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. 2018 Jul 1;113:458-463.
doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.02.022. Epub 2018 Feb 5.

Dissolution Behavior of Silk Fibroin in a Low Concentration CaCl 2-methanol Solvent: From Morphology to Nanostructure

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Dissolution Behavior of Silk Fibroin in a Low Concentration CaCl 2-methanol Solvent: From Morphology to Nanostructure

Tingting Shen et al. Int J Biol Macromol. .

Abstract

Regenerated Silk biomaterials are usually pre-formed from silk fibroin solutions. However, the dissolution of silk fibroin in proper solvents by a simple and low cost way is still a challenge. Here, we employed a CaCl2-methanol solvent system with a very low CaCl2 concentration of 6wt% to dissolve silk fibroin. During the dissolution process, the evaporation of methanol cause the changing of solvation sheath of ions in the solvent. The remaining solvent with the incomplete solvation sheath is absorbed by the silk fiber and interacts with fibroin chains to complete the solvation sheath, which accounts for the dissolution of silk fibroin. Silk fibroin dissolution stops as all the solvation sheaths are complete. The final CaCl2 concentration is ca. 26% and silk fibroin is completely dissolved with a yield of about 90%. Silk fibroin is dissolved into multi-scale nanofibrils solution which is potential for producing regenerated silk fibroin materials for functional applications.

Keywords: Biomaterials; Dissolution; Morphology; Nanofibrils; Silk fibroin.

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