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

Kinahan, Michelle E. and Filippidi, Emmanouela and Köster, Sarah and Hu, Xiao and Evans, Heather M. and Pfohl, Thomas and Kaplan, David L. and Wong, Joyce. (2011) Tunable Silk : Using Microfluidics to Fabricate Silk Fibers with Controllable Properties. Biomacromolecules, Vol. 12, H. 5. pp. 1504-1511.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5843645

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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 ?-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 ?L) that can be characterized to investigate sequence-structure-property relationships to optimize recombinant silk technology to match and exceed natural silk properties.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Former Organization Units Chemistry > Biophysikalische Chemie (Pfohl)
UniBasel Contributors:Pfohl, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Chemical Soc.
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:20
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:02

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