Thermoplastic Moulding of Regenerated Silk
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CitationGuo, Chengchen, Chunmei Li, Hiep Vu, Philip Hanna, Aron Lechtig, Yimin Qiu, Xuan Mu, Shengjie Ling, Ara Nazarian, Samuel Lin, and David Kaplan. "Thermoplastic Moulding of Regenerated Silk." Nature Materials 19, no. 1 (2020): 102-108.
AbstractEarly insights into the unique structure and properties of native silk suggested that β-sheet nanocrystallites in silk would degrade prior to melting when subjected to thermal processing. Since then, canonical approaches for fabricating silk-based materials typically involve solution-derived processing methods, which have inherent limitations with respect to silk protein solubility, stability in solution, and time and cost efficiency. Here we report a thermal processing method for the direct solid-state molding of regenerated silk into bulk ‘parts’ or devices with tunable mechanical properties. At elevated temperature and pressure, regenerated amorphous silk nanomaterials with ultralow β-sheet content undergo thermal fusion via molecular rearrangement and self-assembly assisted by bound water to form a robust bulk material that retains biocompatibility, degradability and machinability. This transformative technique reverses presumptions about the limitations of direct thermal processing of silk into a wide range of new material formats and composite materials with tailored properties and functionalities.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37373064
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