Journal article

Glycerol-plasticised silk membranes made using formic acid are ductile, transparent and degradation-resistant.

Benjamin J Allardyce, Rangam Rajkhowa, Rodney J Dilley, Sharon L Redmond, Marcus D Atlas, Xungai Wang

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl | Published : 2017

Abstract

Regenerated silk fibroin membranes tend to be brittle when dry. The use of plasticisers such as glycerol improve membrane ductility, but, when combined with aqueous processing, can lead to a higher degradation rate than solvent-annealed membranes. This study investigated the use of formic acid as the solvent with glycerol to make deformable yet degradation-resistant silk membranes. Here we show that membranes cast using formic acid had low light scattering, with a diffuse transmittance of less than 5% over the visible wavelengths, significantly lower than the 20% transmittance of aqueous derived silk/glycerol membranes. They had 64% β-sheet content and lost just 30% of the initial silk weigh..

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Awarded by ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub


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