18. Mechanics of a Knitted Fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poincloux, Samuel; Lechenault, Frederic; Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar

    A simple knitted fabric can be seen as a topologically constrained slender rod following a periodic path. The non-linear properties of the fabric, such as large reversible deformation and characteristic shape under stress, arise from topological features known as stitches and are distinct from the constitutive yarn properties. Through experiments we studied a model stockinette fabric made of a single elastic thread, where the mechanical properties and local stitch displacements were measured. Then, we derived a model based on the yarn bending energy at the stitch level resulting in an evaluation of the displacement fields of the repetitive units which describe the fabric shape. The comparison between the predicted and the measured shape gives very good agreement and the right order of magnitude for the mechanical response is captured. This work aims at providing a fundamental framework for the understanding of knitted systems, paving the way to thread based smart materials. Contract ANR-14-CE07-0031-01 METAMAT.

  19. Knitting and weaving artificial muscles.

    PubMed

    Maziz, Ali; Concas, Alessandro; Khaldi, Alexandre; Stålhand, Jonas; Persson, Nils-Krister; Jager, Edwin W H

    2017-01-01

    A need exists for artificial muscles that are silent, soft, and compliant, with performance characteristics similar to those of skeletal muscle, enabling natural interaction of assistive devices with humans. By combining one of humankind's oldest technologies, textile processing, with electroactive polymers, we demonstrate here the feasibility of wearable, soft artificial muscles made by weaving and knitting, with tunable force and strain. These textile actuators were produced from cellulose yarns assembled into fabrics and coated with conducting polymers using a metal-free deposition. To increase the output force, we assembled yarns in parallel by weaving. The force scaled linearly with the number of yarns in the woven fabric. To amplify the strain, we knitted a stretchable fabric, exhibiting a 53-fold increase in strain. In addition, the textile construction added mechanical stability to the actuators. Textile processing permits scalable and rational production of wearable artificial muscles, and enables novel ways to design assistive devices.

  20. Knitted Patterns as a Model for Anisotropy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cepic, Mojca

    2012-01-01

    Anisotropy is a difficult concept, although it is often met in everyday life. This paper describes a simple model--knitted patterns--having anisotropic elastic properties. The elastic constant is measured for the force applied in different directions with respect to the knitting direction. It is also shown that the deformation of the knitted…

  1. Science off the Sphere: Knitting Needles

    NASA Video Gallery

    International Space Station Expedition 30 astronaut Don Pettit uses knitting needles and water droplets to demonstrate physics in space for 'Science off the Sphere.' Through a partnership between N...

  2. Properties of honeycomb polyester knitted fabrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, A. F.

    2016-07-01

    The properties of honeycomb polyester weft-knitted fabrics were studied to understand their advantages. Seven honeycomb polyester weft-knitted fabrics and one common polyester weft-knitted fabric were selected for testing. Their bursting strengths, fuzzing and pilling, air permeability, abrasion resistance and moisture absorption and perspiration were studied. The results show that the honeycomb polyester weft-knitted fabrics have excellent moisture absorption and liberation. The smaller their thicknesses and area densities are, the better their moisture absorption and liberation will be. Their anti-fuzzing and anti-pilling is good, whereas their bursting strengths and abrasion resistance are poorer compared with common polyester fabric's. In order to improve the hygroscopic properties of the fabrics, the proportion of the honeycomb microporous structure modified polyester in the fabrics should not be less than 40%.

  3. High sensitivity knitted fabric strain sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Juan; Long, Hairu; Miao, Menghe

    2016-10-01

    Wearable sensors are increasingly used in smart garments for detecting and transferring vital signals and body posture, movement and respiration. Existing fabric strain sensors made from metallized yarns have low sensitivity, poor comfort and low durability to washing. Here we report a knitted fabric strain sensor made from a cotton/stainless steel (SS) fibre blended yarn which shows much higher sensitivity than sensors knitted from metallized yarns. The fabric feels softer than pure cotton textiles owing to the ultrafine stainless steel fibres and does not lose its electrical property after washing. The reason for the high sensitivity of the cotton/SS knitted fabric sensor was explored by comparing its sensing mechanism with the knitted fabric sensor made from metallized yarns. The results show that the cotton/SS yarn-to-yarn contact resistance is highly sensitive to strain applied to hooked yarn loops.

  4. 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)

  5. Functionalised Silk Fibres

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-30

    method. We note that high levels of non-specific binding to silkworm silk have been reported in other laboratories (Lammel et al., 2011...are commonly used to induce ß-sheet formation in reconstituted silkworm silk and 16 result in water insensitive material. FTIR analysis...model for artificial honeybee silk. In contrast, hornet silk (Vespoidea) can be solubilised in lithium bromide (akin to silkworm silk). Therefore, the

  6. Influence of miss knit repeat on parameters and properties of elasticized knitted fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kyzymchuk, O.; Melnyk, L.

    2016-07-01

    The features of elasticized knitted fabric are: high extensibility, elasticity and adaptability to a body shape and a compression effect when it is used in the extended state. The elasticity of a knitted fabric is enhanced by the incorporation of elastane thread or core-spun yarn into the knitted structure as the weft yarn that is laid in the stretching direction. The quality of elasticized knitted fabrics is determined by the reliability of the how the elastomeric yarn is fixed within as the structure is deformed with an increase in the contact areas between the elastomeric and conventional yarns. The high fixing level can be achieved by the nature of loops formed from the elastomeric yarn. The simultaneous union of both conditions is possible with miss-knitting of elastomeric yarn through a certain number of needles. The main purpose of this study is to establish the influence of miss knit repeat of elastomeric yarn on the structural parameters and determine the stretch properties of the elasticized knitted fabric that formed by an alternation of two courses of 1x1 rib from cotton yarn and one course of miss knit (from 2 to 10 wales between the loops) from core-spun yarn with elastane core.

  7. Reinforcing Silk Scaffolds with Silk Particles

    PubMed Central

    Rajkhowa, Rangam; Gil, Eun Seok; Kluge, Jonathan; Numata, Keiji; Wang, Lijing; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibroin is a useful protein polymer for biomaterials and tissue engineering. In this work, porogen leached scaffolds prepared from aqueous and HFIP silk solutions were reinforced through the addition of silk particles. This led to about 40 times increase in the specific compressive modulus and the yield strength of HFIP-based scaffolds. This increase in mechanical properties resulted from the high interfacial cohesion between the silk matrix and the reinforcing silk particles, due to partial solubility of the silk particles in HFIP. The porosity of scaffolds was reduced from ≈90% (control) to ≈75% for the HFIP systems containing 200% particle reinforcement, while maintaining pore interconnectivity. The presence of the particles slowed the enzymatic degradation of silk scaffolds. PMID:20166230

  8. 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, γ 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, γ 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.

  9. The effect of sterilization on silk fibroin biomaterial properties

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    The effects of common sterilization techniques on the physical and biological properties of lyophilized silk fibroin sponges is described. Sterile silk fibroin sponges were cast using a pre-sterilized silk fibroin solution under aseptic conditions or post-sterilized via autoclaving, gamma 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, gamma 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

  10. NASA-tricot - A lightweight radar reflective, knitted fabric

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, F. R.; White, E.

    1971-01-01

    Fabric knitted on conventional knitting machines uses commercially available yarns, has high aerodynamic drag capability, and is relatively inexpensive. The two yarn components used are 15-denier nylon monofilament and aluminized Mylar tape.

  11. Spider Silk Proteins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-04-18

    ampullate and cocoon silks of both Nephila clavip~s and Araneus gemmoides using standardized mechanical testing methods. We found the silks to exceed the...Chem, Res, 25: 392-397. (1992) Hinman, M.B. and Lewis, R.V. Isolation of a Clone Encoding a Second Dragline Silk Fibroin, Nephila Clavipes Dragline

  12. Needle bar for warp knitting machines

    DOEpatents

    Hagel, Adolf; Thumling, Manfred

    1979-01-01

    Needle bar for warp knitting machines with a number of needles individually set into slits of the bar and having shafts cranked to such an extent that the head section of each needle is in alignment with the shaft section accommodated by the slit. Slackening of the needles will thus not influence the needle spacing.

  13. Comparative Study of Silk-Silk Alloy Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Ye; Jao, Dave; Hu, Wenbing; Wolf, Nathan; Rocks, Eva-Marie; Hu, Xiao

    Silk fibroin materials can be used for various kinds of biomedical applications. We report a comparative study of silk-silk blend materials using thermal analysis and infrared spectroscopy. Four groups of silk-silk blend films: Mori-Tussah, Mori-Muga, Mori-Eri and Mori-Thai, were fabricated from aqueous solutions and blended at different weight ratios, respectively. These silk-silk blend systems exploit the beneficial material properties of both silks. DSC and temperature-modulated DSC were used to measure the transition temperatures and heat capacity of these water-based silk-silk blend films. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer was used to characterize secondary structures of silk-silk blends. This study demonstrates that Mori silk are fully miscible with Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk at different weight ratios without phase separation. Glass transition temperatures, degradation temperatures and the contents of alpha-helix and random coils of those silk-silk blend films can be controlled by changing the contents of different silks in the blend system. The features of Mori silk combined with the attributes of Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk offer a useful suite of materials for a variety of applications in the future.

  14. The mechanical deformation mechanisms in knitted fabric composites

    SciTech Connect

    Kelay, M.S.; Bader, D.L.; Reed, P.E.

    1994-12-31

    Knitted fabric composites have certain advantages over woven composites, particularly in their ability to conform to complicated contours. As a consequence, they demonstrate inferior mechanical characteristics compared to woven materials as a direct result of the presence of bent fibers. Such a knitted fabric composite made from, for example, glass fibers in a polyurethane matrix, can be used as an orthopaedic splinting bandage for immobilizing fractures of the upper and lower limbs. Relatively little research has been reported on knitted fabric composites was initiated. It was observed that knit patterns, type of fiber, size of fibers used, size of loops, coatings and lay-up procedure were all variables that could affect the structure/property relationship of knitted fabric composites. Tensile testing with optical measurement of strain was performed on knitted substrate and coated bandages in both course and wale directions. Results indicated that the knitted fabrics function as link mechanisms at the microscopic level, with knitted loops straightening and bending before the individual elements of the knitted yarn take up significant load and material deformation. Theoretical modeling of the glass knit structure, in both course and wale directions, agrees well with experimental testing.

  15. 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

  16. Transgenic Silk Moths to Produce Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-24

    control number. PLEASE DO NOT RETURN YOUR FORM TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. 1. REPORT DATE ( DD -MM-YYYY) 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 24-01-08...produce Nephila clavipes dragline-like silk. In order to do this, a chimeric gene called Spidrofibroin ( SpF ) have been constructed. SpF combined the...repetitive domains of spider dragline silk with the N- and C- terminal domains of the Bombyx mori silk gene, Fibroin-H (Fib-H). Various SpF genes have been

  17. Microfibrillar Structure of Silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putthanarat, Sirina; Eby, Ronald K.; Adams, W. W.; Liu, G. F.

    1998-03-01

    We have previously observed the dragline silk of Nephila clavipes and the silk of Bombyx mori exhibit a range of morphological feature including microfibers (S. Putthanarat; R.K. Eby; W.W. Adams; G.F. Liu J.M.S.-Pure Appl. Chem. 1996, A33(7), 899) and a layered structure. In successive layers the microfibers appeared to be oriented at different small angles to the fiber axis. Further work with the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) on the silk of B. mori has confirmed these observations and shown other features. One of the latter is a series of raised "steps" spaced somewhat regularly along the fiber. Investigation of peeled three-molted B. mori and Antheraea yamamai (Japanese Tussah) and other silks has shown features very similar to all those in the silk of B. mori. AFM images, characterization, and analyses will be shown for all the silks and their features

  18. INDUSTRIE 4.0 - Automation in weft knitting technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonis, K.; Gloy, Y.-S.; Gries, T.

    2016-07-01

    Industry 4.0 applies to the knitting industry. Regarding the knitting process retrofitting activities are executed mostly manually by an operator on the basis on the operator's experience. In doing so, the knitted fabric is not necessarily produced in the most efficient way regarding process speed and fabric quality aspects. The knitting division at ITA is concentrating on project activities regarding automation and Industry 4.0. ITA is working on analysing the correspondences of the knitting process parameters and their influence on the fabric quality. By using e.g. the augmented reality technology, the operator will be supported when setting up the knitting machine in case of product or pattern change - or in case of an intervention when production errors occur. Furthermore, the RFID-Technology offers great possibilities to ensure information flow between sub-processes of the fragmented textile process chain. ITA is using RFID-chips to save yarn production information and connect the information to the fabric producing machine control. In addition, ITA is currently working on integrating image processing systems into the large circular knitting machine in order to ensure online-quality measurement of the knitted fabrics. This will lead to a self-optimizing and selflearning knitting machine.

  19. 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 β-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.

  20. Industrial applications of multiaxial warp knit composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaufmann, James R.

    1992-01-01

    Over the past few years, multiaxial warp knit (MWK) fabrics have made significant inroads into the industrial composites arena. This paper examines the use of MWK fabrics in industrial composite applications. Although the focus is on current applications of MWK fabrics in composites, this paper also discusses the physical properties, advantages and disadvantages of MWK fabrics. The author also offers possibilities for the future of MWK fabrics in the industrial composites arena.

  1. In vivo study of anterior cruciate ligament regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells and silk scaffold.

    PubMed

    Fan, Hongbin; Liu, Haifeng; Wong, Eugene J W; Toh, Siew L; Goh, James C H

    2008-08-01

    Although most in vitro studies indicate that silk is a suitable biomaterial for ligament tissue engineering, in vivo studies of implanted silk scaffolds for ligament reconstruction are still lacking. The objective of this study is to investigate anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and silk scaffold. The scaffold was fabricated by incorporating microporous silk sponges into knitted silk mesh, which mimicked the structures of ligament extracellular matrix (ECM). In vitro culture demonstrated that MSCs on scaffolds proliferated vigorously and produced abundant collagen. The transcription levels of ligament-specific genes also increased with time. Then MSCs/scaffold was implanted to regenerate ACL in vivo. After 24 weeks, histology observation showed that MSCs were distributed throughout the regenerated ligament and exhibited fibroblast morphology. The key ligament ECM components including collagen I, collagen III, and tenascin-C were produced prominently. Furthermore, direct ligament-bone insertion with typical four zones (bone, mineralized fibrocartilage, fibrocartilage, ligament) was reconstructed, which resembled the native structure of ACL-bone insertion. The tensile strength of regenerated ligament also met the mechanical requirements. Moreover, its histological grading score was significantly higher than that of control. In conclusion, the results imply that silk scaffold has great potentials in future clinical applications.

  2. 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.

  3. 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,...

  4. Functionalized Silk Materials

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-06-10

    A genetic combination of spider dragline silk sequence (Nephila clavipes) and the silaffin derived R5 peptide of the diatom (Cylindrotheca... sequences identified by phage display into silk, new materials which incorporate mineral binding functional of the peptide while retaining the useful...strong morphological and spatial control are attractive in electronics, biosensors, microfluidic devices, and DNA microarray technology. The novelty

  5. 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'…

  6. Development of Knitted Warm Garments from Speciality Jute Yarns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Alok Nath

    2013-09-01

    Jute-polyester blended core and textured polyester multifilament cover spun-wrapped yarn was produced using existing jute spinning machines. The spun-wrapped yarn so produced show a reduction in hairiness up to 86.1 %, improvement in specific work of rupture up to 9.8 % and specific flexural rigidity up to 23.6 % over ordinary jute-polyester blended yarn. The knitted swatch produced out of these spun-wrapped yarn using seven gauge and nine gauge needle in both single jersey and double jersey knitting machines showed very good dimensional stability even after three washing. The two-ply and three-ply yarn produced from single spun-wrapped yarn can be easily used in knitting machines and also in hand-knitting for the production of sweaters. The thermal insulation value of the sweaters produced with jute-polyester blended spun-wrapped yarn is comparable with thermal insulation value of sweaters made from 100 % acrylic and 100 % wool. However, the hand-knitted sweaters showed higher thermal insulation value than the machine-knitted sweaters due to less packing of yarn in hand knitted structure as compared to machine knitting.

  7. The research of knitting needle status monitoring setup

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Lu; Liao, Xiao-qing; Zhu, Yong-kang; Yang, Wei; Zhang, Pei; Zhao, Yong-kai; Huang, Hui-jie

    2013-09-01

    In textile production, quality control and testing is the key to ensure the process and improve the efficiency. Defect of the knitting needles is the main factor affecting the quality of the appearance of textiles. Defect detection method based on machine vision and image processing technology is universal. This approach does not effectively identify the defect generated by damaged knitting needles and raise the alarm. We developed a knitting needle status monitoring setup using optical imaging, photoelectric detection and weak signal processing technology to achieve real-time monitoring of weaving needles' position. Depending on the shape of the knitting needle, we designed a kind of Glass Optical Fiber (GOF) light guides with a rectangular port used for transmission of the signal light. To be able to capture the signal of knitting needles accurately, we adopt a optical 4F system which has better imaging quality and simple structure and there is a rectangle image on the focal plane after the system. When a knitting needle passes through position of the rectangle image, the reflected light from needle surface will back to the GOF light guides along the same optical system. According to the intensity of signals, the computer control unit distinguish that the knitting needle is broken or curving. The experimental results show that this system can accurately detect the broken needles and the curving needles on the knitting machine in operating condition.

  8. Mechanical Characteristics of Composite Knitted Stents

    SciTech Connect

    Tokuda, Takanori Shomura, Yuzo; Tanigawa, Noboru; Kariya, Shuji; Komemushi, Atsushi; Kojima, Hiroyuki; Sawada, Satoshi

    2009-09-15

    We used metal wires and fibers to fabricate a composite knitted stent and then compare the mechanical characteristics of this stent with those of a pure metallic stent of the same construction in order to develop a stent that offers a comparable degree of expandability as metallic stents but can be used for highly curved lesions that cannot be treated using metallic stents. We fabricated two types of composite knitted stent (N-Z stents), using nitinol wire with a diameter of 0.12 mm and polypara-phenylene-benzobisoxazole (PBO) multifilament fiber (Zyron AS; Toyobo, Osaka, Japan). Stents were knitted into a cylindrical shape using the same textile pattern as a Strecker stent. Two loop lengths (L) of nitinol wire were used in the N-Z stents: L = 1.84 mm (N-Z stent L = 1.84) and L = 2.08 mm (N-Z stent L = 2.08). For the sake of comparison, we fabricated a metallic stent of nitinol using the same textile pattern (N-N stent L = 1.92). We applied a radial compression force diametrically to each stent and applied a bending force diametrically at the free end of a stent with one end fixed in order to evaluate the relationship between stent elasticity and load values. In addition, we macroscopically evaluated the generation of kinks when the stent was bent 180{sup o}. The radial compressive force when the stent diameter was reduced by 53% was 6.44 N in the case of N-Z stent L = 1.84, 6.14 N in the case of N-Z stent L = 2.08, and 4.96 N in the case of N-N stent L = 1.92 mm. The composite stent had a radial compressive force higher than that of a metallic stent. The restoring force to longitudinal direction at a 90{sup o} bending angle was 0.005 N for N-Z stent L = 1.84, 0.003 N for N-Z stent L = 2.08, and 0.034 N for N-N stent L = 1.92. The restoring force of the composite stent was significantly lower. Finally, the composite stent generated no definitive kinks at a bending angle of 180{sup o}, regardless of loop length. However, the N-N stent clearly produced kinks, causing

  9. Characterization of multiaxial warp knit composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dexter, H. Benson; Hasko, Gregory H.; Cano, Roberto J.

    1991-01-01

    The objectives were to characterize the mechanical behavior and damage tolerance of two multiaxial warp knit fabrics to determine the acceptability of these fabrics for high performance composite applications. The tests performed included compression, tension, open hole compression, compression after impact and compression-compression fatigue. Tests were performed on as-fabricated fabrics and on multi-layer fabrics that were stitched together with either carbon or Kevlar stitching yarn. Results of processing studies for vacuum impregnation with Hercules 3501-6 epoxy resin and pressure impregnation with Dow Tactix 138/H41 epoxy resin and British Petroleum BP E905L epoxy resin are presented.

  10. Knitted Strain Sensors: Impact of Design Parameters on Sensing Properties

    PubMed Central

    Atalay, Ozgur; Kennon, William Richard

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a study of the sensing properties exhibited by textile-based knitted strain sensors. Knitted sensors were manufactured using flat-bed knitting technology, and electro-mechanical tests were subsequently performed on the specimens using a tensile testing machine to apply strain whilst the sensor was incorporated into a Wheatstone bridge arrangement to allow electrical monitoring. The sensing fabrics were manufactured from silver-plated nylon and elastomeric yarns. The component yarns offered similar diameters, bending characteristics and surface friction, but their production parameters differed in respect of the required yarn input tension, the number of conductive courses in the sensing structure and the elastomeric yarn extension characteristics. Experimental results showed that these manufacturing controls significantly affected the sensing properties of the knitted structures such that the gauge factor values, the working range and the linearity of the sensors varied according to the knitted structure. These results confirm that production parameters play a fundamental role in determining the physical behavior and the sensing properties of knitted sensors. It is thus possible to manipulate the sensing properties of knitted sensors and the sensor response may be engineered by varying the production parameters applied to specific designs. PMID:24608010

  11. Bone Ingrowth to Ti Fibre Knit Block with High Deformability

    PubMed Central

    Henmi, Yoko; Jimbo, Ryo; Jinno, Yohei; Sekine, Kazumitsu; Hamada, Kenichi

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objectives The objective of this study is to develop a Ti fibre knit block without sintering, and to evaluate its deformability and new bone formation in vivo. Material and Methods A Ti fibre with a diameter of 150 μm was knitted to fabricate a Ti mesh tube. The mesh tube was compressed in a metal mould to fabricate porous Ti fibre knit blocks with three different porosities of 88%, 69%, and 50%. The elastic modulus and deformability were evaluated using a compression test. The knit block was implanted into bone defects of a rabbit’s hind limb, and new bone formation was evaluated using micro computed tomography (micro-CT) analysis and histological analysis. Results The knit blocks with 88% porosity showed excellent deformability, indicating potential appropriateness for bone defect filling. Although the porosities of the knit block were different, they indicated similar elastic modulus smaller than 1 GPa. The elastic modulus after deformation increased linearly as the applied compression stress increased. The micro-CT analysis indicated that in the block with 50% porosity new bone filled nearly all of the pore volume four weeks after implantation. In contrast, in the block with 88% porosity, new bone filled less than half of the pore volume even 12 weeks after implantation. The histological analysis also indicated new bone formation in the block. Conclusions The titanium fibre knit block with high porosity is potentially appropriate for bone defect filling, indicating good bone ingrowth after porosity reduction with applied compression. PMID:28154746

  12. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-02

    observed attachment to the sericin coat (sem picture above) and slippage of the silk fibroin fibres. Hence it appears that choosing silk cocoon thin...several thick layers of sericin coating 9,10. Both fibroin and sericin are proteins, but of very different composition and properties 𔃺. The two brins...produced and coated in separate ducts, are pressed together while still inside the animal; the sericin hardens in air and typically on the cocoon to

  13. Aligned poly(L-lactic-co-e-caprolactone) electrospun microfibers and knitted structure: a novel composite scaffold for ligament tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Vaquette, Cédryck; Kahn, Cyril; Frochot, Céline; Nouvel, Cécile; Six, Jean-Luc; De Isla, Natalia; Luo, Li-Hua; Cooper-White, Justin; Rahouadj, Rachid; Wang, Xiong

    2010-09-15

    We developed a novel technique involving knitting and electrospinning to fabricate a composite scaffold for ligament tissue engineering. Knitted structures were coated with poly(L-lactic-co-e-caprolactone) (PLCL) and then placed onto a rotating cylinder and a PLCL solution was electrospun onto the structure. Highly aligned 2-microm-diameter microfibers covered the space between the stitches and adhered to the knitted scaffolds. The stress-strain tensile curves exhibited an initial toe region similar to the tensile behavior of ligaments. Composite scaffolds had an elastic modulus (150 +/- 14 MPa) similar to the modulus of human ligaments. Biological evaluation showed that cells proliferated on the composite scaffolds and they spontaneously orientated along the direction of microfiber alignment. The microfiber architecture also induced a high level of extracellular matrix secretion, which was characterized by immunostaining. We found that cells produced collagen type I and type III, two main components found in ligaments. After 14 days of culture, collagen type III started to form a fibrous network. We fabricated a composite scaffold having the mechanical properties of the knitted structure and the morphological properties of the aligned microfibers. It is difficult to seed a highly macroporous structure with cells, however the technique we developed enabled an easy cell seeding due to presence of the microfiber layer. Therefore, these scaffolds presented attractive properties for a future use in bioreactors for ligament tissue engineering.

  14. Silk scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Danyu

    2015-01-01

    The musculoskeletal system, which includes bone, cartilage, tendon/ligament, and skeletal muscle, is becoming the targets for tissue engineering because of the high need for their repair and regeneration. Numerous factors would affect the use of musculoskeletal tissue engineering for tissue regeneration ranging from cells used for scaffold seeding to the manufacture and structures of materials. The essential function of the scaffolds is to convey growth factors as well as cells to the target site to aid the regeneration of the injury. Among the variety of biomaterials used in scaffold engineering, silk fibroin is recognized as an ideal material for its impressive cytocompatibility, slow biodegradability, and excellent mechanical properties. The current review describes the advances made in the fabrication of silk fibroin scaffolds with different forms such as films, particles, electrospun fibers, hydrogels, three-dimensional porous scaffolds, and their applications in the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues. PMID:26445979

  15. Silk scaffolds for musculoskeletal tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Yao, Danyu; Liu, Haifeng; Fan, Yubo

    2016-02-01

    The musculoskeletal system, which includes bone, cartilage, tendon/ligament, and skeletal muscle, is becoming the targets for tissue engineering because of the high need for their repair and regeneration. Numerous factors would affect the use of musculoskeletal tissue engineering for tissue regeneration ranging from cells used for scaffold seeding to the manufacture and structures of materials. The essential function of the scaffolds is to convey growth factors as well as cells to the target site to aid the regeneration of the injury. Among the variety of biomaterials used in scaffold engineering, silk fibroin is recognized as an ideal material for its impressive cytocompatibility, slow biodegradability, and excellent mechanical properties. The current review describes the advances made in the fabrication of silk fibroin scaffolds with different forms such as films, particles, electrospun fibers, hydrogels, three-dimensional porous scaffolds, and their applications in the regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues.

  16. Three-layer knitted materials for protective clothing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mielicka, E.; Janicka, J.; Kozminska, R.; Walak, A.

    2016-07-01

    The results of investigating multifunctional 3D knitted materials dedicated for protective clothing were presented. The 3D design structures were made on a circular knitting machine using yarns with flame retardant or electrostatic properties. The functionality imparted to each of the assortments developed was verified during the tests in accredited laboratories as well as by assessing their biophysical properties. Based on the analysis of the test results, a beneficial effect of the raw materials and the 3D structure of knitted fabrics were demonstrated. Designed garments could be useful as individual protection clothing for workers exposed to harmful occupational environment factors, such as heat and static electricity. The study was conducted within the project EUREKA E! 5799 BATAN “Multifunctional knitted fabrics with barrier properties for clothing”.

  17. Preparation of conductive silk fabric with antibacterial properties by electroless silver plating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Dan; Kang, Gengen; Tian, Weicheng; Lin, Lu; Wang, Wei

    2015-12-01

    To obtain an efficient approach to metalize silk fabric, a novel method was explored and silver-plated silk was prepared. In this study, tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine (TCEP) was utilized as a reducing agent to generate thiol groups on the silk surface. These thiol groups react with silver ions to form metal complexes, which were used as catalytic seeds and successfully initiated electroless silver plating. A variety of methods, including Raman, XRD, TG, SEM and EDS were used to characterize the intermediates and final products. The results showed that a uniform and smooth metal layer could be obtained when compared with that without TCEP pretreatment. The silver-plated silk fabric exhibited good electrical conductivity and high anti-bacterial properties. These attractive features enable this conductive silk fabric to be a good candidate as a biomedical material.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Neural responses to electrical stimulation on patterned silk films.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

    Peripheral nerve injury is a critical issue for patients with trauma. 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 μm wide × 500 nm deep. P19 neurons were seeded on the patterned electronic silk films and stimulated at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 min each day for 7 days. Responses were compared with 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 with the flat film groups. Axon outgrowth was greater (p < 0.05) on electronic films on days 5 and 7 compared with the unstimulated groups. In conclusion, electrical stimulation, at 120 mV, 1 kHz, for 45 min daily, in addition to surface patterning, of 3.5 μm wide × 500 nm deep grooves, offered control of nerve axon outgrowth and alignment.

  1. Multilayered silk scaffolds for meniscus tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Biman B; Park, Sang-Hyug; Gil, Eun S; Kaplan, David L

    2011-01-01

    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 sulfated 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.

  2. 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

  3. Performance of resin transfer molded multiaxial warp knit composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dexter, H. Benson; Hasko, Gregory H.

    1993-01-01

    Composite materials that are subjected to complex loads have traditionally been fabricated with multidirectionally oriented prepreg tape materials. Some of the problems associated with this type of construction include low delamination resistance, poor out-of-plane strength, and labor intensive fabrication processes. Textile reinforced composites with through-the-thickness reinforcement have the potential to solve some of these problems. Recently, a relatively new class of noncrimp fabrics designated as multiaxial warp knits have been developed to minimize some of the high cost and damage tolerance concerns. Multiple stacks of warp knit fabrics can be knitted or stitched together to reduce layup labor cost. The through-the-thickness reinforcement can provide significant improvements in damage tolerance and out-of-plane strength. Multilayer knitted/stitched preforms, in conjunction with resin transfer molding (RTM), offer potential for significant cost savings in fabrication of primary aircraft structures. The objectives of this investigation were to conduct RTM processing studies and to characterize the mechanical behavior of composites reinforced with three multiaxial warp knit fabrics. The three fabrics investigated were produced by Hexcel and Milliken in the United States, and Saerbeck in Germany. Two resin systems, British Petroleum E9O5L and 3M PR 500, were characterized for RTM processing. The performance of Hexcel and Milliken quasi-isotropic knitted fabrics are compared to conventional prepreg tape laminates. The performance of the Saerbeck fabric is compared to uniweave wing skin layups being investigated by Douglas Aircraft Company in the NASA Advanced Composites Technology (ACT) program. Tests conducted include tension, open hole tension, compression, open hole compression, and compression after impact. The effects of fabric defects, such as misaligned fibers and gaps between tows, on material performance are also discussed. Estimated material and labor

  4. 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 λ= 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, β-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (Cβ∝ e2.5 λ), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of β-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for λ= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d14∝ e2.4 λ). 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 β-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, β-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

  5. Knitting Mochilas: A Sociocultural, Developmental Practice in Arhuaco Indigenous Communities

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Burgos, Lilian Patricia; Rodríguez-Castro, Jennifer; Bojacá-Rodríguez, Sandra Milena; Izquierdo-Martínez, Dwrya Elena; Amórtegui-Lozano, Allain Alexander; Prieto-Castellanos, Miguel Angel

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to analyze the psycho-cultural processes involved in knitting “mochilas” (traditional bags), a common craft in the Arhuaco indigenous community located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. The article is structured in three parts, as follows: first, issues related to child development are discussed; then, the analysis method used to study the processes involved in the practice of knitting is presented and, finally, we reflect on the importance of recovering the sense and meaning of this everyday practice as a way to study child development. PMID:27298634

  6. 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....

  7. 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....

  8. 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....

  9. 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...

  10. 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....

  11. Thermo-mechanical behavior of stainless steel knitted structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamdani, Syed Talha Ali; Fernando, Anura; Maqsood, Muhammad

    2016-09-01

    Heating fabric is an advanced textile material that is extensively researched by the industrialists and the scientists alike. Ability to create highly flexible and drapeable heating fabrics has many applications in everyday life. This paper presents a study conducted on the comparison of heatability of knitted fabric made of stainless steel yarn. The purpose of the study is to find a suitable material for protective clothing against cold environments. In the current research the ampacity of stainless steel yarn is observed in order to prevent the overheating of the heating fabrics. The behavior of the knitted structure is studied for different levels of supply voltage. Infrared temperature sensing is used to measure the heat generated from the fabrics in order to measure the temperature of the fabrics without physical contact. It is concluded that interlock structure is one of the most suited structures for knitted heating fabrics. As learnt through this research, fabrics made of stainless steel yarn are capable of producing a higher level of heating compared to that of knitted fabric made using silver coated polymeric yarn at the same supply voltage.

  12. Lightweight, variable solidity knitted parachute fabric. [for aerodynamic decelerators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, F. R., Jr.; White, E. C. (Inventor)

    1973-01-01

    A parachute fabric for aerodynamic decelerator applications is described. The fabric will permit deployment of the decelerator at high altitudes and low density conditions. The fabric consists of lightweight, highly open, circular knitted parachute fabric with ribbon-like yarns to assist in air deflection.

  13. Knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet: a mechanically robust structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Ning; Fan, Zheyong; Xu, Lan-Qing; Zheng, Yong-Ping; Wang, Hui-Qiong; Zheng, Jin-Cheng

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, a new nanostructure is proposed, namely, the knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet (KGS), which consists of zigzag and/or armchair graphene nanoribbons. The knitting technology is introduced to graphene nanotechnology to produce large area graphene sheets. Compared with pristine graphene, the chirality of a knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet is much more flexible and can be designed on demand. The mechanical properties of KGSs are investigated by molecular dynamics simulations, including the effect of vacancies. With hydrogen atoms saturating the ribbon edges, the structure (KGS + H) is found to be of significant mechanical robustness, whose fracture does not rely on the critical bonds. The fracture strain of KGS + H remains nearly unchanged as long as there remains a single defect-free graphene nanoribbon in the tensile direction. This graphene nano knitting technique is experimentally feasible, inspired by a recent demonstration by Fournier et al. [Phys. Rev. B, 2011, 84, 035435] of lifting a single molecular wire using a combined frequency-modulated atomic force and tunnelling microscope.

  14. Silk Fibroin under Osmotic Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sohn, Sungkyun; Strey, Helmut H.; Gido, Samuel P.

    2003-03-01

    The osmotic stress method was applied to study the thermodynamics of supramolecular self-assembly phenomena in crystallizable segments of Bombyx mori silkworm silk fibroin. Controlling compositions and phases of silk fibroin solution, the method provided a means for the direct investigation of microscopic and thermodynamic details of these intermolecular interactions in aqueous media. It is apparent that as osmotic pressure increases, silk fibroin molecules get pressurized to align together to form a water-soluble crystalline mesophase (Silk-I), and then gradually become anti-parallel b-sheet structure (Silk-II) at higher osmotic pressure. This behavior becomes more sensitive as the salt concentration decreases. A partial ternary phase diagram of Water-Silk fibroin-LiBr was constructed based on the results. This phase diagram can be utilized to help design a new route for wet spinning of re-generated silk fibroin. Precise control of compositions and corresponding crystalline structure of a silk fibroin solution may enable us to simulate the natural Bombyx mori silkworm spinning process.

  15. Silk-based anisotropical 3D biotextiles for bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Viviana P; Silva-Correia, Joana; Nascimento, Ana I; da Silva Morais, Alain; Marques, Alexandra P; Ribeiro, Ana S; Silva, Carla J; Bonifácio, Graça; Sousa, Rui A; Oliveira, Joaquim M; Oliveira, Ana L; Reis, Rui L

    2017-04-01

    Bone loss in the craniofacial complex can been treated using several conventional therapeutic strategies that face many obstacles and limitations. In this work, novel three-dimensional (3D) biotextile architectures were developed as a possible strategy for flat bone regeneration applications. As a fully automated processing route, this strategy as potential to be easily industrialized. Silk fibroin (SF) yarns were processed into weft-knitted fabrics spaced by a monofilament of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A comparative study with a similar 3D structure made entirely of PET was established. Highly porous scaffolds with homogeneous pore distribution were observed using micro-computed tomography analysis. The wet state dynamic mechanical analysis revealed a storage modulus In the frequency range tested, the storage modulus values obtained for SF-PET scaffolds were higher than for the PET scaffolds. Human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) cultured on the SF-PET spacer structures showed the typical pattern for ALP activity under osteogenic culture conditions. Osteogenic differentiation of hASCs on SF-PET and PET constructs was also observed by extracellular matrix mineralization and expression of osteogenic-related markers (osteocalcin, osteopontin and collagen type I) after 28 days of osteogenic culture, in comparison to the control basal medium. The quantification of convergent macroscopic blood vessels toward the scaffolds by a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay, showed higher angiogenic response induced by the SF-PET textile scaffolds than PET structures and gelatin sponge controls. Subcutaneous implantation in CD-1 mice revealed tissue ingrowth's accompanied by blood vessels infiltration in both spacer constructs. The structural adaptability of textile structures combined to the structural similarities of the 3D knitted spacer fabrics to craniofacial bone tissue and achieved biological performance, make these scaffolds a possible solution for tissue

  16. 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

  17. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    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.

  18. The effect of native silk fibroin powder on the physical properties and biocompatibility of biomedical polyurethane membrane.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Yan; Zhang, Qian; Feng, Jinqi; Wang, Na; Xu, Weilin; Yang, Hongjun

    2017-04-01

    Naturally derived fibers such as silk fibroin can potentially enhance the biocompatibility of currently used biomaterials. This study investigated the physical properties of native silk fibroin powder and its effect on the biocompatibility of biomedical polyurethane. Native silk fibroin powder with an average diameter of 3 µm was prepared on a purpose-built machine. A simple method of phase inversion was used to produce biomedical polyurethane/native silk fibroin powder hybrid membranes at different blend ratios by immersing a biomedical polyurethane/native silk fibroin powder solution in deionized water at room temperature. The physical properties of the membranes including morphology, hydrophilicity, roughness, porosity, and compressive modulus were characterized, and in vitro biocompatibility was evaluated by seeding the human umbilical vein endothelial cells on the top surface. Native silk fibroin powder had a concentration-dependent effect on the number and morphology of human umbilical vein endothelial cells growing on the membranes; cell number increased as native silk fibroin powder content in the biomedical polyurethane/native silk fibroin powder hybrid membrane was increased from 0% to 50%, and cell morphology changed from spindle-shaped to cobblestone-like as the native silk fibroin powder content was increased from 0% to 70%. The latter change was related to the physical characteristics of the membrane, including hydrophilicity, roughness, and mechanical properties. The in vivo biocompatibility of the native silk fibroin powder-modified biomedical polyurethane membrane was evaluated in a rat model; the histological analysis revealed no systemic toxicity. These results indicate that the biomedical polyurethane/native silk fibroin powder hybrid membrane has superior in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility relative to 100% biomedical polyurethane membranes and thus has potential applications in the fabrication of small-diameter vascular grafts and in

  19. Amorphous Silk Nanofiber Solutions for Fabricating Silk-Based Functional Materials.

    PubMed

    Dong, Xiaodan; Zhao, Qun; Xiao, Liying; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David L

    2016-09-12

    As a functional material, silk has been widely used in tissue engineering, drug release, and tissue regeneration. Increasing subtle control of silk hierarchical structures and thus specific functional performance is required for these applications but remains a challenge. Here, we report a novel silk nanofiber solution achieved through tuning solvent systems used to generate the material. Unlike the β-sheet rich silk nanofibers reported previously, these new silk nanofibers are mainly composed of amorphous structures and maintain a solution state in aqueous environments. The amorphous silk nanofibers are stable enough for storage and also metastable, making them easy to use in the further fabrication of materials through various processes. Silk scaffolds, hydrogels, and films were prepared from these silk nanofiber solutions. These silk materials from amorphous nanofiber solutions show different properties and tunable performance features. Therefore, these amorphous silk nanofibers are suitable units or building blocks for designing silk-based materials.

  20. Effects of liquid ammonia treatment on the physical properties of knit fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, I. Y.; Kim, S. D.; Hwang, C. S.; Kim, S. R.; Park, S. W.

    2016-07-01

    The cellulosic knit fabric must be treated by NaOH solution in silket process to modify dyeability, luster, physical property, etc. But the silket treated knit fabric has a stiff touch, and must be treated with much of silicone softener. But it has bad durability of laundry. And the silket process has a problem that must discharge a lot of alkaline wastewater. In case of woven fabrics, as an alternative to silket process, liquid ammonia process was developed and this process is eco-friendly because the used ammonia is recovered by 98%. But the knit fabrics are not applicable to the conventional liquid ammonia process because they have selvedge curling problem and are very sensitive to tension. Recently, Korea High Tech Textile Research Institute(Korea) and Lafer SPA(Italy) worked together to develop the new liquid ammonia process for knit fabrics. In the present study, the physical properties of knit fabric after the newly-developed liquid ammonia treatment were investigated. The basic physical properties of knit fabric were measured using the Kawabata evaluation system. In addition, the dyeability, dimensional stability, eco-friendliness were investigated. The results showed that liquid ammonia treatment gave improved physical properties, which can be attributed to fast and uniform swelling, to knit fabric and resulted in a dimensional stability. The knit fabric treated in liquid ammonia showed a darker colour and unique appearance. Above all, the knit fabric treated in liquid ammonia had softer touch and superior gloss than the knit fabric of silket process. The new liquid ammonia process for knit fabrics will become the highest quality standard for knits and will be considered the preferred finish also thanks to eco-friendliness.

  1. A Study on Ultraviolet Protection of 100% Cotton Knitted Fabric: Effect of Fabric Parameters

    PubMed Central

    Kan, C. W.

    2014-01-01

    The effect of fabric parameters such as weight, thickness, and stitch density on the ultraviolet (UV) protection of knitted fabrics was studied. Different knitting structures such as plain, pineapple, lacoste, and other combinations of different knitting stitches of knit, tuck, and miss as well as half milano, full milano, half cardigan, full cardigan, 1 × 1 rib, and interlock were prepared. Experimental results revealed that weight was the most important factor that affected UV protection while thickness and stitch density were not the leading factor in determining UV protection. PMID:24955409

  2. 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

  3. A new route for silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2008-11-01

    Famous for its use in clothing since early times, silk is now finding a new application as a useful biocompatible material in photonic devices. Thin films, diffraction gratings and organic photonic crystals are just a few of the exciting possibilities.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2014-10-20

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Simulation of flow in the silk gland.

    PubMed

    Breslauer, David N; Lee, Luke P; Muller, Susan J

    2009-01-12

    Spiders and silkworms employ the complex flow of highly concentrated silk solution as part of silk fiber spinning. To understand the role of fluidic forces in this process, the flow of silk solution in the spider major ampullate and silkworm silk glands was investigated using numerical simulation. Our simulations demonstrate significant differences between flow in the spider and silkworm silk glands. In particular, shear flow effects are shown to be much greater in the spider than the silkworm, the silkworm gland exhibits a much different flow extension profile than the spider gland, and the residence time within the spider gland is eight times greater than in the silkworm gland. Lastly, simulations on the effect of spinning speed on the flow of silk solution suggest that a critical extension rate is the initiating factor for fiber formation from silk solution. These results provide new insight into silk spinning processes and will guide the future development of novel fiber spinning technologies.

  8. Reproducing Natural Spider Silks' Copolymer Behavior in Synthetic Silk Mimics

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-30

    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 β-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.

  9. Non-destructive X-ray examination of weft knitted wire structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obermann, M.; Ellouz, M.; Aumann, S.; Martens, Y.; Bartelt, P.; Klöcker, M.; Kordisch, T.; Ehrmann, A.; Weber, M. O.

    2016-07-01

    Conductive yarns or wires are often integrated in smart textiles to enable data or energy transmission. In woven fabrics, these conductive parts are fixed at defined positions and thus protected from external loads. Knitted fabrics, however, have relatively loose structures, resulting in higher impacts of possible mechanical forces on the individual yarns. Hence, metallic wires with smaller diameters in particular are prone to break when integrated in knitted fabrics. In a recent project, wires of various materials including copper, silver and nickel with diameters varying between 0.05 mm and 0.23 mm were knitted in combination with textile yarns. Hand flat knitting machines of appropriate gauges were used to produce different structures. On these samples, non-destructive examinations, using an industrial X-ray system Seifert x|cube (225 kV) equipped with a minifocus X-ray tube, were carried out, directly after knitting as well as after different mechanical treatments (tensile, burst, and washing tests). In this way, structural changes of the stitch geometry could be visualized before failure. In this paper, the loop geometries in the knitted fabrics are depicted depending on knitted structures, wire properties and the applied mechanical load. Consequently, it is shown which metallic wires and yarns are most suitable to be integrated into knitted smart textiles.

  10. Knitting as an Aesthetic of Civic Engagement: Re-Conceptualizing Feminist Pedagogy through Touch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Springgay, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

    Everyone is in the midst of an explosion in the popularity of knitting. Shifting the traditional stereotype of what a knitter should be, the youth of today have taken up knitting as a tactile and embodied form of connectivity. In a rapidly changing and unpredictable world, characterized by, among other factors, the unprecedented expansion of…

  11. Knitted Strain Sensor Textiles of Highly Conductive All-Polymeric Fibers.

    PubMed

    Seyedin, Shayan; Razal, Joselito M; Innis, Peter C; Jeiranikhameneh, Ali; Beirne, Stephen; Wallace, Gordon G

    2015-09-30

    A scaled-up fiber wet-spinning production of electrically conductive and highly stretchable PU/PEDOT:PSS fibers is demonstrated for the first time. The PU/PEDOT:PSS fibers possess the mechanical properties appropriate for knitting various textile structures. The knitted textiles exhibit strain sensing properties that were dependent upon the number of PU/PEDOT:PSS fibers used in knitting. The knitted textiles show sensitivity (as measured by the gauge factor) that increases with the number of PU/PEDOT:PSS fibers deployed. A highly stable sensor response was observed when four PU/PEDOT:PSS fibers were co-knitted with a commercial Spandex yarn. The knitted textile sensor can distinguish different magnitudes of applied strain with cyclically repeatable sensor responses at applied strains of up to 160%. When used in conjunction with a commercial wireless transmitter, the knitted textile responded well to the magnitude of bending deformations, demonstrating potential for remote strain sensing applications. The feasibility of an all-polymeric knitted textile wearable strain sensor was demonstrated in a knee sleeve prototype with application in personal training and rehabilitation following injury.

  12. Effect of biopolishing and UV absorber treatment on the UV protection properties of cotton knitted fabrics.

    PubMed

    Kan, C W; Au, C H

    2014-01-30

    Cotton knitted fabrics were manufactured with gauge number 20 G by circular knitting machine with conventional ring spun yarn and torque-free ring spun yarn. Torque-free ring spinning is a new spinning technology that produces yarns with low twist and balanced torque. This study examined whether the impact of biopolishing and UV absorber treatment on UV protection properties on cotton knitted fabric made of torque-free ring spun yarn is different. Biopolishing agent and UV absorber were used to treat the cotton knitted fabrics after scouring and bleaching. The UV protection properties were measured in terms of UV protection factor (UPF) and UV ray transmittance. Experimental results revealed that knitted fabric made from torque-free ring spun has better UPF than knitted fabric made from conventional ring spun yarn in untreated and biopolished states. However, knitted fabric made from conventional ring spun yarn has better UPF than knitted fabric made from torque-free ring spun after UV absorber treatment and combined UV absorber and biopolishing treatment.

  13. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Meirovitch, Sigal; Shtein, Zvi; Ben-Shalom, Tal; Lapidot, Shaul; Tamburu, Carmen; Hu, Xiao; Kluge, Jonathan A.; Raviv, Uri; Kaplan, David L.; Shoseyov, Oded

    2016-01-01

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites. PMID:27649169

  14. Spider Silk-CBD-Cellulose Nanocrystal Composites: Mechanism of Assembly.

    PubMed

    Meirovitch, Sigal; Shtein, Zvi; Ben-Shalom, Tal; Lapidot, Shaul; Tamburu, Carmen; Hu, Xiao; Kluge, Jonathan A; Raviv, Uri; Kaplan, David L; Shoseyov, Oded

    2016-09-18

    The fabrication of cellulose-spider silk bio-nanocomposites comprised of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and recombinant spider silk protein fused to a cellulose binding domain (CBD) is described. Silk-CBD successfully binds cellulose, and unlike recombinant silk alone, silk-CBD self-assembles into microfibrils even in the absence of CNCs. Silk-CBD-CNC composite sponges and films show changes in internal structure and CNC alignment related to the addition of silk-CBD. The silk-CBD sponges exhibit improved thermal and structural characteristics in comparison to control recombinant spider silk sponges. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the silk-CBD sponge was higher than the control silk sponge and similar to native dragline spider silk fibers. Gel filtration analysis, dynamic light scattering (DLS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (TEM) indicated that silk-CBD, but not the recombinant silk control, formed a nematic liquid crystalline phase similar to that observed in native spider silk during the silk spinning process. Silk-CBD microfibrils spontaneously formed in solution upon ultrasonication. We suggest a model for silk-CBD assembly that implicates CBD in the central role of driving the dimerization of spider silk monomers, a process essential to the molecular assembly of spider-silk nanofibers and silk-CNC composites.

  15. 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 α-helix and β-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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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

  18. Knitting distributed cluster-state ladders with spin chains

    SciTech Connect

    Ronke, R.; D'Amico, I.; Spiller, T. P.

    2011-09-15

    Recently there has been much study on the application of spin chains to quantum state transfer and communication. Here we discuss the utilization of spin chains (set up for perfect quantum state transfer) for the knitting of distributed cluster-state structures, between spin qubits repeatedly injected and extracted at the ends of the chain. The cluster states emerge from the natural evolution of the system across different excitation number sectors. We discuss the decohering effects of errors in the injection and extraction process as well as the effects of fabrication and random errors.

  19. Cell proliferation and migration in silk fibroin 3D scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Biman B; Kundu, Subhas C

    2009-05-01

    Pore architecture in 3D polymeric scaffolds is known to play a critical role in tissue engineering as it provides the vital framework for the seeded cells to organize into a functioning tissue. In this report, we investigated the effects of different freezing temperature regimes on silk fibroin protein 3D scaffold pore microstructure. The fabricated scaffolds using freeze-dry technique were used as a 3D model to monitor cell proliferation and migration. Pores of 200-250microm diameter were formed by slow cooling at temperatures of -20 and -80 degrees C but were found to be limited in porosity and pore interconnectivity as observed through scanning electron microscopic images. In contrast, highly interconnected pores with 96% porosity were observed when silk solutions were rapidly frozen at -196 degrees C. A detailed study was conducted to assess the affect of pore size, porosity and interconnectivity on human dermal fibroblast cell proliferation and migration on these 3D scaffolds using confocal microscopy. The cells were observed to migrate within the scaffold interconnectivities and were found to reach scaffold periphery within 28 days of culture. Confocal images further confirmed normal cell attachment and alignment of actin filaments within the porous scaffold matrix with well-developed nuclei. This study indicates rapid freeze-drying technique as an alternative method to fabricate highly interconnected porous scaffolds for developing functional 3D silk fibroin matrices for potential tissue engineering, biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  20. 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.

  1. Feasibility of knitted carbon/PEEK composites for orthopedic bone plates.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, K; Huang, Zheng-Ming; Ramakrishna, S; Satknanantham, K; Hamada, H

    2004-08-01

    This paper focuses on fabrication and characterization of knitted carbon/PEEK fabric composites for orthopedic bone plate application. Bending performance of the knitted carbon/PEEK composite bone plates was investigated with respect to two principal knitting directions (wale- and course-directions). As a result, the wale-direction knitted composite bone plates had much scattering in bending stiffness and maximum bending moment although they exhibited the same bending behavior as that of the course-direction specimens. In comparison with our previously developed braided composite bone plates, the knitted composite bone plates had 55-59% bending stiffness, 40-63% yield bending moment, and 54-77% maximum bending moment. However, the knitted composite bone plates showed higher deformability. Based on the results of the braided composite bone plates, it is considered that the knitted composite plate with 3.2mm thickness can be suitable for forearm or humerus treatment especially when damaged bones need higher deformation to encourage bone ossification.

  2. 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

  3. Energy harvesting “3-D knitted spacer” based piezoelectric textiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anand, S.; Soin, N.; Shah, T. H.; Siores, E.

    2016-07-01

    The piezoelectric effect in Poly(vinylidene fluoride), PVDF, was discovered over four decades ago and since then, significant work has been carried out aiming at the production of high p-phase fibres and their integration into fabric structures for energy harvesting. However, little work has been done in the area of production of “true piezoelectric fabric structures” based on flexible polymeric materials such as PVDF. In this work, we demonstrate “3-D knitted spacer” technology based all-fibre piezoelectric fabrics as power generators and energy harvesters. The knitted single-structure piezoelectric generator consists of high p-phase (~80%) piezoelectric PVDF monofilaments as the spacer yarn interconnected between silver (Ag) coated polyamide multifilament yarn layers acting as the top and bottom electrodes. The novel and unique textile structure provides an output power density in the range of 1.105.10 gWcm-2 at applied impact pressures in the range of 0.02-0.10 MPa, thus providing significantly higher power outputs and efficiencies over the existing 2-D woven and nonwoven piezoelectric structures. The high energy efficiency, mechanical durability and comfort of the soft, flexible and all-fibre based power generator is highly attractive for a variety of potential applications such as wearable electronic systems and energy harvesters charged from ambient environment or by human movement.

  4. Influence of different surface modification treatments on silk biotextiles for tissue engineering applications.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Viviana P; Almeida, Lília R; Martins, Ana R; Pashkuleva, Iva; Marques, Alexandra P; Ribeiro, Ana S; Silva, Carla J; Bonifácio, Graça; Sousa, Rui A; Reis, Rui L; Oliveira, Ana L

    2016-04-01

    Biotextile structures from silk fibroin have demonstrated to be particularly interesting for tissue engineering (TE) applications due to their high mechanical strength, interconnectivity, porosity, and ability to degrade under physiological conditions. In this work, we described several surface treatments of knitted silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds, namely sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution, ultraviolet radiation exposure in an ozone atmosphere (UV/O3) and oxygen (O2) plasma treatment followed by acrylic acid (AAc), vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA), and vinyl sulfonic acid (VSA) immersion. The effect of these treatments on the mechanical properties of the textile constructs was evaluated by tensile tests in dry and hydrated states. Surface properties such as morphology, topography, wettability and elemental composition were also affected by the applied treatments. The in vitro biological behavior of L929 fibroblasts revealed that cells were able to adhere and spread both on the untreated and surface-modified textile constructs. The applied treatments had different effects on the scaffolds' surface properties, confirming that these modifications can be considered as useful techniques to modulate the surface of biomaterials according to the targeted application.

  5. Judaism and the Silk Route.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foltz, Richard

    1998-01-01

    Demonstrates that the Judeans traveled along the Ancient Silk Route. Discusses the Iranian influence on the formation of Jewish religious ideas. Considers the development of Jewish trade networks, focusing on the Radanites (Jewish traders), the Jewish presence in the Far East, and the survival of Judaism in central Asia. (CMK)

  6. Thermoregulatory Responses to Intermittent Exercise Are Influenced by Knit Structure of Underwear

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-04-01

    Importance regarding themoregulatory reso-nnes then fiber type miterial, 1fen working in the cold. The u1n6e4war cutrtixS selected for this study ...Continue on reverse if necessary and identify by block numb r) ., . 0.-. - *j p37 he purpose of this study was to evaluate th role of knit structure...46-57) 9100 Thl~i :+46’t73( 1967 knit2.jap 2 S[,j~t4ARY: 7h* pir~ge -f this study was to evaluate the role of knit structure in underwear Ca

  7. Dimensional specific physical properties of fan palm fruits, seeds and seed coats (Washingtonia robusta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coşkuner, Yalçın; Gökbudak, Ayşe

    2016-07-01

    In this study some physical properties of fan palm (Washingtonia robusta) fruits, seeds and seed coats were determined using dimensional, bulk and single kernel physical analysis. The moisture content of whole fruits, seeds and seed coats was 12.0, 9.86 and 13.87% (d.b.), respectively. The sphericity values showed that seed shape (0.86) is close to a sphere, similar as the fruit shape (0.83), both of which were close to a scalene ellipsoid shape. The surface area values of fruits and seeds were obtained as 163.27 and 80.25 mm2, and volume values were obtained as 190.96 and 66.32 mm3, respectively. Bulk densities of fruits, seeds and seed coats were 559, 783 and 272 kg m-3, and the corresponding true densities were 1143, 1147 and 864 kg m-3, whereas the corresponding porosities were 48.87, 54.12, and 31.52%, respectively. The values of the static coefficient of friction and the angle of repose of fruits, seeds and seed coats of palm fruits were studied on aluminium, canvas, galvanised iron, plywood, PP knitted bag, PVC and stainless steel surfaces. As expected, seed coat has higher values of coefficient of static friction on the all surfaces than fruit and seed.

  8. Sunlight-Induced Coloration of Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Ya; Tang, Bin; Chen, Wu; Sun, Lu; Wang, Xungai

    2016-06-01

    Silk fabrics were colored by gold nanoparticles (NPs) that were in situ synthesized through the induction of sunlight. Owing to the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) of gold NPs, the treated silk fabrics presented vivid colors. The photo-induced synthesis of gold NPs was also realized on wet silk through adsorbing gold ions out of solution, which provides a water-saving coloration method for textiles. Besides, the patterning of silk was feasible using this simple sunlight-induced coloration approach. The key factors of coloration including gold ion concentration, pH value, and irradiation time were investigated. Moreover, it was demonstrated that either ultraviolet (UV) light or visible light could induce the generation of gold NPs on silk fabrics. The silk fabrics with gold NPs exhibited high light resistance including great UV-blocking property and excellent fastness to sunlight.

  9. Design methodology of the strength properties of medical knitted meshes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikołajczyk, Z.; Walkowska, A.

    2016-07-01

    One of the most important utility properties of medical knitted meshes intended for hernia and urological treatment is their bidirectional strength along the courses and wales. The value of this parameter, expected by the manufacturers and surgeons, is estimated at 100 N per 5 cm of the sample width. The most frequently, these meshes are produced on the basis of single- or double-guide stitches. They are made of polypropylene and polyester monofilament yarns with the diameter in the range from 0.6 to 1.2 mm, characterized by a high medical purity. The aim of the study was to develop the design methodology of meshes strength based on the geometrical construction of the stitch and strength of yarn. In the environment of the ProCAD warpknit 5 software the simulated stretching process of meshes together with an analysis of their geometry changes was carried out. Simulations were made for four selected representative stitches. Both on a built, unique measuring position and on the tensile testing machine the real parameters of the loops geometry of meshes were measured. Model of mechanical stretching of warp-knitted meshes along the courses and wales was developed. The thesis argument was made, that the force that breaks the loop of warp-knitted fabric is the lowest value of breaking forces of loop link yarns or yarns that create straight sections of loop. This thesis was associate with the theory of strength that uses the “the weakest link concept”. Experimental verification of model was carried out for the basic structure of the single-guide mesh. It has been shown that the real, relative strength of the mesh related to one course is equal to the strength of the yarn breakage in a loop, while the strength along the wales is close to breaking strength of a single yarn. In relation to the specific construction of the medical mesh, based on the knowledge of the density of the loops structure, the a-jour mesh geometry and the yarns strength, it is possible, with high

  10. Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-10-28

    spider silk. Accomplishments: YEAR 1. Bacteria were genetically engineered to produce two spider silk protein variants composed of basic repeat...silk proteins. In another development with Nexia we have purchased most of the founder goats they produced in order to protect the genetics they...Nexia produced in order to protect the genetics they developed. After a 9 month odyssey of bureaucratic hassles we will brought the goats into othe

  11. 22. MILL NO. 1, 2nd FLOOR, LIGHT TABLES AND KNITTING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    22. MILL NO. 1, 2nd FLOOR, LIGHT TABLES AND KNITTING MACHINE. LIGHT TABLE USED TO CHECK FOR CLOTH DEFECTS. - Prattville Manufacturing Company, Number One, 242 South Court Street, Prattville, Autauga County, AL

  12. The elaborate structure of spider silk

    PubMed Central

    Römer, Lin

    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

  13. 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

  14. Coatings and films made of silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Borkner, Christian B; Elsner, Martina B; Scheibel, Thomas

    2014-09-24

    Silks are a class of proteinaceous materials produced by arthropods for various purposes. Spider dragline silk is known for its outstanding mechanical properties, and it shows high biocompatibility, good biodegradability, and a lack of immunogenicity and allergenicity. The silk produced by the mulberry silkworm B. mori has been used as a textile fiber and in medical devices for a long time. Here, recent progress in the processing of different silk materials into highly tailored isotropic and anisotropic coatings for biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, cell adhesion, and implant coatings as well as for optics and biosensors is reviewed.

  15. Spider silk has an ice nucleation activity.

    PubMed

    Murase, N; Ruike, M; Matsunaga, N; Hayakawa, M; Kaneko, Y; Ono, Y

    2001-03-01

    Several ice nucleating substances have been identified, which exist in vivo or can be extracted from biological materials. Spider silk, which has a strong ability for water condensation, has also been found to possess an ice nucleation activity. The freezing temperature of water droplets was higher in the presence than in the absence of spider silk. Moreover, by means of environmental scanning electron microscopy, it was observed that the activity is not due to foreign matter attached to the silk but to the silk fibroin itself.

  16. "Close-knit" defines a healthy Native American Indian family.

    PubMed

    Martin, Donna; Yurkovich, Eleanor

    2014-02-01

    In the United States, the most significant health disparities occur among members of the American Indian and Alaskan Native populations. Because their health beliefs, values, and cultural practices are learned within a family system, this study used a focused ethnography to explore American Indians' perceptions of a healthy family. Seventeen interviews were performed with 21 adults residing on a reservation on the Northern Plains of the United States. Participant observation was conducted during 100 hr of fieldwork. All informants identified a healthy family as being "close-knit," indicating that the major defining feature of these families is the degree of connectedness among members, immediate and extended. In this paper, we present adult tribal members' descriptions of a healthy family. It is evident that culturally appropriate programs, which consider American Indians' values/beliefs and build on community assets, are urgently needed to reduce health disparities.

  17. Development and performance optimization of knitted antibacterial materials using polyester-silver nanocomposite fibres.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Abhijit; Butola, Bhupendra Singh; Thakur, Sandip

    2015-09-01

    The development and performance optimization of knitted antibacterial materials made from polyester-silver nanocomposite fibres have been attempted in this research. Inherently antibacterial polyester-silver nanocomposite fibres were blended with normal polyester fibres in different weight proportions to prepare yarns. Three parameters, namely blend percentage (wt.%) of nanocomposite fibres, yarn count and knitting machine gauge were varied for producing a large number of knitted samples. The knitted materials were tested for antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Statistical analysis revealed that all the three parameters were significant and the blend percentage of nanocomposite fibre was the most dominant factor influencing the antibacterial activity of knitted materials. The antibacterial activity of the developed materials was found to be extremely durable as there was only about 1% loss even after 25 washes. Linear programming approach was used to optimize the parameters, namely antibacterial activity, air permeability and areal density of knitted materials considering cost minimization as the objective. The properties of validation samples were found to be very close to the targeted values.

  18. 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.

  19. Tunable Silk: Using Microfluidics to Fabricate Silk Fibers with Controllable Properties

    PubMed Central

    Kinahan, Michelle E.; Filippidi, Emmanouela; Köster, Sarah; Hu, Xiao; Evans, Heather M.; Pfohl, Thomas; Kaplan, David L.; Wong, Joyce

    2011-01-01

    Despite widespread use of silk, it remains a significant challenge to fabricate fibers with properties similar to native silk. It has recently been recognized that the key to tuning silk fiber properties lies in controlling internal structure of assembled β-sheets. We report an advance in the precise control of silk fiber formation with control of properties via microfluidic solution spinning. We use an experimental approach combined with modeling to accurately predict and independently tune fiber properties including Young’s modulus and diameter to customize fibers. This is the first reported microfluidic approach capable of fabricating functional fibers with predictable properties and provides new insight into the structural transformations responsible for the unique properties of silk. Unlike bulk processes, our method facilitates the rapid and inexpensive fabrication of fibers from small volumes (50 μL) that can be characterized to investigate sequence-structure-property relationships to optimize recombinant silk technology to match and exceed natural silk properties. PMID:21438624

  20. Silk film biomaterials for ocular surface repair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, Brian David

    Current biomaterial approaches for repairing the cornea's ocular surface upon injury are partially effective due to inherent material limitations. As a result there is a need to expand the biomaterial options available for use in the eye, which in turn will help to expand new clinical innovations and technology development. The studies illustrated here are a collection of work to further characterize silk film biomaterials for use on the ocular surface. Silk films were produced from regenerated fibroin protein solution derived from the Bombyx mori silkworm cocoon. Methods of silk film processing and production were developed to produce consistent biomaterials for in vitro and in vivo evaluation. A wide range of experiments was undertaken that spanned from in vitro silk film material characterization to in vivo evaluation. It was found that a variety of silk film properties could be controlled through a water-annealing process. Silk films were then generated that could be use in vitro to produce stratified corneal epithelial cell sheets comparable to tissue grown on the clinical standard substrate of amniotic membrane. This understanding was translated to produce a silk film design that enhanced corneal healing in vivo on a rabbit injury model. Further work produced silk films with varying surface topographies that were used as a simplified analog to the corneal basement membrane surface in vitro. These studies demonstrated that silk film surface topography is capable of directing corneal epithelial cell attachment, growth, and migration response. Most notably epithelial tissue development was controllably directed by the presence of the silk surface topography through increasing cell sheet migration efficiency at the individual cellular level. Taken together, the presented findings represent a comprehensive characterization of silk film biomaterials for use in ocular surface reconstruction, and indicate their utility as a potential material choice in the

  1. Biocompatibility of silk-tropoelastin protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hongjuan; Wise, Steven G; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Kaplan, David L; Bilek, Marcela M M; Weiss, Anthony S; Fei, Jian; Bao, Shisan

    2014-06-01

    Blended polymers are used extensively in many critical medical conditions as components of permanently implanted devices. Hybrid protein polymers containing recombinant human tropoelastin and silk fibroin have favorable characteristics as implantable scaffolds in terms of mechanical and biological properties. A firefly luciferase transgenic mouse model was used to monitor real-time IL-1β production localized to the site of biomaterial implantation, to observe the acute immune response (up to 5 days) to these materials. Significantly reduced levels of IL-1β were observed in silk/tropoelastin implants compared to control silk only implants at 1, 2 and 3 days post-surgery. Subsequently, mice (n = 9) were euthanized at 10 days (10D) and 3 weeks (3W) post-surgery to assess inflammatory cell infiltration and collagen deposition, using histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Compared to control silk only implants, fewer total inflammatory cells were found in silk/tropoelastin (∼29% at 10D and ∼47% at 3W). Also fewer ingrowth cells (∼42% at 10D and ∼63% at 3W) were observed within the silk/tropoelastin implants compared to silk only. Lower IL-6 (∼52%) and MMP-2 (∼84%) (pro-inflammatory) were also detected for silk/tropoelastin at 10 days. After 3 weeks implantation, reduced neovascularization (vWF ∼43%), fewer proliferating cells (Ki67 ∼58% and PCNA ∼41%), macrophages (F4/80 ∼64%), lower IL-10 (∼47%) and MMP-9 (∼55%) were also observed in silk/tropoelastin materials compared to silk only. Together, these results suggest that incorporation of tropoelastin improves on the established biocompatibility of silk fibroin, uniquely measured here as a reduced foreign body inflammatory response.

  2. Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road

    PubMed Central

    Jao, Dave; Mou, Xiaoyang; Hu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Silk proteins are natural biopolymers that have extensive structural possibilities for chemical and mechanical modifications to facilitate novel properties, functions, and applications in the biomedical field. The versatile processability of silk fibroins (SF) into different forms such as gels, films, foams, membranes, scaffolds, and nanofibers makes it appealing in a variety of applications that require mechanically superior, biocompatible, biodegradable, and functionalizable biomaterials. There is no doubt that nature is the world’s best biological engineer, with simple, exquisite but powerful designs that have inspired novel technologies. By understanding the surface interaction of silk materials with living cells, unique characteristics can be implemented through structural modifications, such as controllable wettability, high-strength adhesiveness, and reflectivity properties, suggesting its potential suitability for surgical, optical, and other biomedical applications. All of the interesting features of SF, such as tunable biodegradation, anti-bacterial properties, and mechanical properties combined with potential self-healing modifications, make it ideal for future tissue engineering applications. In this review, we first demonstrate the current understanding of the structures and mechanical properties of SF and the various functionalizations of SF matrices through chemical and physical manipulations. Then the diverse applications of SF architectures and scaffolds for different regenerative medicine will be discussed in detail, including their current applications in bone, eye, nerve, skin, tendon, ligament, and cartilage regeneration. PMID:27527229

  3. Tissue Regeneration: A Silk Road.

    PubMed

    Jao, Dave; Mou, Xiaoyang; Hu, Xiao

    2016-08-05

    Silk proteins are natural biopolymers that have extensive structural possibilities for chemical and mechanical modifications to facilitate novel properties, functions, and applications in the biomedical field. The versatile processability of silk fibroins (SF) into different forms such as gels, films, foams, membranes, scaffolds, and nanofibers makes it appealing in a variety of applications that require mechanically superior, biocompatible, biodegradable, and functionalizable biomaterials. There is no doubt that nature is the world's best biological engineer, with simple, exquisite but powerful designs that have inspired novel technologies. By understanding the surface interaction of silk materials with living cells, unique characteristics can be implemented through structural modifications, such as controllable wettability, high-strength adhesiveness, and reflectivity properties, suggesting its potential suitability for surgical, optical, and other biomedical applications. All of the interesting features of SF, such as tunable biodegradation, anti-bacterial properties, and mechanical properties combined with potential self-healing modifications, make it ideal for future tissue engineering applications. In this review, we first demonstrate the current understanding of the structures and mechanical properties of SF and the various functionalizations of SF matrices through chemical and physical manipulations. Then the diverse applications of SF architectures and scaffolds for different regenerative medicine will be discussed in detail, including their current applications in bone, eye, nerve, skin, tendon, ligament, and cartilage regeneration.

  4. Stress/Strain Characteristics and Biochemical Correlates of Spider Silks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    we observed daily variability in silk from individuals of Nephila edulis and we can show that spider condition (starvation) affected silk properties...in particular that it tended to decrease breaking elongation. Reeling speed significantly affected silk properties in both Nephila edulis and...Analysis of our data from the different reeling speeds indicates that Nephila and Araneus dragline silks differ in basic properties.

  5. Insoluble and flexible silk films containing glycerol.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shenzhou; Wang, Xiaoqin; Lu, Qiang; Zhang, Xiaohui; Kluge, Jonathan A; Uppal, Neha; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-01-11

    We directly prepared insoluble silk films by blending with glycerol and avoiding the use of organic solvents. The ability to blend a plasticizer like glycerol with a hydrophobic protein like silk and achieve stable material systems above a critical threshold of glycerol is an important new finding with importance for green chemistry approaches to new and more flexible silk-based biomaterials. The aqueous solubility, biocompatibility, and well-documented use of glycerol as a plasticizer with other biopolymers prompted its inclusion in silk fibroin solutions to assess impact on silk film behavior. Processing was performed in water rather than organic solvents to enhance the potential biocompatibility of these biomaterials. The films exhibited modified morphologies that could be controlled on the basis of the blend composition and also exhibited altered mechanical properties, such as improved elongation at break, when compared with pure silk fibroin films. Mechanistically, glycerol appears to replace water in silk fibroin chain hydration, resulting in the initial stabilization of helical structures in the films, as opposed to random coil or beta-sheet structures. The use of glycerol in combination with silk fibroin in materials processing expands the functional features attainable with this fibrous protein, and in particular, in the formation of more flexible films with potential utility in a range of biomaterial and device applications.

  6. Silk film culture system for in vitro analysis and biomaterial design.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Brian D; Pan, Zhi; Weber, Michael D; Kaplan, David L; Rosenblatt, Mark I

    2012-04-24

    Silk films are promising protein-based biomaterials that can be fabricated with high fidelity and economically within a research laboratory environment (1,2). These materials are desirable because they possess highly controllable dimensional and material characteristics, are biocompatible and promote cell adhesion, can be modified through topographic patterning or by chemically altering the surface, and can be used as a depot for biologically active molecules for drug delivery related applications (3-8). In addition, silk films are relatively straightforward to custom design, can be designed to dissolve within minutes or degrade over years in vitro or in vivo, and are produce with the added benefit of being transparent in nature and therefore highly suitable for imaging applications (9-13). The culture system methodology presented here represents a scalable approach for rapid assessments of cell-silk film surface interactions. Of particular interest is the use of surface patterned silk films to study differences in cell proliferation and responses of cells for alignment (12,14). The seeded cultures were cultured on both micro-patterned and flat silk film substrates, and then assessed through time-lapse phase-contrast imaging, scanning electron microscopy, and biochemical assessment of metabolic activity and nucleic acid content. In summary, the silk film in vitro culture system offers a customizable experimental setup suitable to the study of cell-surface interactions on a biomaterial substrate, which can then be optimized and then translated to in vivo models. Observations using the culture system presented here are currently being used to aid in applications ranging from basic cell interactions to medical device design, and thus are relevant to a broad range of biomedical fields.

  7. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    In this thesis, the thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein from Bombyx mori silkworm, was treated as a model for the general study of protein based materials, combining theories from both biophysics and polymer physics fields. A systematic and scientific path way to model the dynamic beta-sheet crystallization process of silk fibroin protein was presented in the following sequence: (1) The crystallinity, fractions of secondary structures, and phase compositions in silk fibroin proteins at any transition stage were determined. Two experimental methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with Fourier self-deconvolution, and specific reversing heat capacity, were used together for the first time for modeling the static structures and phases in the silk fibroin proteins. The protein secondary structure fractions during the crystallization were quantitatively determined. The possibility of existence of a "rigid amorphous phase" in silk protein was also discussed. (2) The function of bound water during the crystallization process of silk fibroin was studied using heat capacity, and used to build a silk-water dynamic crystallization model. The fundamental concepts and thermal properties of silk fibroin with/without bound water were discussed. Results show that intermolecular bound water molecules, acting as a plasticizer, will cause silk to display a water-induced glass transition around 80°C. During heating, water is lost, and the change of the microenvironment in the silk fibroin chains induces a mesophase prior to thermal crystallization. Real time FTIR during heating and isothermal holding above Tg show the tyrosine side chain changes only during the former process, while beta sheet crystallization occurs only during the latter process. Analogy is made between the crystallization of synthetic polymers according to the four-state scheme of Strobl, and the crystallization process of silk fibroin, which includes an intermediate precursor

  8. 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...

  9. Single honeybee silk protein mimics properties of multi-protein silk.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S; Hu, Xiao; Huson, Mickey G; Kaplan, David L; Weisman, Sarah

    2011-02-02

    Honeybee silk is composed of four fibrous proteins that, unlike other silks, are readily synthesized at full-length and high yield. The four silk genes have been conserved for over 150 million years in all investigated bee, ant and hornet species, implying a distinct functional role for each protein. However, the amino acid composition and molecular architecture of the proteins are similar, suggesting functional redundancy. In this study we compare materials generated from a single honeybee silk protein to materials containing all four recombinant proteins or to natural honeybee silk. We analyse solution conformation by dynamic light scattering and circular dichroism, solid state structure by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy, and fiber tensile properties by stress-strain analysis. The results demonstrate that fibers artificially generated from a single recombinant silk protein can reproduce the structural and mechanical properties of the natural silk. The importance of the four protein complex found in natural silk may lie in biological silk storage or hierarchical self-assembly. The finding that the functional properties of the mature material can be achieved with a single protein greatly simplifies the route to production for artificial honeybee silk.

  10. Coupled heating/forming optimization of knitted reinforced composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pancrace, Johann

    The feasibility of knitted fabric reinforcement for highly flexible composites has been investigated for the thermoforming process. The composite sheets were made through compression molding before being shaped. We used thermoplastic elastomers as matrices: Thermoplastic Elastomers and Thermoplastic Olefins. The knit reinforcement was provided by jersey knitted fabrics of polyester fibers. We first introduced the fundamentals involved in the study. The manufacturing is presented through compression molding and thermoforming. The latter is a two-step process: IR heating and plug/pressure assisted deformations. For the IR heating phase, several material properties have been characterized: the emissivity of matrices, absorption, reflection and transmission of radiations in the composite structure have been studied. We particularly paid attention to the reflection on the composite surfaces. The non-reflected or useful radiations leading to the heating are quantified and simulated for three emitter-composite configurations. It has been found that the emitter temperatures and the angle of incidence have significant roles in the IR heating phase. Thermal properties such as calorific capacity and thermal conductivity of the composites were also presented. Thermograms were carried out with an IR camera. Equipment and Thermogram acquisitions were both presented. Optimization of emitters was performed for a three emitter system. The objective function method has been illustrated. Regarding mechanical purposes, the characterizations of the matrices, reinforcements and flexible composites have been carried out. The studied loadings were uniaxial traction, pure shear and biaxial inflation. For the uniaxial extension, both the reinforcement and the composite were found highly anisotropic regarding the orientation of the loading toward the coursewise of the fabric. The resulting strains and stresses to rupture are also found anisotropic. However, for pure shear loading we observed

  11. Silk Polymer Designs for Improved Expression and Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-10-28

    formed from regenerated silk fibroin using freeze- drying, salt leaching and gas foaming techniques with porosities up to 99% and pore sizes...materials. The formation of this beta sheet silk structure (termed silk II) was induced by nitrogen gas , likely due to dehydration effects, as is...silks in new ways to integrate inorganic components directly with the protein material, the hydrophobic nature of silk excludes the additional chimeric

  12. Mechanics and Morphology of Silk Drawn from Anesthetized Spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madsen, B.; Vollrath, F.

    CO2 and N2 anesthetized Nephila spiders produced dragline silk with mechanical properties that differed from control silk as a function of time under anesthesia. Silk from CO2 spiders had a significantly lower breaking strain and breaking energy, significantly higher initial modulus, and marginally lower breaking stress. At the onset of anesthesia the silk diameter became highly variable. During deep anesthesia silk either became thinner or retained cross-section but fibrillated.

  13. Protective constriction of coronary vein grafts with knitted nitinol

    PubMed Central

    Moodley, Loven; Franz, Thomas; Human, Paul; Wolf, Michael F.; Bezuidenhout, Deon; Scherman, Jacques; Zilla, Peter

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES Different flow patterns and shear forces were shown to cause significantly more luminal narrowing and neointimal tissue proliferation in coronary than in infrainguinal vein grafts. As constrictive external mesh support of vein grafts led to the complete suppression of intimal hyperplasia (IH) in infrainguinal grafts, we investigated whether mesh constriction is equally effective in the coronary position. METHODS Eighteen senescent Chacma baboons (28.8 ± 3.6 kg) received aorto-coronary bypass grafts to the left anterior descending artery (LAD). Three groups of saphenous vein grafts were compared: untreated controls (CO); fibrin sealant-sprayed controls (CO + FS) and nitinol mesh-constricted grafts (ME + FS). Meshes consisted of pulse-compliant, knitted nitinol (eight needles; 50 μm wire thickness; 3.4 mm resting inner diameter, ID) spray attached to the vein grafts with FS. After 180 days of implantation, luminal dimensions and IH were analysed using post-explant angiography and macroscopic and histological image analysis. RESULTS At implantation, the calibre mismatch between control grafts and the LAD expressed as cross-sectional quotient (Qc) was pronounced [Qc = 0.21 ± 0.07 (CO) and 0.18 ± 0.05 (CO + FS)]. Mesh constriction resulted in a 29 ± 7% reduction of the outer diameter of the vein grafts from 5.23 ± 0.51 to 3.68 ± 0 mm, significantly reducing the calibre discrepancy to a Qc of 0.41 ± 0.17 (P < 0.02). After 6 months of implantation, explant angiography showed distinct luminal irregularities in control grafts (ID difference between widest and narrowest segment 74 ± 45%), while diameter variations were mild in mesh-constricted grafts. In all control grafts, thick neointimal tissue was present [600 ± 63 μm (CO); 627 ± 204 μm (CO + FS)] as opposed to thin, eccentric layers of 249 ± 83 μm in mesh-constricted grafts (ME + FS; P < 0.002). The total wall thickness had increased by 363 ± 39% (P < 0.00001) in CO and 312 ± 61% (P < 0

  14. Unraveled mechanism in silk engineering: Fast reeling induced silk toughening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Liu, Xiang-Yang; Du, Ning; Xu, Gangqin; Li, Baowen

    2009-08-01

    We theoretically and experimentally study the mechanical response of silkworm and spider silks against stretching and the relationship with the underlying structural factors. It is found that the typical stress-strain profiles are predicted in good agreement with experimental measurements by implementing the "β-sheet splitting" mechanism we discovered and verified, primarily varying the secondary structure of protein macromolecules. The functions of experimentally observed structural factors responding to the external stress have been clearly addressed, and optimization of the microscopic structures to enhance the mechanical strength will be pointed out, beneficial to their biomedical and textile applications.

  15. 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.

  16. Spider silk gut: development and characterization of a novel strong spider silk fiber.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-12-05

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Enhanced mechanical properties of thermosensitive chitosan hydrogel by silk fibers for cartilage tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Mirahmadi, Fereshteh; Tafazzoli-Shadpour, Mohammad; Shokrgozar, Mohammad Ali; Bonakdar, Shahin

    2013-12-01

    Articular cartilage has limited repair capability following traumatic injuries and current methods of treatment remain inefficient. Reconstructing cartilage provides a new way for cartilage repair and natural polymers are often used as scaffold because of their biocompatibility and biofunctionality. In this study, we added degummed chopped silk fibers and electrospun silk fibers to the thermosensitive chitosan/glycerophosphate hydrogels to reinforce two hydrogel constructs which were used as scaffold for hyaline cartilage regeneration. The gelation temperature and gelation time of hydrogel were analyzed by the rheometer and vial tilting method. Mechanical characterization was measured by uniaxial compression, indentation and dynamic mechanical analysis assay. Chondrocytes were then harvested from the knee joint of the New Zealand white rabbits and cultured in constructs. The cell proliferation, viability, production of glycosaminoglycans and collagen type II were assessed. The results showed that mechanical properties of the hydrogel were significantly enhanced when a hybrid with two layers of electrospun silk fibers was made. The results of GAG and collagen type II in cell-seeded scaffolds indicate support of the chondrogenic phenotype for chondrocytes with a significant increase in degummed silk fiber-hydrogel composite for GAG content and in two-layer electrospun fiber-hydrogel composite for Col II. It was concluded that these two modified scaffolds could be employed for cartilage tissue engineering.

  19. Preparation of uniaxial multichannel silk fibroin scaffolds for guiding primary neurons.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiang; Zhao, Yahong; Yan, Shuqin; Yang, Yumin; Zhao, Huijing; Li, Mingzhong; Lu, Shenzhou; Kaplan, David L

    2012-07-01

    Physical guidance cues have been exploited to stimulate neuron adhesion and neurite outgrowth. In the present study, three-dimensional (3-D) silk fibroin scaffolds with uniaxial multichannels (42-142 μm in diameter) were prepared by a directional temperature field freezing technique, followed by lyophilization. By varying the initial silk fibroin concentration, the chemical potential and quantity of free water around cylindrical ice crystals could be controlled to control the cross-section morphology of the scaffold channels. Aligned ridges also formed on the inner surface of the multichannels in parallel to the direction of the channels. In vitro, primary hippocampal neurons were seeded in these 3-D silk fibroin scaffolds with uniaxial multichannels of ∼120 μm in diameter. The morphology of the neurons was multipolar and alignment along the scaffold channels was observed. Cell-cell networks and cell-matrix interactions established by newly formed axons were observed after 7 days in culture. These neurons expressed β-III-tubulin, nerve filament and microtubule-associated protein, while glial fibrillary acidic protein immunofluorescence was barely above background. The ridges on the inner surface of the channels played a critical role in the adhesion and extension of neurons by providing continuous contact guidance. These new 3-D silk scaffolds with uniaxial multichannels provided a favorable microenvironment for the development of hippocampal neurons by guiding axonal elongation and cell migration.

  20. Periodontal regeneration with nano-hyroxyapatite-coated silk scaffolds in dogs

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Cheryl; Lee, Jung-Seok; Jung, Ui-Won; Seo, Young-Kwon; Park, Jung-Keug

    2013-01-01

    Purpose In this study, we investigated the effect of silk scaffolds on one-wall periodontal intrabony defects. We conjugated nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) onto a silk scaffold and then seeded periodontal ligament cells (PDLCs) or dental pulp cells (DPCs) onto the scaffold. Methods Five dogs were used in this study. Bilateral 4 mm×2 mm (depth×mesiodistal width), one-wall intrabony periodontal defects were surgically created on the distal side of the mandibular second premolar and the mesial side of the mandibular fourth premolar. In each dog, four of the defects were separately and randomly assigned to the following groups: the PDLC-cultured scaffold transplantation group (PDLC group), the DPC-cultured scaffold transplantation group (DPC group), the normal saline-soaked scaffold transplantation group, and the control group. The animals were euthanized following an 8-week healing interval for clinical, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and histologic evaluations. Results There was no sign of inflammation or other clinical signs of postoperative complications. The examination of cell-seeded constructs by SEM provided visual confirmation of the favorable characteristics of nHA-coated silk scaffolds for tissue engineering. The scaffolds exhibited a firm connective porous structure in cross section, and after PDLCs and DPCs were seeded onto the scaffolds and cultured for 3 weeks, the attachment of well-spread cells and the formation of extracellular matrix (ECM) were observed. The histologic analysis revealed that a well-maintained grafted volume was present at all experimental sites for 8 weeks. Small amounts of inflammatory cells were seen within the scaffolds. The PDLC and DPC groups did not have remarkably different histologic appearances. Conclusions These observations indicate that nHA-coated silk scaffolds can be considered to be potentially useful biomaterials for periodontal regeneration. PMID:24455445

  1. Design for Health and Well Being: Knitted Products for Diabetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gault, A.

    2016-07-01

    This paper will discuss the design development, manufacturing and testing of knitted products maximizing the use of new innovations in Nano- technology and the integration of Phase Changing Materials specifically for diabetics. The project identified key aspects requiring design solutions to bring improvement to the circulatory problems with specific reference to the diabetic condition. Diabetics have particular difficulty in regulating their body temperature and this can result in the condition worsening, and resulting in loss of digits or limbs. The design of products to prevent the deterioration of the diabetic condition and to help those with limb loss was developed in collaboration with a Northern Ireland diabetic consultant, a product engineer and a knitwear designer. The fusion of ideas between the stakeholders resulted in the development and manufacture of a range of products that have been successfully tested at the yarn and fabric development stage and have been proven to maintain body temperature by either cooling or warming and therefore bring improvement to health and well-being. Whilst the product has a performance element the design ideas created desirable products that not only provided solutions to the brief but also resulted in products that had further market applications.

  2. 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.

  3. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  4. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes. PMID:27517908

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Silk as an innovative biomaterial for cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. 3D printing of weft knitted textile based structures by selective laser sintering of nylon powder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beecroft, M.

    2016-07-01

    3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing whereby the building up of layers of material creates objects. The selective laser sintering process (SLS) uses a laser beam to sinter powdered material to create objects. This paper builds upon previous research into 3D printed textile based material exploring the use of SLS using nylon powder to create flexible weft knitted structures. The results show the potential to print flexible textile based structures that exhibit the properties of traditional knitted textile structures along with the mechanical properties of the material used, whilst describing the challenges regarding fineness of printing resolution. The conclusion highlights the potential future development and application of such pieces.

  13. Sound absorbtion in knitted structures for interior noise reduction in automobiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias, Tilak; Monaragala, Ravi

    2006-09-01

    Reduction of interior noise in modern automobiles is an important issue in the automobile industry. Textiles are one solution, as they can provide passive sound absorption in upholstery, headliners and other interior parts. Nonwovens have also been used, but they have a lesser aesthetic appearance and drapability compared with woven and knitted structures, which can provide a 3D seamless fabric and have a pleasing appearance. In this paper we test the sound absorption of plain knitted fabrics and compare this with a theoretical model.

  14. Silver nanoparticle containing silk fibroin bionanotextiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calamak, Semih; Aksoy, Eda Ayse; Erdogdu, Ceren; Sagıroglu, Meral; Ulubayram, Kezban

    2015-02-01

    Development of new generation bionanotextiles is an important growing field, and they have found applications as wound dressings, bandages, tissue scaffolds, etc. In this study, silver nanoparticle (AgNP) containing silk-based bionanotextiles were fabricated by electrospinning, and processing parameters were optimized and discussed in detail. AgNPs were in situ synthesized within fibroin nanofibers by UV reduction of silver ions to metallic silver. The influence of post-treatments via methanol treatment and glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor exhibited changes in the secondary structure of silk. Methanol treatment increased the tensile properties of fibers due to supported crystalline silk structure, while GA vapor promoted amorphous secondary structure. AgNP containing silk fibroin bionanotextiles had strong antibacterial activity against gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Dating silk by capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Moini, Mehdi; Klauenberg, Kathryn; Ballard, Mary

    2011-10-01

    A new capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry (CE-MS) technique is introduced for age estimation of silk textiles based on amino acid racemization rates. With an L to D conversion half-life of ~2500 years for silk (B. mori) aspartic acid, the technique is capable of dating silk textiles ranging in age from several decades to a few-thousand-years-old. Analysis required only ~100 μg or less of silk fiber. Except for a 2 h acid hydrolysis at 110 °C, no other sample preparation is required. The CE-MS analysis takes ~20 min, consumes only nanoliters of the amino acid mixture, and provides both amino acid composition profiles and D/L ratios for ~11 amino acids.

  18. Flexible Microsupercapacitors Using Silk and Cotton Substrates.

    PubMed

    Das, Chayanika; Krishnamoorthy, Kothandam

    2016-11-02

    Flexible microsupercapacitors (MSCs) are needed to power ultrasmall wearable electronic devices. Silk cocoons comprise microfibers of silk, which is an attractive natural resource to fabricate MSCs. These fibers are insulators; hence, they must be converted to conducting surfaces. Polyphenols from green tea have been used as a protective layer that also acted as a reducing agent for silver ions. The reduction of silver ions resulted in the formation of silver nanoparticles that subsequently reduced gold ions to gold. The gold film imparts conductivity to the silk fiber without affecting the mechanical strength of the silk fiber. The mechanical strength of uncoated silk fiber and gold coated silk fiber were found to be 5.2 and 5 GPa, respectively. A pseudocapacitive polymer, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), was used as the active material to fabricate MSCs. The MSCs showed an impressive gravimetric capacitance of 500 F/g and areal capacitance of 62 mF/cm(2). The power and energy densities were calculated to be 2458 W/kg and 44 Wh/kg, respectively. The device was coiled on a cylinder, and the performance of the device was found to be same as that of the uncoiled device. To demonstrate that the approach is not specific to silk, we also coated gold on cotton fibers using the protocol used to coat gold on silk. Coiled and uncoiled supercapacitors were fabricated using PEDOT coated cotton fibers. The gravimetric capacitance was found to be 250 F/g with energy and power densities of 5.5 Wh/kg and 1118 W/kg, respectively. We have also demonstrated that the devices can be connected in parallel and series to improve the performance of the miniaturized devices.

  19. Encapsulation of Volatile Compounds in Silk Microparticles.

    PubMed

    Elia, Roberto; Guo, Jin; Budijono, Stephanie; Normand, Valery; Benczédi, Daniel; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2015-07-01

    Various techniques have been employed to entrap fragrant oils within microcapsules or microparticles in the food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries for improved stability and delivery. In the present work we describe the use of silk protein microparticles for encapsulating fragrant oils using ambient processing conditions to form an all-natural biocompatible matrix. These microparticles are stabilized via physical crosslinking, requiring no chemical agents, and are prepared with aqueous and ambient processing conditions using polyvinyl alcohol-silk emulsions. The particles were loaded with fragrant oils via direct immersion of the silk particles within an oil bath. The oil-containing microparticles were coated using alternating silk and polyethylene oxide layers to control the release of the oil from the microspheres. Particle morphology and size, oil loading capacity, release rates as well as silk-oil interactions and coating treatments were characterized. Thermal analysis demonstrated that the silk coatings can be tuned to alter both retention and release profiles of the encapsulated fragrance. These oil containing particles demonstrate the ability to adsorb and controllably release oils, suggesting a range of potential applications including cosmetic and fragrance utility.

  20. Electrodeposited silk coatings for bone implants

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25545462

  1. Water permeability of spider dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Eles, Philip T; Michal, Carl A

    2009-05-11

    The water permeability of spider dragline silk was studied by measuring changes in amide deuteration of D(2)O-soaked silk with solid-state NMR. (13)C-D rotational-echo double-resonance (REDOR) NMR experiments showed that chemical exchange of amide hydrogen occurs in a large fraction of amino acids, including over 50% of alanine residues, which are known to exist predominantly in beta-sheet crystallites. This suggests that a substantial fraction of the crystalline regions are permeable to water, at least on the time scale of hours, implying that they are more dynamic, and therefore susceptible to chemical exchange with water, than previously thought. Wideline deuterium NMR spectra of dried D(2)O-soaked silk showed a combination of quadrupolar broadened and motionally averaged isotropic components whose intensities change on the time scale of hours. These results are interpreted in terms of chemical exchange between deuterium on the protein backbone, residual water within the silk, and water vapor in the ambient atmosphere. A simple compartmental model fits the results well and yields rate constants for the exchange processes. The model requires the inclusion of a compartment that does not undergo exchange. This compartment, likely related to the crystalline region, is interesting because it is accessible to water in wet silk, but impervious to any remaining free water when the silk is dried.

  2. 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)

  3. Production And Characterization Of Synthetic Spider Silks Based On Nephila Clavipes Major Ampullate Silk Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    An, Bo

    The extraordinary mechanical properties of orb-weaving spider silks have served spiders for over 400 million years. However, only in the late 20th century did we start to understand the molecular nature of spider silk that contributes to its incredible properties as biomaterials. Among all seven types of spider silks, major ampullate silk from typical orb-weaving spiders is the toughest of all, it consists of primarily two proteins: MaSp1 and MaSp2. Variable ratios and conserved motifs of these two proteins in all the native spider silks demonstrate the significant role of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in controlling the mechanical properties of the fiber. The amino acid sequences of the orb weaving spider silk proteins have remained almost unchanged for more than 100 million years. Interestingly, MaSp1 and MaSp2 are the only two components in all studied dragline silk fibers from these spiders. The mechanical properties of native dragline silk vary slightly between species, which are believed to relate to the ratio of MaSp1 to MaSp2 in the silk. Both of these facts clearly indicate the importance of these two proteins to the mechanical properties of the fiber. Various types of synthetic spider silk fibers have been produced and studied in an effort to mass-produce man-made fibers with qualities comparable to native spider silk. To investigate the roles of MaSp1 and MaSp2 in silk fiber, synthetic MaSp1 (major abundant protein in Nephila clavipes major ampullate silks) only fibers, MaSp1/MaSp2 protein mixture fibers and chimeric protein fibers with both MaSp1 and MaSp2 sequence features have been produced and tested for mechanical properties. Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance was used to characterize the structure of silk fibers and reveal the relation between fiber spatial structure and mechanical properties.

  4. Physiological pulsatile flow culture conditions to generate functional endothelium on a sulfated silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffold.

    PubMed

    Gong, Xianghui; Liu, Haifeng; Ding, Xili; Liu, Meili; Li, Xiaoming; Zheng, Lisha; Jia, Xiaoling; Zhou, Gang; Zou, Yuanwen; Li, Jinchuan; Huang, Xuejin; Fan, Yubo

    2014-06-01

    Many studies have demonstrated that in vitro shear stress conditioning of endothelial cell-seeded small-diameter vascular grafts can improve cell retention and function. However, the laminar flow and pulsatile flow conditions which are commonly used in vascular tissue engineering and hemodynamic studies are quite different from the actual physiological pulsatile flow which is pulsatile in nature with typical pressure and flow waveforms. The actual physiological pulsatile flow leading to temporal and spatial variations of the wall shear stress may result in different phenotypes and functions of ECs. Thus, the aim of this study is to find out the best in vitro dynamic culture conditions to generate functional endothelium on sulfated silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffolds for small-diameter vascular tissue engineering. Rat aortic endothelial cells (RAECs) were seeded on sulfated silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffolds and cultured under three different patterns of flow conditioning, e.g., steady laminar flow (SLF), sinusoidal flow (SF), or physiological pulsatile flow (PPF) representative of a typical femoral distal pulse wave in vivo for up to 24 h. Cell morphology, cytoskeleton alignment, fibronectin assembly, apoptosis, and retention on the scaffolds were investigated and were compared between three different patterns of flow conditioning. The results showed that ECs responded differentially to different exposure time and different flow patterns. The actual PPF conditioning demonstrated excellent EC retention on sulfated silk fibroin scaffolds in comparison with SLF and SF, in addition to the alignment of cells in the direction of fluid flow, the formation of denser and regular F-actin microfilament bundles in the same direction, the assembly of thicker and highly crosslinked fibronectin, and the significant inhibition of cell apoptosis. Therefore, the actual PPF conditioning might contribute importantly to the generation of functional endothelium on a sulfated silk

  5. 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.

  6. State of water, molecular structure, and cytotoxicity of silk hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Numata, Keiji; Katashima, Takuya; Sakai, Takamasa

    2011-06-13

    A novel technique was developed to regulate the bulk water content of silk hydrogels by adjusting the concentrations of silk proteins, which is helpful to investigate the effects of the state of water in polymeric hydrogel on its biological functions, such as cytotoxicity. Gelation of the silk hydrogel was induced with ethanol and its gelation behavior was analyzed by rheometry. The silk hydrogels prepared at various silk concentrations were characterized with respect to their water content, molecular and network structures, state of water, mechanical properties, and cytotoxicity to human mesenchymal stem cells. The network structure of silk hydrogel was heterogeneous with β-sheet and fibrillar structures. The influence of the state of water in the silk hydrogel on the cytotoxicity was recognized by means of differential scanning calorimetry and cell proliferation assay, which revealed that the bound water will support cell-adhesion proteins in the cellular matrix to interact with the surface of the silk hydrogels.

  7. Silk Nanospheres and Microspheres from Silk/PVA Blend Films for Drug Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Yucel, Tuna; Lu, Qiang; Hu, Xiao; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein-based micro- and nanospheres provide new options for drug delivery due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability and their tunable drug loading and release properties. In the present study, we report a new aqueous-based preparation method for silk spheres with controllable sphere size and shape. The preparation was based on phase separation between silk fibroin and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) at a weight ratio of 1/1 and 1/4. Water-insoluble silk spheres were easily obtained from the blend in a three step process: (1) air-drying the blend solution into a film, (2) film dissolution in water and (3) removal of residual PVA by subsequent centrifugation. In both cases, the spheres had approximately 30% beta-sheet content and less than 5% residual PVA. Spindle-shaped silk particles, as opposed to the spherical particles formed above, were obtained by stretching the blend films before dissolving in water. Compared to the 1/1 ratio sample, the silk spheres prepared from the 1/4 ratio sample showed a more homogeneous size distribution ranging from 300 nm up to 20 μm. Further studies showed that sphere size and polydispersity could be controlled either by changing the concentration of silk and PVA or by applying ultrasonication on the blend solution. Drug loading was achieved by mixing model drugs in the original silk solution. The distribution and loading efficiency of the drug molecules in silk spheres depended on their hydrophobicity and charge, resulting in different drug release profiles. The entire fabrication procedure could be completed within one day. The only chemical used in the preparation except water was PVA, an FDA-approved ingredient in drug formulations. Silk micro- and nanospheres reported have potential as drug delivery carriers in a variety of biomedical applications. PMID:19945157

  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

    2011-01-11

    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

  9. Analysis of the Adherence of Dental Pulp Stem Cells on Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Silk Fibroin-Based Biomaterials: Applications in Regenerative Dentistry.

    PubMed

    Pecci-Lloret, María Pilar; Vera-Sánchez, Mar; Aznar-Cervantes, Salvador; García-Bernal, David; Sánchez, Ricardo Oñate; Pecci-Lloret, Miguel Ramón; Moraleda, José María; Cenis, José Luis; Rodríguez-Lozano, Francisco Javier

    2017-02-22

    Among various biomaterials used as scaffolds in tissue engineering, silk fibroin is a highly attractive material. A scaffold should be biocompatible and nontoxic, with optimal physical features and mechanical properties. For this reason, tissue-engineering approaches in regenerative medicine have focused on investigating the biocompatibility of possible biomaterials by analyzing cell-scaffold interaction properties. The aim of the present study was to examine the biocompatibility of silk fibroin as a film (two-dimensional [2D]) and a scaffold (three-dimensional [3D]) after being cellularized with human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs). Human dental pulp stem cells were isolated from healthy patients aged between 18 and 31 years. Further, silk fibroin-based 2D films and 3D scaffolds were prepared. Human dental pulp stem cells were directly seeded onto the biomaterial surfaces and their proliferation, adherence, and cell morphology were analyzed after 24, 120, and 168 hours. Additionally, the characteristics of the silk fibroin 2D films and 3D scaffolds before and after cell seeding were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. After the initial 24 hours, silk fibroin-based 3D scaffolds displayed more adhered cells with a suitable fibroblastic morphology than those displayed on the 2D films. After longer culture times, hDPSCs proliferated sufficiently to cover the entire surface of the 3D silk fibroin scaffold, whereas the 2D films were only partially covered. Our results indicate the good in vitro biocompatibility of silk fibroin-based biomaterials, especially when 3D scaffolds rather than 2D films are used.

  10. Knitting Teacher: A Narrative Inquiry of a Researcher Who Has Been Researched

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heydon, Rachel

    2010-01-01

    From the vantages of a teacher who has been researched and an educational researcher who has researched teachers, this inquiry constructs a knitted narrative from journals, letters, and stories written about my time teaching English studies in a remote First Nations' community and articles written about me when I was a research participant in a…

  11. Knitted Carbon-Nanotube-Sheath/Spandex-Core Elastomeric Yarns for Artificial Muscles and Strain Sensing.

    PubMed

    Foroughi, Javad; Spinks, Geoffrey M; Aziz, Shazed; Mirabedini, Azadeh; Jeiranikhameneh, Ali; Wallace, Gordon G; Kozlov, Mikhail E; Baughman, Ray H

    2016-09-08

    Highly stretchable, actuatable, electrically conductive knitted textiles based on Spandex (SPX)/CNT (carbon nanotube) composite yarns were prepared by an integrated knitting procedure. SPX filaments were continuously wrapped with CNT aerogel sheets and supplied directly to an interlocking circular knitting machine to form the three-dimensional electrically conductive and stretchable textiles. By adjusting the SPX/CNT feed ratio, the fabric electrical conductivities could be tailored in the range of 870 to 7092 S/m. The electrical conductivity depended on tensile strain, with a linear and largely hysteresis-free resistance change occurring on loading and unloading between 0 and 80% strain. Electrothermal heating of the stretched fabric caused large tensile contractions of up to 33%, and generated a gravimetric mechanical work capacity during contraction of up to 0.64 kJ/kg and a maximum specific power output of 1.28 kW/kg, which far exceeds that of mammalian skeletal muscle. The knitted textile provides the combination of strain sensing and the ability to control dimensions required for smart clothing that simultaneously monitors the wearer's movements and adjusts the garment fit or exerts forces or pressures on the wearer, according to needs. The developed processing method is scalable for the fabrication of industrial quantities of strain sensing and actuating smart textiles.

  12. Direct integration of a 4-pixel emissive display into a knit fabric matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coyle, Jared P.; Li, Bin; Dion, Genevieve; Fontecchio, Adam K.

    2013-03-01

    There exists a growing demand for displays in wearable applications. Wearable displays have traditionally been state-ofthe- art flexible designs that are subsequently mounted onto clothing fabric. Ideally, such a design would itself be fabricintegrated. Recently, much attention has been placed on work involving the weaving of photonic bandgap and other optical fibers to create a true fabric based display. Little exists in the technical literature concerning knit-based fabric displays. In this research, a prototype 4-pixel emissive fabric display is demonstrated. Conductive silver-plated nylon fibers act as a cathode. The fibers are coated in poly-2-methoxy-5-(2'-ethylhexyloxy)-p-phenylene vinylene (MEHPPV). When this layered structure is placed in contact with a separate metallic fiber (functions as an anode), a singlelayer PLED is formed. After drying and annealing, coated fibers are knit into a fabric matrix using a Shima Seiki SSG202SV automated knitting machine. The knit pattern itself provides a passive matrix addressing system similar to that of a more simple weave. Equivalent planar devices and single-pixel fiber structures are also fabricated. The resultant structures are all actuated, and current-voltage data is obtained for individual pixels using a source meter. Electroluminescence spectra are collected under tension using a UV-NIR spectrometer. The performance of the fiber devices is then compared to its planar analogues. Future directions for investigation are also proposed.

  13. Atomic force microscopy of orb-spider-web-silks to measure surface nanostructuring and evaluate silk fibers per strand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kane, D. M.; Naidoo, N.; Staib, G. R.

    2010-10-01

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) study is used to measure the surface topology and roughness of radial and capture spider silks on the micro- and nanoscale. This is done for silks of the orb weaver spider Argiope keyserlingi. Capture silk has a surface roughness that is five times less than that for radial silk. The capture silk has an equivalent flatness of λ /100 (5-6 nm deep surface features) as an optical surface. This is equivalent to a very highly polished optical surface. AFM does show the number of silk fibers that make up a silk thread but geometric distortion occurs during sample preparation. This prevented AFM from accurately measuring the silk topology on the microscale in this study.

  14. 13C NMR of Nephila clavipes major ampullate silk gland.

    PubMed

    Hijirida, D H; Do, K G; Michal, C; Wong, S; Zax, D; Jelinski, L W

    1996-12-01

    The major ampullate glands of the spider Nephila clavipes contain approximately 0.2 microliter each of a highly concentrated (approximately 50%) solution of silk fibroin. Therefore, the reservoir of silk in these glands presents an ideal opportunity to observe prefolded conformations of a protein in its native state. To this end, the structure and conformation of major ampullate gland silk fibroin within the glands of the spider N. clavipes were examined by 13C NMR spectroscopy. These results were compared to those from silk protein first drawn from the spinneret and then denatured. The 13C NMR chemical shifts, along with infrared and circular dichroism data, suggest that the silk fibroin in the glands exists in dynamically averaged helical conformations. Furthermore, there is no evidence of proline residues in U-(13)C-D-glucose-labeled silk. This transient prefolded "molten fibril" state may correspond to the silk I form found in Bombyx mori silk. There is no evidence of the final beta-sheet structure in the ampullate gland silk fibroin before final silk processing. However, the conformation of silk in the glands appears to be in a highly metastable state, as plasticization with water produces the beta-sheet structure. Therefore, the ducts connecting the ampullate glands to the spinnerets play a larger role in silk processing than previously thought.

  15. 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.

  16. E-spun composite fibers of collagen and dragline silk protein: fiber mechanics, biocompatibility, and application in stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bofan; Li, Wen; Lewis, Randolph V; Segre, Carlo U; Wang, Rong

    2015-01-12

    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.

  17. 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 β-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 β-sheet content. Dynamic oscillatory rheology experiments collected under the same assembly conditions as the circular dichroism experiments indicated that the increase in β-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, β-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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Analysis of knitted fabric reinforced flexible composites and applications in thermoforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bekisli, Burak

    In this study, large deformation behavior of knitted fabric reinforced composites is investigated. In order to fully utilize the unique stretchability of knitted fabric reinforcements, elastomeric materials are used as the matrix material, resulting in "flexible composites" capable of reaching several hundred percent stretch before failing. These non-traditional composites are ideal candidates for many engineering applications where large deformation is desired, including energy/impact absorption and novel forming processes. A multi-level nonlinear finite element (FE) procedure is developed to analyze the deformation behavior of plain weft-knitted fabrics and the composites derived from these materials. The hierarchy of the model is composed of a 3D unit cell analysis (micro/meso-scale) and a 2D global analysis (macro scale). Using results from different numerical experiments performed in the micro/meso scale, a mechanical behavior database of knit fabric geometries is constructed, both for the uniaxial and biaxial stretch cases. Through an optimization procedure, these results are used to determine the mechanical properties of nonlinear truss elements needed for modeling in the macro scale. A hexagonal honeycomb structure, which closely resembles the knit fabric architecture, is formed using these nonlinear trusses. This truss structure is then used to efficiently model a large number of loops generally found in a fabric. Results from uniaxial experimental measurements are presented for knitted fabrics to validate the FE model. Appropriate hyperelastic material models are determined for the elastomeric matrix, using a curve fit to experimental data. Examples of raw fabric and composite deformation simulations in the global scale are presented in this study. Two types of composites are studied experimentally and numerically: (1) knitted fabric embedded in an elastomeric medium, and (2) the sandwich type composites with elastomeric skins and fabric core. The strain

  1. 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

  2. Cell proliferation by silk gut incorporating FGF-2 protein microcrystals.

    PubMed

    Kotani, Eiji; Yamamoto, Naoto; Kobayashi, Isao; Uchino, Keiro; Muto, Sayaka; Ijiri, Hiroshi; Shimabukuro, Junji; Tamura, Toshiki; Sezutsu, Hideki; Mori, Hajime

    2015-06-08

    Silk gut processed from the silk glands of the silkworm could be an ideal biodegradable carrier for cell growth factors. We previously demonstrated that polyhedra, microcrystals of Cypovirus 1 polyhedrin, can serve as versatile carrier proteins. Here, we report the generation of a transgenic silkworm that expresses polyhedrin together with human basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) in its posterior silk glands to utilize silk gut as a proteinaceous carrier to protect and slowly release active cell growth factors. In the posterior silk glands, polyhedrin formed polyhedral microcrystals, and FGF-2 became encapsulated within the polyhedra due to a polyhedron-immobilization signal. Silk gut powder prepared from posterior silk glands containing polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 stimulated the phosphorylation of p44/p42 MAP kinase and induced the proliferation of serum-starved NIH3T3 cells by releasing bioactive FGF-2. Even after a one-week incubation at 25 °C, significantly higher biological activity of FGF-2 was observed for silk gut powder incorporating polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 relative to silk gut powder with non-encapsulated FGF-2. Our results demonstrate that posterior silk glands incorporating polyhedron-encapsulated FGF-2 are applicable to the preparation of biodegradable silk gut, which can protect and release FGF-2 that is produced in a virus- and serum-free expression system with significant application potential.

  3. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

    Spider silk is an ultrastrong and extensible self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms the mechanical characteristics of many synthetic materials including steel. Here we report atomic-level structures that represent aggregates of MaSp1 proteins from the N. Clavipes silk sequence based on a bottom-up computational approach using replica exchange molecular dynamics. We discover that poly-alanine regions predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains while disorderly structures are formed by poly-glycine repeats, resembling 31-helices. These could be the molecular source of the large semicrystalline fraction observed in silks, and also form the basis of the so-called "prestretched" molecular configuration. Our structures are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content.

  4. The impact behaviour of silk cocoons.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fujia; Hesselberg, Thomas; Porter, David; Vollrath, Fritz

    2013-07-15

    Silk cocoons, constructed by silkmoths (Lepidoptera), are protective structural composites. Some cocoons appear to have evolved towards structural and material optimisation in order to sustain impact strikes from predators and hinder parasite ingress. This study investigates the protective properties of silk cocoons with different morphologies by evaluating their impact resistance and damage tolerance. Finite element analysis was used to analyse empirical observations of the quasi-static impact response of the silk cocoons, and to evaluate the separate benefits of the structures and materials through the deformation and damage mechanism. We use design principles from composite engineering in order to understand the structure-property-function relationship of silkworm cocoons. Understanding the highly evolved survival strategies of the organisms building natural cocoons will hopefully lead to inspiration that in turn could lead to improved composite design.

  5. Sows' ears, silk purses and goats' milk: new production methods and medical applications for silk.

    PubMed

    Williams, David

    2003-06-01

    Silk is a good example of a self-assembled natural material with attractive characteristics. Attempts are now being made to produce recombinant forms, through transgenic animals, that have potential in a number of medical technologies.

  6. 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.

  7. Sensitization to silk allergen among workers of silk filatures in India: a comparative study

    PubMed Central

    Gowda, Giriyanna; Vijayeendra, Anagha Manakari; Sarkar, Nivedita; Nagaraj, Chitra; Masthi, Nugehally Raju Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Background Sericulture plays an eminent role in development of rural economy in India. Silk filature is a unit where silk is unwound from the cocoons and the strands are collected into skeins. During the process workers are exposed to the high molecular weight proteins like Sericin and Fibroin which are potent allergens leading to sensitization over a period of time and subsequently occupational related health disorders. Objective To identify and compare the magnitude of silk allergen sensitization in workers of silk filatures. Methods A community based comparative descriptive study was conducted for a period of 1 year at Ramanagara in south India. One hundred twenty subjects working in the silk filatures formed the study group. For comparison, 2 types of controls were selected viz.120 subjects who were not working in the silk filatures but resided in the same geographical area (control A) and 360 subjects who were not working in silk filatures as well not residing in the same geographical area (control B). Skin prick test was used to identify the silk allergen sensitization. Results Mean age was 34.14 ± 2.84 years in the study group. Mean age was 40.59 ± 14.40 years and 38.54 ± 12.20 years in control A and control B, respectively. There were 35 males (29.16%) and 85 females (70.84%) in the study group. There were 58 (48.34%) males and 62 (51.66%) females and 152 (42.2%) males and 208 females (57.8%) in control A and control B, respectively. Sensitization to silk allergen was 35.83% in the study group and 20.83% in the control group A and 11.11% in control group B. There was difference in the allergen sensitivity between the study group and control groups and it was statistically significant (chi-square = 38.08; p < 0.001). Conclusion There is high burden of silk allergen sensitization among silk filature workers. PMID:27141481

  8. Antibiotic Spider Silk: Site-Specific Functionalization of Recombinant Spider Silk Using "Click" Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Harvey, David; Bardelang, Philip; Goodacre, Sara L; Cockayne, Alan; Thomas, Neil R

    2017-03-01

    In a new, versatile approach to fun-ction-alizing recombinant spider silk, L-azidohomoalanine is introduced residue-specifically in the minispidroin protein 4RepCT through expression in an E. coli methionine auxotroph. Both fluorophores and the antibiotic levofloxacin are attached to this bio-orthogonal amino acid using copper-catalyzed click chemistry, either before or after the silk fibers are self-assembled.

  9. Evaluation of structural and mechanical properties of electrospun nano-micro hybrid of poly hydroxybutyrate-chitosan/silk scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Karbasi, Saeed; Fekrat, Farnoosh; Semnani, Daryoush; Razavi, Shahnaz; Zargar, Elham Naghash

    2016-01-01

    Background: One of the new methods of scaffold fabrication is a nano-micro hybrid structure in which the properties of the scaffold are improved by introducing nanometer and micrometer structures. This method could be suitable for scaffold designing if some features improve. Materials and Methods: In this study, electrospun nanofibers of 9% weight solution of poly (3-hydroxybutyrate) (P3HB) and a 15% weight of chitosan by trifluoroacetic acid were coated on both the surface of a silk knitted substrate in the optimum condition to improve the mechanical properties of scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering application. These hybrid nano-micro fibrous scaffolds were characterized by structural and mechanical evaluation methods. Results: Scanning electron microscopy values and porosity analysis showed that average diameter of nanofibers was 584.94 nm in electrospinning part and general porosity was more than 80%. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy results indicated the presence of all elements without pollution. The tensile test also stated that by electrospinning, as well as adding chitosan, both maximum strength and maximum elongation increased to 187 N and 10 mm. It means that the microfibrous part of scaffold could affect mechanical properties of nano part of the hybrid scaffold, significantly. Conclusions: It could be concluded that P3HB-chitosan/silk hybrid scaffolds can be a good candidate for cartilage tissue engineering. PMID:28028520

  10. Thermal comfort of diving dry suit with the use of the warp-knitted fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenfeldova, I.; Hes, L.; Annayeva, M.

    2016-07-01

    Achievement of a good level of thermal comfort of under-suits for dry suit diving which enable also the required mobility of the diver in water is inevitable not only for the scuba sport and commercial diving people but also for safety and activities of people who make research under water. The aim of this work is to verify whether selected knitted structures (which are not waterproof) can substitute the currently used textile materials (nonwovens). This dry-suit innovation is intended to increase the properties which correspond to the perception of thermal comfort of the diver in water. To achieve this objective, the Alambeta thermal tester was used in the study for experimental determination of thermal resistance of spacer warp knitted fabric at varying contact pressure. The studied textiles were expected to be very suitable for the intended application due to their low compressibility which yields relatively high thickness a hence increased thermal insulation.

  11. Seed Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Initiation of seed germination is a critical decision for plants. It is important for seed populations under natural conditions to spread the timing of germination of individual seeds to maximize the probability of species survival. Therefore, seeds have evolved the multiple layers of mechanisms tha...

  12. 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 β-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.

  13. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karthikeyani, R.; Divya, A.; Mathavan, T.; Asath, R. Mohamed; Benial, A. Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  14. Curcumin-functionalized silk biomaterials for anti-aging utility.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lei; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Qian, Cheng; Wu, Jianbing; Liu, Yawen; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Liu, Meng; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-02-02

    Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) and exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity, thus functional for anti-aging. However, poor stability and low solubility of curcumin in aqueous conditions limit its biomedical applications. Previous studies have shown that the anti-oxidation activity of curcumin embedded in silk fibroin films could be well preserved, resulting in the promoted adipogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on the surface of the films. In the present study, curcumin was encapsulated in both silk fibroin films (silk/cur films) and nanoparticles (silk/cur NPs), and their anti-aging effects were compared with free curcumin in solution, with an aim to elucidate the mechanism of anti-aging of silk-associated curcumin and to better serve biomedical applications in the future. The morphology and structure of silk/cur film and silk/cur NP were characterized using SEM, FTIR and DSC, indicating characteristic stable beta-sheet structure formation in the materials. Strong binding of curcumin molecules to the beta-sheet domains of silk fibroin resulted in the slow release of curcumin with well-preserved activity from the materials. For cell aging studies, rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in the presence of free curcumin (FC), silk/cur film and silk/cur NP, and cell proliferation and markers of aging (P53, P16, HSP70 gene expression and β-Galactosidase activity) were examined. The results indicated that cell aging was retarded in all FC, silk/cur NP and silk/cur film samples, with the silk-associated curcumin superior to the FC.

  15. Structural and optical studies on selected web spinning spider silks.

    PubMed

    Karthikeyani, R; Divya, A; Mathavan, T; Asath, R Mohamed; Benial, A Milton Franklin; Muthuchelian, K

    2017-01-05

    This study investigates the structural and optical properties in the cribellate silk of the sheet web spider Stegodyphus sarasinorum Karsch (Eresidae) and the combined dragline, viscid silk of the orb-web spiders Argiope pulchella Thorell (Araneidae) and Nephila pilipes Fabricius (Nephilidae). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to study these three spider silk species. X-ray diffraction data are consistent with the amorphous polymer network which is arising from the interaction of larger side chain amino acid contributions due to the poly-glycine rich sequences known to be present in the proteins of cribellate silk. The same amorphous polymer networks have been determined from the combined dragline and viscid silk of orb-web spiders. From FTIR spectra the results demonstrate that, cribellate silk of Stegodyphus sarasinorum, combined dragline viscid silk of Argiope pulchella and Nephila pilipes spider silks are showing protein peaks in the amide I, II and III regions. Further they proved that the functional groups present in the protein moieties are attributed to α-helical and side chain amino acid contributions. The optical properties of the obtained spider silks such as extinction coefficients, refractive index, real and imaginary dielectric constants and optical conductance were studied extensively from UV-Vis analysis. The important fluorescent amino acid tyrosine is present in the protein folding was investigated by using fluorescence spectroscopy. This research would explore the protein moieties present in the spider silks which were found to be associated with α-helix and side chain amino acid contributions than with β-sheet secondary structure and also the optical relationship between the three different spider silks are investigated. Successful spectroscopic knowledge of the internal protein structure and optical properties of the spider silks could

  16. Silk fibroin microtubes for blood vessel engineering.

    PubMed

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Daheron, Laurence; Messmer, Brady; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L

    2007-12-01

    Currently available synthetic grafts demonstrate moderate success at the macrovascular level, but fail at the microvascular scale (<6mm inner diameter). We report on the development of silk fibroin microtubes for blood vessel repair with several advantages over existing scaffold materials/designs. These microtubes were prepared by dipping straight lengths of stainless steel wire into aqueous silk fibroin, where the addition of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) enabled control of microtube porosity. The microtube properties were characterized in terms of pore size, burst strength, protein permeability, enzymatic degradation, and cell migration. Low porosity microtubes demonstrated superior mechanical properties in terms of higher burst pressures, but displayed poor protein permeability; whereas higher porosity tubes had lower burst strengths but increased permeability and enhanced protein transport. The microtubes also exhibited cellular barrier functions as low porosity tubes prevented outward migration of GFP-transduced HUVECs, while the high porosity microtubes allowed a few cells per tube to migrate outward during perfusion. When combined with the biocompatible and suturability features of silk fibroin, these results suggest that silk microtubes, either implanted directly or preseeded with cells, are an attractive biomaterial for microvascular grafts.

  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…

  18. Silk-Screening a la Andy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathes, Len

    2000-01-01

    Describes a project that was used with advanced 11th and 12th grade art students in which they created silk-screen self-portraits in the style of Andy Warhol. Discusses the process of creating the portraits and the activities that concluded the project. Lists the needed materials. (CMK)

  19. 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.)

  20. Silk Fibroin for Flexible Electronic Devices.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bowen; Wang, Hong; Leow, Wan Ru; Cai, Yurong; Loh, Xian Jun; Han, Ming-Yong; Chen, Xiaodong

    2016-06-01

    Flexible electronic devices are necessary for applications involving unconventional interfaces, such as soft and curved biological systems, in which traditional silicon-based electronics would confront a mechanical mismatch. Biological polymers offer new opportunities for flexible electronic devices by virtue of their biocompatibility, environmental benignity, and sustainability, as well as low cost. As an intriguing and abundant biomaterial, silk offers exquisite mechanical, optical, and electrical properties that are advantageous toward the development of next-generation biocompatible electronic devices. The utilization of silk fibroin is emphasized as both passive and active components in flexible electronic devices. The employment of biocompatible and biosustainable silk materials revolutionizes state-of-the-art electronic devices and systems that currently rely on conventional semiconductor technologies. Advances in silk-based electronic devices would open new avenues for employing biomaterials in the design and integration of high-performance biointegrated electronics for future applications in consumer electronics, computing technologies, and biomedical diagnosis, as well as human-machine interfaces.

  1. Greatly Increased Toughness of Infiltrated Spider Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung-Mo; Pippel, Eckhard; Gösele, Ulrich; Dresbach, Christian; Qin, Yong; Chandran, C. Vinod; Bräuniger, Thomas; Hause, Gerd; Knez, Mato

    2009-04-01

    In nature, tiny amounts of inorganic impurities, such as metals, are incorporated in the protein structures of some biomaterials and lead to unusual mechanical properties of those materials. A desire to produce these biomimicking new materials has stimulated materials scientists, and diverse approaches have been attempted. In contrast, research to improve the mechanical properties of biomaterials themselves by direct metal incorporation into inner protein structures has rarely been tried because of the difficulty of developing a method that can infiltrate metals into biomaterials, resulting in a metal-incorporated protein matrix. We demonstrated that metals can be intentionally infiltrated into inner protein structures of biomaterials through multiple pulsed vapor-phase infiltration performed with equipment conventionally used for atomic layer deposition (ALD). We infiltrated zinc (Zn), titanium (Ti), or aluminum (Al), combined with water from corresponding ALD precursors, into spider dragline silks and observed greatly improved toughness of the resulting silks. The presence of the infiltrated metals such as Al or Ti was verified by energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra measured inside the treated silks. This result of enhanced toughness of spider silk could potentially serve as a model for a more general approach to enhance the strength and toughness of other biomaterials.

  2. Sequence of Spider Aciniform and Piriform Silks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-09-19

    distinctly different. It appears to have a repeat sequence of A cDNA library from Nephila clavipes has been constructed from the acinform/piriform...any other silk. We have also constructed a cDNA library from Nephila clavipes that includes both the aciniform and piriform glands as they cannot be

  3. Designing Spider Silk Genes for Materials Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-14

    urn (close to the natural Nephila ) and had tensile strengths of about 25% of the natural fibers. We have subsequently generated fibers with diameters...and Randolph V. Lewis, An Investigation of the Divergence of Major Ampullate Silk Fibers from Nephila clavipes and Argiope aurantia, Biomacromolecules

  4. Cytocompatibility of a silk fibroin tubular scaffold.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiannan; Wei, Yali; Yi, Honggen; Liu, Zhiwu; Sun, Dan; Zhao, Huanrong

    2014-01-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin (SF) materials are increasingly used for tissue engineering applications. In order to explore the feasibility of a novel biomimetic silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEG-DE), biocompatibility with cells was evaluated. The novel biomimetic design of the SFTS consisted of three distinct layers: a regenerated SF intima, a silk braided media and a regenerated SF adventitia. The SFTS exhibited even silk fibroin penetration throughout the braid, forming a porous layered tube with superior mechanical, permeable and cell adhesion properties that are beneficial to vascular regeneration. Cytotoxicity and cell compatibility were tested on L929 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EA.hy926). DNA content analysis, scanning electron and confocal microscopies and MTT assay showed no inhibitory effects on DNA replication. Cell morphology, viability and proliferation were good for L929 cells, and satisfactory for EA.hy926 cells. Furthermore, the suture retention strength of the SFTS was about 23N and the Young's modulus was 0.2-0.3MPa. Collectively, these data demonstrate that PEG-DE crosslinked SFTS possesses the appropriate cytocompatibility and mechanical properties for use as vascular scaffolds as an alternative to vascular autografts.

  5. 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 β-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

  6. The properties of weft knitted fabric medical and preventive treatment action using eco-raw materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halavska, L.; Batrak, O.

    2016-07-01

    A new trend in the world is the clothing production using the new types of ecological raw materials application - milk, pineapple, coconut, hemp, banana, eucalyptus, clams, corn, bamboo, soya, nettle yarn. This makes it possible to create textile materials of new generation with unique antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Such materials have a positive preventive and sometimes therapeutic effect on people, and their health. Eco-raw materials clothing is able to protect the human body from the environment harmful effects: cold, heat, rain, dust, opportunely remove from underclothing layer the steam and gases, sweat; maintain in underclothing layer the necessary microclimate for normal organism functioning. Study of knitwear consumer properties, produced with eco-materials, is an urgent task of the world vector, directed on ecological environmental protection. This paper presents the research results of hygroscopicity and capillarity weft knitted fabrics, what knitted from different types of eco-raw materials: bamboo yarn, yarn containing soybean and nettle yarn. Character of influence of the liquid raising level changes depending on the experiment time and the knitting structure is revealed.

  7. Multi-Scale Modeling the Mechanical Properties of Biaxial Weft Knitted Fabrics for Composite Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abghary, Mohammad Javad; Nedoushan, Reza Jafari; Hasani, Hossein

    2016-11-01

    In this paper a multi-scale numerical model for simulating the mechanical behavior of biaxial weft knitted fabrics produced based on 1×1 rib structure is presented. Fabrics were produced on a modern flat knitting machine using polyester as stitch yarns and nylon as straight yarns. A macro constitutive equation was presented to model the fabric mechanical behavior as a continuum material. User defined material subroutines were provided to implement the constitutive behavior in Abaqus software. The constitutive equation needs remarkable tensile tests on the fabric as the inputs. To solve this drawbacks meso scale modeling of the fabric was used to predict stress-strain curves of the fabric in three different directions (course, wale and 45°). In these simulations only the yarn properties are needed. To evaluate the accuracy of the proposed macro and meso models, fabric tensile behavior in 22.5 and 67.5° directions were simulated by the calibrated macro model and compared with experimental results. Spherical deformation was also simulated by the multi scale model and compared with experimental results. The results showed that the multi-scale modeling can successfully predict the tensile and spherical deformation of the biaxial weft knitted fabric with least required experiments. This model will be useful for composite applications.

  8. 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

  9. The influence of specific binding of collagen-silk chimeras to silk biomaterials on hMSC behavior.

    PubMed

    An, Bo; DesRochers, Teresa M; Qin, Guokui; Xia, Xiaoxia; Thiagarajan, Geetha; Brodsky, Barbara; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Collagen-like proteins in the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes adopt a triple-helix structure with a thermal stability similar to that of animal collagens, can be expressed in high yield in Escherichia coli and can be easily modified through molecular biology techniques. However, potential applications for such recombinant collagens are limited by their lack of higher order structure to achieve the physical properties needed for most biomaterials. To overcome this problem, the S. pyogenes collagen domain was fused to a repetitive Bombyx mori silk consensus sequence, as a strategy to direct specific non-covalent binding onto solid silk materials whose superior stability, mechanical and material properties have been previously established. This approach resulted in the successful binding of these new collagen-silk chimeric proteins to silk films and porous scaffolds, and the binding affinity could be controlled by varying the number of repeats in the silk sequence. To explore the potential of collagen-silk chimera for regulating biological activity, integrin (Int) and fibronectin (Fn) binding sequences from mammalian collagens were introduced into the bacterial collagen domain. The attachment of bioactive collagen-silk chimeras to solid silk biomaterials promoted hMSC spreading and proliferation substantially in comparison to the controls. The ability to combine the biomaterial features of silk with the biological activities of collagen allowed more rapid cell interactions with silk-based biomaterials, improved regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation, as well as the formation of artificial extracellular matrices useful for tissue engineering applications.

  10. Inkjet printing of silk nest arrays for cell hosting.

    PubMed

    Suntivich, Rattanon; Drachuk, Irina; Calabrese, Rossella; Kaplan, David L; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2014-04-14

    An inkjet printing approach is presented for the facile fabrication of microscopic arrays of biocompatible silk "nests" capable of hosting live cells for prospective biosensors. The patterning of silk fibroin nests were constructed by the layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly of silk polyelectrolytes chemically modified with poly-(l-lysine) and poly-(l-glutamic acid) side chains. The inkjet-printed silk circular regions with a characteristic "nest" shape had diameters of 70-100 μm and a thickness several hundred nanometers were stabilized by ionic pairing and by the formation of the silk II crystalline secondary structure. These "locked-in" silk nests remained anchored to the substrate during incubation in cell growth media to provide a biotemplated platform for printing-in, immobilization, encapsulation and growth of cells. The process of inkjet-assisted printing is versatile and can be applied on any type of substrate, including rigid and flexible, with scalability and facile formation.

  11. In vivo studies of silk based gold nano-composite conduits for functional peripheral nerve regeneration.

    PubMed

    Das, Suradip; Sharma, Manav; Saharia, Dhiren; Sarma, Kushal Konwar; Sarma, Monalisa Goswami; Borthakur, Bibhuti Bhusan; Bora, Utpal

    2015-09-01

    We report a novel silk-gold nanocomposite based nerve conduit successfully tested in a neurotmesis grade sciatic nerve injury model in rats over a period of eighteen months. The conduit was fabricated by adsorbing gold nanoparticles onto silk fibres and transforming them into a nanocomposite sheet by electrospinning which is finally given a tubular structure by rolling on a stainless steel mandrel of chosen diameter. The conduits were found to promote adhesion and proliferation of Schwann cells in vitro and did not elicit any toxic or immunogenic responses in vivo. We also report for the first time, the monitoring of muscular regeneration post nerve conduit implantation by recording motor unit potentials (MUPs) through needle electromyogram. Pre-seeding the conduits with Schwann cells enhanced myelination of the regenerated tissue. Histo-morphometric and electrophysiological studies proved that the nanocomposite based conduits pre-seeded with Schwann cells performed best in terms of structural and functional regeneration of severed sciatic nerves. The near normal values of nerve conduction velocity (50 m/sec), compound muscle action potential (29.7 mV) and motor unit potential (133 μV) exhibited by the animals implanted with Schwann cell loaded nerve conduits in the present study are superior to those observed in previous reports with synthetic materials as well as collagen based nerve conduits. Animals in this group were also able to perform complex locomotory activities like stretching and jumping with excellent sciatic function index (SFI) and led a normal life.

  12. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    generated from the synthetic systems such as PEO-PS. Silk fibers obtained from silkworms and spiders are considered the strongest materials found in...the silkworm , Bombyx mori,13 and polyalanine (An) repeats in the spider Nephila clavipes,12 with less crystalline domains segregating these regions to...Assembly. In an earlier study, we showed stable monolayer silk films9 could be generated from silkworm silk at an air-water interface. ATR-FTIR

  13. Investigating the Mechanisms and Potential of Silk Fiber Metallization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    molecular mechanisms underlying the metallization-induced mechanical enhancement of spider silk fibers. (a) Papers published in peer-reviewed journals (N/A...properties of biological materials1. Native spider silk fibers are unparalleled in their combination of 1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND...ORGANIZATION NAMES AND ADDRESSES U.S. Army Research Office P.O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 15. SUBJECT TERMS silk, spider , fiber

  14. Development of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers for High Performance Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-08

    the conditions for syringe pump extrusion of silk fibers often seen in literature do not translate to industrial scale wet spinning. The magnitudes...REPORT Development of Synthetic Spider Silk Fibers for High Performance Applications 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The overall goal of...this project is to demonstrate the feasibility of synthetic production of high-performance spider silk fibers for use in next-generation automotives

  15. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-11-10

    December 1, 1988 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES: Clone, sequence and express dragline silk protein from Nephila Clavipes and compare the sequence to clones of the...studies was to obtain sufficient quantities of a single pure type of silk. Spiders were obtained from Florida( Nephila clavipes) or collected locally...and on each different batch of silk. The compositions were similar in every case to those published for that species( Nephila ) or for a closely

  16. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-12-01

    necessary and identify by blockc number) Amino acid sequence from several spider silk proteins have been determined. These include: Nephila dragline (GYGPG...identified from a Nephila silk gland library using an 18 mer probe based on the dragline protein sequence. These have been plague purified and sequencing...YEAR 21: In the past year we have sequenced several more peptide fragments from different spider silks. These include: Nephila cocoon( SAFO), Araneus

  17. Surface and Wetting Properties of Embiopteran (Webspinner) Nanofiber Silk.

    PubMed

    Osborn Popp, Thomas M; Addison, J Bennett; Jordan, Jacob S; Damle, Viraj G; Rykaczewski, Konrad; Chang, Shery L Y; Stokes, Grace Y; Edgerly, Janice S; Yarger, Jeffery L

    2016-05-10

    Insects of the order Embioptera, known as embiopterans, embiids, or webspinners, weave silk fibers together into sheets to make shelters called galleries. In this study, we show that silk galleries produced by the embiopteran Antipaluria urichi exhibit a highly hydrophobic wetting state with high water adhesion macroscopically equivalent to the rose petal effect. Specifically, the silk sheets have advancing contact angles above 150°, but receding contact angle approaching 0°. The silk sheets consist of layered fiber bundles with single strands spaced by microscale gaps. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) images of silk treated with organic solvent and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of the organic extract support the presence of a lipid outer layer on the silk fibers. We use cryogenic SEM to demonstrate that water drops reside on only the first layer of the silk fibers. The area fraction of this sparse outer silk layers is 0.1 to 0.3, which according to the Cassie-Baxter equation yields an effective static contact angle of ∼130° even for a mildly hydrophobic lipid coating. Using high magnification optical imaging of the three phase contact line of a water droplet receding from the silk sheet, we show that the high adhesion of the drop stems from water pinning along bundles of multiple silk fibers. The bundles likely form when the drop contact line is pinned on individual fibers and pulls them together as it recedes. The dynamic reorganization of the silk sheets during the droplet movement leads to formation of "super-pinning sites" that give embiopteran silk one of the strongest adhesions to water of any natural hydrophobic surface.

  18. Isolation of a clone encoding a second dragline silk fibroin. Nephila clavipes dragline silk is a two-protein fiber.

    PubMed

    Hinman, M B; Lewis, R V

    1992-09-25

    Spider dragline silk is a unique protein fiber possessing both high tensile strength and high elasticity. A partial cDNA clone for one dragline silk protein (Spidroin 1) was previously isolated. However, the predicted amino acid sequence could not account for the amino acid composition of dragline silk. We have isolated a partial cDNA clone for another dragline silk protein (Spidroin 2), demonstrating that dragline silk is composed of multiple proteins. The amino acid sequence exhibits an entirely different repetitive motif than Spidroin 1. Spidroin 2 is predicted to consist of linked beta-turns in proline-rich regions which alternate with beta-sheet regions composed of polyalanine segments. This structure for Spidroin 2 provides a model for dragline silk structure and function.

  19. 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

  20. Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Sinha, Arun K.; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2016-03-01

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

  1. Silk fibroin membrane used for guided bone tissue regeneration.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yurong; Guo, Junmao; Chen, Cen; Yao, Chenxue; Chung, Sung-Min; Yao, Juming; Lee, In-Seop; Kong, Xiangdong

    2017-01-01

    With the aim to develop a novel membrane with an appropriate mechanical property and degradation rate for guided bone tissue regeneration, lyophilized and densified silk fibroin membrane was fabricated and its mechanical behavior as well as biodegradation property were investigated. The osteoconductive potency of the silk fibroin membranes were evaluated in a defect rabbit calvarial model. Silk fibroin membrane showed the modulated biodegradable and mechanical properties via ethanol treatment with different concentration. The membrane could prevent soft tissue invasion from normal tissue healing, and the amounts of new bone and defect closure with silk fibroin membrane were similar to those of commercially available collagen membrane.

  2. Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Gogurla, Narendar; Sinha, Arun K; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C; Ray, Samit K

    2016-04-14

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

  3. Cloning and Structure of Different Types of Spider Silk

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    of peptides derived from Nephila dragline silk we used DNA probes to identify several clones from a silk gland cDNA library. The largest of these...the same protein from Areneus aemmoides. PROGRESS: We have sequenced over 2 kb of two separate clones for the Nephila dragline silk protein. One of the...similar to that seen in Nephila . We have also generated a odes cDNA library from the spider abdomen to have a library for the other silk Jo, j I or type

  4. "Knitting Nannas" and "Frackman": A Gender Analysis of Australian Anti-Coal Seam Gas Documentaries (CSG) and Implications for Environmental Adult Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Larri, Larraine J.; Newlands, Maxine

    2017-01-01

    "Frackman" ("FM") and "Knitting Nannas" ("KN") are two documentaries about the anti-coal seam gas movement in Australia. "Frackman" features a former construction worker turned eco-activist, Dayne Pratzky (DP), fighting coal seam gas extraction. "Knitting Nannas" follows a group of women…

  5. 3D Functional Corneal Stromal Tissue Equivalent Based on Corneal Stromal Stem Cells and Multi-Layered Silk Film Architecture

    PubMed Central

    Marelli, Benedetto; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Funderburgh, James L.; Kaplan, David L.

    2017-01-01

    The worldwide need for human cornea equivalents continues to grow. Few clinical options are limited to allogenic and synthetic material replacements. We hypothesized that tissue engineered human cornea systems based on mechanically robust, patterned, porous, thin, optically clear silk protein films, in combination with human corneal stromal stem cells (hCSSCs), would generate 3D functional corneal stroma tissue equivalents, in comparison to previously developed 2D approaches. Silk film contact guidance was used to control the alignment and distribution of hCSSCs on RGD-treated single porous silk films, which were then stacked in an orthogonally, multi-layered architecture and cultured for 9 weeks. These systems were compared similar systems generated with human corneal fibroblasts (hCFs). Both cell types were viable and preferentially aligned along the biomaterial patterns for up to 9 weeks in culture. H&E histological sections showed that the systems seeded with the hCSSCs displayed ECM production throughout the entire thickness of the constructs. In addition, the ECM proteins tested positive for keratocyte-specific tissue markers, including keratan sulfate, lumican, and keratocan. The quantification of hCSSC gene expression of keratocyte-tissue markers, including keratocan, lumican, human aldehyde dehydrogenase 3A1 (ALDH3A1), prostaglandin D2 synthase (PTDGS), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, isozyme 4 (PDK4), within the 3D tissue systems demonstrated upregulation when compared to 2D single silk films and to the systems generated with the hCFs. Furthermore, the production of ECM from the hCSSC seeded systems and subsequent remodeling of the initial matrix significantly improved cohesiveness and mechanical performance of the constructs, while maintaining transparency after 9 weeks. PMID:28099503

  6. Proteomic profiling of the photo-oxidation of silk fibroin: implications for historic tin-weighted silk.

    PubMed

    Solazzo, Caroline; Dyer, Jolon M; Deb-Choudhury, Santanu; Clerens, Stefan; Wyeth, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The stability of silk proteins to ultraviolet light is an issue of significant concern in both the appearance retention of silk-derived products and the preservation of historic silk textiles. Until now, evaluation of silk degradation has only been performed at the holistic, rather than molecular level. This article describes the first proteomic profiling of silk photo-oxidation, characterizing protein primary level modification leading to coloration changes, and evaluating the effects of tin weighting on photodegradation. Heavy-chain fibroin, the main proteinaceous component of the silk thread, is a repetitive, highly crystalline protein with a content rich in tyrosine. Photoproducts of tyrosine were characterized and the levels of oxidative modification at the protein primary structural level correlated with changes in coloration and tensile strength. The effect of tin as a weighting agent used on historical fabrics was examined. Tin-weighted fabrics were evaluated following two treatments (pink and dynamite) and proteomic analysis revealed a significant increase in oxidatively modified amino acid residues within the pink-treated silk. These findings offer new insight into the molecular-level oxidation of silk proteins under UV exposure, and the effects of silk treatments in either exacerbating or ameliorating this degradation.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Silk fibroin nanostructured materials for biomedical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitropoulos, Alexander N.

    Nanostructured biopolymers have proven to be promising to develop novel biomedical applications where forming structures at the nanoscale normally occurs by self-assembly. However, synthesizing these structures can also occur by inducing materials to transition into other forms by adding chemical cross-linkers, changing pH, or changing ionic composition. Understanding the generation of nanostructures in fluid environments, such as liquid organic solvents or supercritical fluids, has not been thoroughly examined, particularly those that are based on protein-based block-copolymers. Here, we examine the transformation of reconstituted silk fibroin, which has emerged as a promising biopolymer due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ease of functionalization, into submicron spheres and gel networks which offer applications in tissue engineering and advanced sensors. Two types of gel networks, hydrogels and aerogels, have small pores and large surface areas that are defined by their structure. We design and analyze silk nanoparticle formation using a microfluidic device while offering an application for drug delivery. Additionally, we provide a model and characterize hydrogel formation from micelles to nanoparticles, while investigating cellular response to the hydrogel in an in vitro cell culture model. Lastly, we provide a second model of nanofiber formation during near-critical and supercritical drying and characterize the silk fibroin properties at different drying pressures which, when acting as a stabilizing matrix, shows to improve the activity of entrapped enzymes dried at different pressures. This work has created new nanostructured silk fibroin forms to benefit biomedical applications that could be applied to other fibrous proteins.

  10. Vibrational spectroscopic study of sulphated silk proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monti, P.; Freddi, G.; Arosio, C.; Tsukada, M.; Arai, T.; Taddei, P.

    2007-05-01

    Degummed Bombyx mori ( B. m.) silk fibroin fabric and mutant naked pupa cocoons (Nd-s) consisting of almost pure silk sericin were treated with chlorosulphonic acid in pyridine and investigated by FT-IR and FT-Raman spectroscopies. Untreated silk fibroin and sericin displayed typical spectral features due to characteristic amino acid composition and molecular conformation (prevailing β-sheet with a less ordered structure in sericin). Upon sulphation, the degree of molecular disorder increased in both proteins and new bands appeared. The IR bands at 1049 and 1014 cm -1 were attributed to vibrations of sulphate salts and that at 1385 cm -1 to the νasSO 2 mode of organic covalent sulphates. In the 1300-1180 cm -1 range various contributions of alkyl and aryl sulphate salts, sulphonamides, sulphoamines and organic covalent sulphates, fell. Fibroin covalently bound sulphate groups through the hydroxyl groups of tyrosine and serine, while sericin through the hydroxyl groups of serine, since the δOH vibrations at 1399 cm -1 in IR and at 1408 cm -1 in Raman disappeared almost completely. Finally, the increase of the I850/ I830 intensity ratio of Raman tyrosine doublet in fibroin suggested a change towards a more exposed state of tyrosine residues, in good agreement with the more disordered conformation taken upon sulphation.

  11. Silk-based blood stabilization for diagnostics

    PubMed Central

    Kluge, Jonathan A.; Li, Adrian B.; Kahn, Brooke T.; Michaud, Dominique S.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced personalized medical diagnostics depend on the availability of high-quality biological samples. These are typically biofluids, such as blood, saliva, or urine; and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation, protein biomarkers in particular can degrade rapidly in blood samples, an effect that ultimately compromises the quality and reliability of laboratory tests. Here, we present the use of silk fibroin as a solid matrix to encapsulate blood analytes, protecting them from thermally induced damage that could be encountered during nonrefrigerated transportation or freeze–thaw cycles. Blood samples are recovered by simple dissolution of the silk matrix in water. This process is demonstrated to be compatible with a number of immunoassays and provides enhanced sample preservation in comparison with traditional air-drying paper approaches. Additional processing can remediate interactions with conformational structures of the silk protein to further enhance blood stabilization and recovery. This approach can provide expanded utility for remote collection of blood and other biospecimens empowering new modalities of temperature-independent remote diagnostics. PMID:27162330

  12. Silk film biomaterials for cornea tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Brian D.; Marchant, Jeffrey K.; Pindrus, Mariya; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L.

    2009-01-01

    Biomaterials for corneal tissue engineering must demonstrate several critical features for potential utility in vivo, including transparency, mechanical integrity, biocompatibility and slow biodegradation. Silk film biomaterials were designed and characterized to meet these functional requirements. Silk protein films were used in a biomimetic approach to replicate corneal stromal tissue architecture. The films were 2 μm thick to emulate corneal collagen lamellae dimensions, and were surface patterned to guide cell alignment. To enhance trans-lamellar diffusion of nutrients and to promote cell-cell interaction, pores with 0.5 to 5.0 μm diameters were introduced into the silk films. Human and rabbit corneal fibroblast proliferation, alignment and corneal extracellular matrix expression on these films in both 2D and 3D cultures was demonstrated. The mechanical properties, optical clarity and surface patterned features of these films, combined with their ability to support corneal cell functions suggest this new biomaterial system offers important potential benefits for corneal tissue regeneration. PMID:19059642

  13. A two-dimensional analytical model and experimental validation of garter stitch knitted shape memory alloy actuator architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abel, Julianna; Luntz, Jonathan; Brei, Diann

    2012-08-01

    Active knits are a unique architectural approach to meeting emerging smart structure needs for distributed high strain actuation with simultaneous force generation. This paper presents an analytical state-based model for predicting the actuation response of a shape memory alloy (SMA) garter knit textile. Garter knits generate significant contraction against moderate to large loads when heated, due to the continuous interlocked network of loops of SMA wire. For this knit architecture, the states of operation are defined on the basis of the thermal and mechanical loading of the textile, the resulting phase change of the SMA, and the load path followed to that state. Transitions between these operational states induce either stick or slip frictional forces depending upon the state and path, which affect the actuation response. A load-extension model of the textile is derived for each operational state using elastica theory and Euler-Bernoulli beam bending for the large deformations within a loop of wire based on the stress-strain behavior of the SMA material. This provides kinematic and kinetic relations which scale to form analytical transcendental expressions for the net actuation motion against an external load. This model was validated experimentally for an SMA garter knit textile over a range of applied forces with good correlation for both the load-extension behavior in each state as well as the net motion produced during the actuation cycle (250% recoverable strain and over 50% actuation). The two-dimensional analytical model of the garter stitch active knit provides the ability to predict the kinetic actuation performance, providing the basis for the design and synthesis of large stroke, large force distributed actuators that employ this novel architecture.

  14. Emergence of Scale-Free Close-Knit Friendship Structure in Online Social Networks

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Ai-Xiang; Zhang, Zi-Ke; Tang, Ming; Hui, Pak Ming; Fu, Yan

    2012-01-01

    Although the structural properties of online social networks have attracted much attention, the properties of the close-knit friendship structures remain an important question. Here, we mainly focus on how these mesoscale structures are affected by the local and global structural properties. Analyzing the data of four large-scale online social networks reveals several common structural properties. It is found that not only the local structures given by the indegree, outdegree, and reciprocal degree distributions follow a similar scaling behavior, the mesoscale structures represented by the distributions of close-knit friendship structures also exhibit a similar scaling law. The degree correlation is very weak over a wide range of the degrees. We propose a simple directed network model that captures the observed properties. The model incorporates two mechanisms: reciprocation and preferential attachment. Through rate equation analysis of our model, the local-scale and mesoscale structural properties are derived. In the local-scale, the same scaling behavior of indegree and outdegree distributions stems from indegree and outdegree of nodes both growing as the same function of the introduction time, and the reciprocal degree distribution also shows the same power-law due to the linear relationship between the reciprocal degree and in/outdegree of nodes. In the mesoscale, the distributions of four closed triples representing close-knit friendship structures are found to exhibit identical power-laws, a behavior attributed to the negligible degree correlations. Intriguingly, all the power-law exponents of the distributions in the local-scale and mesoscale depend only on one global parameter, the mean in/outdegree, while both the mean in/outdegree and the reciprocity together determine the ratio of the reciprocal degree of a node to its in/outdegree. Structural properties of numerical simulated networks are analyzed and compared with each of the four real networks. This

  15. Mechanical Properties of Robust Ultrathin Silk Fibroin Films

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    extracted from the cocoons prior to sericin removal in order to avoid contamination of the fibroin protein. Silk fibers were prepared as previously...the glue-like sericin proteins. The extracted silk fibroin was dissolved in 9.3 M LiBr solution at 60 °C for 4 h, yielding a 20 wt % solution. The

  16. 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…

  17. Thermal and Structural Properties of Silk Biomaterials Plasticized by Glycerol.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joseph E; Davidowski, Stephen K; Xu, Dian; Cebe, Peggy; Onofrei, David; Holland, Gregory P; Kaplan, David L

    2016-12-12

    The molecular interactions of silk materials plasticized using glycerol were studied, as these materials provide options for biodegradable and flexible protein-based systems. Plasticizer interactions with silk were analyzed by thermal, spectroscopic, and solid-state NMR analyses. Spectroscopic analysis implied that glycerol was hydrogen bonded to the peptide matrix, but may be displaced with polar solvents. Solid-state NMR indicated that glycerol induced β-sheet formation in the dried silk materials, but not to the extent of methanol treatment. Fast scanning calorimetry suggested that β-sheet crystal formation in silk-glycerol films appeared to be less organized than in the methanol treated silk films. We propose that glycerol may be simultaneously inducing and interfering with β-sheet formation in silk materials, causing some improper folding that results in less-organized silk II structures even after the glycerol is removed. This difference, along with trace residual glycerol, allows glycerol extracted silk materials to retain more flexibility than methanol processed versions.

  18. 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. …

  19. First investigation of spider silk as a braided microsurgical suture.

    PubMed

    Kuhbier, Joern W; Reimers, Kerstin; Kasper, Cornelia; Allmeling, Christina; Hillmer, Anja; Menger, Björn; Vogt, Peter M; Radtke, Christine

    2011-05-01

    Inhibition of axonal outgrowth accompanied by neuroma formation appears in microsurgical nerve repair as reaction to common microsuture materials like silk, nylon, or polyglycolic acid. In contrast, recent findings revealed advantages of spider silk fibers in guiding Schwann cells in nerve regeneration. Here, we asked if we could braid microsutures from native spider silk fibers. Microsutures braided of native spider dragline silk were manufactured, containing either 2 × 15 or 3 × 10 single fibres strands. Morphologic appearance was studied and tensile strength and stress-strain ratio (SSR) were calculated. The constructed spider silk sutures showed a median thickness of 25 μm, matching the USP definition of 10-0. Maximum load and tensile strength for both spider silk microsutures were significantly more than 2-fold higher than for nylon suture; SSR was 1.5-fold higher. All values except elasticity were higher in 3 × 10 strand sutures compared to 2 × 15 strand sutures, but not significantly. In this pilot study, we demonstrate the successful manufacture of microsutures from spider silk. With regards to the mechanical properties, these sutures were superior to nylon sutures. As spider silk displays high biocompatibility in nerve regeneration, its usage in microsurgical nerve repair should be considered.

  20. Clay-Enriched Silk Biomaterials for Bone Formation

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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 to silk films doped with sodium silicate as controls for support of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in osteogenic culture. The cells adhered and proliferated on the silk/clay composites over two weeks. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed increased transcript levels for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and collagen type 1 (Col I) osteogenic markers in the cells cultured on the silk/clay films in comparison to the controls. Early evidence for 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 the silk/clay composite systems may be useful for further study toward bone regenerative needs. PMID:21549864

  1. 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

  2. Artificial Skin – Culturing of Different Skin Cell Lines for Generating an Artificial Skin Substitute on Cross-Weaved Spider Silk Fibres

    PubMed Central

    Reimers, Kerstin; Kuhbier, Joern W.; Schäfer-Nolte, Franziska; Allmeling, Christina; Kasper, Cornelia; Vogt, Peter M.

    2011-01-01

    Background In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. Methodology/Principal Findings Native spider dragline silk, harvested directly out of Nephila spp spiders, was woven on steel frames. Constructs were sterilized and seeded with fibroblasts. After two weeks of cultivating single fibroblasts, keratinocytes were added to generate a bilayered skin model, consisting of dermis and epidermis equivalents. For the next three weeks, constructs in co-culture were lifted on an originally designed setup for air/liquid interface cultivation. After the culturing period, constructs were embedded in paraffin with an especially developed program for spidersilk to avoid supercontraction. Paraffin cross- sections were stained in Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E) for microscopic analyses. Conclusion/Significance Native spider dragline silk woven on steel frames provides a suitable matrix for 3 dimensional skin cell culturing. Both fibroblasts and keratinocytes cell lines adhere to the spider silk fibres and proliferate. Guided by the spider silk fibres, they sprout into the meshes and reach confluence in at most one week. A well-balanced, bilayered cocultivation in two continuously separated strata can be achieved by serum reduction, changing the medium conditions and the cultivation period at the air/liquid interphase. Therefore spider silk appears to be a promising biomaterial for the enhancement of skin regeneration. PMID:21814557

  3. 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

  4. Investigation of Natural Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin Proteins Using INS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crain, Christopher; Strange, Nicholas; Larese, J. Z.

    The mechanical properties of many protein comprised biomaterials are a direct reflection of non-covalent (i.e. weak) interacting ions such as F-actin in muscles, tubulin in the cytoskeleton of cells, viral capsids, and silk. Porter and Vollrath underscored the two main factors that are critical for understanding the high mechanical strength of silks: the nanoscale semi-crystalline folding structure, which gives it exceptional toughness and strength, and the degree of hydration of the disordered fraction, which acts to modify these properties. Understanding and controlling these two principal factors are the key to the functionality of protein elastomers, and render silk an ideal model protein for (bio)material design. We will describe our investigation of electrospun silk of the Bombyx mori (silk worm), using Inelastic Neutron Scattering (INS). These techniques were used to investigate the microscopic dynamics of the dry and hydrated protein.

  5. Increased molecular mobility in humid silk fibers under tensile stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seydel, Tilo; Knoll, Wiebke; Greving, Imke; Dicko, Cedric; Koza, Michael M.; Krasnov, Igor; Müller, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Silk fibers are semicrystalline nanocomposite protein fibers with an extraordinary mechanical toughness that changes with humidity. Diffusive or overdamped motion on a molecular level is absent in dry silkworm silk, but present in humid silk at ambient temperature. This microscopic diffusion distinctly depends on the externally applied macroscopic tensile force. Quasielastic and inelastic neutron-scattering data as a function of humidity and of tensile strain on humid silk fibers support the model that both the adsorbed water and parts of the amorphous polymers participate in diffusive motion and are affected by the tensile force. It is notable that the quasielastic linewidth of humid silk at 100% relative humidity increases significantly with the applied force. The effect of the tensile force is discussed in terms of an increasing alignment of the polymer chains in the amorphous fraction with increasing tensile stress which changes the geometrical restrictions of the diffusive motions.

  6. Dry-Spun Silk Produces Native-Like Fibroin Solutions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Silk’s outstanding mechanical properties and energy efficient solidification mechanisms provide inspiration for biomaterial self-assembly as well as offering a diverse platform of materials suitable for many biotechnology applications. Experiments now reveal that the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori secretes its silk in a practically “unspun” state that retains much of the solvent water and exhibits a surprisingly low degree of molecular order (β-sheet crystallinity) compared to the state found in a fully formed and matured fiber. These new observations challenge the general understanding of silk spinning and in particular the role of the spinning duct for structure development. Building on this discovery we report that silk spun in low humidity appears to arrest a molecular annealing process crucial for β-sheet formation. This, in turn, has significant positive implications, enabling the production of a high fidelity reconstituted silk fibroin with properties akin to the gold standard of unspun native silk. PMID:27526078

  7. The complexity of silk under the spotlight of synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Vollrath, Fritz

    2016-08-15

    For centuries silkworm filaments have been the focus of R&D innovation centred on textile manufacture with high added value. Most recently, silk research has focused on more fundamental issues concerning bio-polymer structure-property-function relationships. This essay outlines the complexity and fundamentals of silk spinning, and presents arguments for establishing this substance as an interesting and important subject at the interface of systems biology (discovery) and synthetic biology (translation). It is argued that silk is a generic class of materials where each type of silk presents a different embodiment of emergent properties that combine genetically determined (anticipatory) and environmentally responsive components. In spiders' webs the various silks have evolved to form the interactive components of an intricate fabric that provides an extended phenotype to the spider's body morphology.

  8. 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

    2016-01-08

    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.

  9. Secretory mechanism of fibroin, a silk protein, in the posterior silk gland cells of Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, S; Nakagaki, I

    1980-01-01

    There are two microtubule-microfilament systems in the posterior silk gland cells of Bombyx mori. One is a radial microtubule system; the other is a circular microtubule-microfilament system. These two systems are presumably concerned with the intracellular transport of secretory granules of fibroin and the secretion of fibroin into the lumen, respectively. Conventional and scanning electron microscopic observations of the two microtubule-microfilament systems in the posterior silk gland cells are reported. Scanning electron micrographs showed that a number of parallel linear cytoplasmic processes ran circularly on the luminal surface of the posterior silk gland cells. These processes were assumed to correspond to the circular microtubule-microfilament systems. The effects of cytochalasin (B or D), a secretion stimulating agent of fibroin, on the intracellular recording of membrane potential from the posterior silk gland cells are also reported. Exposure to cytochalasin resulted in depolarization of the membrane potential of the gland cells. Possible functional roles of the two microtubule-microfilament systems in the secretory mechanism of fibroin are discussed with reference to the effects of antimitotic reagents and cytochalasin on these two systems.

  10. The method of purifying bioengineered spider silk determines the silk sphere properties

    PubMed Central

    Jastrzebska, Katarzyna; Felcyn, Edyta; Kozak, Maciej; Szybowicz, Miroslaw; Buchwald, Tomasz; Pietralik, Zuzanna; Jesionowski, Teofil; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2016-01-01

    Bioengineered spider silks are a biomaterial with great potential for applications in biomedicine. They are biocompatible,biodegradable and can self-assemble into films, hydrogels, scaffolds, fibers, capsules and spheres. A novel, tag-free, bioengineered spider silk named MS2(9x) was constructed. It is a 9-mer of the consensus motif derived from MaSp2–the spidroin of Nephila clavipes dragline silk. Thermal and acidic extraction methods were used to purify MS2(9x). Both purification protocols gave a similar quantity and quality of soluble silk; however, they differed in the secondary structure and zeta potential value. Spheres made of these purified variants differed with regard to critical features such as particle size, morphology, zeta potential and drug loading. Independent of the purification method, neither variant of the MS2(9x) spheres was cytotoxic, which confirmed that both methods can be used for biomedical applications. However, this study highlights the impact that the applied purification method has on the further biomaterial properties. PMID:27312998

  11. Solution behavior of synthetic silk peptides and modified recombinant silk proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, C. Wong Po; Bini, E.; Huang, J.; Lee, S. Y.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2006-02-01

    Spider dragline silk from Nephila clavipes possesses impressive mechanical properties derived in part from repetitive primary sequence containing polyalanine regions that self-assemble into crystalline β-sheets. In the present study, we have sought to understand more details of redox responses related to conformational transitions of modified silk peptides and a recombinant protein containing encoded methionine triggers. Regardless of the position of the methionine trigger relative to the polyalanine domain, chemical oxidation was rapid and slight increases in the α-helical structure and decreases in the β-sheet and random coil content were observed by CD and FTIR in the assembled silk-like peptides and the recombinant protein. CD results indicated that the decrease in β-sheet and random coil conformations, coupled with the increase in helical content during oxidation, occurred during the first 30 min of the reaction. No further conformational changes occurred after this time and the response was independent of methionine trigger location relative to the penta-alanine domain. These results were confirmed with fluorescence studies. The design, processing and utility of these modified redox triggered silk-like peptides and proteins suggest a range of potential utility, from biomaterials to engineered surface coatings with chemically alterable secondary structure and, thus, properties.

  12. Evaluation of High Temperature Knitted Spring Tubes for Structural Seal Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Shawn C.; DeMange, Jeffrey J.; Dunlap, Patrick H., Jr.; Steinetz, Bruce M.

    2004-01-01

    Control surface seals are crucial to current and future space vehicles, as they are used to seal the gaps surrounding body flaps, elevons, and other actuated exterior surfaces. During reentry, leakage of high temperature gases through these gaps could damage underlying lower temperature structures such as rudder drive motors and mechanical actuators, resulting in impaired vehicle control. To be effective, control surface seals must shield lower temperature structures from heat transfer by maintaining sufficient resiliency to remain in contact with opposing sealing surfaces through multiple compression cycles. The current seal exhibits significant loss of resiliency after a few compression cycles at elevated temperatures (i.e., 1900 F) and therefore would be inadequate for advanced space vehicles. This seal utilizes a knitted Inconel X-750 spring tube as its primary resilient element. As part of a larger effort to enhance seal resiliency, researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center performed high temperature compression testing (up to 2000 F) on candidate spring tube designs employing material substitutions and modified geometries. These tests demonstrated significant improvements in spring tube resiliency (5.5x better at 1750 F) through direct substitution of heat treated Rene 41 alloy in the baseline knit design. The impact of geometry modification was minor within the range of parameters tested, however trends did suggest that moderate resiliency improvements could be obtained by optimizing the current spring tube geometry.

  13. Investigation of changes in the electrical properties of novel knitted conductive textiles during cyclic loading.

    PubMed

    Isaia, Cristina; McNally, Donal; McMaster, Simon A; Branson, David T

    2016-08-01

    Combining stainless steel with polyester fibres adds an attractive conductive behaviour to the yarn. Once knitted in such a manner, fabrics develop sensing properties that make the textiles, also known as e-textiles, suitable for smart/wearable applications. Structural deformations of the fibres (e.g. stretching) will cause changes in the conductivity of the fabric. This work investigates changes in the electrical properties exhibited by four knitted conductive textiles made of 20% stainless steel and 80% polyester fibres during cyclic loading. The samples were preconditioned first with 500 hundred cycles of unidirectional elongation and, after a rest interval, tested again for repeatability at the same conditions. In both cases the electrical behaviour stabilises after a few tens of cycles. In particular the repeatability test exhibited a considerably smaller settling time and a larger resistance due to the mechanical stabilisation and the loosening of the fabrics, respectively. It was found that the current provided to the fabrics affects the resistance measurements by decreasing the resistance value at which the samples become electrically stable. The reported findings present a valid method for the electrical characterisation of conductive textiles for use in further studies as a wearable technology.

  14. Modeling and testing of a knitted-sleeve fluidic artificial muscle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ball, Erick J.; Meller, Michael A.; Chipka, Jordan B.; Garcia, Ephrahim

    2016-11-01

    The knitted-sleeve fluidic muscle is similar in design to a traditional McKibben muscle, with a separate bladder and sleeve. However, in place of a braided sleeve, it uses a tubular-knit sleeve made from a thin strand of flexible but inextensible yarn. When the bladder is pressurized, the sleeve expands by letting the loops of fiber slide past each other, changing the dimensions of the rectangular cells in the stitch pattern. Ideally, the internal volume of the sleeve would reach a maximum when its length has contracted by 2/3 from its maximum length, and although this is not reachable in practice, preliminary tests show that free contraction greater than 50% is achievable. The motion relies on using a fiber with a low coefficient of friction in order to reduce hysteresis to an acceptable level. In addition to increased stroke length, potential advantages of this technique include slower force drop-off during the stroke, more useable energy in certain applications, and greater similarity to the force-length relationship of skeletal muscle. Its main limitation is its potentially greater effect from friction compared to other fluidic muscle designs.

  15. Comprehensive Proteomic Analysis of Spider Dragline Silk from Black Widows: A Recipe to Build Synthetic Silk Fibers

    PubMed Central

    Larracas, Camille; Hekman, Ryan; Dyrness, Simmone; Arata, Alisa; Williams, Caroline; Crawford, Taylor; Vierra, Craig A.

    2016-01-01

    The outstanding material properties of spider dragline silk fibers have been attributed to two spidroins, major ampullate spidroins 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2). Although dragline silk fibers have been treated with different chemical solvents to elucidate the relationship between protein structure and fiber mechanics, there has not been a comprehensive proteomic analysis of the major ampullate (MA) gland, its spinning dope, and dragline silk using a wide range of chaotropic agents, inorganic salts, and fluorinated alcohols to elucidate their complete molecular constituents. In these studies, we perform in-solution tryptic digestions of solubilized MA glands, spinning dope and dragline silk fibers using five different solvents, followed by nano liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis with an Orbitrap Fusion™ Tribrid™. To improve protein identification, we employed three different tryptic peptide fragmentation modes, which included collision-induced dissociation (CID), electron transfer dissociation (ETD), and high energy collision dissociation (HCD) to discover proteins involved in the silk assembly pathway and silk fiber. In addition to MaSp1 and MaSp2, we confirmed the presence of a third spidroin, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1), widely recognized as the major constituent of wrapping silk, as a product of dragline silk. Our findings also reveal that MA glands, spinning dope, and dragline silk contain at least seven common proteins: three members of the Cysteine-Rich Protein Family (CRP1, CRP2 and CRP4), cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP3), fasciclin and two uncharacterized proteins. In summary, this study provides a proteomic blueprint to construct synthetic silk fibers that most closely mimic natural fibers. PMID:27649139

  16. Towards functional 3D-stacked electrospun composite scaffolds of PHBV, silk fibroin and nanohydroxyapatite: Mechanical properties and surface osteogenic differentiation.

    PubMed

    Paşcu, Elena I; Cahill, Paul A; Stokes, Joseph; McGuinness, Garrett B

    2016-04-01

    proliferation than the corresponding polyhydroxybutyrate-polyhydroxyvalerate control ones. Cells seeded on the composite fibrous scaffolds were extensively expanded and elongated on the fibre surface after one day in culture, whereas those seeded on the polyhydroxybutyrate-polyhydroxyvalerate scaffolds were not completely elongated. In addition, cells grown on P2 and P5 scaffolds had higher alkaline phosphatase activity when compared to those containing no nanohydroxyapatite/silk fibroin essence.

  17. A constitutive model for the warp-weft coupled non-linear behavior of knitted biomedical textiles.

    PubMed

    Yeoman, Mark S; Reddy, Daya; Bowles, Hellmut C; Bezuidenhout, Deon; Zilla, Peter; Franz, Thomas

    2010-11-01

    Knitted textiles have been used in medical applications due to their high flexibility and low tendency to fray. Their mechanics have, however, received limited attention. A constitutive model for soft tissue using a strain energy function was extended, by including shear and increasing the number and order of coefficients, to represent the non-linear warp-weft coupled mechanics of coarse textile knits under uniaxial tension. The constitutive relationship was implemented in a commercial finite element package. The model and its implementation were verified and validated for uniaxial tension and simple shear using patch tests and physical test data of uniaxial tensile tests of four very different knitted fabric structures. A genetic algorithm with step-wise increase in resolution and linear reduction in range of the search space was developed for the optimization of the fabric model coefficients. The numerically predicted stress-strain curves exhibited non-linear stiffening characteristic for fabrics. For three fabrics, the predicted mechanics correlated well with physical data, at least in one principal direction (warp or weft), and moderately in the other direction. The model exhibited limitations in approximating the linear elastic behavior of the fourth fabric. With proposals to address this limitation and to incorporate time-dependent changes in the fabric mechanics associated with tissue ingrowth, the constitutive model offers a tool for the design of tissue regenerative knit textile implants.

  18. Rolled knitted scaffolds based on PLA-pluronic copolymers for anterior cruciate ligament reinforcement: A step by step conception.

    PubMed

    Pinese, Coline; Leroy, Adrien; Nottelet, Benjamin; Gagnieu, Christian; Coudane, Jean; Garric, Xavier

    2016-01-05

    The aim of this study was to prepare a new knitted scaffold from PLA-Pluronic block copolymers for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The impact of sterilization methods (beta-ray and gamma-ray sterilization) on copolymers was first evaluated in order to take into account the possible damages due to the sterilization process. Beta-ray radiation did not significantly change mechanical properties in contrast to gamma-ray sterilization. It was shown that ACL cells proliferate onto these copolymers, demonstrating their cytocompatibility. Thirdly, in order to study the influence of shaping on mechanical properties, several shapes were created with copolymers yarns: braids, ropes and linear or rolled knitted scaffolds. The rolled knitted scaffold presented interesting mechanical characteristics, similar to native anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) with a 67 MPa Young's Modulus and a stress at failure of 22.5 MPa. These findings suggest that this three dimensional rolled knitted scaffold meet the mechanical properties of ligament tissues and could be suitable as a scaffold for ligament reconstruction. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2016.

  19. 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.

  20. Spider Silk: Mother Nature's Bio-Superlens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monks, James N.; Yan, Bing; Hawkins, Nicholas; Vollrath, Fritz; Wang, Zengbo

    2016-09-01

    This paper demonstrates a possible new microfiber bio near field lens that uses minor ampullate spider silk,spun from the Nephila edulis spider, to create a real time image of a surface using near field optical techniques. The microfiber bio lens is the world's first natural superlens created by exploring biological materials. The resolution of the surface image overcomes the diffraction limit, with the ability to resolve patterns at 100 nm under a standard white light source in reflection mode. This resolution offers further developments in superlens technology and paves the way for new bio optics.

  1. 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

    2014-06-25

    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.

  2. Effects of silk fibroin in murine dry eye

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chae Eun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Chan Hum; Yang, JaeWook

    2017-01-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of silk fibroin in a mouse model of dry eye. The experimental dry eye mouse model was developed using more than twelve-weeks-old NOD.B10.H2b mice exposing them to 30–40% ambient humidity and injecting them with scopolamine hydrobromide for 10 days. Tear production and corneal irregularity score were measured by the instillation of phosphate buffered saline or silk fibroin. Corneal detachment and conjunctival goblet cell density were observed by hematoxylin and eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining in the cornea or conjunctiva. The expression of inflammatory markers was detected by immunohistochemistry in the lacrimal gland. The silk group tear production was increased, and corneal smoothness was improved. The corneal epithelial cells and conjunctival goblet cells were recovered in the silk groups. The expression of inflammatory factors was inhibited in the lacrimal gland of the silk group. These results show that silk fibroin improved the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal gland in the mouse model of dry eye. These findings suggest that silk fibroin has anti-inflammatory effects in the experimental models of dry eye. PMID:28281688

  3. Effects of silk fibroin in murine dry eye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Chae Eun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Chan Hum; Yang, Jaewook

    2017-03-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of silk fibroin in a mouse model of dry eye. The experimental dry eye mouse model was developed using more than twelve-weeks-old NOD.B10.H2b mice exposing them to 30–40% ambient humidity and injecting them with scopolamine hydrobromide for 10 days. Tear production and corneal irregularity score were measured by the instillation of phosphate buffered saline or silk fibroin. Corneal detachment and conjunctival goblet cell density were observed by hematoxylin and eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining in the cornea or conjunctiva. The expression of inflammatory markers was detected by immunohistochemistry in the lacrimal gland. The silk group tear production was increased, and corneal smoothness was improved. The corneal epithelial cells and conjunctival goblet cells were recovered in the silk groups. The expression of inflammatory factors was inhibited in the lacrimal gland of the silk group. These results show that silk fibroin improved the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal gland in the mouse model of dry eye. These findings suggest that silk fibroin has anti-inflammatory effects in the experimental models of dry eye.

  4. Wet-spinning of osmotically stressed silk fibroin.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Sungkyun; Gido, Samuel P

    2009-08-10

    Based on the phase diagram constructed for water-silk fibroin-LiBr using the osmotic stress method, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated Bombyx mori silk fibroin was performed, without the necessity of using expensive or toxic organic solvents. The osmotic stress was applied to prestructure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to a more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Various starting points for spinning were selected from the phase diagram to evaluate the spinning performance and also physical properties of fibers produced. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 microm was produced. It was found that the fibers whose starting point in the phase diagram were around the phase boundary between silk I and silk II, at very low LiBr concentrations, showed the best spinning process stability and physical properties. This underpins the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using the osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers.

  5. Silk scaffolds with tunable mechanical capability for cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Shumeng; Han, Hongyan; Huang, Xiaowei; Xu, Weian; Kaplan, David L.; Zhu, Hesun; Lu, Qiang

    2015-01-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin is a promising biomaterial for tissue regeneration and is usually considered an “inert” material with respect to actively regulating cell differentiation due to few specific cell signaling peptide domains in the primary sequence and the generally stiffer mechanical properties due to crystalline content formed in processing. In the present study, silk fibroin porous 3D scaffolds with nanostructures and tunable stiffness were generated via a silk fibroin nanofiber-assisted lyophilization process. The silk fibroin nanofibers with high β-sheet content were added into the silk fibroin solutions to modulate the self-assembly, and to directly induce water-insoluble scaffold formation after lyophilization. Unlike previously reported silk fibroin scaffold formation processes, these new scaffolds had lower overall β-sheet content and softer mechanical properties for improved cell compatibility. The scaffold stiffness could be further tuned to match soft tissue mechanical properties, which resulted in different differentiation outcomes with rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells towards myogenic and endothelial cells, respectively. Therefore, these silk fibroin scaffolds regulate cell differentiation outcomes due to their mechanical features. PMID:25858557

  6. 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.

  7. Nanofeatured silk fibroin membranes for dermal wound healing applications.

    PubMed

    Karahaliloğlu, Zeynep; Ercan, Batur; Denkbaş, 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.

  8. Increasing silk fibre strength through heterogeneity of bundled fibrils.

    PubMed

    Cranford, Steven W

    2013-05-06

    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.

  9. Aligned Silk-Based 3D Architectures for Contact Guidance in Tissue Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, A.L.; Sun, L.; Kim, H. J.; Hu, X.; Rice, W.; Kluge, J.; Reis, R. L.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2011-01-01

    An important challenge in the biomaterials field is to mimic the structure of functional tissues via cell and extracellular matrix (ECM) alignment and anisotropy. Toward this goal, silk-based scaffolds resembling bone lamellar structure were developed using a freeze-drying technique. The structure could be controlled directly by solute concentration and freezing parameters, resulting in lamellar scaffolds with regular morphology. Different post-treatments were investigated to induce water stability, such as methanol, water annealing and steam sterilization. The resulting structures exhibited significant differences in terms of morphological integrity, structure and mechanical properties. the lamellar thicknesses were around ~2,6 μm for the methanol treated scaffolds and ~5,8 μm for water-annealed. These values are in the range of the reported for human lamellar bone. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were seeded on these silk fibroin lamellar scaffolds and grown under osteogenic conditions to assess the effect of the microstructure on cell behaviour. Collagen in the newly deposited ECM, was found aligned along the lamellar architectures. In the case of methanol treated lamellar structures the hMSCs were able to migrate into the interior of the scaffolds producing a multilamellar hybrid construct. The present morphology constitutes a useful pattern onto which hMSCs cells attach and proliferate for guided formation of a highly oriented extracellular matrix. PMID:22202909

  10. Stabilization and release of enzymes from silk films.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiang; Wang, Xiaoqin; Hu, Xiao; Cebe, Peggy; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-04-08

    A significant challenge remains to protect protein drugs from inactivation during production, storage, and use. In the present study, the stabilization and release of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in silk films was investigated. Water-insoluble silk films were prepared under mild aqueous conditions, maintaining the activity of the entrapped enzyme. Depending on film processing and post-processing conditions, HRP retained more than 90% of the initial activity at 4 degrees C, room temperature and 37 degrees C over two months. The stability of protein drugs in silk films is attributed to intermolecular interactions between the silk and the enzymes, based on Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The unique structural feature of silk molecules, periodic hydrophobic-hydrophilic domains, enabled strong interactions with proteins. The entrapped protein was present in two states, untrapped active and trapped inactive forms. The ratio between the two forms varied according to processing conditions. Proteolytic degradation and dissolution of the silk films resulted in the release of the bound enzyme which was otherwise not released by diffusion; enzyme recovered full activity upon release. There was a linear relationship between silk degradation/dissolution and the release of entrapped enzyme. Modifying the secondary structure of the silk matrix and the interactions with the non-crystalline domains resulted in control of the film degradation or dissolution rate, and therefore the release rate of the entrapped enzyme. Based on the above results, silk materials are an intriguing carrier for proteins in terms of both retention of activity and controllable release kinetics from the films.

  11. Novel silk protein barrier membranes for guided bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Smeets, Ralf; Knabe, Christine; Kolk, Andreas; Rheinnecker, Michael; Gröbe, Alexander; Heiland, Max; Zehbe, Rolf; Sachse, Manuela; Große-Siestrup, Christian; Wöltje, Michael; Hanken, Henning

    2016-10-12

    This study assesses the biocompatibility of novel silk protein membranes with and without modification, and evaluates their effect on facilitating bone formation and defect repair in guided bone regeneration. Two calvarian bone defects 12 mm in diameter were created in each of a total of 38 rabbits. Four different types of membranes, (silk-, hydroxyapatite-modified silk-, β-TCP-modified silk- and commonly clinically used collagen-membranes) were implanted to cover one of the two defects in each animal. Histologic analysis did not show any adverse tissue reactions in any of the defect sites indicating good biocompatibility of all silk protein membranes. Histomorphometric and histologic evaluation revealed that collagen and β-TCP modified silk membranes supported bone formation (collagen: bone area fraction p = 0.025; significant; β-TCP modified silk membranes bone area fraction: p = 0.24, not significant), guided bone regeneration and defect bridging. The bone, which had formed in defects covered by β-TCP modified silk membranes, displayed a more advanced stage of bone tissue maturation with restoration of the original calvarial bone microarchitecture when compared to the bone which had formed in defects, for which any of the other test membranes were used. Micro-CT analysis did not reveal any differences in the amount of bone formation between defects with and without membranes. In contrast to the collagen membranes, β-TCP modified silk membranes were visible in all cases and may therefore be advantageous for further supporting bone formation beyond 10 weeks and preventing soft tissue ingrowth from the periphery. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2016.

  12. Adaptation of caddisfly larval silks to aquatic habitats by phosphorylation of h-fibroin serines.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Russell J; Wang, Ching Shuen

    2010-04-12

    Aquatic caddisflies diverged from a silk-spinning ancestor shared with terrestrial moths and butterflies. Caddisfly larva spin adhesive silk underwater to construct protective shelters with adventitiously gathered materials. A repeating (SX)(n) motif conserved in the H-fibroin of several caddisfly species is densely phosphorylated. In total, more than half of the serines in caddisfly silk may be phosphorylated. Major molecular adaptations allowing underwater spinning of an ancestral dry silk appear to have been phosphorylation of serines and the accumulation of basic residues in the silk proteins. The amphoteric nature of the silk proteins could contribute to silk fiber assembly through electrostatic association of phosphorylated blocks with arginine-rich blocks. The presence of Ca(2+) in the caddisfly larval silk proteins suggest phosphorylated serines could contribute to silk fiber periodic substructure through Ca(2+) crossbridging.

  13. Bioengineered Chimeric Spider Silk-Uranium Binding Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Krishnaji, Sreevidhya Tarakkad; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Heavy metals constitute a source of environmental pollution. Here, novel functional hybrid biomaterials for specific interactions with heavy metals are designed by bioengineering consensus sequence repeats from spider silk of Nephila clavipes with repeats of a uranium peptide recognition motif from a mutated 33-residue of calmodulin protein from Paramecium tetraurelia. The self-assembly features of the silk to control nanoscale organic/inorganic material interfaces provides new biomaterials for uranium recovery. With subsequent enzymatic digestion of the silk to concentrate the sequestered metals, options can be envisaged to use these new chimeric protein systems in environmental engineering, including to remediate environments contaminated by uranium. PMID:23212989

  14. Palaeontology: spider-web silk from the Early Cretaceous.

    PubMed

    Zschokke, Samuel

    2003-08-07

    The use of viscid silk in aerial webs as a means to capture prey was a key innovation of araneoid spiders and has contributed largely to their ecological success. Here I describe a single silk thread from a spider's web that bears glue droplets and has been preserved in Lebanese amber from the Early Cretaceous period for about 130 million years. This specimen not only demonstrates the antiquity of viscid silk and of the spider superfamily Araneoidea, but is also some 90 million years older than the oldest viscid spider thread previously reported in Baltic amber from the Eocene epoch.

  15. Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-12-02

    AFRL-AFOSR-VA-TR-2015-0408 Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior Fritz Vollrath THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD Final Report 12/02/2015...Performance 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01-06-2012 to 31-05-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behaviour 5a...period:  06/01/2012  -­‐05/31/2015   SILK  QUALITY,  SPINNABILITY  AND  LOW   TEMPERATURE  BEHAVIOUR.   PROF  FRITZ  VOLLRATH

  16. Silken toolkits: biomechanics of silk fibers spun by the orb web spider Argiope argentata (Fabricius 1775).

    PubMed

    Blackledge, Todd A; Hayashi, Cheryl Y

    2006-07-01

    Orb-weaving spiders spin five fibrous silks from differentiated glands that contain unique sets of proteins. Despite diverse ecological functions, the mechanical properties of most of these silks are not well characterized. Here, we quantify the mechanical performance of this toolkit of silks for the silver garden spider Argiope argentata. Four silks exhibit viscoelastic behaviour typical of polymers, but differ statistically from each other by up to 250% in performance, giving each silk a distinctive suite of material properties. Major ampullate silk is 50% stronger than other fibers, but also less extensible. Aciniform silk is almost twice as tough as other silks because of high strength and extensibility. Capture spiral silk, coated with aqueous glue, is an order of magnitude stretchier than other silks. Dynamic mechanical properties are qualitatively similar, but quantitatively vary by up to 300% among silks. Storage moduli are initially nearly constant and increase after fiber yield, whereas loss tangents reach maxima of 0.1-0.2 at the yield. The remarkable mechanical diversity of Argiope argentata silks probably results in part from the different molecular structures of fibers and can be related to the specific ecological role of each silk. Our study indicates substantial potential to customize the mechanics of bioengineered silks.

  17. Plasticity in Major Ampullate Silk Production in Relation to Spider Phylogeny and Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Boutry, Cecilia; Řezáč, Milan; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2011-01-01

    Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions) between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve. PMID:21818328

  18. Effects of Microwave Radiation on Selected Mechanical Properties of Silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Emily Jane

    Impressive mechanical properties have served to peak interest in silk as an engineering material. In addition, the ease with which silk can be altered through processing has led to its use in various biomaterial applications. As the uses of silk branch into new territory, it is imperative (and inevitable) to discover the boundary conditions beyond which silk no longer performs as expected. These boundary conditions include factors as familiar as temperature and humidity, but may also include other less familiar contributions, such as exposure to different types of radiation. The inherent variations in mechanical properties of silk, as well as its sensitivity to moisture, suggest that in an engineering context silk is best suited for use in composite materials; that way, silk can be shielded from ambient moisture fluctuations, and the surrounding matrix allows efficient load transfer from weaker fibers to stronger ones. One such application is to use silk as a reinforcing fiber in epoxy composites. When used in this way, there are several instances in which exposure to microwave radiation is likely (for example, as a means of speeding epoxy cure rates), the effects of which remain mostly unstudied. It will be the purpose of this dissertation to determine whether selected mechanical properties of B. mori cocoon silk are affected by exposure to microwave radiation, under specified temperature and humidity conditions. Results of our analyses are directly applicable wherever exposure of silk to microwave radiation is possible, including in fiber reinforced epoxy composites (the entire composite may be microwaved to speed epoxy cure time), or when silk is used as a component in the material used to construct the radome of an aircraft (RADAR units use frequencies in the microwave range of the electromagnetic spectrum), or when microwave energy is used to sterilize biomaterials (such as cell scaffolds) made of silk. In general, we find that microwave exposure does not

  19. Spider minor ampullate silk proteins are constituents of prey wrapping silk in the cob weaver Latrodectus hesperus.

    PubMed

    La Mattina, Coby; Reza, Ryan; Hu, Xiaoyi; Falick, Arnold M; Vasanthavada, Keshav; McNary, Shannon; Yee, Russell; Vierra, Craig A

    2008-04-22

    Spiders spin high performance fibers with diverse biological functions and mechanical properties. Molecular and biochemical studies of spider prey wrapping silks have revealed the presence of the aciniform silk fibroin AcSp1-like. In our studies we demonstrate the presence of a second distinct polypeptide present within prey wrapping silk. Combining matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometry and reverse genetics, we have isolated a novel gene called MiSp1-like and demonstrate that its protein product is a constituent of prey wrap silks from the black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. BLAST searches of the NCBInr protein database using the amino acid sequence of MiSp1-like revealed similarity to the conserved C-terminal domain of silk family members. In particular, MiSp1-like showed the highest degree of sequence similarity to the nonrepetitive C-termini of published orb-weaver minor ampullate fibroin molecules. Analysis of the internal amino acid sequence of the black widow MiSp1-like revealed polyalanine stretches interrupted by glycine residues and glycine-alanine couplets within MiSp1-like as well as repeats of the heptameric sequence AGGYGQG. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis demonstrates that the MiSp1-like gene displays a minor ampullate gland-restricted pattern of expression. Furthermore, amino acid composition analysis, coupled with scanning electron microscopy of raw wrapping silk, supports the assertion that minor ampullate silks are important constituents of black widow spider prey wrap silk. Collectively, our findings provide direct molecular evidence for the involvement of minor ampullate fibroins in swathing silks and suggest composite materials play an important role in the wrap attack process for cob-weavers.

  20. Injectable silk foams for soft tissue regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bellas, Evangelia; Lo, Tim J; Fournier, Eric P; Brown, Joseph E; Abbott, Rosalyn D; Gil, Eun S; Marra, Kacey G; Rubin, J Peter; Leisk, Gary G; Kaplan, David L

    2015-02-18

    Soft tissue fillers are needed for restoration of a defect or augmentation of existing tissues. Autografts and lipotransfer have been under study for soft tissue reconstruction but yield inconsistent results, often with considerable resorption of the grafted tissue. A minimally invasive procedure would reduce scarring and recovery time as well as allow the implant and/or grafted tissue to be placed closer to existing vasculature. Here, the feasibility of an injectable silk foam for soft tissue regeneration is demonstrated. Adipose-derived stem cells survive and migrate through the foam over a 10-d period in vitro. The silk foams are also successfully injected into the subcutaneous space in a rat and over a 3-month period integrating with the surrounding native tissue. The injected foams are palpable and soft to the touch through the skin and returning to their original dimensions after pressure is applied and then released. The foams readily absorb lipoaspirate making the foams useful as a scaffold or template for existing soft tissue filler technologies, useful either as a biomaterial alone or in combination with the lipoaspirate.

  1. Injectable Silk Foams for Soft Tissue Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bellas, E.; Lo, T.J.; Fournier, E.P.; Brown, J.E.; Abbott, R.D.; Gil, E.S.; Marra, K.G.; Rubin, J.P.; Leisk, G.G.; Kaplan, D.L.

    2015-01-01

    Soft tissue fillers are needed for restoration of a defect or augmentation of existing tissues. Autografts and lipotransfer have been under study for soft tissue reconstruction but yield inconsistent results, often with considerable resorption of the grafted tissue. A minimally invasive procedure would reduce scarring and recovery time as well as allow for the implant and/or grafted tissue to be placed closer to existing vasculature. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of an injectable silk foam for soft tissue regeneration. Adipose derived stem cells survive and migrate through the foam over a 10 day period in vitro. The silk foams are also successfully injected into the subcutaneous space in a rat and over a 3 month period integrating with the surrounding native tissue. The injected foams are palpable and soft to the touch through the skin and returning to their original dimensions after pressure was applied and then released. The foams readily absorb lipoaspirate making the foams useful as a scaffold or template for existing soft tissue filler technologies, useful either as a biomaterial alone or in combination with the lipoaspirate. PMID:25323438

  2. Molecular studies of a novel dragline silk from a nursery web spider, Euprosthenops sp. (Pisauridae).

    PubMed

    Pouchkina-Stantcheva, Natalia N; McQueen-Mason, Simon J

    2004-08-01

    Various spider species produce dragline silks with different mechanical properties. The primary structure of silk proteins is thought to contribute to the elasticity and strength of the fibres. Previously published work has demonstrated that the dragline silk of Euprosthenops sp. is stiffer then comparable silk of Nephila edulis, Araneus diadematus and Latrodectus mactans. Our studies of Euprosthenops dragline silk at the molecular level have revealed that nursery web spider fibroin has the highest polyalanine content among previously characterised silks and this is likely to contribute to the superior qualities of pisaurid dragline.

  3. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  4. [Research on the infrared spectrometry of aging silk fabrics].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-mei; Yuan, Si-xun

    2004-12-01

    The detection of deterioration degree of ancient silk fabrics will be helpful to the selection and developing of conservation methods. This paper carried out some research on the deterioration extent and mechanism of silk fabrics by means of infrared spectrometry. The samples artificially aged and excavated from Hubei, Innermongolia and Qinghai province, were analyzed. The artificially aging was done by simulating three main natural aging factors: light, heat and hydrolysis. The infrared spectrometric analysis results show that although the infrared spectrometry is a half-quantitative analysis method, for the hydrolysis-aged silk fabrics, it can give good qualitative and better half-quantitative analysis results because of the increase of carboxyl. So the infrared spectrometric analysis is of practical value for the conservation state and aging mechanism studies of ancient silk.

  5. Water-driven actuation of Ornithoctonus huwena spider silk fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Shuyuan; Zhu, Jia; Li, Xinming; Guo, Yang; Fang, Yaopeng; Cheng, Huanyu; Zhu, Hongwei

    2017-01-01

    Spider silk possesses remarkable mechanical properties and can lift weight effectively. Certain kinds of spider silk have unique response to liquid, especially water, because of their hydrophilic proteins, β-sheet characters, and surface structure. The Ornithoctonus huwena (O. huwena) spider is a unique species because it can be bred artificially and it spins silk whose diameter is in nanometer scale. In this work, we report the "shrink-stretch" behavior of the O. huwena spider silk fibers and show how they can be actuated by water to lift weight over long distance, at a fast speed, and with high efficiency. We further rationalize this behavior by analyzing the mechanical energy of the system. The lifting process is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, allowing applications in actuators, biomimetic muscles, or hoisting devices.

  6. Biopatterning of Silk Proteins for Soft Micro-optics.

    PubMed

    Pal, Ramendra K; Kurland, Nicholas E; Wang, Congzhou; Kundu, Subhas C; Yadavalli, Vamsi K

    2015-04-29

    Silk proteins from spiders and silkworms have been proposed as outstanding candidates for soft micro-optic and photonic applications because of their optical transparency, unique biological properties, and mechanical robustness. Here, we present a method to form microstructures of the two constituent silk proteins, fibroin and sericin for use as an optical biomaterial. Using photolithography, chemically modified silk protein photoresists are patterned in 2D arrays of periodic patterns and Fresnel zone plates. Angle-dependent iridescent colors are produced in these periodic micropatterns because of the Bragg diffraction. Silk protein photolithography can used to form patterns on different substrates including flexible sheets with features of any shape with high fidelity and resolution over large areas. Finally, we show that these mechanically stable and transparent iridescent architectures are also completely biodegradable. This versatile and scalable technique can therefore be used to develop biocompatible, soft micro-optic devices that can be degraded in a controlled manner.

  7. Studies on Application of Aroma Finish on Silk Fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hipparagi, Sanganna Aminappa; Srinivasa, Thirumalappa; Das, Brojeswari; Naik, Subhas Venkatappa; Purushotham, Serampur Parappa

    2016-10-01

    Aromatic treatments on textiles have gained importance in the recent years. In the present article work has been done on fragrance finish application on silk material. Silk is an expensive natural fibre used for apparel purpose and known for its feel and appeal. Incorporation of fragrance material in silk product, will add more value to it. Present work focuses to impart durable aroma finish for silk products to be home washed or subjected to dry cleaning. Microencapsulated aroma chemical has been used for the treatment. Impregnation method, Exhaust method, Dip-Pad-Dry method and Spray method have been used to see the influence of application method on the uptake and performance. Evaluation of the aroma treated material has been done through subjective evaluation as per Odor Intensity Reference Scaling (OIRS). Effect of the aroma finishing on the physical properties of the fabric has also been studied. No adverse effect has been observed on the stiffness of the fabric after the aroma treatment.

  8. 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

  9. 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 β-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

  10. Moisture Management Behaviour of Knitted Fabric from Structurally Modified Ring and Vortex Spun Yarn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sharma, Navendu; Kumar, Pawan; Bhatia, Dinesh; Sinha, Sujit Kumar

    2016-10-01

    The acceptability of a new product is decided by its performance, level of improvement in quality and economy of production. The basic aim of generating micro pores in a textile structure is to provide better thermo-physiological comfort by enhancing the breathability and hence improving moisture management behaviour. In the present study, an attempt has been made to create a relatively more open structure through removal of a component. A comparative assessment with a homogeneous and parent yarn was also made. Yarns of two linear densities, each from ring and vortex spinning systems were produced using 100 % polyester and 80:20 polyester/cotton blend. The modified yarn was produced by removing a component, viz; cotton, by treatment with sulphuric acid from the blended yarn. The knitted fabric from modified yarn was found to show significant improvement in air permeability, water vapour permeability and total absorbency while the wicking characteristic was found to decline.

  11. Feminist Framework Plus: Knitting Feminist Theories of Rape Etiology Into a Comprehensive Model.

    PubMed

    McPhail, Beverly A

    2016-07-01

    The radical-liberal feminist perspective on rape posits that the assault is motivated by power and control rather than sexual gratification and is a violent rather than a sexual act. However, rape is a complex act. Relying on only one early strand of feminist thought to explain the etiology of rape limits feminists' understanding of rape and the practice based upon the theory. The history of the adoption of the "power, not sex" theory is presented and the model critiqued. A more integrated model is developed and presented, the Feminist Framework Plus, which knits together five feminist theories into a comprehensive model that better explains the depth and breadth of the etiology of rape. Empirical evidence that supports each theory is detailed as well as the implications of the model on service provision, education, and advocacy.

  12. Translaminar Fracture Toughness of a Composite Wing Skin Made of Stitched Warp-knit Fabric

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masters, John E.

    1997-01-01

    A series of tests were conducted to measure the fracture toughness of carbon/epoxy composites. The composites were made from warp-knit carbon fabric and infiltrated with epoxy using a resin-film-infusion process. The fabric, which was designed by McDonnell Douglas for the skin of an all-composite subsonic transport wing, contained fibers in the 0 deg, +/-45 deg, and 90 deg directions. Layers of fabric were stacked and stitched together with Kevlar yarn to form a 3-dimensional preform. Three types of test specimens were evaluated: compact tension, center notch tension, and edge notch tension. The effects of specimen size and crack length on fracture toughness were measured for each specimen type. These data provide information on the effectiveness of the test methods and on general trends in the material response. The scope of the investigation was limited by the material that was available.

  13. Textile-Based Weft Knitted Strain Sensors: Effect of Fabric Parameters on Sensor Properties

    PubMed Central

    Atalay, Ozgur; Kennon, William Richard; Husain, Muhammad Dawood

    2013-01-01

    The design and development of textile-based strain sensors has been a focus of research and many investigators have studied this subject. This paper presents a new textile-based strain sensor design and shows the effect of base fabric parameters on its sensing properties. Sensing fabric could be used to measure articulations of the human body in the real environment. The strain sensing fabric was produced by using electronic flat-bed knitting technology; the base fabric was produced with elastomeric yarns in an interlock arrangement and a conductive yarn was embedded in this substrate to create a series of single loop structures. Experimental results show that there is a strong relationship between base fabric parameters and sensor properties. PMID:23966199

  14. Fabrication of silk sericin nanofibers from a silk sericin-hope cocoon with electrospinning method.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xianhua; Khan, Md Majibur Rahman; Yamamoto, Toshio; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Morikawa, Hideaki

    2012-03-01

    In this study, silk sericin nanofibers from sericin hope-silkworm, whose cocoons consist almost exclusively of sericin were successfully prepared by electrospinning method. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe the morphology of the fibers. The effect of spinning conditions, including the concentration of sericin cocoon solution, acceleration voltage, spinning distance and flow rate on the fiber morphologies and the size distribution of sericin nanofibers were examined. The structure and physical properties were also observed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TG). The optimum conditions for producing finely thinner fibrous sericin nanofibers without beads were the concentration of sericin solution above 6-8 wt%, acceleration voltage ranging from 25 to 32 kV, spinning distance above 9 cm, and flow rate above 0.06 cm min(-1). The mean diameter of as spun sericin fibers varied from 114 to 430 nm at the different spinning conditions. In the as-spun fibers, silk sericin was present in a random coil conformation, while after methanol treatment, the molecular structure of silk sericin was transformed into a β-sheet containing structure. Sericin hope nanofiber demonstrated thermal degradation at lower temperature than the sericin hope cocoon, which probably due to the randomly coiled rich structure of the sericin hope nanofiber.

  15. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Methods Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic β-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. Results After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p < 0.05, p < 0.01, respectively), while the level of insulin secretionn was markedly elevated in alloxa-induced hyperglycemic mice (p < 0.05). The alloxan-damaged pancreatic β-cells of the mice were partly recovered gradually after the mice were administered with corn silk extract 15 days later. Also, the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. However, ascension of blood glucose induced by adrenalin and gluconeogenesis induced by L-alanine were not inhibited by corn silk extract treatment (p > 0.05). Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05). Conclusion Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured

  16. Alternative method for determining the original drop volume of bloodstains on knit fabrics.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingyao; Li, Xingyu; Michielsen, Stephen

    2016-06-01

    Bloodstains are often observed at violent crime scenes and on the skin and clothing of persons involved. The diameters of the blood drops that created these stains are related to the force or energy that caused these drops to become airborne. This has resulted in several attempts to determine the diameter of the original drops, beginning with the methods reported in the pioneering work of Henry Lee [6]. However, his methods destroyed the bloodstain during the measurement. Other methods described in the literature cannot be applied to bloodstains on textiles. A new, rapid, reliable, non-destructive method for determining the diameter of the original drop of blood that results in a stain has been developed for bloodstains on cotton single jersey knit (tee-shirt) fabrics, which is one of the most common fabrics analyzed for BPA both at crime scenes and in forensic laboratories. In this method, a drop of known volume of an appropriate artificial blood substitute is applied to a region similar to the stained region but in an area away from any stains/areas of interest. The areas of the original stain and the artificial blood substitute stain are determined, from which the original drop diameter can be calculated. Errors in the drop diameters, the Reynolds numbers and the Weber numbers resulting from this procedure are less than approximately 6%. This procedure has only been verified on cotton single jersey knit fabrics with 30μL≤drop volume≤80μL. It should not be applied to other materials.

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

    PubMed

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J

    2010-12-06

    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 that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 3₁-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre.

  18. Fabrication of electrospun silk fibroin scaffolds coated with graphene oxide and reduced graphene for applications in biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Aznar-Cervantes, Salvador; Martínez, Jose G; Bernabeu-Esclapez, Antonia; Lozano-Pérez, A Abel; Meseguer-Olmo, Luis; Otero, Toribio F; Cenis, Jose L

    2016-04-01

    Silk fibroin and graphene are both promising biomaterials described in the bibliography. Hybrid scaffolds combining their properties could be attractive for tissue engineering applications. In this work, a new methodology to produce electrospun fibroin scaffolds coated with graphene materials is provided. The mechanical, electrical and electrochemical properties of the materials attained were characterised. The fibre diameters were measured (from 3.9 to 5.2 μm). The samples coated with reduced grapheme were electronic conductors and electroactive in liquid electrolytes, showing maximum oxidation and reduction (around−0.4 V peak). The chronoamperometric responses showed a reduction shoulder, pointing to the entrance of balancing cations from the solution by nucleation–relaxation: the reaction induced structural changes in the graphene. In order to check the biocompatibility of the materials, they were seeded with L929 fibroblasts. The excellent biocompatibility of silk fibroin meshes was maintained after coating with graphene, being the proliferation results equal in all the treatments 7 days after the seeding (Tukey, p N 0.05).The conductive and electroactive properties of meshes coated with reduced graphene allow the potential application of local electric fields or local ionic currents to cell cultures, biological interfaces or animal models without host response.

  19. Molecular characterization and evolutionary study of spider tubuliform (eggcase) silk protein.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Lewis, Randolph V

    2005-06-07

    As a result of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, orb-web-weaving spiders have developed the use of seven different silks produced by different abdominal glands for various functions. Tubuliform silk (eggcase silk) is unique among these spider silks due to its high serine and very low glycine content. In addition, tubuliform silk is the only silk produced just during a short period of time, the reproductive season, in the spider's life. To understand the molecular characteristics of the proteins composing this silk, we constructed tubuliform-gland-specific cDNA libraries from three different spider families, Nephila clavipes, Argiope aurantia, and Araneus gemmoides. Sequencing of tubuliform silk cDNAs reveals the repetitive architecture of its coding sequence and novel amino acid motifs. The inferred protein, tubuliform spidroin 1 (TuSp1), contains highly homogenized repeats in all three spiders. Amino acid composition comparison of the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence to tubuliform silk indicates that TuSp1 is the major component of tubuliform silk. Repeat unit alignment of TuSp1 among three spider species shows high sequence conservation among tubuliform silk protein orthologue groups. Sequence comparison among TuSp1 repetitive units within species suggests intragenic concerted evolution, presumably through gene conversion and unequal crossover events. Comparative analysis demonstrates that TuSp1 represents a new orthologue in the spider silk gene family.

  20. Recombinant spider silk genetically functionalized with affinity domains.

    PubMed

    Jansson, Ronnie; Thatikonda, Naresh; Lindberg, Diana; Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan; Nygren, Per-Åke; Hedhammar, My

    2014-05-12

    Functionalization of biocompatible materials for presentation of active protein domains is an area of growing interest. Herein, we describe a strategy for functionalization of recombinant spider silk via gene fusion to affinity domains of broad biotechnological use. Four affinity domains of different origin and structure; the IgG-binding domains Z and C2, the albumin-binding domain ABD, and the biotin-binding domain M4, were all successfully produced as soluble silk fusion proteins under nondenaturing purification conditions. Silk films and fibers produced from the fusion proteins were demonstrated to be chemically and thermally stable. Still, the bioactive domains are concluded to be folded and accessible, since their respective targets could be selectively captured from complex samples, including rabbit serum and human plasma. Interestingly, materials produced from mixtures of two different silk fusion proteins displayed combined binding properties, suggesting that tailor-made materials with desired stoichiometry and surface distributions of several binding domains can be produced. Further, use of the IgG binding ability as a general mean for presentation of desired biomolecules could be demonstrated for a human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF) model system, via a first capture of anti-VEGF IgG to silk containing the Z-domain, followed by incubation with hVEGF. Taken together, this study demonstrates the potential of recombinant silk, genetically functionalized with affinity domains, for construction of biomaterials capable of presentation of almost any desired biomolecule.

  1. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marelli, B.; Brenckle, M. A.; Kaplan, D. L.; Omenetto, F. G.

    2016-05-01

    The regeneration of structural biopolymers into micelles or nanoparticles suspended in water has enabled the design of new materials with unique and compelling properties that can serve at the interface between the biotic and the abiotic worlds. In this study, we leveraged silk fibroin quintessential properties (i.e. polymorphism, conformability and hydrophobicity) to design a water-based protein suspension that self-assembles on the surface of food upon dip coating. The water-based post-processing control of the protein polymorphism enables the modulation of the diffusion of gases through the silk fibroin thin membranes (e.g. O2 and CO2 diffusion, water vapour permeability), which is a key parameter to manage food freshness. In particular, an increased beta-sheet content corresponds to a reduction in oxygen diffusion through silk fibroin thin films. By using the dip coating of strawberries and bananas as proof of principle, we have shown that the formation of micrometre-thin silk fibroin membranes around the fruits helps the management of postharvest physiology of the fruits. Thus, silk fibroin coatings enhance fruits’ shelf life at room conditions by reducing cell respiration rate and water evaporation. The water-based processing and edible nature of silk fibroin makes this approach a promising alternative for food preservation with a naturally derived material.

  2. Biomolecular Evidence of Silk from 8,500 Years Ago

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Pottery, bone implements, and stone tools are routinely found at Neolithic sites. However, the integrity of textiles or silk is susceptible to degradation, and it is therefore very difficult for such materials to be preserved for 8,000 years. Although previous studies have provided important evidence of the emergence of weaving skills and tools, such as figuline spinning wheels and osseous lamellas with traces of filament winding, there is a lack of direct evidence proving the existence of silk. In this paper, we explored evidence of prehistoric silk fibroin through the analysis of soil samples collected from three tombs at the Neolithic site of Jiahu. Mass spectrometry was employed and integrated with proteomics to characterize the key peptides of silk fibroin. The direct biomolecular evidence reported here showed the existence of prehistoric silk fibroin, which was found in 8,500-year-old tombs. Rough weaving tools and bone needles were also excavated, indicating the possibility that the Jiahu residents may possess the basic weaving and sewing skills in making textile. This finding may advance the study of the history of silk, and the civilization of the Neolithic Age. PMID:27941996

  3. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Bombyx Mori Silk Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Y.; Martin, D. C.

    1997-03-01

    The microstructure of B. Mori silk fibers before and after degumming was examined by TEM, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), WAXS and low voltage SEM. SEM micrographs of the neat cocoon revealed a network of pairs of twisting filaments. After degumming, there were only individual filaments showing a surface texture consistent with an oriented fibrillar structure in the fiber interior. WAXS patterns confirmed the oriented beta-sheet crystal structure common to silkworm and spider silks. Low dose SAED results were fully consistent with the WAXS data, and revealed that the crystallographic texture did not vary significantly across the fiber diameter. TEM observations of microtomed fiber cross sections indicated a somewhat irregular shape, and also revealed a 0.5-2 micron sericin coating which was removed by the degumming process. TEM observations of the degummed silk fiber showed banded features with a characteristic spacing of nominally 600 nm along the fiber axis. These bands were oriented in a roughly parabolic or V-shape pointing along one axis within a given fiber. We hypothesize that this orientation is induced by the extrusion during the spinning process. Equatorial DF images revealed that axial and lateral sizes of the β-sheet crystallites in silk fibroin ranged from 20 to 170 nm and from 1 to 24 nm, respectively. Crazes developed in the degummed silk fiber parallel to the fiber direction. The formation of these crazes suggests that there are significant lateral interactions between fibrils in silk fibers.

  4. 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

  5. Piriform spider silk sequences reveal unique repetitive elements.

    PubMed

    Perry, David J; Bittencourt, Daniela; Siltberg-Liberles, Jessica; Rech, Elibio L; Lewis, Randolph V

    2010-11-08

    Orb-weaving spider silk fibers are assembled from very large, highly repetitive proteins. The repeated segments contain, in turn, short, simple, and repetitive amino acid motifs that account for the physical and mechanical properties of the assembled fiber. Of the six orb-weaver silk fibroins, the piriform silk that makes the attachment discs, which lashes the joints of the web and attaches dragline silk to surfaces, has not been previously characterized. Piriform silk protein cDNAs were isolated from phage libraries of three species: A. trifasciata , N. clavipes , and N. cruentata . The deduced amino acid sequences from these genes revealed two new repetitive motifs: an alternating proline motif, where every other amino acid is proline, and a glutamine-rich motif of 6-8 amino acids. Similar to other spider silk proteins, the repeated segments are large (>200 amino acids) and highly homogenized within a species. There is also substantial sequence similarity across the genes from the three species, with particular conservation of the repetitive motifs. Northern blot analysis revealed that the mRNA is larger than 11 kb and is expressed exclusively in the piriform glands of the spider. Phylogenetic analysis of the C-terminal regions of the new proteins with published spidroins robustly shows that the piriform sequences form an ortholog group.

  6. 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.

  7. Relationships between supercontraction and mechanical properties of spider silk.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2005-12-01

    Typical spider dragline silk tends to outperform other natural fibres and most man-made filaments. However, even small changes in spinning conditions can have large effects on the mechanical properties of a silk fibre as well as on its water uptake. Absorbed water leads to significant shrinkage in an unrestrained dragline fibre and reversibly converts the material into a rubber. This process is known as supercontraction and may be a functional adaptation for the silk's role in the spider's web. Supercontraction is thought to be controlled by specific motifs in the silk proteins and to be induced by the entropy-driven recoiling of molecular chains. In analogy, in man-made fibres thermal shrinkage induces changes in mechanical properties attributable to the entropy-driven disorientation of 'unfrozen' molecular chains (as in polyethylene terephthalate) or the 'broken' intermolecular hydrogen bonds (as in nylons). Here we show for Nephila major-ampullate silk how in a biological fibre the spinning conditions affect the interplay between shrinkage and mechanical characteristics. This interaction reveals design principles linking the exceptional properties of silk to its molecular orientation.

  8. 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

  9. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M; Cranford, Steven W

    2014-09-06

    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.

  10. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation.

    PubMed

    Marelli, B; Brenckle, M A; Kaplan, D L; Omenetto, F G

    2016-05-06

    The regeneration of structural biopolymers into micelles or nanoparticles suspended in water has enabled the design of new materials with unique and compelling properties that can serve at the interface between the biotic and the abiotic worlds. In this study, we leveraged silk fibroin quintessential properties (i.e. polymorphism, conformability and hydrophobicity) to design a water-based protein suspension that self-assembles on the surface of food upon dip coating. The water-based post-processing control of the protein polymorphism enables the modulation of the diffusion of gases through the silk fibroin thin membranes (e.g. O2 and CO2 diffusion, water vapour permeability), which is a key parameter to manage food freshness. In particular, an increased beta-sheet content corresponds to a reduction in oxygen diffusion through silk fibroin thin films. By using the dip coating of strawberries and bananas as proof of principle, we have shown that the formation of micrometre-thin silk fibroin membranes around the fruits helps the management of postharvest physiology of the fruits. Thus, silk fibroin coatings enhance fruits' shelf life at room conditions by reducing cell respiration rate and water evaporation. The water-based processing and edible nature of silk fibroin makes this approach a promising alternative for food preservation with a naturally derived material.

  11. Silk Fibroin as Edible Coating for Perishable Food Preservation

    PubMed Central

    Marelli, B.; Brenckle, M. A.; Kaplan, D. L.; Omenetto, F. G.

    2016-01-01

    The regeneration of structural biopolymers into micelles or nanoparticles suspended in water has enabled the design of new materials with unique and compelling properties that can serve at the interface between the biotic and the abiotic worlds. In this study, we leveraged silk fibroin quintessential properties (i.e. polymorphism, conformability and hydrophobicity) to design a water-based protein suspension that self-assembles on the surface of food upon dip coating. The water-based post-processing control of the protein polymorphism enables the modulation of the diffusion of gases through the silk fibroin thin membranes (e.g. O2 and CO2 diffusion, water vapour permeability), which is a key parameter to manage food freshness. In particular, an increased beta-sheet content corresponds to a reduction in oxygen diffusion through silk fibroin thin films. By using the dip coating of strawberries and bananas as proof of principle, we have shown that the formation of micrometre-thin silk fibroin membranes around the fruits helps the management of postharvest physiology of the fruits. Thus, silk fibroin coatings enhance fruits’ shelf life at room conditions by reducing cell respiration rate and water evaporation. The water-based processing and edible nature of silk fibroin makes this approach a promising alternative for food preservation with a naturally derived material. PMID:27151492

  12. Relationships between supercontraction and mechanical properties of spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2005-12-01

    Typical spider dragline silk tends to outperform other natural fibres and most man-made filaments. However, even small changes in spinning conditions can have large effects on the mechanical properties of a silk fibre as well as on its water uptake. Absorbed water leads to significant shrinkage in an unrestrained dragline fibre and reversibly converts the material into a rubber. This process is known as supercontraction and may be a functional adaptation for the silk's role in the spider's web. Supercontraction is thought to be controlled by specific motifs in the silk proteins and to be induced by the entropy-driven recoiling of molecular chains. In analogy, in man-made fibres thermal shrinkage induces changes in mechanical properties attributable to the entropy-driven disorientation of `unfrozen' molecular chains (as in polyethylene terephthalate) or the `broken' intermolecular hydrogen bonds (as in nylons). Here we show for Nephila major-ampullate silk how in a biological fibre the spinning conditions affect the interplay between shrinkage and mechanical characteristics. This interaction reveals design principles linking the exceptional properties of silk to its molecular orientation.

  13. Presence of phosphorus in Nephila clavipes dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Michal, C A; Simmons, A H; Chew, B G; Zax, D B; Jelinski, L W

    1996-01-01

    Solid-state 31P-NMR of Nephila clavipes dragline silk indicates the presence of phosphorus in at least two chemically distinct environments. Amino acid analyses of acid-hydrolyzed silk confirm the presence of phosphotyrosine as one of the phosphorus-containing components. The unusual chemical shift (18.9 ppm downfield from 85% H3PO4), proton chemical shift, and acid lability of a second component suggest that it is part of a strained five-membered cyclic phosphate that might be found on a beta-D-ribose. The five-membered cyclic phosphate is not removed from the silk fibers by exhaustive aqueous extraction. It is absent in nascent silk fibroin from the glands, suggesting that its formation is part of the fiber processing that occurs in the ducts leading to the spinnerets. High-resolution NMR spectra of silk dissolved in propionic acid/12 N HCl (50:50 v/v) show five phosphorus sites assigned to phosphorylated tyrosine residues, phosphorylated serine residues, inorganic phosphate, and two hydrolysis products of the cyclic phosphate compound. The observed posttranslational phosphorylation may be important in the processing and modulation of the physical properties of dragline silk.

  14. Silkomics: Insight into the Silk Spinning Process of Spiders.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Garcia, Ana Maria Caviquioli; Arcuri, Helen Andrade; Esteves, Franciele Grego; Salles, Heliana Clara; Lubec, Gert; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2016-04-01

    The proteins from the silk-producing glands were identified using both a bottom-up gel-based proteomic approach as well as from a shotgun proteomic approach. Additionally, the relationship between the functions of identified proteins and the spinning process was studied. A total of 125 proteins were identified in the major ampullate, 101 in the flagelliform, 77 in the aggregate, 75 in the tubuliform, 68 in the minor ampullate, and 23 in aciniform glands. On the basis of the functional classification using Gene Ontology, these proteins were organized into seven different groups according to their general function: (i) web silk proteins-spidroins, (ii) proteins related to the folding/conformation of spidroins, (iii) proteins that protect silk proteins from oxidative stress, (iv) proteins involved in fibrillar preservation of silks in the web, (v) proteins related to ion transport into and out of the glands during silk fiber spinning, (vi) proteins involved in prey capture and pre-digestion, and (vii) housekeeping proteins from all of the glands. Thus, a general mechanism of action for the identified proteins in the silk-producing glands from the Nephila clavipes spider was proposed; the current results also indicate that the webs play an active role in prey capture.

  15. Biomolecular Evidence of Silk from 8,500 Years Ago.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Pottery, bone implements, and stone tools are routinely found at Neolithic sites. However, the integrity of textiles or silk is susceptible to degradation, and it is therefore very difficult for such materials to be preserved for 8,000 years. Although previous studies have provided important evidence of the emergence of weaving skills and tools, such as figuline spinning wheels and osseous lamellas with traces of filament winding, there is a lack of direct evidence proving the existence of silk. In this paper, we explored evidence of prehistoric silk fibroin through the analysis of soil samples collected from three tombs at the Neolithic site of Jiahu. Mass spectrometry was employed and integrated with proteomics to characterize the key peptides of silk fibroin. The direct biomolecular evidence reported here showed the existence of prehistoric silk fibroin, which was found in 8,500-year-old tombs. Rough weaving tools and bone needles were also excavated, indicating the possibility that the Jiahu residents may possess the basic weaving and sewing skills in making textile. This finding may advance the study of the history of silk, and the civilization of the Neolithic Age.

  16. 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

  17. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils.

    PubMed

    Fang, Guangqiang; Yang, Yuhong; Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2016-07-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications.

  18. Silk fibroin scaffolds for urologic tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Sack, Bryan S.; Mauney, Joshua R.; Estrada, Carlos R.

    2016-01-01

    Urologic tissue engineering efforts have been largely focused on bladder and urethral defect repair. The current surgical gold standard for treatment of poorly compliant pathological bladders and severe urethral stricture disease is enterocystoplasty and onlay urethroplasty with autologous tissue, respectively. The complications associated with autologous tissue use and harvesting have led to efforts to develop tissue-engineered alternatives. Natural and synthetic materials have been used with varying degrees of success, but none has proved consistently reliable for urologic tissue defect repair in humans. Silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds have been tested in bladder and urethral repair because of their favorable biomechanical properties including structural strength, elasticity, biodegradability and biocompatibility. SF scaffolds have been used in multiple animal models, and have demonstrated robust regeneration of smooth muscle and urothelium. The pre-clinical data involving SF scaffolds in urologic defect repair are encouraging and suggest that they hold potential for future clinical use. PMID:26801192

  19. 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

  20. Spider Silk: Mother Nature's Bio-Superlens.

    PubMed

    Monks, James N; Yan, Bing; Hawkins, Nicholas; Vollrath, Fritz; Wang, Zengbo

    2016-09-14

    It was recently discovered that transparent microspheres and cylinders can function as a super-resolution lens (i.e., superlens) to focus light beyond the diffraction limit. A number of high-resolution applications based on these lenses have been successfully demonstrated and span nanoscopy, imaging, and spectroscopy. Fabrication of these superlenses, however, is often complex and requires sophisticated engineering processes. Clearly an easier model candidate, such as a naturally occurring superlens, is highly desirable. Here, we report for the first time a biological superlens provided by nature: the minor ampullate spider silk spun from the Nephila spider. This natural biosuperlens can distinctly resolve 100 nm features under a conventional white-light microscope with peak wavelength at 600 nm, attaining a resolution of λ/6 that is well beyond the classical limit. Thus, our work opens a new door to develop biology-based optical systems that may provide a new solution to integrating optics in biological systems.

  1. The potential of silk and silk-like proteins as natural mucoadhesive biopolymers for controlled drug delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Amanda

    2015-11-01

    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.

  2. Effects of alkyl polyglycoside (APG) on Bombyx mori silk degumming and the mechanical properties of silk fibroin fibre.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qing

    2017-05-01

    Alkyl polyglycoside (APG), a nonionic surfactant, is often considered to be a green surfactant and is synthesized using glucose and long chain fatty alcohols. It is used as a degumming agent of Bombyx mori silk fibre in this study for the first time. We studied APG systematically in comparison to the traditional degumming methods, such as aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and neutral soap (NS). After repeatedly boiling silk fibres in an aqueous solution of 0.25% APG three times for 30min and using a bath ratio of 1:90-120 (g/mL), sericin was completely removed from the fibre. SDS-PAGE showed that the degumming in APG did not induce an evident breakage of the silk fibroin peptide chains, including the light chain and P25 protein. The tensile properties, thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observation of the degummed fibroin fibre all show that APG is a degumming agent similar to NS and far superior to Na2CO3. These results indicate that APG is an environment-friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts.

  3. 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

  4. Tubuliform silk protein: A protein with unique molecular characteristics and mechanical properties in the spider silk fibroin family

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, M.; Lewis, R. V.

    2006-02-01

    Orb-web weavers can produce up to six different types of silk and a glue for various functions. Tubuliform silk is unique among them due to its distinct amino acid composition, specific time of production, and atypical mechanical properties. To study the protein composing this silk, tubuliform gland cDNA libraries were constructed from three orb-weaving spiders Argiope aurantia, Araneus gemmoides, and Nephila clavipes. Amino acid composition comparison between the predicted tubuliform silk protein sequence (TuSp1) and the corresponding gland protein confirms that TuSp1 is the major component in tubuliform gland in three spiders. Sequence analysis suggests that TuSp1 shares no significant similarity with its paralogues, while it has conserved sequence motifs with the most primitive spider, Euagrus chisoseus silk protein. The presence of large side-chain amino acids in TuSp1 sequence is consistent with the frustrated β-sheet crystalline structure of tubuliform silk observed in transmission electron microscopy. Repeat unit comparison within species as well as among three spiders exhibits high sequence conservation. Parsimony analysis based on carboxy terminal sequence shows that Argiope and Araneus are more closely related than either is to Nephila which is consistent with phylogenetic analysis based on morphological evidence.

  5. Multifunctional Silk Nerve Guides for Axon Outgrowth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tupaj, Marie C.

    Peripheral nerve regeneration is a critical issue as 2.8% of trauma patients present with this type of injury, estimating a total of 200,000 nerve repair procedures yearly in the United States. While the peripheral nervous system exhibits slow regeneration, at a rate of 0.5 mm -- 9 mm/day following trauma, this regenerative ability is only possible under certain conditions. Clinical repairs have changed slightly in the last 30 years and standard methods of treatment include suturing damaged nerve ends, allografting, and autografting, with the autograft the gold standard of these approaches. Unfortunately, the use of autografts requires a second surgery and there is a shortage of nerves available for grafting. Allografts are a second option however allografts have lower success rates and are accompanied by the need of immunosuppressant drugs. Recently there has been a focus on developing nerve guides as an "off the shelf" approach. Although some natural and synthetic guidance channels have been approved by the FDA, these nerve guides are unfunctionalized and repair only short gaps, less than 3 cm in length. The goal of this project was to identify strategies for functionalizing peripheral nerve conduits for the outgrowth of neuron axons in vitro . To accomplish this, two strategies (bioelectrical and biophysical) were indentified for increasing axon outgrowth and promoting axon guidance. Bioelectrical strategies exploited electrical stimulation for increasing neurite outgrowth. Biophysical strategies tested a range of surface topographies for axon guidance. Novel methods were developed for integrating electrical and biophysical strategies into silk films in 2D. Finally, a functionalized nerve conduit system was developed that integrated all strategies for the purpose of attaching, elongating, and guiding nervous tissue in vitro. Future directions of this work include silk conduit translation into a rat sciatic nerve model in vivo for the purpose of repairing long

  6. Construction of engineering adipose-like tissue in vivo utilizing human insulin gene-modified umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells with silk fibroin 3D scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Li, Shi-Long; Liu, Yi; Hui, Ling

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the use of a combination of human insulin gene-modified umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (hUMSCs) with silk fibroin 3D scaffolds for adipose tissue engineering. In this study hUMSCs were isolated and cultured. HUMSCs infected with Ade-insulin-EGFP were seeded in fibroin 3D scaffolds with uniform 50-60 µm pore size. Silk fibroin scaffolds with untransfected hUMSCs were used as control. They were cultured for 4 days in adipogenic medium and transplanted under the dorsal skins of female Wistar rats after the hUMSCs had been labelled with chloromethylbenzamido-1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (CM-Dil). Macroscopical impression, fluorescence observation, histology and SEM were used for assessment after transplantation at 8 and 12 weeks. Macroscopically, newly formed adipose tissue was observed in the experimental group and control group after 8 and 12 weeks. Fluorescence observation supported that the formed adipose tissue originated from seeded hUMSCs rather than from possible infiltrating perivascular tissue. Oil red O staining of newly formed tissue showed that there was substantially more tissue regeneration in the experimental group than in the control group. SEM showed that experimental group cells had more fat-like cells, whose volume was larger than that of the control group, and degradation of the silk fibroin scaffold was greater under SEM observation. This study provides significant evidence that hUMSCs transfected by adenovirus vector have good compatibility with silk fibroin scaffold, and adenoviral transfection of the human insulin gene can be used for the construction of tissue-engineered adipose.

  7. Highly water-absorbing silk yarn with interpenetrating network via in situ polymerization.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ka I; Wang, Xiaowen; Guo, Xia; Yung, Ka-Fu; Fei, Bin

    2017-02-01

    Silk was modified via in situ polymerization of two monomers acrylamide and sodium acrylate by swelling in an effective LiBr dissolution system. Swelling of natural silks in LiBr solutions of low concentration was clearly observed under optical microscope, and their conformational changes were revealed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Dissolution tests and FTIR spectra of these modified silks suggested the presence of interpenetrating network of polyacrylamide and poly(sodium acrylate) in the silk yarns. These modified silks exhibited superior water absorption to that of raw silk and greatly improved mechanical properties in both dry and wet states. These novel modified silks also showed low cytotoxicity towards skin keratinocytes, having potential applications in biomedical textiles. This modification method by in situ polymerization after swelling in LiBr provides a new route to highly enhance the properties and performance of silk for various applications.

  8. 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.

  9. In vitro and in vivo studies of a polyester arterial prosthesis with a warp-knitted sharkskin structure.

    PubMed

    Mary, C; Marois, Y; King, M W; Hong, T; Laroche, G; Douville, Y; Martin, L; Guidoin, R

    1997-06-15

    The present study was undertaken to assess the performance of a new knitted and gelatin-sealed polyester vascular graft that is believed to have greater dimensional stability than current commercial devices. Samples of the uncrimped, crimped, and sealed prosthesis were submitted to a series of in vitro and in vivo trials. Four commercial polyester knitted devices were included as controls for the in vitro tests, which included measurements of the textile and yarn structure and physical, chemical, and thermal properties of the graft, such as water permeability, dilatation, suture retention strength, melting point, and crystallinity index. The in vivo evaluation involved implanting the prototype device as a canine thoraco-abdominal bypass for periods ranging from 4 h to 1 year and assessing the biocompatibility, biofunctionality, and biostability of the explanted specimens. The warp-knitted structure of the prototype device has a unique sharkskin stitch that confers a superior dilatation resistance and suture retention strength to the prosthesis. The animal trial demonstrated that the gelatin ensures initial hemostasis without preclotting. The gelatin is bioresorbed during the first 2 weeks of implantation, which generates a temporary, moderate, acute inflammatory response. An external capsule of granulomatous tissue and an internal collagen capsule are formed between the first and third month. Analysis of the textile and physical properties of the explanted prostheses confirmed there was neither dilatation nor significant changes in structure or mechanical performance during implantation, thus confirming the biostability of this new prototype device and opening the way for clinical trials.

  10. Swine Model of Thrombotic Caval Occlusion Created by Autologous Thrombus Injection with Assistance of Intra-caval Net Knitting

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Wan-Yin; Wu, Shuang; Hu, Lan-Yue; Liu, Chang-Jian; Gu, Jian-Ping

    2015-01-01

    To evaluate the feasibility of a swine model of thrombotic inferior vena cava (IVC) occlusion (IVCO) created by autologous thrombus injection with assistance of intra-caval net knitting. Sixteen pigs were included and divided into two groups: Group A (n = 10), IVCO model created by knitting a caval net followed by autologous thrombus injection; Group B (n = 6), control model created by knitting a net and normal saline injection. Venography was performed to assess each model and the associated thrombotic occlusion. The vessels were examined histologically to analyse the pathological changes postoperatively. IVCO model was successfully created in 10 animals in Group A (100%). Immediate venography showed extensive clot burden in the IVC. Postoperative venography revealed partial caval occlusion at 7 days, and complete occlusion coupled with collateral vessels at 14 days. Histologically, Group A animals had significantly greater venous wall thickening, with CD163-positive and CD3-positive cell infiltration. Recanalization channels were observed at the margins of the thrombus. By contrast, no thrombotic occlusion of the IVC was observed in Group B. The thrombotic IVCO model can be reliably established in swine. The inflammatory reaction may contribute to the caval thrombus propagation following occlusion. PMID:26680253

  11. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs.

    PubMed

    Cranford, Steven W; Tarakanova, Anna; Pugno, Nicola M; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-02-01

    Natural materials are renowned for exquisite designs that optimize function, as illustrated by the elasticity of blood vessels, the toughness of bone and the protection offered by nacre. Particularly intriguing are spider silks, with studies having explored properties ranging from their protein sequence to the geometry of a web. This material system, highly adapted to meet a spider's many needs, has superior mechanical properties. In spite of much research into the molecular design underpinning the outstanding performance of silk fibres, and into the mechanical characteristics of web-like structures, it remains unknown how the mechanical characteristics of spider silk contribute to the integrity and performance of a spider web. Here we report web deformation experiments and simulations that identify the nonlinear response of silk threads to stress--involving softening at a yield point and substantial stiffening at large strain until failure--as being crucial to localize load-induced deformation and resulting in mechanically robust spider webs. Control simulations confirmed that a nonlinear stress response results in superior resistance to structural defects in the web compared to linear elastic or elastic-plastic (softening) material behaviour. We also show that under distributed loads, such as those exerted by wind, the stiff behaviour of silk under small deformation, before the yield point, is essential in maintaining the web's structural integrity. The superior performance of silk in webs is therefore not due merely to its exceptional ultimate strength and strain, but arises from the nonlinear response of silk threads to strain and their geometrical arrangement in a web.

  13. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    PubMed

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have 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. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications.

  14. Synthetic spider silk production on a laboratory scale.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-18

    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.

  15. Prey type, vibrations and handling interactively influence spider silk expression.

    PubMed

    Blamires, S J; Chao, I-C; Tso, I-M

    2010-11-15

    The chemical and mechanical properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silks vary in response to different prey, mostly via differential expression of two genes - MaSp1 and MaSp2 - although the spinning process exerts additional influence over the mechanical properties of silk. The prey cues that initiate differential gene expression are unknown. Prey nutrients, vibratory stimuli and handling have been suggested to be influential. We performed experiments to decouple the vibratory stimuli and handling associated with high and low kinetic energy prey (crickets vs flies) from their prey nutrients to test the relative influence of each as inducers of silk protein expression in the orb web spider Nephila pilipes. We found that the MA silks from spiders feeding on live crickets had greater percentages of glutamine, serine, alanine and glycine than those from spiders feeding on live flies. Proline composition of the silks was unaffected by feeding treatment. Increases in alanine and glycine in the MA silks of the live-cricket-feeding spiders indicate a probable increase in MaSp1 gene expression. The amino acid compositions of N. pilipes feeding on crickets with fly stimuli and N. pilipes feeding on flies with cricket stimuli did not differ from each other or from pre-treatment responses, so these feeding treatments did not induce differential MaSp expression. Our results indicate that cricket vibratory stimuli and handling interact with nutrients to induce N. pilipes to adjust their gene expression to produce webs with mechanical properties appropriate for the retention of this prey. This shows that spiders can genetically alter their silk chemical compositions and, presumably, mechanical properties upon exposure to different prey types. The lack of any change in proline composition with feeding treatment in N. pilipes suggests that the MaSp model determined for Nephila clavipes is not universally applicable to all Nephila.

  16. Derivation of a variational principle for plane strain elastic-plastic silk biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, J. H.; Liu, F. J.; Cao, J. H.; Zhang, L.

    2014-01-01

    Silk biopolymers, such as spider silk and Bombyx mori silk, behave always elastic-plastically. An elastic-plastic model is adopted and a variational principle for the small strain, rate plasticity problem is established by semi-inverse method. A trial Lagrangian is constructed where an unknown function is included which can be identified step by step.

  17. The speed of sound in silk: linking material performance to biological function.

    PubMed

    Mortimer, Beth; Gordon, Shira D; Holland, Chris; Siviour, Clive R; Vollrath, Fritz; Windmill, James F C

    2014-08-13

    Sonic properties of spider silks are measured independent of the web using laser vibrometry and ballistic impact providing insights into Nature's design of functionalized high-performance materials. Through comparison to cocoon silk and other industrial fibers, we find that major ampullate silk has the largest wavespeed range of any known material.

  18. Role of pH and charge on silk protein assembly in insects and spiders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foo, C. Wong Po; Bini, E.; Hensman, J.; Knight, D. P.; Lewis, R. V.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2006-02-01

    Silk fibers possess impressive mechanical properties, dependant, in part, on the crystalline β-sheets silk II conformation. The transition to silk II from soluble silk I-like conformation in silk glands, is thought to originate in the spinning ducts immediately before the silk is drawn down into a fiber. However the assembly process of these silk molecules into fibers, whether in silkworms or spiders, is not well understood. Extensional flow, protein concentration, pH and metal ion concentrations are thought to be most important in in vivo silk processing and in affecting structural conformations. We look at how parameters such as pH, [Ca2+], [K+], and [Cu2+], and water content, interact with the domain structure of silk proteins towards the successful storage and processing of these concentrated hydrophobic silk proteins. Our recent domain mapping studies of all known silk proteins, and 2D Raman spectroscopy, NMR, and DLS studies performed on sections of silkworm gland, suggest that low pH and gradual water removal promote intermolecular over intramolecular hydrogen bonding. This discussion helps to provide the necessary ground rules towards the design of silk protein analogues with specific hydrophobicity and charge profiles to optimize expression, solubility and assembly with implications in structural biology and material science.

  19. Hydrothermal production and characterization of protein and amino acids from silk waste.

    PubMed

    Lamoolphak, Wiwat; De-Eknamkul, Wanchai; Shotipruk, Artiwan

    2008-11-01

    Non-catalytic hydrothermal decomposition of sericin and fibroin from silk waste into useful protein and amino acids was examined in a closed batch reactor at various temperatures, reaction times, and silk to water ratios to examine their effects on protein and amino acid yields. For the decomposition of sericin, the highest protein yield was found to be 0.466 mg protein/mg raw silk, obtained after 10 min hydrothermal reaction of silk waste at 1:100 silk to water ratio at 120 degrees C. The highest amino acid yield was found to be 0.203 mg amino acids/mg raw silk, obtained after 60 min of hydrothermal reaction of silk waste at 1:20 silk to water ratio at 160 degrees C. For the hydrothermal decomposition of fibroin, the highest protein yield was 0.455 mg protein/mg silk fibroin (1:100, 220 degrees C, 10 min) and that of amino acids was 0.755 mg amino acids/mg silk fibroin (1:50, 220 degrees C, 60 min). The rate of silk fibroin decomposition could be described by surface reaction kinetics. The soluble reaction products were freeze-dried to obtain sericin and fibroin particles, whose conformation and crystal structure of the particles were shown to differ from the original silk materials, particularly in the case of fibroin, in which the change from beta-sheet conformation to alpha-helix/random coil was observed.

  20. Ingrowth of human mesenchymal stem cells into porous silk particle reinforced silk composite scaffolds: An in vitro study.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-01-01

    Silk fibroin protein is biodegradable and biocompatible, exhibiting excellent mechanical properties for various biomedical applications. However, porous three-dimensional (3-D) 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 (non-reinforced) 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 6 weeks. The calcium adsorption increased dramatically with increasing loading, as observed from biochemical assays, histological staining, and microcomputer tomography (μCT) analysis. Specifically, calcium content in the scaffolds increased by 0.57, 0.71, and 1.27 mg (per μg 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, μCT imaging revealed that at 6 weeks, bone volume fraction increased from 0.78% for non-reinforced 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 3-D in vitro differentiation capabilities of hMSCs, providing a means to improve osteogenic outcomes.

  1. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    PubMed Central

    Steven, Eden; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Lopes, Elsa Branco; Brooks, James S; Englander, Ongi; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  2. A novel property of spider silk: chemical defence against ants.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shichang; Koh, Teck Hui; Seah, Wee Khee; Lai, Yee Hing; Elgar, Mark A; Li, Daiqin

    2012-05-07

    Spider webs are made of silk, the properties of which ensure remarkable efficiency at capturing prey. However, remaining on, or near, the web exposes the resident spiders to many potential predators, such as ants. Surprisingly, ants are rarely reported foraging on the webs of orb-weaving spiders, despite the formidable capacity of ants to subdue prey and repel enemies, the diversity and abundance of orb-web spiders, and the nutritional value of the web and resident spider. We explain this paradox by reporting a novel property of the silk produced by the orb-web spider Nephila antipodiana (Walckenaer). These spiders deposit on the silk a pyrrolidine alkaloid (2-pyrrolidinone) that provides protection from ant invasion. Furthermore, the ontogenetic change in the production of 2-pyrrolidinone suggests that this compound represents an adaptive response to the threat of natural enemies, rather than a simple by-product of silk synthesis: while 2-pyrrolidinone occurs on the silk threads produced by adult and large juvenile spiders, it is absent on threads produced by small juvenile spiders, whose threads are sufficiently thin to be inaccessible to ants.

  3. Sporicidal/bactericidal textiles via the chlorination of silk.

    PubMed

    Dickerson, Matthew B; Lyon, Wanda; Gruner, William E; Mirau, Peter A; Slocik, Joseph M; Naik, Rajesh R

    2012-03-01

    Bacterial spores, such as those of the Bacillus genus, are extremely resilient, being able to germinate into metabolically active cells after withstanding harsh environmental conditions or aggressive chemical treatments. The toughness of the bacterial spore in combination with the use of spores, such as those of Bacillus anthracis, as a biological warfare agent necessitates the development of new antimicrobial textiles. In this work, a route to the production of fabrics that kill bacterial spores and cells within minutes of exposure is described. Utilizing this facile process, unmodified silk cloth is reacted with a diluted bleach solution, rinsed with water, and dried. The chlorination of silk was explored under basic (pH 11) and slightly acidic (pH 5) conditions. Chloramine-silk textiles prepared in acidified bleach solutions were found to have superior breaking strength and higher oxidative Cl contents than those prepared under caustic conditions. Silk cloth chlorinated for ≥1 h at pH 5 was determined to induce >99.99996% reduction in the colony forming units of Escherichia coli, as well as Bacillus thuringiensis Al Hakam (B. anthracis simulant) spores and cells within 10 min of contact. The processing conditions presented for silk fabric in this study are highly expeditionary, allowing for the on-site production of protein-based antimicrobial materials from a variety of agriculturally produced feed-stocks.

  4. Spider web and silk performance landscapes across nutrient space

    PubMed Central

    Blamires, Sean J.; Tseng, Yi-Hsuan; Wu, Chung-Lin; Toft, Søren; Raubenheimer, David; Tso, I.-Min

    2016-01-01

    Predators have been shown to alter their foraging as a regulatory response to recent feeding history, but it remains unknown whether trap building predators modulate their traps similarly as a regulatory strategy. Here we fed the orb web spider Nephila pilipes either live crickets, dead crickets with webs stimulated by flies, or dead crickets without web stimulation, over 21 days to enforce spiders to differentially extract nutrients from a single prey source. In addition to the nutrients extracted we measured web architectures, silk tensile properties, silk amino acid compositions, and web tension after each feeding round. We then plotted web and silk “performance landscapes” across nutrient space. The landscapes had multiple peaks and troughs for each web and silk performance parameter. The findings suggest that N. pilipes plastically adjusts the chemical and physical properties of their web and silk in accordance with its nutritional history. Our study expands the application of the geometric framework foraging model to include a type of predatory trap. Whether it can be applied to other predatory traps requires further testing. PMID:27216252

  5. Peroxidase-catalysed interfacial adhesion of aquatic caddisworm silk

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ching-Shuen; Pan, Huaizhong; Weerasekare, G. Mahika; Stewart, Russell J.

    2015-01-01

    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. A highly tunable and fully biocompatible silk nanoplasmonic optical sensor.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myungjae; Jeon, Heonsu; Kim, Sunghwan

    2015-05-13

    Novel concepts for manipulating plasmonic resonances and the biocompatibility of plasmonic devices offer great potential in versatile applications involving real-time and in vivo monitoring of analytes with high sensitivity in biomedical and biological research. Here we report a biocompatible and highly tunable plasmonic bio/chemical sensor consisting of a natural silk protein and a gold nanostructure. Our silk plasmonic absorber sensor (SPAS) takes advantage of the strong local field enhancement in the metal-insulator-metal resonator in which silk protein is used as an insulating spacer and substrate. The silk insulating spacer has hydrogel properties and therefore exhibits a controllable swelling when exposed to water-alcohol mixtures. We experimentally and numerically show that drastic spectral shifts in reflectance minima arise from the changing physical volume and refractive index of the silk spacer during swelling. Furthermore, we apply this SPAS device as a glucose sensor with a very high sensitivity of 1200 nm/RIU (refractive index units) and high relative intensity change.

  7. Non-mulberry Silk Fibroin Biomaterial for Corneal Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hazra, Sarbani; Nandi, Sudip; Naskar, Deboki; Guha, Rajdeep; Chowdhury, Sushovan; Pradhan, Nirparaj; Kundu, Subhas C.; Konar, Aditya

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Successful repair of a damaged corneal surface is a great challenge and may require the use of a scaffold that supports cell growth and differentiation. Amniotic membrane is currently used for this purpose, in spite of its limitations. A thin transparent silk fibroin film from non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta (Am) has been developed which offers to be a promising alternative. The silk scaffolds provide sufficient rigidity for easy handling, the scaffolds support the sprouting, migration, attachment and growth of epithelial cells and keratocytes from rat corneal explants; the cells form a cell sheet, preserve their phenotypes, express cytokeratin3 and vimentin respectively. The films also support growth of limbal stem cell evidenced by expression of ABCG2. The cell growth on the silk film and the amniotic membrane is comparable. The implanted film within the rabbit cornea remains transparent, stable. The clinical examination as well as histology shows absence of any inflammatory response or neovascularization. The corneal surface integrity is maintained; tear formation, intraocular pressure and electroretinography of implanted eyes show no adverse changes. The silk fibroin film from non-mulberry silk worms may be a worthy candidate for use as a corneal scaffold. PMID:26908015

  8. Spider web and silk performance landscapes across nutrient space.

    PubMed

    Blamires, Sean J; Tseng, Yi-Hsuan; Wu, Chung-Lin; Toft, Søren; Raubenheimer, David; Tso, I-Min

    2016-05-24

    Predators have been shown to alter their foraging as a regulatory response to recent feeding history, but it remains unknown whether trap building predators modulate their traps similarly as a regulatory strategy. Here we fed the orb web spider Nephila pilipes either live crickets, dead crickets with webs stimulated by flies, or dead crickets without web stimulation, over 21 days to enforce spiders to differentially extract nutrients from a single prey source. In addition to the nutrients extracted we measured web architectures, silk tensile properties, silk amino acid compositions, and web tension after each feeding round. We then plotted web and silk "performance landscapes" across nutrient space. The landscapes had multiple peaks and troughs for each web and silk performance parameter. The findings suggest that N. pilipes plastically adjusts the chemical and physical properties of their web and silk in accordance with its nutritional history. Our study expands the application of the geometric framework foraging model to include a type of predatory trap. Whether it can be applied to other predatory traps requires further testing.

  9. NMR Studies of Molecular Orientation and Dynamics in Spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michal, Carl; Eles, Philip

    2004-05-01

    Spider dragline silk has a unique combination of strength and extensibility that has been difficult to achieve in synthetic polymer fibres and has inspired industrial efforts to produce genetically engineered analogues. In light of these efforts elsewhere, we describe solid-state NMR experiments that elucidate the molecular structure and dynamics of this remarkable material. These experiments include the use of a 2-D exchange NMR experiment known as DECODER in which the sample is reoriented through a discrete angle during the mixing time. This experiment allows a reconstruction of the orientation distribution of the protein backbone. Our data is well described by a two-component distribution where the protein backbones of both components are preferentially aligned along the silk fibre. This experiment is also sensitive to molecular motion on a wide range of time-scales, and is employed to study changes in the silk as a function of fibre extension and hydration. Hydrated silk undergoes a remarkable phenomena known as supercontraction where fibres shrink by up to 50% in length while swelling in diameter. DECODER NMR of fully and partially supercontracted silk reveals that supercontraction occurs through a process of local phase transitions where water disrupts inter- and intra-chain hydrogen bonds.

  10. 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 β-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

  11. Shape Memory Silk Protein Sponges for Minimally Invasive Tissue Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Brown, Joseph E; Moreau, Jodie E; Berman, Alison M; McSherry, Heather J; Coburn, Jeannine M; Schmidt, Daniel F; Kaplan, David L

    2017-01-01

    Porous silk protein scaffolds are designed to display shape memory characteristics and volumetric recovery following compression. Two strategies are utilized to realize shape recovery: addition of hygroscopic plasticizers like glycerol, and tyrosine modifications with hydrophilic sulfonic acid chemistries. Silk sponges are evaluated for recovery following 80% compressive strain, total porosity, pore size distribution, secondary structure development, in vivo volume retention, cell infiltration, and inflammatory responses. Glycerol-modified sponges recover up to 98.3% of their original dimensions following compression, while sulfonic acid/glycerol modified sponges swell in water up to 71 times their compressed volume, well in excess of their original size. Longer silk extraction times (lower silk molecular weights) and higher glycerol concentrations yielded greater flexibility and shape fidelity, with no loss in modulus following compression. Sponges are over 95% porous, with secondary structure analysis indicating glycerol-induced β-sheet physical crosslinking. Tyrosine modifications with sulfonic acid interfere with β-sheet formation. Glycerol-modified sponges exhibit improved rates of cellular infiltration at subcutaneous implant sites with minimal immune response in mice. They also degrade more rapidly than unmodified sponges, a result posited to be cell-mediated. Overall, this work suggests that silk sponges may be useful for minimally invasive deployment in soft tissue augmentation procedures.

  12. 3D Printing of Hierarchical Silk Fibroin Structures.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Marianne R; Schaffner, Manuel; Carnelli, Davide; Studart, André R

    2016-12-21

    Like many other natural materials, silk is hierarchically structured from the amino acid level up to the cocoon or spider web macroscopic structures. Despite being used industrially in a number of applications, hierarchically structured silk fibroin objects with a similar degree of architectural control as in natural structures have not been produced yet due to limitations in fabrication processes. In a combined top-down and bottom-up approach, we exploit the freedom in macroscopic design offered by 3D printing and the template-guided assembly of ink building blocks at the meso- and nanolevel to fabricate hierarchical silk porous materials with unprecedented structural control. Pores with tunable sizes in the range 40-350 μm are generated by adding sacrificial organic microparticles as templates to a silk fibroin-based ink. Commercially available wax particles or monodisperse polycaprolactone made by microfluidics can be used as microparticle templates. Since closed pores are generated after template removal, an ultrasonication treatment can optionally be used to achieve open porosity. Such pore templating particles can be further modified with nanoparticles to create a hierarchical template that results in porous structures with a defined nanotopography on the pore walls. The hierarchically porous silk structures obtained with this processing technique can potentially be utilized in various application fields from structural materials to thermal insulation to tissue engineering scaffolds.

  13. Project SEED.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Reports on Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged) a project in which high school students from low-income families work in summer jobs in a variety of academic, industrial, and government research labs. The program introduces the students to career possibilities in chemistry and to the advantages of higher education.…

  14. Development of new smart materials and spinning systems inspired by natural silks and their applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jie; Lee, Sang-Hoon

    2015-12-01

    Silks produced by spiders and silkworms are charming natural biological materials with highly optimized hierarchical structures and outstanding physicomechanical properties. The superior performance of silks relies on the integration of a unique protein sequence, a distinctive spinning process, and complex hierarchical structures. Silks have been prepared to form a variety of morphologies and are widely used in diverse applications, for example, in the textile industry, as drug delivery vehicles, and as tissue engineering scaffolds. This review presents an overview of the organization of natural silks, in which chemical and physical functions are optimized, as well as a range of new materials inspired by the desire to mimic natural silk structure and synthesis.

  15. Impact and dynamic mechanical thermal properties of textile silk reinforced epoxy resin composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, K.; Guan, J.

    2016-07-01

    Silk fabric reinforced epoxy resin composites (SFRPs) were prepared using simple techniques of hand lay-up, hot-press and vacuum treatment, and a series of volume fractions of silk reinforcements were achieved. The impact properties and dynamic mechanical properties of SFRPs were investigated using a pendulum impact testing method and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). The results suggest that silk reinforcement could greatly enhance the mechanical performances of SFRPs. The impact strength reached a maximum of 71 kJ/m2 for 60%-silk SFRP, which demonstrated a potential of silk composites for defence and impact- resistant materials.

  16. 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

  17. Comparison Of Flat-Knitted Structures Made Of Poly(P-Phenylene-2,6-Benzobisoxazole) And Para-Aramid Referring To Their Stab Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obermann, M.; Aumann, S.; Heimlich, F.; Weber, M. O.; Schwarz-Pfeiffer, A.

    2016-07-01

    In the field of protective gear, developers always aim for lighter and more flexible material in order to increase the wearing comfort. Suppliers now work on knitted garments in the sports-sector as well as in workwear and protective gear for policemen or security-agents. In a recent project different knitted structures made of a poly(p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole) (PBO)-multifilament were compared to their counterparts made of para-aramid. In focus of the comparison stood the stab-resistance linked to either the mass per unit area or the stitch density. The tested fabrics were produced on hand flat knitting machines as well as on electronical flat knitting machines of the type Stoll CMS 330TC4, in order to analyse fabrics with different tightness factor and machine gauges. The stab resistance of the different knitted fabrics was examined according to the standard of the Association of Test Laboratories for Bullet, Stab or Pike Resistant Materials and Construction Standards. The presentation includes the depiction of the results of the test series and their interpretation. Furthermore it will give an outlook on most suitable combinations of materials and structures to be used in protective gear.

  18. An experimental confirmation of thermal transitions in native and regenerated spider silks.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fernando G; Troncoso, Omar P; Torres, Carlos; Cabrejos, Wilson

    2013-04-01

    Biological structures such as spider silks are formed by proteins. The physical properties of such proteins are determined by environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. In this paper, we confirm the thermal transitions that take place in spider silks using differential scanning calorimetry and study how the interaction of spider silk proteins with water affects the onset temperatures for these thermal processes. Native fibres and regenerated films of dragline silk and egg sac silk from Argiope argentata spiders were used to study thermal transitions of protein based structures. For the first time, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) tests were carried out with spider silk samples of relatively large mass (10mg). Previous attempts of DSC tests applied to spider silk samples failed to detect thermal transitions in a conclusive way. The tests reported here, however, show thermal transitions on both natural and regenerated samples that are in agreement with results from dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) tests reported in the literature. The water content on spider silks seems to lower the temperatures at which such thermal transitions take place. The results also confirm that the amorphous regions of native and regenerated spider silk and silk worm silk give rise to similar thermal transitions.

  19. 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

    β-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 β-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.

  20. 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.

  1. Accelerated biodegradation of silk sutures through matrix metalloproteinase activation by incorporating 4-hexylresorcinol

    PubMed Central

    Jo, You-Young; Kweon, HaeYong; Kim, Dae-Won; Kim, Min-Keun; Kim, Seong-Gon; Kim, Jwa-Young; Chae, Weon-Sik; Hong, Sam-Pyo; Park, Young-Hwan; Lee, Si Young; Choi, Je-Yong

    2017-01-01

    Silk suture material is primarily composed of silk fibroin and regarded as a non-resorbable material. It is slowly degraded by proteolysis when it is implanted into the body. 4-Hexylresorcinol (4HR) is a well-known antiseptic. In this study, the biodegradability of 4HR-incorporated silk sutures were compared to that of untreated silk sutures and polyglactin 910 sutures, a commercially available resorbable suture. 4HR-incorporated silk sutures exhibited anti-microbial properties. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) can digest a wide spectrum of proteins. 4HR increased MMP-2, -3, and -9 expression in RAW264.7 cells. MMP-2, -3, and -9 were able to digest not only silk fibroin but also silk sutures. Consequently, 59.5% of the 4HR-incorporated silk suture material remained at 11 weeks after grafting, which was similar to that of polyglactin 910 degradation (56.4% remained). The residual amount of bare silk suture material at 11 weeks after grafting was 91.5%. The expression levels of MMP-2, -3 and -9 were high in the 4HR-incorporated silk suture-implanted site 12 weeks after implantation. In conclusion, 4HR-treated silk sutures exhibited anti-microbial properties and a similar level of bio-degradation to polyglactin 910 sutures and induced higher expression of MMP-2, -3, and -9 in macrophages. PMID:28205580

  2. Structure and properties of regenerated Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    Tao, Wei; Li, Mingzhong; Zhao, Chunxia

    2007-04-10

    Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin fibers were dissolved by aqueous lithium thiocyanate to obtain regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution. By means of circular dichroism, (13)C NMR and Raman spectroscopy, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin in aqueous solution was investigated. The relationship of environmental factors and sol-gel transformation behavior of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin was also studied. The molecular conformations of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin mainly were alpha-helix and random coil in solution. There also existed a little beta-sheet conformation. It was obviously different with Bombyx mori silk fibroin, whose molecular conformation in solution was only random coil but no alpha-helix existence. With the increase of temperature and solution concentration and with the decrease of solution pH value, the gelation velocity of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin solution increased. Especially, it showed that A. pernyi silk fibroin was more sensitive to temperature than B. mori silk fibroin during the sol-gel transformation. The velocity increased obviously when the temperature was above 30 degrees C. During the sol-gel transformation, the molecular conformation of regenerated A. pernyi silk fibroin changed from random coil to beta-sheet structure. The results of these studies provided important insight into the preparation of new biomaterials by silk fibroin protein.

  3. 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.

  4. A simple model of multiphoton micromachining in silk hydrogels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applegate, Matthew B.; Alonzo, Carlo; Georgakoudi, Irene; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2016-06-01

    High resolution three-dimensional voids can be directly written into transparent silk fibroin hydrogels using ultrashort pulses of near-infrared (NIR) light. Here, we propose a simple finite-element model that can be used to predict the size and shape of individual features under various exposure conditions. We compare predicted and measured feature volumes for a wide range of parameters and use the model to determine optimum conditions for maximum material removal. The simplicity of the model implies that the mechanism of multiphoton induced void creation in silk is due to direct absorption of light energy rather than diffusion of heat or other photoproducts, and confirms that multiphoton absorption of NIR light in silk is purely a 3-photon process.

  5. Post-Impact Fatigue Behavior of Woven and Knitted Fabric CFRP Laminates for Marine Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimpara, Isao; Saito, Hiroshi

    In this study, the damage evolution behavior was evaluated. Damage observation was conducted by the integration of non-destructive and direct observation methods. Target reinforcements were T300-3k plain woven fabric (PW) and T700S-12k multi-axial knitted fabric (MA). Impact damage distribution in the CFRP laminate was observed precisely, and three-dimensional damage model was constructed. Compression after impact (CAI) and post impact fatigue (PIF) performances were evaluated. The effect of water absorption on these performances was also evaluated. The effect of water absorption on CAI and PIF performances were small in PW CFRP laminates. Conversely, PIF properties of water-absorbed MA drastically decreased than that of dry ones. CAI strength was not affected by water absorption. PIF performance of dry MA CFRP was fairly higher than that of the others. From the precise observation, some evidences of interfacial deterioration caused by water absorption were confirmed in both PW and MA CFRP laminates.

  6. Further Investigations of High Temperature Knitted Spring Tubes for Advanced Control Surface Seal Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Shawn C.; DeMange, Jeffrey J.; Dunlap, Patrick H., Jr.; Steinetz, Bruce M.

    2006-01-01

    Knitted metallic spring tubes are the structural backbones that provide resiliency in control surface seals for use on current and future reusable space launch vehicles. Control surface seals fill the space between movable control surfaces such as body flaps, rudders and elevons, and the static body structures to which they are attached. These seals must remain in continuous contact with opposing surfaces to prevent the ingestion of damaging hot gases encountered during atmospheric re-entry. The Inconel X-750 (Special Metals Corporation) spring tube utilized in the baseline control surface seal shows significant resiliency loss when compressed at temperatures as low as 1200 F. High temperature compression testing and microstructural analysis show that creep is the dominant deformation mechanism leading to permanent set and resiliency loss in tested spring tube samples. Additional evaluation using a structured design of experiments approach shows that spring tube performance, primarily high temperature resiliency, can be enhanced through material substitution of Rene 41 (Allvac) alloy (for the baseline Inconel X-750 material) when coupled with specialized thermal processing.

  7. 3D printed auxetic forms on knitted fabrics for adjustable permeability and mechanical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grimmelsmann, N.; Meissner, H.; Ehrmann, A.

    2016-07-01

    The 3D printing technology can be applied into manufacturing primary shaping diverse products, from models dealing as examples for future products that will be produced with another technique, to useful objects. Since 3D printing is nowadays significantly slower than other possibilities to manufacture items, such as die casting, it is often used for small parts that are produced in small numbers or for products that cannot be created in another way. Combinations of 3D printing with other objects, adding novel functionalities to them, are thus favourable to a complete primary shaping process. Textile fabrics belong to the objects whose mechanical and other properties can notably be modified by adding 3D printed forms. This article mainly reports on a new possibility to change the permeability of textile fabrics by 3D printing auxetic forms, e.g. for utilising them in textile filters. In addition, auxetic forms 3D printed on knitted fabrics can bring about mechanical properties that are conducive to tensile constructions.

  8. Knitting aromatic polymers for efficient solid-phase microextraction of trace organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuqin; Hu, Qingkun; Zheng, Juan; Xie, Lijun; Wei, Songbo; Jiang, Ruifen; Zhu, Fang; Liu, Yuan; Ouyang, Gangfeng

    2016-06-10

    A series of knitting aromatic polymers (KAPs) were successfully synthesized using a simple one-step Friedel-Crafts alkylation of aromatic monomers and were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Then, as-synthesized KAPs with large surface areas, unique pore structures and high thermal stability were prepared as solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coatings that exhibited good extraction abilities for a series of benzene compounds (i.e., benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and m-xylene, which are referred to as BTEX) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Under the optimized conditions, the methodologies established for the determination of BTEX and PAHs using the KAPs-triPB and KAPs-B coatings, respectively, possessed wide linear ranges, low limits of detection (LODs, 0.10-1.13ngL(-1) for BTEX and 0.05-0.49ngL(-1) for PAHs) and good reproducibility. Finally, the proposed methods were successfully applied to the determination of BTEX and PAHs in environmental water samples, and satisfactory recoveries (93.6-124.2% for BTEX and 77.2-113.3% for PAHs) were achieved. This study provides a benchmark for exploiting novel microporous organic polymers (MOPs) for SPME applications.

  9. The Effect of Fibre Blend on Comfort Characteristics of Elastic Knitted Fabrics Used for Pressure Garments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, M.; Chattopadhay, R.; Gupta, D.

    2014-04-01

    Comfort characteristics of pressure garments are very important issue as these garments are recommended to wear for 23 h a day to recover from venous problem, scar maturation, orthopedic problems, post surgery, post pregnancy and many other problems. The patients mostly stop using such kind of medical devices because of itching, perspiration and other comfort relate problems. Mostly nylon, polyester and cotton fibres are used in the fabrics. Nylon, polyester are used for strength whereas cotton is used for good comfort related properties. It may be possible to get some certain type of strength and comfort property together by using both types of fibre. Less information is available in this aspect. In this paper, fabric samples were prepared in knit construction by varying the nylon and cotton blend percentage. Comfort properties in terms of air permeability, thermal property, water vapor permeability, surface friction behavior and wicking properties have been studied extensively. The results showed that, the fibre blend percentage did not have any influence on pressure generation. Air permeability and thermal properties were also not affected. However, water vapor permeability and wicking behavior vary significantly. Increase in nylon percentage increases both the water vapor permeability and wicking. It can be thus concluded that, manufacturers can choose fibre blend percentage according to the requirement.

  10. Reliability of statistic evaluation of microscopic pictures taken from knitted fabrics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehrmann, A.; Blachowicz, T.; Zghidi, H.; Weber, M. O.

    2015-09-01

    One of the techniques which can be used to quantitatively evaluate images statistically is the so-called random-walk approach. The resulting Hurst exponent is a measure of the complexity of the picture. Especially long, fine elements in the image, such as fibres, influence the Hurst exponent significantly. Thus, determination of the Hurst exponent has been suggested as new method to measure the hairiness of yarns or knitted fabrics, since existing hairiness measurement instruments are based on different measurement principles which are not comparable. While the principal usability of this method for hairiness detection has been shown in former projects, the absolute value of the calculated Hurst exponents depends on the technique to take the photographic image of a sample, to transfer it into a monochrome picture, and on possible image processing steps. This article gives an overview of edge detection filters, possible definitions of the threshold value between black and white for the transformation into a monochrome image, etc. It shows how these parameters should be chosen in case of typical textile samples and correlates the challenges of this novel method with well-known problems of common techniques to measure yarn and fabric hairiness.

  11. Do collagen-impregnated knitted Dacron grafts reduce the need for transfusion in infrarenal aortic reconstruction?

    PubMed

    Barral, X; Gay, J L; Favre, J P; Gournier, J P

    1995-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of collagen-impregnated Dacron grafts in patients undergoing infrarenal aortic reconstruction. We therefore prospectively compared two consecutive series of patients undergoing infrarenal aortic reconstruction with Dacron grafts between January 1991 and December 1992. The first group (group A) included 83 high-density knitted prosthetic grafts (Dialine I), whereas the second included 82 grafts of the same type but impregnated with collagen (Dialine II). The two groups were comparable with regard to age, sex, and operative risk factors. They were also comparable in terms of the proportion of patients with occlusive disease or aneurysms, that is, there were 39 and 36 patients with occlusive disease and 44 and 46 patients with aneurysms in groups A and B, respectively. The type of bypass was similar in both groups with 17 and 19 tubular grafts and 66 and 63 bifurcated grafts being inserted in groups A and B, respectively. Thirteen parameters were studied and compared within each group including (1) number of infected grafts, (2) number of postoperative occlusions, (3) maximum postoperative temperature, (4) number of positive postoperative blood cultures, (5) number of postoperative deaths, (6) intraoperative and (7) postoperative quantities of blood transfused, (8) difference between pre- and postoperative hemoglobin concentrations, (9) difference between pre- and postoperative fibrinogen levels, (10) difference between pre- and postoperative platelet counts, (11) duration of aortic clamping, (12) date of return of intestinal function, and (13) mean duration of pre- and postoperative hospital stays.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-10-01

    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.

  14. Electroconductive polymer-coated silk fiber electrodes for neural recording and stimulation in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Satoshi; Takahashi, Hideyuki; Torimitsu, Keiichi

    2017-03-01

    We fabricated a silk-based low-impedance flexible electrode by coating a silk thread with the electroconductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with p-toluenesulfonate (PEDOT:pTS). This electrode had a lower impedance (about 1.8 kΩ/cm) than the silk electrode coated with PEDOT doped with poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) (about 1.3 MΩ/cm) reported previously. Using this electrode, a novel gamma-band oscillatory activity was recorded in the electrocorticogram from the embryonic chick brain with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Electrical stimulation was also possible with the silk electrode. We also fabricated an all-silk electrode array and recorded synchronized gamma oscillations. These results demonstrate that the silk electrode can be used for electrophysiological recording and local stimulation in vivo. The silk electrode has the potential to be used for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes and as a brain–machine interface.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Engineering aqueous fiber assembly into silk-elastin-like protein polymers.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Like; Jiang, Linan; Teng, Weibing; Cappello, Joseph; Zohar, Yitshak; Wu, Xiaoyi

    2014-07-01

    Self-assembled peptide/protein nanofibers are valuable 1D building blocks for creating complex structures with designed properties and functions. It is reported that the self-assembly of silk-elastin-like protein polymers into nanofibers or globular aggregates in aqueous solutions can be modulated by tuning the temperature of the protein solutions, the size of the silk blocks, and the charge of the elastin blocks. A core-sheath model is 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. Furthermore, enhanced hydrophobic interactions between the elastin blocks at elevated temperatures greatly influence the nanoscale features of silk-elastin nanofibers.

  18. 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.

  19. Composition and Humidity Response of the Black Widow Spider's Gumfoot Silk and its Implications on Adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Zhang, Ci; Cool, Lydia Rose; Blackledge, Todd. A.; Wesdemiotis, Chrys; Miyoshi, Toshikazu; Dhinojwala, Ali

    Humidity plays an important part in the performance of biomaterials such as pollen, gecko toe, wheat awns, bird feathers and dragline silk. Capture silk produced by web building spiders form an interesting class of humidity responsive biological glues. The adhesive properties of the widely studied `viscid silk' produced by orbweb-weaving spiders is highly humidity sensitive. On the other hand, relatively less is known about the dependence of composition and humidity response towards adhesion for `gumfoot' silk produced by cobweb-weaving spiders. In the present study, we investigate the gumfoot silk produced by Black Widow using adhesion mechanics, microscopy and spectroscopic methods. The results show the presence of hygroscopic salts, glycoproteins and previously known spider coating peptides in silk and their importance in the humidity response and adhesion. The current study elucidates the role of constituents of capture silk in its adhesion mechanism and offers insights to novel ways for fabricating bio-inspired adhesives.

  20. 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.

  1. Soft magnetic memory of silk cocoon membrane

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Manas; Dubey, Amarish; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Philip, Deepu; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Bajpai, Alok; Das, Mainak

    2016-01-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM), a solid matrix of protein fiber, responds to light, heat and moisture and converts these energies to electrical signals. Essentially it exhibits photo-electric and thermo-electric properties; making it a natural electro-magnetic sensor, which may influence the pupal development. This raises the question: ‘is it only electricity?’, or ‘it also posses some kind of magnetic memory?’ This work attempted to explore the magnetic memory of SCM and confirm its soft magnetism. Fe, Co, Ni, Mn, Gd were found in SCM, in traces, through energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Presence of iron was ascertained by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). In addition, EPR-spectra showed the presence of a stable pool of carbon-centric free radical in the cocoon structure. Carbon-centric free radicals behaves as a soft magnet inherently. Magnetic-Hysteresis (M-H) of SCM confirmed its soft magnetism. It can be concluded that the soft bio-magnetic feature of SCM is due to the entrapment of ferromagnetic elements in a stable pool of carbon centric radicals occurring on the super-coiled protein structure. Natural soft magnets like SCM provide us with models for developing eco-friendly, protein-based biological soft magnets. PMID:27374752

  2. Anti-inflammatory potential of silk sericin.

    PubMed

    Aramwit, Pornanong; Towiwat, Pasarapa; Srichana, Teerapol

    2013-04-01

    Silk sericin was found to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are related to the inflammatory reaction. The objectives of this study were to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of sericin in vivo using the carrageenan-induced rat edema model and changes in the histology of tissues. The effects of sericin on the expression of COX-2 and iNOS were also evaluated. Sericin solutions at 0.004-0.080 mg/mL were applied topically to the top of the hind paw and carrageenan (1.0 mg) was injected subcutaneously to the plantar surface of the right hind paw. Our results indicated that sericin significantly reduced the inflammation in rats' paw compared with the negative control (water and acetone) and its effect at 0.080 mg/mL was only slightly lower than that of 1.0% w/v indomethacin. Similar numbers of polymorphonuclear and macrophage cells were found in rats' tissue treated with indomethacin and sericin solution, while the numbers were significantly higher in their absence. The gene expression results by RT-PCR showed that the COX-2 and iNOS genes were down-regulated in samples treated with sericin in a dose dependent manner. These data indicated that the anti-inflammatory properties of sericin may be partly attributable to the suppression of the COX-2 enzyme and nitric oxide production.

  3. Novel silk fibroin/elastin wound dressings.

    PubMed

    Vasconcelos, Andreia; Gomes, Andreia C; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2012-08-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) and elastin (EL) scaffolds were successfully produced for the first time for the treatment of burn wounds. The self-assembly properties of SF, together with the excellent chemical and mechanical stability and biocompatibility, were combined with elastin protein to produce scaffolds with the ability to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM). Porous scaffolds were obtained by lyophilization and were further crosslinked with genipin (GE). Genipin crosslinking induces the conformational transition from random coil to β-sheet of SF chains, yielding scaffolds with smaller pore size and reduced swelling ratios, degradation and release rates. 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. Wound healing was assessed through the use of human full-thickness skin equivalents (EpidermFT). Standardized burn wounds were induced by a cautery and the best re-epithelialization and the fastest wound closure was obtained in wounds treated with 50SF scaffolds; these contain the highest amount of elastin after 6 days of healing in comparison with other dressings and controls. The cytocompatibility demonstrated with human skin fibroblasts together with the healing improvement make these SF/EL scaffolds suitable for wound dressing applications.

  4. The Consolidation Behavior of Silk Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Kluge, Jonathan A.; Rosiello, Nicholas C.; Leisk, Gary G.; Kaplan, David L.; Dorfmann, A. Luis

    2010-01-01

    Hydrogels have mechanical properties and structural features that are similar to load bearing soft tissues including intervertebral disc and articular cartilage, and can be implanted for tissue restoration or for local release of therapeutic factors. To help predict their performance, mechanical characterization and mathematical modeling are available methods for use in tissue engineering and drug delivery settings. In this study, confined compression creep tests were performed on silk hydrogels, over a range of concentrations, to examine the phenomenological behavior of the gels under a physiological loading scenario. Based on the observed behavior, we show that the time-dependent response can be explained by a consolidation mechanism, and modeled using Biot’s poroelasticity theory. Two observations are in strong support of this modeling framework, namely, the excellent numerical agreement between increasing load step creep data and the linear Terzaghi theory, and the similar values obtained from numerical simulations and direct measurements of the permeability coefficient. The higher concentration gels (8% and 12% w/v) clearly show a strain-stiffening response to creep loading with increasing loads, while the lower concentration gel (4% w/v) does not. A nonlinear elastic constitutive formulation is employed to account for the stiffening. Furthermore, an empirical formulation is used to represent the deformation-dependent permeability. PMID:20142112

  5. Soft magnetic memory of silk cocoon membrane.

    PubMed

    Roy, Manas; Dubey, Amarish; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Philip, Deepu; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Bajpai, Alok; Das, Mainak

    2016-07-04

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM), a solid matrix of protein fiber, responds to light, heat and moisture and converts these energies to electrical signals. Essentially it exhibits photo-electric and thermo-electric properties; making it a natural electro-magnetic sensor, which may influence the pupal development. This raises the question: 'is it only electricity?', or 'it also posses some kind of magnetic memory?' This work attempted to explore the magnetic memory of SCM and confirm its soft magnetism. Fe, Co, Ni, Mn, Gd were found in SCM, in traces, through energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Presence of iron was ascertained by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). In addition, EPR-spectra showed the presence of a stable pool of carbon-centric free radical in the cocoon structure. Carbon-centric free radicals behaves as a soft magnet inherently. Magnetic-Hysteresis (M-H) of SCM confirmed its soft magnetism. It can be concluded that the soft bio-magnetic feature of SCM is due to the entrapment of ferromagnetic elements in a stable pool of carbon centric radicals occurring on the super-coiled protein structure. Natural soft magnets like SCM provide us with models for developing eco-friendly, protein-based biological soft magnets.

  6. Soft magnetic memory of silk cocoon membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Manas; Dubey, Amarish; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Philip, Deepu; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Bajpai, Alok; Das, Mainak

    2016-07-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM), a solid matrix of protein fiber, responds to light, heat and moisture and converts these energies to electrical signals. Essentially it exhibits photo-electric and thermo-electric properties; making it a natural electro-magnetic sensor, which may influence the pupal development. This raises the question: ‘is it only electricity?’, or ‘it also posses some kind of magnetic memory?’ This work attempted to explore the magnetic memory of SCM and confirm its soft magnetism. Fe, Co, Ni, Mn, Gd were found in SCM, in traces, through energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Presence of iron was ascertained by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). In addition, EPR-spectra showed the presence of a stable pool of carbon-centric free radical in the cocoon structure. Carbon-centric free radicals behaves as a soft magnet inherently. Magnetic-Hysteresis (M-H) of SCM confirmed its soft magnetism. It can be concluded that the soft bio-magnetic feature of SCM is due to the entrapment of ferromagnetic elements in a stable pool of carbon centric radicals occurring on the super-coiled protein structure. Natural soft magnets like SCM provide us with models for developing eco-friendly, protein-based biological soft magnets.

  7. 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

  8. Sonication-induced gelation of silk fibroin for cell encapsulation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqin; Kluge, Jonathan A; Leisk, Gary G; Kaplan, David L

    2008-03-01

    Purified native silk fibroin forms beta-sheet-rich, physically cross-linked, 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 beta-sheets by alteration in hydrophobic hydration, thus accelerating the formation of physical cross-links responsible for gel stabilization. K(+) at physiological concentrations and low pH promoted gelation, which was not observed in the presence of Ca(2+). 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 0.5-2 h. 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.

  9. Design and Optimization of Resorbable Silk Internal Fixation Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Dylan S.

    Limitations of current material options for internal fracture fixation devices have resulted in a large gap between user needs and hardware function. Metal systems offer robust mechanical strength and ease of implantation but require secondary surgery for removal and/or result in long-term complications (infection, palpability, sensitivity, etc.). Current resorbable devices eliminate the need for second surgery and long-term complications but are still associated with negative host response as well as limited functionality and more difficult implantation. There is a definitive need for orthopedic hardware that is mechanically capable of immediate fracture stabilization and fracture fixation during healing, can safely biodegrade while allowing complete bone remodeling, can be resterilized for reuse, and is easily implantable (self-tapping). Previous work investigated the use of silk protein to produce resorbable orthopedic hardware for non- load bearing fracture fixation. In this study, silk orthopedic hardware was further investigated and optimized in order to better understand the ability of silk as a fracture fixation system and more closely meet the unfulfilled market needs. Solvent-based and aqueous-based silk processing formulations were cross-linked with methanol to induce beta sheet structure, dried, autoclaved and then machined to the desired device/geometry. Silk hardware was evaluated for dry, hydrated and fatigued (cyclic) mechanical properties, in vitro degradation, resterilization, functionalization with osteoinductive molecules and implantation technique for fracture fixation. Mechanical strength showed minor improvements from previous results, but remains comparable to current resorbable fixation systems with the advantages of self-tapping ability for ease of implantation, full degradation in 10 months, ability to be resterilized and reused, and ability to release molecules for osteoinudction. In vivo assessment confirmed biocompatibility, showed

  10. Drought-induced changes in anthesis-silking interval are related to silk expansion: a spatio-temporal growth analysis in maize plants subjected to soil water deficit.

    PubMed

    Fuad-Hassan, Avan; Tardieu, François; Turc, Olivier

    2008-09-01

    The growth and emergence of maize silks has a considerable importance in yield determination under drought conditions. Spatial and temporal patterns of the rates of tissue expansion and of cell division were characterized in silks of plants subjected to different soil water potentials. In all cases, silk development consisted of four phases: (1) cell division and tissue expansion occurred together uniformly all along the silk; (2) cell division progressively ceased from tip to base, while expansion remained spatially uniform including during the phase (3) after the cessation of cell division; and (4) as the silk emerged from the husks, expansion ceased in the emerged portion, probably because of direct evaporative demand, while the relative growth rate progressively decreased in the enclosed part. The rates of tissue expansion and cell division were reduced with water deficit, resulting in delayed silk emergence. The duration of cell division was not affected, and in all cases, the end of cell division in the silk coincided with anther dehiscence. The duration of phase 3, between the end of cell division and the arrest of cell growth in silk apex, considerably increased with water deficit. It corresponded to the anthesis-silking interval used by breeders to characterize the response of cultivars to stress.

  11. 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 β-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 β-sheet secondary structures similar to spider and silkworm silk fibers. NMR data confirms the presence of β-sheet nanostructures dominated by serine-rich repetitive regions. A deconvolution of the serine Cβ NMR resonance reveals that approximately 70% of all seryl residues exist in a β-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

  12. 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-β-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-β-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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-05

    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.

  14. Shear-induced rigidity in spider silk glands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koski, Kristie J.; McKiernan, Keri; Akhenblit, Paul; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2012-09-01

    We measure the elastic stiffnesses of the concentrated viscous protein solution of the dehydrated Nephila clavipes major ampullate gland with Brillouin light scattering. The glandular material shows no rigidity but possesses a tensile stiffness similar to that of spider silk. We show, however, that with application of a simple static shear, the mechanical properties of the spider gland protein mixture can be altered irreversibly, lowering symmetry and enabling shear waves to be supported, thus, giving rise to rigidity and yielding elastic properties similar to those of the naturally spun (i.e., dynamically sheared) silk.

  15. Structure and Properties of Nephila Clavipes Dragline Silk Polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahoney, David Vincent

    Silk, spun from an aqueous state at room temperature by a variety of organisms, is the most commonly spun extracellular fibrous protein. It comprises polypeptide chains with regions which can crystallize and regions which are predominantly amorphous. The polymer chains in the crystalline regions form anti-parallel pleated sheet structures with an orthorhombic unit cell. Dragline silk is a structural material produced by a variety of spiders. It has been genetically tailored to meet a specific purpose. Dragline silk exhibits high extensibility and tensile strength approaching that of high-strength synthetic fibers. The specific energy to break it can exceed some steels and synthetic fibers. Samples of Nephila clavipes (golden orb-weaver) dragline silk were extracted from live specimens and examined with a series of experimental techniques including optical, scanning electron, and atomic force microscopy, wide and small angle X-ray diffraction and birefringence compensation. Computer modeling of the mechanical properties of the crystallite was also performed. An assortment of features at a variety of length scales was observed by microscopy. These occur on both the as-spun and abraded silk surfaces. The silk was observed to undergo large deformations without evidence of failure, suggesting the absence of a microfibrillar structure. There was no conclusive evidence for either a microfibrillar or a skin core structure. Meridional and equatorial SAXD peaks were observed at Bragg spacings of 79 AA and 250 AA, respectively. Analysis of the WAXD patterns indicated that the silk belongs in Warwicker's category 3b and that the minimum dimensions of the crystals are approximately 38 AA in the molecular direction and 16 x 23 AA in the transverse directions. The crystal modulus was determined with WAXD to be 16.7 GPa, applying the assumption of uniform stress. This is lower than the 200 GPa modulus calculated with molecular modeling. These results and other factors indicate the

  16. Differential scanning fluorimetry illuminates silk feedstock stability and processability.

    PubMed

    Dicko, C; Kasoju, N; Hawkins, N; Vollrath, F

    2016-01-07

    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 (ΔHv) and the instability temperature (Ti). Our analysis shows that the ΔTi and ΔHv values were distinct: G1 (ΔTi = 0.23 ± 0.2; ΔHv = -159.1 ± 5.6 kcal mol(-1)), G2 (ΔTi = -7.3 ± 0.7; ΔHv = -191.4 ± 5.5 kcal mol(-1)), and G3 (ΔTi = -19.9 ± 3.3; ΔHv = -68.8 ± 6.0 kcal mol(-1)). Our analysis further combined the ΔTi value and the ΔHv value using stability ΔΔG to find that G1 only marginally stabilizes native silks (ΔΔG = -0.15 ± 0.04 kcal mol(-1)), whereas G2 and G3 destabilize native silk (ΔΔG = 3.8 ± 0.11 and ΔΔG = 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. The effect of proline on the network structure of major ampullate silks as inferred from their mechanical and optical properties.

    PubMed

    Savage, Ken N; Gosline, John M

    2008-06-01

    The silk that orb-weaving spiders produce for use as dragline and for the frame of the web is spun from the major ampullate (MA) glands, and it is renowned for its exceptional toughness. The fibroins that make up MA silk have previously been organized into two major groupings, spidroin-1 and spidroin-2, based largely on differences in amino acid sequence. The most apparent difference between spidroin-1 and spidroin-2 fibroins is the lack of proline in spidroin-1. The MA silk of Araneus diadematus comprises two spidroin-2 fibroins, and is therefore proline-rich, whereas spidroin-1 is preferentially expressed in Nephila clavipes MA silk, and so this silk is proline deficient. Together, these two silks provide a system for testing the consequences of proline-rich and proline-deficient fibroin networks. This study measures the mechanical and optical properties of dry and hydrated Araneus and Nephila MA silks. Since proline acts to disrupt secondary structure, it is hypothesized that the fibroin network of Araneus MA silk will contain less secondary structure than the network of Nephila MA silk. Mechanical and optical studies clearly support this hypothesis. Although the dry properties of these two silks are indistinguishable, there are large differences between the hydrated silks. Nephila silk does not swell upon hydration to the same degree as Araneus silk. In addition, upon hydration, Nephila MA silk retains more of its initial dry stiffness, and retains more molecular order, as indicated by birefringence measurements.

  4. Effects of different Bombyx mori silkworm varieties on the structural characteristics and properties of silk.

    PubMed

    Chung, Da Eun; Kim, Hyung Hwan; Kim, Moo Kon; Lee, Ki Hoon; Park, Young Hwan; Um, In Chul

    2015-08-01

    Silk has attracted the attention of biomedical researchers because of its good biocompatibility. Although various characteristics of silk are needed for its successful application in biomedical fields, the performance of silk material is limited. Although there are many varieties of Bombyx mori silkworm, the effect of different silkworm varieties on regenerated silk has not been considered in detail. That is, the use of a diverse variety of silkworms has not been considered in non-textile applications resulting in limited performance of silk materials. In this study, the effects of different silkworm varieties on the structural characteristics and properties of silk cocoon and regenerated silk fibroin (SF) were examined. Structural characteristics of silk cocoon including color, fiber diameter, and porosity, differed depending on the silkworm variety. Furthermore, molecular weight, solution viscosity, and mechanical properties of regenerated SF were influenced by the variety of silkworm, while the amino acid composition, β-sheet crystallization by formic acid, and cyto-compatibility of regenerated SF did not differ between the samples from different varieties of silkworm. These results imply that diverse performance of silk can be obtained by controlling the silkworm variety, and that the use of different varieties of silkworm might be a good way to strengthen the performance of silk in biomedical fields.

  5. 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.

  6. Analysis of proteome dynamics inside the silk gland lumen of Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Zhang, Yan; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Xiaolu; Guo, Pengchao; Wang, Dandan; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland is the only organ where silk proteins are synthesized and secreted in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Silk proteins are stored in the lumen of the silk gland for around eight days during the fifth instar. Determining their dynamic changes is helpful for clarifying the secretion mechanism of silk proteins. Here, we identified the proteome in the silk gland lumen using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and demonstrated its changes during two key stages. From day 5 of the fifth instar to day 1 of wandering, the abundances of fibroins, sericins, seroins, and proteins of unknown functions increased significantly in different compartments of the silk gland lumen. As a result, these accumulated proteins constituted the major cocoon components. In contrast, the abundances of enzymes and extracellular matrix proteins decreased in the silk gland lumen, suggesting that they were not the structural constituents of silk. Twenty-five enzymes may be involved in the regulation of hormone metabolism for proper silk gland function. In addition, the metabolism of other non-proteinous components such as chitin and pigment were also discussed in this study. PMID:27102218

  7. Thermal Performance Testing of Cryogenic Multilayer Insulation with Silk Net Spacers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, W. L.; Frank, D. J.; Nast, T. C.; Fesmire, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    Early comprehensive testing of cryogenic multilayer insulation focused on the use of silk netting as a spacer material. Silk netting was used for multiple test campaigns that were designed to provide baseline thermal performance estimates for cryogenic insulation systems. As more focus was put on larger systems, the cost of silk netting became a deterrent and most aerospace insulation firms were using Dacron (or polyester) netting spacers by the early 1970s. In the midst of the switch away from silk netting there was no attempt to understand the difference between silk and polyester netting, though it was widely believed that the silk netting provided slightly better performance. Without any better reference for thermal performance data, the silk netting performance correlations continued to be used. In order to attempt to quantify the difference between the silk netting and polyester netting, a brief test program was developed. The silk netting material was obtained from Lockheed Martin and was tested on the Cryostat-100 instrument in three different configurations, 20 layers with both single and double netting and 10 layers with single netting only. The data show agreement within 15 - 30% with the historical silk netting based correlations and show a substantial performance improvement when compared to previous testing performed using polyester netting and aluminum foil/fiberglass paper multilayer insulation. Additionally, the data further reinforce a recently observed trend that the heat flux is not directly proportional to the number of layers installed on a system.

  8. Blueprint for a High-Performance Biomaterial: Full-Length Spider Dragline Silk Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ayoub, Nadia A.; Garb, Jessica E.; Tinghitella, Robin M.; Collin, Matthew A.; Hayashi, Cheryl Y.

    2007-01-01

    Spider dragline (major ampullate) silk outperforms virtually all other natural and manmade materials in terms of tensile strength and toughness. For this reason, the mass-production of artificial spider silks through transgenic technologies has been a major goal of biomimetics research. Although all known arthropod silk proteins are extremely large (>200 kiloDaltons), recombinant spider silks have been designed from short and incomplete cDNAs, the only available sequences. Here we describe the first full-length spider silk gene sequences and their flanking regions. These genes encode the MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins that compose the black widow's high-performance dragline silk. Each gene includes a single enormous exon (>9000 base pairs) that translates into a highly repetitive polypeptide. Patterns of variation among sequence repeats at the amino acid and nucleotide levels indicate that the interaction of selection, intergenic recombination, and intragenic recombination governs the evolution of these highly unusual, modular proteins. Phylogenetic footprinting revealed putative regulatory elements in non-coding flanking sequences. Conservation of both upstream and downstream flanking sequences was especially striking between the two paralogous black widow major ampullate silk genes. Because these genes are co-expressed within the same silk gland, there may have been selection for similarity in regulatory regions. Our new data provide complete templates for synthesis of recombinant silk proteins that significantly improve the degree to which artificial silks mimic natural spider dragline fibers. PMID:17565367

  9. Analysis of proteome dynamics inside the silk gland lumen of Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Zhang, Yan; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Xiaolu; Guo, Pengchao; Wang, Dandan; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-04-22

    The silk gland is the only organ where silk proteins are synthesized and secreted in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Silk proteins are stored in the lumen of the silk gland for around eight days during the fifth instar. Determining their dynamic changes is helpful for clarifying the secretion mechanism of silk proteins. Here, we identified the proteome in the silk gland lumen using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and demonstrated its changes during two key stages. From day 5 of the fifth instar to day 1 of wandering, the abundances of fibroins, sericins, seroins, and proteins of unknown functions increased significantly in different compartments of the silk gland lumen. As a result, these accumulated proteins constituted the major cocoon components. In contrast, the abundances of enzymes and extracellular matrix proteins decreased in the silk gland lumen, suggesting that they were not the structural constituents of silk. Twenty-five enzymes may be involved in the regulation of hormone metabolism for proper silk gland function. In addition, the metabolism of other non-proteinous components such as chitin and pigment were also discussed in this study.

  10. Seed Treatment. Bulletin 760.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowery, Harvey C.

    This manual gives a definition of seed treatment, the types of seeds normally treated, diseases and insects commonly associated with seeds, fungicides and insecticides used, types of equipment used for seed treatment, and information on labeling and coloring of treated seed, pesticide carriers, binders, stickers, and safety precautions. (BB)

  11. Seed Treatment. Manual 92.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the seed treatment category. The text discusses pests commonly associated with seeds; seed treatment pesticides; labels; chemicals and seed treatment equipment; requirements of federal and state seed laws;…

  12. Relationships between physical properties and sequence in silkworm silks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malay, Ali D.; Sato, Ryota; Yazawa, Kenjiro; Watanabe, Hiroe; Ifuku, Nao; Masunaga, Hiroyasu; Hikima, Takaaki; Guan, Juan; Mandal, Biman B.; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Numata, Keiji

    2016-06-01

    Silk has attracted widespread attention due to its superlative material properties and promising applications. However, the determinants behind the variations in material properties among different types of silk are not well understood. We analysed the physical properties of silk samples from a variety of silkmoth cocoons, including domesticated Bombyx mori varieties and several species from Saturniidae. Tensile deformation tests, thermal analyses, and investigations on crystalline structure and orientation of the fibres were performed. The results showed that saturniid silks produce more highly-defined structural transitions compared to B. mori, as seen in the yielding and strain hardening events during tensile deformation and in the changes observed during thermal analyses. These observations were analysed in terms of the constituent fibroin sequences, which in B. mori are predicted to produce heterogeneous structures, whereas the strictly modular repeats of the saturniid sequences are hypothesized to produce structures that respond in a concerted manner. Within saturniid fibroins, thermal stability was found to correlate with the abundance of poly-alanine residues, whereas differences in fibre extensibility can be related to varying ratios of GGX motifs versus bulky hydrophobic residues in the amorphous phase.

  13. Processing, Properties and Morphology of Optical Limiting Silk Membranes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-11

    films of regenerated B. Mori silk doped with GFP Cocoons were degummed to remove the glue-like sericin proteins. Degumming was accomplished by boiling...just before spinning and rinsed with deionized water. The membrane was removed from the gland and the sericin was washed from the surface of the

  14. Electroantennography of silk flies, a crucial step for semiochemical investigations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract Electroantennography of silk flies, a crucial step for semiochemical investigations D. Owens1, G. Nuessly1, P. E. Kendra2, D. Seal3, T. Colquhoun4, and D. Hahn4 1University of Florida, Belle Glade, FL 2USDA-ARS, Miami, FL 3University of Florida, Homestead, FL 4University of Florida, Gaines...

  15. 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…

  16. 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) β-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 β-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

  17. 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...

  18. Visual responses of corn silk flies (Diptera: Ulidiidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn silk flies are major pests impacting fresh market sweet corn production in Florida and Georgia. Control depends solely on well-times applications of insecticides to protect corn ear development. Surveillance depends on visual inspection of ears with no effective trapping methods currently ava...

  19. Relationships between physical properties and sequence in silkworm silks

    PubMed Central

    Malay, Ali D.; Sato, Ryota; Yazawa, Kenjiro; Watanabe, Hiroe; Ifuku, Nao; Masunaga, Hiroyasu; Hikima, Takaaki; Guan, Juan; Mandal, Biman B.; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Numata, Keiji

    2016-01-01

    Silk has attracted widespread attention due to its superlative material properties and promising applications. However, the determinants behind the variations in material properties among different types of silk are not well understood. We analysed the physical properties of silk samples from a variety of silkmoth cocoons, including domesticated Bombyx mori varieties and several species from Saturniidae. Tensile deformation tests, thermal analyses, and investigations on crystalline structure and orientation of the fibres were performed. The results showed that saturniid silks produce more highly-defined structural transitions compared to B. mori, as seen in the yielding and strain hardening events during tensile deformation and in the changes observed during thermal analyses. These observations were analysed in terms of the constituent fibroin sequences, which in B. mori are predicted to produce heterogeneous structures, whereas the strictly modular repeats of the saturniid sequences are hypothesized to produce structures that respond in a concerted manner. Within saturniid fibroins, thermal stability was found to correlate with the abundance of poly-alanine residues, whereas differences in fibre extensibility can be related to varying ratios of GGX motifs versus bulky hydrophobic residues in the amorphous phase. PMID:27279149

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J.

    2012-02-01

    The exceptional mechanical properties of hierarchical self-assembling silk biopolymers have been extensively studied experimentally and in computational investigations. A series of recent studies has been conducted to examine structure-function relationships across different length scales in silk, ranging from atomistic models of protein constituents to the spider web architecture. Silk is an exemplary natural material because its superior properties stem intrinsically from the synergistic cooperativity of hierarchically organized components, rather than from the superior properties of the building blocks themselves. It is composed of beta-sheet nanocrystals interspersed within less orderly amorphous domains, where the underlying molecular structure is dominated by weak hydrogen bonding. Protein chains are organized into fibrils, which pack together to form threads of a spider web. In this article we survey multiscale studies spanning length scales from angstroms to centimeters, from the amino acid sequence defining silk components to an atomistically derived spider web model, with the aim to bridge varying levels of hierarchy to elucidate the mechanisms by which structure at each composite level contributes to organization and material phenomena at subsequent levels. The work demonstrates that the web is a highly adapted system where both material and hierarchical structure across all length scales is critical for its functional properties.

  1. Viscous friction between crystalline and amorphous phase of dragline silk.

    PubMed

    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 10(2) Ns/m(2) 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.

  2. 11. SOUTH FACADE (FRONT) OF AN OPERATOR'S COTTAGE ON SILK ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    11. SOUTH FACADE (FRONT) OF AN OPERATOR'S COTTAGE ON SILK STOCKING ROW. THESE COTTAGES WERE THE FIRST PERMANENT HOUSING CONSTRUCTED ON THE SKAGIT AND FOR MANY YEARS WERE CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEST. THEY WERE RESERVED FOR POWERHOUSE OPERATORS AND SUPERVISORS AND THEIR FAMILIES, 1989. - Skagit Power Development, Skagit River & Newhalem Creek Hydroelectric Project, On Skagit River, Newhalem, Whatcom County, WA

  3. Flexible Silk-Inorganic Nanocomposites: From Transparent to Highly Reflective

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-16

    assembly. The organized assembly of the silk fibroin with clay ( montmorillonite ) nanosheets results in highly transparent nanoscale films with...mechanical and optical properties of the nanocomposites. For that purpose we utilized individually dispersed, aluminosilicate layers of montmorillonite (MMT...to the thickness of an individual aluminosilicate layer of montmorillonite ,[43] and indicates that monolayer formation occurs upon adsorption (Fig. 2a

  4. Characterization of the protein components of Nephila clavipes dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Sponner, Alexander; Schlott, Bernhard; Vollrath, Fritz; Unger, Eberhard; Grosse, Frank; Weisshart, Klaus

    2005-03-29

    Spider silk is predominantly composed of structural proteins called spider fibroins or spidroins. The major ampullate silk that forms the dragline and the cobweb's frame threads of Nephila clavipes is believed to be a composite of two spidroins, designated as Masp 1 and 2. Specific antibodies indeed revealed the presence of Masp 1 and 2 specific epitopes in the spinning dope and solubilized threads. In contrast, sequencing of specific peptides obtained from solubilized threads or gland urea extracts were exclusively homologous to segments of Masp 1, suggesting that this protein is more abundantly expressed in silk than Masp 2. The strength of immunoreactivities corroborated this finding. Polypeptides reactive against both Masp 1 and 2 specific antibodies were found to be expressed in the epithelia of the tail and different gland zones and accumulated in the gland secreted material. Both extracts of gland secretion and solubilized threads showed a ladder of polypeptides in the size range of 260-320 kDa in gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions, whereas gel filtration chromatography yielded molecular masses of the proteins of approximately 300-350 kDa. In the absence of a reducing agent, dimeric forms of the spidroins were observed with estimated molecular masses of 420-480 kDa according to gel electrophoresis and 550-650 kDa as determined by gel filtration chromatography. Depending on the preparation, some silk material readily underwent degradation, and polypeptides down to 20 kDa in size and less were detectable.

  5. 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 §...

  6. 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 §...

  7. 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 §...

  8. 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 §...

  9. 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 §...

  10. 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)

  11. Conductive Polymer Combined Silk Fiber Bundle for Bioelectrical Signal Recording

    PubMed Central

    Tsukada, Shingo; Nakashima, Hiroshi; Torimitsu, Keiichi

    2012-01-01

    Electrode materials for recording biomedical signals, such as electrocardiography (ECG), electroencephalography (EEG) and evoked potentials data, are expected to be soft, hydrophilic and electroconductive to minimize the stress imposed on living tissue, especially during long-term monitoring. We have developed and characterized string-shaped electrodes made from conductive polymer with silk fiber bundles (thread), which offer a new biocompatible stress free interface with living tissue in both wet and dry conditions. An electroconductive polyelectrolyte, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) -poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT-PSS) was electrochemically combined with silk thread made from natural Bombyx mori. The polymer composite 280 µm thread exhibited a conductivity of 0.00117 S/cm (which corresponds to a DC resistance of 2.62 Mohm/cm). The addition of glycerol to the PEDOT-PSS silk thread improved the conductivity to 0.102 S/cm (20.6 kohm/cm). The wettability of PEDOT-PSS was controlled with glycerol, which improved its durability in water and washing cycles. The glycerol treated PEDOT-PSS silk thread showed a tensile strength of 1000 cN in both wet and dry states. Without using any electrolytes, pastes or solutions, the thread directly collects electrical signals from living tissue and transmits them through metal cables. ECG, EEG, and sensory evoked potential (SEP) signals were recorded from experimental animals by using this thread placed on the skin. PEDOT-PSS silk glycerol composite thread offers a new class of biocompatible electrodes in the field of biomedical and health promotion that does not induce stress in the subjects. PMID:22493670

  12. Effect of residual sericin on the structural characteristics and properties of regenerated silk films.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ji Hye; Song, Dae Woong; Park, Young Hwan; Um, In Chul

    2016-08-01

    Regenerated silk film has been increasingly attracting the research community's attention for biomedical applications due to its good biocompatibility and excellent cyto-compatibility. However, some limitations regarding its mechanical properties, such as brittleness, have restricted the use of silk films for industrial biomedical applications. In this study, regenerated silk films with different residual sericin content were prepared applying controlled degumming conditions to evaluate the effect of sericin content on the structure and properties of the films generated. When the residual sericin content increased to 0.6%, crystallinity index and breaking strength of silk films were increased. Above this value, these parameters then decreased. A 1.5 fold increase of silk film elongation properties was obtained when incorporating 16% sericin. Regardless of sericin content, all regenerated silk films showed excellent cyto-compatibility, comparable to the one obtained with tissue culture plates.

  13. 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

  14. Orientational order of Australian spider silks as determined by solid-state NMR.

    PubMed

    Bonev, B; Grieve, S; Herberstein, M E; Kishore, A I; Watts, A; Separovic, F

    2006-06-05

    A simple solid-state NMR method was used to study the structure of (13)C- and (15)N-enriched silk from two Australian orb-web spider species, Nephila edulis and Argiope keyserlingi. Carbon-13 and (15)N spectra from alanine- or glycine-labeled oriented dragline silks were acquired with the fiber axis aligned parallel or perpendicular to the magnetic field. The fraction of oriented component was determined from each amino acid, alanine and glycine, using each nucleus independently, and attributed to the ordered crystalline domains in the silk. The relative fraction of ordered alanine was found to be higher than the fraction of ordered glycine, akin to the observation of alanine-rich domains in silk-worm (Bombyx mori) silk. A higher degree of crystallinity was observed in the dragline silk of N. edulis compared with A. keyserlingi, which correlates with the superior mechanical properties of the former.

  15. Spider silks from plants - a challenge to create native-sized spidroins.

    PubMed

    Hauptmann, Valeska; Weichert, Nicola; Rakhimova, Marziya; Conrad, Udo

    2013-10-01

    Silk threads from spiders exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties, such as superior toughness and elasticity. Spider silks consist of several different large repetitive proteins that act as the basic materials responsible for these outstanding features. The production of spider silk protein variants in plants opens up new horizons in the production and functional investigation that enable the use of spider silks in innovative material development, nanotechnology and biomedicine in the future. This review summarizes and discusses production of spider silk protein variants in plants, especially with regards to plant expression systems, purification strategies, and characteristics of spider silk variants. Furthermore, the challenge of producing native-sized recombinant spidroins in planta is outlined, presenting three different strategies for achieving these high repetitive proteins with the help of non-repetitive C-terminal domains, crosslinking transglutaminase, and self-linking inteins. The potential of these fascinating proteins in medicine is also highlighted.

  16. Fabrication of CeO2 nanoparticle-modified silk for UV protection and antibacterial applications.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhisong; Mao, Cuiping; Meng, Mei; Liu, Sangui; Tian, Yunli; Yu, Ling; Sun, Bai; Li, Chang Ming

    2014-12-01

    To endow silk with UV-shielding ability and antibacterial activity, CeO2 nanoparticles were immobilized on silk surface via a dip-coating approach without changing silk structure. Surface density of the nanoparticles could be easily adjusted by controlling the number of dip-coating cycle. Enhanced thermal stability of the modified silk is exhibited in thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and derivative thermogravimetric analysis (DTG). The excellent UV-protection ability and antibacterial property of the CeO2 nanoparticle-coated silk are demonstrated in UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and colony-forming capability test, respectively. Based on the data, it can be concluded that CeO2 nanoparticles could be used as a very promising coating material to modify silk for UV-protection and antibacterial applications.

  17. The effect of fabric structure on the mechanical properties of warp knitted surgical mesh for hernia repair.

    PubMed

    Mirjavan, Mohammad; Asayesh, Azita; Asgharian Jeddi, Ali Asghar

    2017-02-01

    Surgical mesh is being used for healing hernia, pelvic organ prolapse, skull injuries and urinary incontinence. In this research the effect of fabric structure on the mechanical properties of warp knitted surgical meshes in comparison to abdominal fascia has been investigated. For this purpose, warp knitted surgical mesh with five different structures (Tricot, Pin-hole-net, quasi-Sandfly, Sandfly and quasi-Marquissite) were produced using polypropylene monofilament. Thereafter, their mechanical properties such as uniaxial tensile behavior in various directions (wale-wise (90°), course-wise (0°) and diagonal (45°)), bending resistance and crease recovery were analyzed. The meshes demonstrated different elastic modulus in various directions, which can be attributed to the pore shape (pore angle) and underlap angle in the structure of mesh. Except Pin-hole-net mesh, other produced meshes exhibited better level of orthotropy in comparison to abdominal fascia. The most flexible mesh in both wale-wise and course-wise directions was quasi-Sandfly and thereafter quasi-Marquissite. Tricot and Pin-hole-net manifested the highest crease recovery in wale-wise and coursewise directions respectively. The most desirable mesh in terms of porosity was quasi-Marquissite mesh. Overall, the quasi-Marquissite mesh was selected as the most suitable surgical mesh considering all advantages and disadvantages of each produced mesh in this study.

  18. Physical properties and dyeability of silk fibers degummed with citric acid.

    PubMed

    Khan, Majibur Rahman; Tsukada, Masuhiro; Gotoh, Yasuo; Morikawa, Hideaki; Freddi, Giuliano; Shiozaki, Hideki

    2010-11-01

    Silk fibers from Bombyx mori silkworm was degummed with different concentration of citric acid, and the physical properties and fine structure were investigated to elucidate the effects of citric acid treatment. The silk sericin removal percentage was almost 100% after degumming with 30% citric acid which resulted in a total weight loss of 25.4% in the silk fibers. The surface morphology of silk fiber degummed with citric acid was very smooth and fine, showed perfect degumming like traditional soap-alkali method. The tensile strength of silk fiber was increased after degumming with citric acid (507MPa), where as the traditional soap-alkali method causes to decrease the strength about half of the control silk fiber (250MPa). The molecular conformation estimated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the crystalline structure evaluated from X-ray diffraction curve stayed unchanged regardless of the degumming with citric acid and soap. The dye uptake percentage of silk fiber degummed with citric acid decreased slightly, about 4.2%. On the other hand, the dye uptake percentage of silk degummed with soap was higher which indicates the disordering of the molecular orientation of the laterally ordered structure, accompanied with the partial hydrolysis of silk fibroin molecules by the alkali action of soap. The thermal properties were greatly enhanced by soap and citric acid degumming agents. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis showed silk degummed with citric acid is more stable in higher temperature than that of soap. With heating at above 300 degrees C, the silk degummed with citric acid shows an increase in storage modulus and an onset of tan delta peaks at 325 degrees C and the melt flow of the sample was inhibited. The degumming of silk fibers with citric acid is safe and the results obtained are quite promising as a basis for possible future industrial application.

  19. Cross-linking in the silks of bees, ants and hornets.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Peter M; Trueman, Holly E; Zhang, Qiang; Kojima, Katsura; Kameda, Tsunenori; Sutherland, Tara D

    2014-05-01

    Silk production is integral to the construction of nests or cocoons for many Aculeata, stinging Hymenopterans such as ants, bees and wasps. Here we report the sequences of new aculeate silk proteins and compare cross-linking among nine native silks from three bee species (Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris and Megachile rotundata), three ant species (Myrmecia forficata, Oecophylla smaragdina and Harpegnathos saltator) and three hornets (Vespa analis, Vespa simillima and Vespa mandarinia). The well studied silks of spiders and silkworms are comprised of large proteins that are cross-linked and stabilized predominantly by intra and intermolecular beta sheet structure. In contrast, the aculeate silks are comprised of relatively small proteins that contain central coiled coil domains and comparatively reduced amounts of beta sheet structure. The hornet silks, which have the most beta sheet structure and the greatest amount of amino acid sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, dissolve in concentrated LiBr solution and appear to be stabilized predominantly by beta sheet structure like the classic silks. In contrast, the ant and bee silks, which have less beta sheet and less sequence outside the coiled-coil domains, could not be dissolved in LiBr and appear to be predominantly stabilized by covalent cross-linking. The iso-peptide cross-linker, ε-(γ-glutamyl)-lysine that is produced by transglutaminase enzymes, was demonstrated to be present in all silks by mass spectrometry, but at greater levels in silks of ants and bees. The bee silks and ant cocoons, but not the Oecophylla nest silks, appeared to be further stabilized by tanning reactions.

  20. Effect of sequence features on assembly of spider silk block copolymers.

    PubMed

    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

    2014-06-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Segmented nanofibers of spider dragline silk: Atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Oroudjev, E.; Soares, J.; Arcidiacono, S.; Thompson, J. B.; Fossey, S. A.; Hansma, H. G.

    2002-01-01

    Despite its remarkable materials properties, the structure of spider dragline silk has remained unsolved. Results from two probe microscopy techniques provide new insights into the structure of spider dragline silk. A soluble synthetic protein from dragline silk spontaneously forms nanofibers, as observed by atomic force microscopy. These nanofibers have a segmented substructure. The segment length and amino acid sequence are consistent with a slab-like shape for individual silk protein molecules. The height and width of nanofiber segments suggest a stacking pattern of slab-like molecules in each nanofiber segment. This stacking pattern produces nano-crystals in an amorphous matrix, as observed previously by NMR and x-ray diffraction of spider dragline silk. The possible importance of nanofiber formation to native silk production is discussed. Force spectra for single molecules of the silk protein demonstrate that this protein unfolds through a number of rupture events, indicating a modular substructure within single silk protein molecules. A minimal unfolding module size is estimated to be around 14 nm, which corresponds to the extended length of a single repeated module, 38 amino acids long. The structure of this spider silk protein is distinctly different from the structures of other proteins that have been analyzed by single-molecule force spectroscopy, and the force spectra show correspondingly novel features. PMID:11959907

  3. Novel silk fibroin films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method.

    PubMed

    Ming, Jinfa; Liu, Zhi; Bie, Shiyu; Zhang, Feng; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-04-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin from the silkworm was firstly found to be soluble in formic acid/hydroxyapatite system. The rheological behavior of silk fibroin solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents in dissolved solution. At the same time, silk fibroin nanofibers were observed in dissolved solution with 103.6±20.4nm in diameter. Moreover, the structure behavior of SF films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method was examined. The secondary structure of silk fibroin films was attributed to silk II structure (β-sheet), indicating that the hydroxyapatite contents in dissolved solution were not significantly affected by the structure of silk fibroin. The X-ray diffraction results exhibited obviously hydroxyapatite crystalline nature existing in silk fibroin films; however, when the hydroxyapatite content was 5.0wt.% in dissolved solution, some hydroxyapatite crystals were converted to calcium hydrogen phosphate dehydrate in silk fibroin dissolution process. This result was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis and DSC measurement. In addition, silk fibroin films prepared by this dissolution method had higher breaking strength and extension at break. Based on these analyses, an understanding of novel SF dissolution method may provide an additional tool for designing and synthesizing advanced materials with more complex structures, which should be helpful in different fields, including biomaterial applications.

  4. Silk-pectin hydrogel with superior mechanical properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility.

    PubMed

    Numata, Keiji; Yamazaki, Shoya; Katashima, Takuya; Chuah, Jo-Ann; Naga, Naofumi; Sakai, Takamasa

    2014-06-01

    A new method is developed to prepare silk hydrogels and silk-pectin hydrogels via dialysis against methanol to obtain hydrogels with high concentrations of silk fibroin. The relationship between the mechanical and biological properties and the structure of the silk-pectin hydrogels is subsequently evaluated. The present results suggest that pectin associates with silk molecules when the silk concentration exceeds 15 wt%, suggesting that a silk concentration of over 15 wt% is critical to construct interacting silk-pectin networks. The silk-pectin hydrogel reported here is composed of a heterogeneous network, which is different from fiber-reinforced, interpenetrated networks and double-network hydrogels, as well as high-stiffness hydrogels (elastic modulus of 4.7 ± 0.9 MPa, elastic stress limit of 3.9 ± 0.1 MPa, and elastic strain limit of 48.4 ± 0.5%) with regard to biocompatibility and biodegradability.

  5. 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-Ω−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

  6. Investigating the transverse optical structure of spider silk micro-fibers using quantitative optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Douglas J.; Kane, Deb M.

    2016-10-01

    The transverse optical structure of two orb-weaver (family Araneidae) spider dragline silks was investigated using a variant of the inverse-scattering technique. Immersing the silks in a closely refractive index-matched liquid, the minimum achievable image contrast was greater than expected for an optically homogeneous silk, given what is currently known about the optical absorption of these silks. This "excess contrast" indicated the presence of transverse optical structure within the spider silk. Applying electromagnetic scattering theory to a transparent double cylinder, the minimum achievable irradiance contrast for the Plebs eburnus and Argiope keyserlingi dragline silks was determined to be consistent with step index refractive index contrasts of 1-4×10-4 and 6-7×10-4, respectively, supposing outer-layer thicknesses consistent with previous TEM studies (50 nm and 100 nm, respectively). The possibility of graded index refractive index contrasts within the spider silks is also discussed. This is the strongest evidence, to date, that there is a refractive index contrast associated with the layered morphology of spider silks and/or variation of proportion of nanocrystalline components within the spider silk structure. The method is more generally applicable to optical micro-fibers, including those with refractive index variations on a sub-wavelength scale.

  7. Investigating the transverse optical structure of spider silk micro-fibers using quantitative optical microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Little, Douglas J.; Kane, Deb M.

    2017-01-01

    The transverse optical structure of two orb-weaver (family Araneidae) spider dragline silks was investigated using a variant of the inverse-scattering technique. Immersing the silks in a closely refractive index-matched liquid, the minimum achievable image contrast was greater than expected for an optically homogeneous silk, given what is currently known about the optical absorption of these silks. This "excess contrast" indicated the presence of transverse optical structure within the spider silk. Applying electromagnetic scattering theory to a transparent double cylinder, the minimum achievable irradiance contrast for the Plebs eburnus and Argiope keyserlingi dragline silks was determined to be consistent with step index refractive index contrasts of 1-4×10-4 and 6-7×10-4, respectively, supposing outer-layer thicknesses consistent with previous TEM studies (50 nm and 100 nm, respectively). The possibility of graded index refractive index contrasts within the spider silks is also discussed. This is the strongest evidence, to date, that there is a refractive index contrast associated with the layered morphology of spider silks and/or variation of proportion of nanocrystalline components within the spider silk structure. The method is more generally applicable to optical micro-fibers, including those with refractive index variations on a sub-wavelength scale.

  8. The chemical structure and the crystalline structures of Bombyx mori silk fibroin.

    PubMed

    Lotz, B; Colonna Cesari, F

    1979-01-01

    Some recent data (i.e. published in the last ten years) on the chemical and crystalline structures of B. mori silk are reviewed. The main emphasis is put on the crystallizable portion of silk fibroin, including its chemical constitution and its molecular conformation (at the crystallographic unit-cell level) in the two crystalline modifications : the beta pleated sheet and the silk I structures. The structural aspects are based on a discussion of X-ray and electron diffraction data, and on conformational energy analyses of a model (Ala-Gly)n polypeptide of silk fibroin.

  9. Molecular architecture and evolution of a modular spider silk protein gene.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, C Y; Lewis, R V

    2000-02-25

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  10. Vibrational infrared conformational studies of model peptides representing the semicrystalline domains of Bombyx mori silk fibroin.

    PubMed

    Taddei, Paola; Monti, Patrizia

    2005-08-05

    The structural organization of Bombyx mori silk fibroin was investigated by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. To this aim, (AG)15 and other model peptides of varying chain length, containing tyrosine (Y), valine (V), and serine (S) in the basic (AG)n sequence were synthesized by the solid phase method and their spectroscopic properties were determined. Both the position and the relative content of Y, V, and S residues in the (AG)n model system appeared critical in determining the preferred conformation, i.e., silk I, silk II, and unordered structures. Curve fitting analysis in the amide I range showed that the model peptides with prevailing silk II structure displayed different beta-sheet content, which was dependent on the degree of interruption of the (AG)n sequence. In this regard, the bands at about 1000 and 980 cm(-1), specifically assigned to the AG sequence of the B. mori silk fibroin chain, were identified as marker of the degree of interruption of the (AG)n sequence.A stable silk I structure was observed only when the Y residue was located near the chain terminus, while a silk I --> silk II conformational transition occurred when it was positioned in the central region of the peptide. Analysis of the second-derivative spectra in the amide I range allowed us to identify a band at 1639 cm(-1) (4 --> 1 hydrogen-bonded type II beta-turns), which is characteristic of the silk I conformation.

  11. Fabrication of duck's feet collagen-silk hybrid biomaterial for tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo Hyeon; Park, Hae Sang; Lee, Ok Joo; Chao, Janet Ren; Park, Hyun Jung; Lee, Jung Min; Ju, Hyung Woo; Moon, Bo Mi; Park, Ye Ri; Song, Jeong Eun; Khang, Gilson; Park, Chan Hum

    2016-04-01

    Collagen constituting the extracellular matrix has been widely used as biocompatible material for human use. In this study, we have selected duck's feet for extracting collagen. A simple method not utilizing harsh chemical had been employed to extract collagen from duck's feet. We fabricated duck's feet collagen/silk hybrid scaffold for the purpose of modifying the degradation rate of duck's feet collagen. This study suggests that extracted collagen from duck's feet is biocompatible and resembles collagen extracted from porcine which is commercially used. Duck's feet collagen is also economically feasible and it could therefore be a good candidate as a tissue engineering material. Further, addition of silk to fabricate a duck's feet collagen/silk hybrid scaffold could enhance the biostability of duck's feet collagen scaffold. Duck's feet collagen/silk scaffold increased the cell viability compared to silk alone. Animal studies also showed that duck's feet collagen/silk scaffold was more biocompatible than silk alone and more biostable than duck's feet or porcine collagen alone. Additionally, the results revealed that duck's feet collagen/silk hybrid scaffold had high porosity, cell infiltration and proliferation. We suggest that duck's feet collagen/silk hybrid scaffold could be used as a dermal substitution for full thickness skin defects.

  12. A microporous silk carbon-ionic liquid composite for the electrochemical sensing of dopamine.

    PubMed

    Wang, Min; Bai, Lu; Zhang, Lingling; Sun, Guangping; Zhang, Xiaowei; Dong, Shaojun

    2016-04-21

    Porous silk carbon (Silk C) was obtained through carbonization and KOH activation of natural silk cocoons. The as-prepared Silk C presented the good characteristics of a large surface area (SBET: 2854.53 m(2) g(-1)) and a high volume of pores (1.54 cm(3) g(-1)) with uniform micropores (2.5 nm) and multiple defects. The metal-free silk carbon-ionic liquid (Silk C-IL) composite, synthesized by modifying Silk C with ionic liquid through non-covalent (π-π) interactions under grinding conditions, was prepared for electrochemical determination of dopamine (DA). The detection limit of DA was 79 nM (S/N = 3) with a linear range from 0.6 μM to 140 μM. Meanwhile, the as-made Silk C-IL/GCE presented good selectivity for DA detection from other possible interferences, such as ascorbic acid, glucose and uric acid. Furthermore, the Silk C-IL/GCE was also successfully used for the detection of DA in fetal bovine serum and dopamine hydrochloride injection samples.

  13. 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-Ω-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.

  14. Molecular Architecture and Evolution of a Modular Spider Silk Protein Gene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y.; Lewis, Randolph V.

    2000-02-01

    Spider flagelliform silk is one of the most elastic natural materials known. Extensive sequencing of spider silk genes has shown that the exons and introns of the flagelliform gene underwent intragenic concerted evolution. The intron sequences are more homogenized within a species than are the exons. This pattern can be explained by extreme mutation and recombination pressures on the internally repetitive exons. The iterated sequences within exons encode protein structures that are critical to the function of silks. Therefore, attributes that make silks exceptional biomaterials may also hinder the fixation of optimally adapted protein sequences.

  15. 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

    2015-10-16

    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)-Ω(-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.

  16. Preparation of hexagonal GeO₂ particles with particle size and crystallinity controlled by peptides, silk and silk-peptide chimeras.

    PubMed

    Boix, Estefania; Puddu, Valeria; Perry, Carole C

    2014-11-28

    We demonstrate the use of silk based proteins to control the particle/crystallite size during GeO2 formation, using a bio-mimetic approach at circumneutral pH and ambient temperature. Multicrystalline GeO2 was prepared from germanium tetraethoxide (TEOG) in the presence of different silk-based proteins: Bombyx mori silk (native silk) and two chimeric proteins prepared by linking a germania binding peptide (Ge28: HATGTHGLSLSH) with Bombyx mori silk via chemical coupling at different peptide loadings (silk-Ge28 10% and silk-Ge28 50%). The mineralisation activity of the silk-based proteins was compared with that of peptide Ge28 as a control system. GeO2 mineralisation was investigated in water and in citric acid/bis-tris propane buffer at pH 6. Morphology, particle size, crystallinity, water and organic content of the materials obtained were analysed to study the effect of added biomolecules and mineralisation environment on material properties. In the presence of silk additives well-defined cube-shape hybrid materials composed of hexagonal germania and up to ca. 5 wt% organic content were obtained. The cubic particles ranged from 0.4 to 1.4 μm in size and were composed of crystalline domains in the range 35-106 nm depending on the additive used and synthesis conditions. The organic material incorporated in the mineral did not appear to affect the unit cell dimensions. The silk and chimeric proteins in water promote material formation and crystal growth, possibly via an effective ion-channelling mechanism, however further studies are needed to assert to what extent the presence of the silk impacts on nucleation and growth stages. The germania binding peptide alone did not have any significant effect on reaction rate, yield or the material's properties compared to the blank. Interestingly, the peptide content in the silk chimeras tested did not affect mineralisation. The presence of buffer inhibited mineral condensation rate and yield. The use of silk

  17. Strength of bed nets as function of denier, knitting pattern, texturizing and polymer

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Bursting strength is a standard method for evaluating mosquito net strength. This article suggests that tension strength with one grab and one hook better represent how holes are generated in bed nets in real life. Methods Measurements of bursting strength and tension strengths in the two directions are analysed for eight model nets created for the study. The nets were made in the most commonly used denier (75 and 100 D) and mesh (156 holes/inch2) for multifilament polyester yarns, texturized or not, and with 4 or 6 sided holes. All were made from one polyester quality. Data was arranged in a randomized, complete block design and analysed for significant variables and their interactions. Data was then subjected to regression analyses using net square metre weight as a weighting factor with stepwise removal of variables. This revealed how the four textile variables interacted and allowed for making predictions for the strength of commercial nets in polyester or polyethylene. Results For the model nets, higher denier provided higher bursting strength and tension strengths, texturizing weakened nets and four-sided holes were stronger than six-sided holes. Even when compensating for square metre weight, 100 D nets are stronger than 75 D nets. Results for the commercial polyester net nets are less clear, probably because of different qualities of polyester. Tensile strength: a 75 denier net knitted tightly to provide the same square metre weight as a standard 100 denier net therefore does not obtain the same strength. Polyethylene nets are made of mono-fibre yarns and, therefore, have higher tension strength in both directions than multifilament polyester nets. For bursting strength results overlap for 100 denier yarns of both yarn types. As a class, commercial polyethylene nets are stronger than commercial polyester net whatever method is used for evaluation. Conclusion Tension strength measured in the length and width directions of the net using one hook

  18. Chondrogenesis in perfusion bioreactors using porous silk scaffolds and hESC-derived MSCs.

    PubMed

    Tiğli, R Seda; Cannizaro, Chris; Gümüşderelioğlu, Menemşe; Kaplan, David L

    2011-01-01

    Tissue engineered cartilage can be grown in vitro with the use of cell-scaffold constructs and bioreactors. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of perfusion bioreactors on the chondrogenic potential of engineered constructs prepared from porous silk fibroin scaffolds seeded with human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived mesencyhmal stem cells (MSCs). After four weeks of incubation, constructs cultured in perfusion bioreactors showed significantly higher amounts of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) (p < 0.001), DNA (p < 0.001), total collagen (p < 0.01), and collagen II (p < 0.01) in comparison to static culture. Mechanical stiffness of constructs increased 3.7-fold under dynamic culture conditions and RT-PCR results concluded that cells cultured in perfusion bioreactors highly expressed (p < 0.001) cartilage-related genes when compared with static culture. Distinct differences were noted in tissue morphology, including polygonal extracellular matrix structure of engineered constructs in thin superficial zones and an inner zone under static and dynamic conditions, respectively. The results suggest that the utility of perfusion bioreactors to modulate the growth of tissue-engineered cartilage and enhance tissue growth in vitro.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Nonlinear control of high-frequency phonons in spider silk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Dirk; Gomopoulos, Nikolaos; Koh, Cheong Y.; Papadopoulos, Periklis; Kremer, Friedrich; Thomas, Edwin L.; Fytas, George

    2016-10-01

    Spider dragline silk possesses superior mechanical properties compared with synthetic polymers with similar chemical structure due to its hierarchical structure comprised of partially crystalline oriented nanofibrils. To date, silk’s dynamic mechanical properties have been largely unexplored. Here we report an indirect hypersonic phononic bandgap and an anomalous dispersion of the acoustic-like branch from inelastic (Brillouin) light scattering experiments under varying applied elastic strains. We show the mechanical nonlinearity of the silk structure generates a unique region of negative group velocity, that together with the global (mechanical) anisotropy provides novel symmetry conditions for gap formation. The phononic bandgap and dispersion show strong nonlinear strain-dependent behaviour. Exploiting material nonlinearity along with tailored structural anisotropy could be a new design paradigm to access new types of dynamic behaviour.

  2. 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

  3. Two mechanisms for supercontraction in Nephila spider dragline silk.

    PubMed

    Guan, Juan; Vollrath, Fritz; Porter, David

    2011-11-14

    Supercontraction in dragline silk of Nephila edulis spider is shown to have two distinct components revealed by single fiber measurements using dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. The first component relies on a contraction of maximum 13% and seems to be associated with relaxation processed through the glass transition, T(g), as is induced by increasing temperature and/or humidity. The second component is induced by liquid water to the total contraction of 30%. The T(g)-induced contraction is linearly correlated with the restraining stress on the fiber, and the mechanical properties of the partially contracted silk have mechanical profiles that differ from both native and fully supercontracted fibers. Here we present novel supercontraction data and discuss their structural origins, examining the relaxation of stretched orientation in the different primary structure sequences.

  4. Composition of the silk lipids of the spider Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Schulz, S

    2001-06-01

    A detailed analysis of the lipids of spider silk is given for the first time. Extracts of the silk from the golden orb weaver, Nephila clavipes, were studied by gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, and chemical derivatizations. The major group of the lipids consisted of methyl-branched 1-methoxyalkanes (methyl ethers) with up to four methyl groups in the chain (chain length between C28 and C34), which are unique to spiders. The position of the methyl branches was determined by conversion into cyanides, which allowed easy location of methyl branches. The second-largest group included alkanes with a wide structural variety; 2-methyl-branched, even-numbered hydrocarbons predominated. A general numerical method for the estimation of retention indices of alkanes and their derivatives is presented. Further components of the web included alkanols and alkanediols, fatty acids, and glyceryl ethers. Some comments on the biosynthesis of these compounds are also given.

  5. Stability of silk and collagen protein materials in space.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-05

    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.

  6. 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 Ma

  7. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yu-Qing; Shen, Wei-De; Xiang, Ru-Li; Zhuge, Lan-Jian; Gao, Wei-Jian; Wang, Wen-Bao

    2007-10-01

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl2, the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the ɛ-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and α-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel β-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, 13C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with β-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular substructure of the degraded silk

  8. Analysis of major ampullate silk cDNAs from two non-orb-weaving spiders.

    PubMed

    Tian, Maozhen; Liu, Congzhou; Lewis, Randolph

    2004-01-01

    Compared to other arthropods, spiders are unique in their use of silk throughout their life span and the extraordinary mechanical properties of the silk threads they produce. Studies on orb-weaving spider silk proteins have shown that silk proteins are composed of highly repetitive regions, characterized by alanine and glycine-rich units. We have isolated and sequenced four partial cDNA clones representing major ampullate spider silk gene transcripts from two non-orb weavers: three for Kukulcania hibernalis and one for Agelenopsis aperta. These cDNA sequences were compared to each other, as well as to the previously published orb-weaver silk gene sequences. The results indicate that the repeats encoding conserved amino acid motifs such as polyA and polyGA that are characteristic of some orb-weaving spider silks are also found in some of the cDNAs reported in this study. However, we also found other motifs such as polyGS and polyGV in the cDNA sequences from the two non-orb-weaving spiders. The amino acid composition of the silk gland extracts shows that alanine and glycine are the major components of the silk of these two non-orb weavers as is the case in orb-weaver silks. Sequence alignment shows that A. aperta's cDNA displays a C-terminal encoding region that is about 44% similar to the one present in N. clavipes's MaSp1 cDNA. In addition, as previously observed for spider silk sequences, the analysis of the codon usage for these four cDNAs demonstrates a bias for A or T in the wobble base position.

  9. Preparation and characterization of silk fibroin/HPMC blend film

    SciTech Connect

    Shetty, G. Rajesha; Kumar, R. Madhu; Rao, B. Lakshmeesha; Asha, S.; Sangappa

    2015-06-24

    In this work, the structural and mechanical stability of silk fibroin/Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose (SF-HPMC) blend films were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Universal Testing Machine (UTM). The results indicate that with the introduction of HPMC, the interactions between SF and HPMC results in improved crystallite size and increase in mechanical properties. The blend film obtained is more flexible compared to pure SF film.

  10. Development and characterization of silk fibroin coated quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nathwani, B. B.; Needham, C.; Mathur, A. B.; Meissner, K. E.

    2008-02-01

    Recent progress in the field of semiconductor nanocrystals or Quantum Dots (QDs) has seen them find wider acceptance as a tool in biomedical research labs. As produced, high quality QDs, synthesized by high temperature organometallic synthesis, are coated with a hydrophobic ligand. Therefore, they must be further processed to be soluble in water and to be made biocompatible. To accomplish this, the QDs are generally coated with a synthetic polymer (eg. block copolymers) or the hydrophobic surface ligands exchanged with hydrophilic material (eg. thiols). Advances in this area have enabled the QDs to experience a smooth transition from being simple inorganic fluorophores to being smart sensors, which can identify specific cell marker proteins and help in diagnosis of diseases such as cancer. In order to improve the biocompatibility and utility of the QDs, we report the development of a procedure to coat QDs with silk fibroin, a fibrous crystalline protein extracted from Bombyx Mori silkworm. Following the coating process, we characterize the size, quantum yield and two-photon absorption cross section of the silk coated QDs. Additionally, the results of biocompatibility studies carried out to compare the properties of these QD-silks with conventional QDs are presented. These natural polymer coatings on QDs could enhance the intracellular delivery and enable the use of these nanocrystals as an imaging tool for studying subcellular machinery at the molecular level.

  11. Laser Cleaning of Undyed Silk: Indications of Chemical Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Lerber, K.; Strlic, M.; Kolar, J.; Krüger, J.; Pentzien, S.; Kennedy, C.; Wess, T.; Sokhan, M.; Kautek, Wolfgang

    Three different undyed, unweighed silk fabrics (new clean, new soiled, and naturally aged) were cleaned with a computer-controlled Q-switched Nd:YAG laser at 532nm in 30 combinations of fluence and pulse numbers. They were studied for chemical change by viscometry, X-ray diffraction, and FIB-SIMS in combination with temperature calculations. While physical changes only occurred above the tested parameters, chemical changes could be detected as low as 0.2 J cm?2 with four pulses. Yellowing was observed at lower and bleaching at higher fluence/pulse number combinations. Melting was observed in naturally aged silk cleaned with 64 pulses at 4.2 J cm?2. The temperature reached at 0.1 J cm?2 is sufficient to evaporate carbon. Excess energy is transferred into the silk substrate causing thermal degradation. Different chemical processes leading to chain scission and to crosslinking seem to occur simultaneously, even at low fluence and pulse number. An increase in pulse numbers also leads to increasing damage.

  12. Structure of a protein superfiber: spider dragline silk.

    PubMed Central

    Xu, M; Lewis, R V

    1990-01-01

    Spider major ampullate (dragline) silk is an extracellular fibrous protein with unique characteristics of strength and elasticity. The silk fiber has been proposed to consist of pseudocrystalline regions of antiparallel beta-sheet interspersed with elastic amorphous segments. The repetitive sequence of a fibroin protein from major ampullate silk of the spider Nephila clavipes was determined from a partial cDNA clone. The repeating unit is a maximum of 34 amino acids long and is not rigidly conserved. The repeat unit is composed of three different segments: (i) a 6 amino acid segment that is conserved in sequence but has deletions of 3 or 6 amino acids in many of the repeats; (ii) a 13 amino acid segment dominated by a polyalanine sequence of 5-7 residues; (iii) a 15 amino acid, highly conserved segment. The latter is predominantly a Gly-Gly-Xaa repeat with Xaa being alanine, tyrosine, leucine, or glutamine. The codon usage for this DNA is highly selective, avoiding the use of cytosine or guanine in the third position. A model for the physical properties of fiber formation, strength, and elasticity, based on this repetitive protein sequence, is presented. PMID:2402494

  13. 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

  14. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

    PubMed Central

    Woodhead, Andrea L.; Sutherland, Tara D.; Church, Jeffrey S.

    2016-01-01

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results. PMID:27447623

  15. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

    PubMed Central

    Floren, Michael; Migliaresi, Claudio; Motta, Antonella

    2016-01-01

    Hydrogels are an attractive class of tunable material platforms that, combined with their structural and functional likeness to biological environments, have a diversity of applications in bioengineering. Several polymers, natural and synthetic, can be used, the material selection being based on the required functional characteristics of the prepared hydrogels. Silk fibroin (SF) is an attractive natural polymer for its excellent processability, biocompatibility, controlled degradation, mechanical properties and tunable formats and a good candidate for the fabrication of hydrogels. Tremendous effort has been made to control the structural and functional characteristic of silk hydrogels, integrating novel biological features with advanced processing techniques, to develop the next generation of functional SF hydrogels. Here, we review the several processing methods developed to prepare advanced SF hydrogel formats, emphasizing a bottom-up approach beginning with critical structural characteristics of silk proteins and their behavior under specific gelation environments. Additionally, the preparation of SF hydrogel blends and other advanced formats will also be discussed. We conclude with a brief description of the attractive utility of SF hydrogels in relevant bioengineering applications. PMID:27649251

  16. Nomadic ecology shaped the highland geography of Asia's Silk Roads.

    PubMed

    Frachetti, Michael D; Smith, C Evan; Traub, Cynthia M; Williams, Tim

    2017-03-08

    There are many unanswered questions about the evolution of the ancient 'Silk Roads' across Asia. This is especially the case in their mountainous stretches, where harsh terrain is seen as an impediment to travel. Considering the ecology and mobility of inner Asian mountain pastoralists, we use 'flow accumulation' modelling to calculate the annual routes of nomadic societies (from 750 m to 4,000 m elevation). Aggregating 500 iterations of the model reveals a high-resolution flow network that simulates how centuries of seasonal nomadic herding could shape discrete routes of connectivity across the mountains of Asia. We then compare the locations of known high-elevation Silk Road sites with the geography of these optimized herding flows, and find a significant correspondence in mountainous regions. Thus, we argue that highland Silk Road networks (from 750 m to 4,000 m) emerged slowly in relation to long-established mobility patterns of nomadic herders in the mountains of inner Asia.

  17. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk.

    PubMed

    Woodhead, Andrea L; Sutherland, Tara D; Church, Jeffrey S

    2016-07-20

    Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine), poly(alanine-glycine), phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73%) while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results.

  18. Thermal Properties of Silk Fibroin Using Fast Scanning Calorimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin; Kaplan, David; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    We performed fast scanning chip-based calorimetry of silk protein using the Mettler Flash DSC1. We suggest the methodology by which to obtain quantitative information on the very first scan to high temperature, including the melting endotherm of the beta pleated sheets. For proteins, this first scan is the most important one, because the crystalline secondary structural features, the beta pleated sheets, melt after the first heating and cannot be thermally reintroduced. To obtain high quality data, the samples must be treated to drying and enthalpy relaxation sequences. The heat flow rates in heating and cooling must be corrected for asymmetric heat loses. We evaluate methods to obtain an estimate of the sample mass, finally choosing internal calibration using the known heat capacity increment at the glass transition. We report that even heating at rates of 2000 K/s, thermal degradation of silk cannot be totally avoided, though it can be minimized. Using a set of nineteen samples, we successfully determine the liquid state heat capacity of silk as: Cpliquid (T) = (1.98 +0.06) J/gK + T (6.82 +1.4) x10-4 J/gK2. Methods for estimation of the sample mass will be presented and compared. National Science Foundation, Polymers Program DMR-1206010; DAAD; Tufts Faculty Supported Leave.

  19. Ultrathin Free-Standing Bombyx mori Silk Nanofibril Membranes.

    PubMed

    Ling, Shengjie; Jin, Kai; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2016-06-08

    We report a new ultrathin filtration membrane prepared from silk nanofibrils (SNFs), directly exfoliated from natural Bombyx mori silk fibers to retain structure and physical properties. These membranes can be prepared with a thickness down to 40 nm with a narrow distribution of pore sizes ranging from 8 to 12 nm. Typically, 40 nm thick membranes prepared from SNFs have pure water fluxes of 13 000 L h(-1) m(-2) bar(-1), more than 1000 times higher than most commercial ultrathin filtration membranes and comparable with the highest water flux reported previously. The commercial membranes are commonly prepared from polysulfone, poly(ether sulfone), and polyamide. The SNF-based ultrathin membranes exhibit efficient separation for dyes, proteins, and colloids of nanoparticles with at least a 64% rejection of Rhodamine B. This broad-spectrum filtration membrane would have potential utility in applications such as wastewater treatment, nanotechnology, food industry, and life sciences in part due to the protein-based membrane polymer (silk), combined with the robust mechanical and separation performance features.

  20. Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Hydrogel Infused Network Silk Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Kundanati, Lakshminath; Singh, Saket K.; Mandal, Biman B.; Murthy, Tejas G.; Gundiah, Namrata; Pugno, Nicola M.

    2016-01-01

    Development and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is of great importance. In recent times, silk scaffolds were developed and successfully tested in tissue engineering and drug release applications. We developed a novel composite scaffold by mechanical infusion of silk hydrogel matrix into a highly porous network silk scaffold. The mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was thoroughly examined for their possible use in load bearing applications. Firstly, unconfined compression experiments show that the denser composite scaffolds displayed significant enhancement in the elastic modulus as compared to either of the components. This effect was examined and further explained with the help of foam mechanics principles. Secondly, results from confined compression experiments that resemble loading of cartilage in confinement, showed nonlinear material responses for all scaffolds. Finally, the confined creep experiments were performed to calculate the hydraulic permeability of the scaffolds using soil mechanics principles. Our results show that composite scaffolds with some modifications can be a potential candidate for use of cartilage like applications. We hope such approaches help in developing novel scaffolds for tissue engineering by providing an understanding of the mechanics and can further be used to develop graded scaffolds by targeted infusion in specific regions. PMID:27681725

  1. Molecular and mechanical characterization of aciniform silk: uniformity of iterated sequence modules in a novel member of the spider silk fibroin gene family.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Blackledge, Todd A; Lewis, Randolph V

    2004-10-01

    Araneoid spiders use specialized abdominal glands to produce up to seven different protein-based silks/glues that have diverse physical properties. The fibroin sequences that encode aciniform fibers (wrapping silk) and the mechanical properties of these fibers have not been characterized previously. To gain a better understanding of the molecular radiation of spider silk fibroin genes, cDNA libraries derived from aciniform glands of the banded garden spider, Argiope trifasciata, were constructed, and unique silk transcripts were sequenced. There was evidence for a single silk fibroin gene that was expressed in the aciniform glands, and the inferred amino acid composition of the novel fibroin closely matched the amino acid contents of these glands. The inferred protein, aciniform spidroin 1 (AcSp1), is composed of highly homogenized repeats that are 200 amino acids in length. The long stretches of poly-alanine and glycine-alanine subrepeats, which are thought to account for the crystalline regions of minor ampullate and major ampullate fibers, are very poorly represented in AcSp1. The AcSp1 repeat unit is iterated minimally 14 times and does not display substantial sequence similarity to any previously described genes or proteins. Database searches, however, showed that the nonrepetitive carboxy-terminus contains stretches of matches to known spider fibroin sequences, suggesting that the AcSp1 gene is a highly divergent member of the spider silk gene family. In phylogenetic analyses of carboxy-terminal sequences from araneid spiders, the aciniform sequence did not group strongly with clusters of fibroins from the flagelliform, minor ampullate, or major ampullate silk glands. Comparisons of stress/strain curves for major ampullate, minor ampullate, and aciniform silks from Argiope trifasciata showed significant differences in ultimate strength, extensibility, and toughness. Remarkably, the toughness of aciniform silk was 50% greater than the highest values typically

  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. Silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles: Preparation and anti-inflammatory efficacy.

    PubMed

    Khampieng, Thitikan; Aramwit, Pornanong; Supaphol, Pitt

    2015-09-01

    In this study, silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles were prepared by the emulsification method followed by internal crosslinking. The effects of various silk sericin loading concentration on particle size, shape, thermal properties, and release characteristics were investigated. The initial silk sericin loadings of 20, 40, and 80% w/w to polymer were incorporated into these alginate nanoparticles. SEM images showed a spherical shape and small particles of about 71.30-89.50 nm. TGA analysis showed that thermal stability slightly increased with increasing silk sericin loadings. FTIR analysis suggested interactions between alginate and silk sericin in the nanoparticles. The release study was performed in acetate buffer at normal skin conditions (pH 5.5; 32 °C). The release profiles of silk sericin exhibited initial rapid release, consequently with sustained release. These silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticles were further incorporated into topical hydrogel and their anti-inflammatory properties were studied using carrageenan-induced paw edema assay. The current study confirms the hypothesis that the application of silk sericin loaded alginate nanoparticle gel can inhibit inflammation induced by carrageenan.

  4. 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).

  5. Crystal networks in silk fibrous materials: from hierarchical structure to ultra performance.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Anh Tuan; Huang, Qiao-Ling; Yang, Zhen; Lin, Naibo; Xu, Gangqin; Liu, Xiang Yang

    2015-03-01

    This review provides a comprehensive survey of the structural characteristics of crystal networks of silk soft fibrous materials in correlation with the macroscopic properties/performance and the network formation mechanisms. The correlation between the hierarchical mesoscopic structures and the mechanical properties of silk soft fibrous materials including silk fibroin hydrogels and naturally spun silk fibers are addressed based on the hierarchical crystal network models. Namely, two types of hierarchical networks are identified: the weak nanofibril-nanofibril interaction case (i.e., silk fibroin hydrogels), and the strong nanofibril-nanofibril interaction case (i.e., silk fibers). The macroscopic properties, i.e., the rheological/mechanical properties, can be controlled in terms of tuning different levels of hierarchical network structures by ultrasonication-induced gelation, introducing the initial nucleation centers, etc. Such controls take effect by different mesoscale assembly pathways, which are found to occur via different routes of the nucleation and growth processes. Furthermore, the hierarchical network model of soft fibrous materials can be applied to explain the superior mechanical properties and the unique strain-hardening behaviors of spider silk fibers within the framework of hierarchical breaking mechanism. Obviously, a knowledge of crystal networks will allow the prediction of the performance and engineering strategy of silk fibrous materials in generals.

  6. Feeding Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes or Graphene to Silkworms for Reinforced Silk Fibers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Wang, Chunya; Zhang, Mingchao; Jian, Muqiang; Zhang, Yingying

    2016-10-12

    Silkworm silk is gaining significant attention from both the textile industry and research society because of its outstanding mechanical properties and lustrous appearance. The possibility of creating tougher silks attracts particular research interest. Carbon nanotubes and graphene are widely studied for their use as reinforcement. In this work, we report mechanically enhanced silk directly collected by feeding Bombyx mori larval silkworms with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and graphene. We found that parts of the fed carbon nanomaterials were incorporated into the as-spun silk fibers, whereas the others went into the excrement of silkworms. Spectroscopy study indicated that nanocarbon additions hindered the conformation transition of silk fibroin from random coil and α-helix to β-sheet, which may contribute to increased elongation at break and toughness modules. We further investigated the pyrolysis of modified silk, and a highly developed graphitic structure with obviously enhanced electrical conductivity was obtained through the introduction of SWNTs and graphene. The successful generation of these SWNT- or graphene-embedded silks by in vivo feeding is expected to open up possibilities for the large-scale production of high-strength silk fibers.

  7. A highly divergent gene cluster in honey bees encodes a novel silk family.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Tara D; Campbell, Peter M; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Wanjura, Wolfgang J; Haritos, Victoria S

    2006-11-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1-4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-rich amid low GC intergenic regions. The genes encode similar proteins that are highly helical and predicted to form unusually tight coiled coils. Despite the similarity in size, structure, and composition of the encoded proteins, the genes have low primary sequence identity. We propose that the four fiber genes have arisen from gene duplication events but have subsequently diverged significantly. The silk-associated genes encode proteins likely to act as a glue (AmelSA1) and involved in silk processing (AmelSA2). Although the silks of honey bees and silkmoths both originate in larval labial glands, the silk proteins are completely different in their primary, secondary, and tertiary structures as well as the genomic arrangement of the genes encoding them. This implies independent evolutionary origins for these functionally related proteins.

  8. Modulation of vincristine and doxorubicin binding and release from silk films.

    PubMed

    Coburn, Jeannine M; Na, Elim; Kaplan, David L

    2015-12-28

    Sustained release drug delivery systems remain a major clinical need for small molecule therapeutics in oncology. Here, mechanisms of small molecule interactions with silk protein films were studied with cationic oncology drugs, vincristine and doxorubicin, with a focus on hydrophobicity (non-ionic surfactant) and charge (pH and ionic strength). Interactions were primarily driven by charge interactions between the positively charged drugs and the negatively charged groups within the silk films. Exploiting chemical modifications of silk further modulated the drug interactions in a controlled fashion. Increasing anionic side groups via carboxylate- and sulfonate-modifications of tyrosine side chains in the silk protein using diazonium coupling chemistry, increased drug binding and altered drug release. The effects of silk film protein crystallinity, beta sheet content, on drug binding and release were also explored. Lower crystallinity supported more rapid drug binding when compared to higher crystalline silk films. The drug release kinetics were governed by the protonation state of vincristine and doxorubicin and were tunable based on silk crystallinity and chemistry. These studies depict an approach to characterize small molecule-silk protein interactions and methods to tune drug binding and release kinetics from this protein delivery matrix.

  9. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits.

    PubMed

    Radtke, Christine

    2016-10-20

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa) or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration.

  10. Conformation and orientation of proteins in various types of silk fibers produced by Nephila clavipes spiders.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Marie-Eve; Lefèvre, Thierry; Pézolet, Michel

    2009-10-12

    Silk fibers harvested from the web, cocoon, and prey wrapping of the spider Nephila clavipes have been studied by polarized Raman spectromicroscopy. The technique is efficient to differentiate the various types of silk by probing monofilaments produced by the major ampullate (MA), minor ampullate (MI), cylindriform, flagelliform, and aciniform glands. The spectra show that the MA, MI, and cylindriform silks belong to the same structural class and are composed of highly oriented beta-sheets (35-37%) with other slightly oriented secondary structures. Spectral markers of particular motifs involved in the beta-sheets have been identified. The flagelliform silk represents a second, very peculiar structural class. It displays a heterogeneous disordered conformation without any preferential orientation. Such characteristics certainly play a role in the large extensibility of this silk. The aciniform silk represents a third class of silk dominated by moderately oriented beta-sheets (approximately 30%) and alpha-helices (approximately 24%). Such a structure seems important in explaining the high toughness of this silk.

  11. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    PubMed Central

    Radtke, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa) or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration. PMID:27775616

  12. Invited review the coiled coil silk of bees, ants, and hornets.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Tara D; Weisman, Sarah; Walker, Andrew A; Mudie, Stephen T

    2012-06-01

    In this article, we review current knowledge about the silk produced by the larvae of bees, ants, and hornets [Apoidea and Vespoidea: Hymenoptera]. Different species use the silk either alone or in composites for a variety of purposes including mechanical reinforcement, thermal regulation, or humidification. The characteristic molecular structure of this silk is α-helical proteins assembled into tetrameric coiled coils. Gene sequences from seven species are available, and each species possesses a copy of each of four related silk genes that encode proteins predicted to form coiled coils. The proteins are ordered at multiple length scales within the labial gland of the final larval instar before spinning. The insects control the morphology of the silk during spinning to produce either fibers or sheets. The silk proteins are small and non repetitive and have been produced artificially at high levels by fermentation in E. coli. The artificial silk proteins can be fabricated into materials with structural and mechanical properties similar to those of native silks.

  13. BMP-silk composite matrices heal critically sized femoral defects.

    PubMed

    Kirker-Head, C; Karageorgiou, V; Hofmann, S; Fajardo, R; Betz, O; Merkle, H P; Hilbe, M; von Rechenberg, B; McCool, J; Abrahamsen, L; Nazarian, A; Cory, E; Curtis, M; Kaplan, D; Meinel, L

    2007-08-01

    Clinical drawbacks of bone grafting prompt the search for alternative bone augmentation technologies such as use of growth and differentiation factors, gene therapy, and cell therapy. Osteopromotive matrices are frequently employed for the local delivery and controlled release of these augmentation agents. Some matrices also provide an osteoconductive scaffold to support new bone growth. In this study, silkworm-derived silk fibroin was evaluated as an osteoconductive matrix for healing critical sized mid-femoral segmental defects in nude rats. Four treatment groups were assessed over eight weeks: silk scaffolds (SS) with recombinant human BMP-2 (rhBMP-2) and human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSC) that had been pre-differentiated along an osteoblastic lineage ex vivo (Group I; pdHMSC/rhBMP-2/SS); SS with rhBMP-2 and undifferentiated HMSCs (Group II; udHMSC/rhBMP-2/SS); SS and rhBMP-2 alone (Group III; rhBMP-2/SS); and empty defects (Group IV). Bi-weekly radiographs revealed a progressive and similar increase in Group I-III mean defect mineralization through post-operative week (POW) 8. Radiographs, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and micro-computed tomography confirmed that Groups I-III exhibited similar substantial and significantly (p<0.05) greater defect mineralization at POW 8 than the unfilled Group IV defects which remained void of bone. No significant differences in Groups I-III defect healing at POW 8 were apparent using these same assays or mechanical testing. Histology at POW 8 revealed moderately good bridging of the parent diaphyseal cortices with woven and lamellar bone bridging islands of silk matrix in Groups I and III. Group II defects possessed comparatively less new bone which was most abundant adjacent to the parent bone margins. Elsewhere the silk matrix was more often enveloped by poorly differentiated loose fibrous connective tissue. Group IV defects showed minimal new bone formation. None of the treatment groups attained the mean mineralization

  14. Wearable Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Fabrics Produced by Knitting Flexible Wire Electrodes for the Decontamination of Chemical Warfare Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Heesoo; Seo, Jin Ah; Choi, Seungki

    2017-01-01

    One of the key reasons for the limited use of atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) is its inability to treat non-flat, three-dimensional (3D) surface structures, such as electronic devices and the human body, because of the rigid electrode structure required. In this study, a new APP system design—wearable APP (WAPP)—that utilizes a knitting technique to assemble flexible co-axial wire electrodes into a large-area plasma fabric is presented. The WAPP device operates in ambient air with a fully enclosed power electrode and grounded outer electrode. The plasma fabric is flexible and lightweight, and it can be scaled up for larger areas, making it attractive for wearable APP applications. Here, we report the various plasma properties of the WAPP device and successful test results showing the decontamination of toxic chemical warfare agents, namely, mustard (HD), soman (GD), and nerve (VX) agents.

  15. Wearable Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Fabrics Produced by Knitting Flexible Wire Electrodes for the Decontamination of Chemical Warfare Agents.

    PubMed

    Jung, Heesoo; Seo, Jin Ah; Choi, Seungki

    2017-01-18

    One of the key reasons for the limited use of atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) is its inability to treat non-flat, three-dimensional (3D) surface structures, such as electronic devices and the human body, because of the rigid electrode structure required. In this study, a new APP system design-wearable APP (WAPP)-that utilizes a knitting technique to assemble flexible co-axial wire electrodes into a large-area plasma fabric is presented. The WAPP device operates in ambient air with a fully enclosed power electrode and grounded outer electrode. The plasma fabric is flexible and lightweight, and it can be scaled up for larger areas, making it attractive for wearable APP applications. Here, we report the various plasma properties of the WAPP device and successful test results showing the decontamination of toxic chemical warfare agents, namely, mustard (HD), soman (GD), and nerve (VX) agents.

  16. An Insight to the Modeling of 1 × 1 Rib Loop Formation Process on Circular Weft Knitting Machine using Computer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Sadhan Chandra

    2015-10-01

    The mechanics of single jersey loop formation is well-reported is literature. However, as the concept of any model of double jersey loop formation process is not available in accessible international literature. Therefore, it was planned to develop a model of 1 × 1 rib loop formation process on dial and cylinder machine using computer so that the influence of various input variables on the final loop length as well on the profile of tension on the yarn inside Knitting Zone (KZ) can be understood. The model provides an insight into the mechanics of 1 × 1 rib loop formation system on dial and cylinder machine. Besides, the degree of agreement between predicted and measured values of loop length and cam forces as well as theoretical analysis of the model have justified the acceptability of the model.

  17. Wearable Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Fabrics Produced by Knitting Flexible Wire Electrodes for the Decontamination of Chemical Warfare Agents

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Heesoo; Seo, Jin Ah; Choi, Seungki

    2017-01-01

    One of the key reasons for the limited use of atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) is its inability to treat non-flat, three-dimensional (3D) surface structures, such as electronic devices and the human body, because of the rigid electrode structure required. In this study, a new APP system design—wearable APP (WAPP)—that utilizes a knitting technique to assemble flexible co-axial wire electrodes into a large-area plasma fabric is presented. The WAPP device operates in ambient air with a fully enclosed power electrode and grounded outer electrode. The plasma fabric is flexible and lightweight, and it can be scaled up for larger areas, making it attractive for wearable APP applications. Here, we report the various plasma properties of the WAPP device and successful test results showing the decontamination of toxic chemical warfare agents, namely, mustard (HD), soman (GD), and nerve (VX) agents. PMID:28098192

  18. Effect of Sericin on Mechanical Behavior of Composite Material Reinforced by Silk Woven Fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, Teruo; Ino, Haruhiro; Hanada, Koji; Katori, Sigetaka

    Recent, attention has been given to shift from glass fibers and carbon fibers to natural fibers for FRP composites for the goal of protecting the environment. This paper concerned with the application of silk fabric for composite materials. Polypropylene (PP) was used for the matrix material and the silk fabric composites were molded using a compression molding method. Especially, the effect of sericin on mechanical behaviors of composite materials was discussed. Good adhesion between silk and PP was obtained by removing the sericin existing around the fibroin. The tensile modulus of composite decreased with decreasing the sericin because of the flexibility of silk fibers without sericin. In particular, the higher Izod impact value was obtained for the composites containing the silk fibers without sericin.

  19. Enhanced Elastic Modulus of Regenerated Silk Fibroin by Geometric Confinement in Anodized Aluminum Oxide Templates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jiankang; Li, Liang

    2017-02-01

    Geometric confinement is a promising method for the reconstruction of silk fibroin to form diversified structures with excellent mechanical properties. To accomplish geometric confinement, a water vapor assistant embossing process is used with porous anodic aluminum oxide templates, yielding silk fibroin nanopillars with diameters ranging from 40 nm to 130 nm. The elastic modulus of the regenerated silk fibroin nanopillars is investigated with atomic force microscopy nanoindentation analysis. Compared to films with the same treatment conditions, geometric confinement provided a twofold increase in elastic modulus in embossed silk fibroin nanopillars, indicating that β-sheet crystal ordering occurred during the water vapor assistant embossing process. These results demonstrate the feasibility and mechanical property enhancement of the embossing method to fabricate silk nanostructures, and will be useful in designing miniaturized devices.

  20. 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