Paper: Silk Protein Paper with In Situ Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles

Jan 06, 2021 — By Ben Skopic
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Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are in situ synthesized for the first time on microfibrillated silk (MFS) exfoliated from domesticated Philosamia cynthia ricini (eri) and Bombyx mori (mulberry) silkworm silk fibers. The process is rapid (hours time), does not rely on harmful chemicals, and produces robust and flexible AgNPs coated MFS (MFS‐AgNPs) protein papers with excellent handling properties. None of these can be achieved by approaches used in the past to fabricate AgNPs silk systems. MFS bonds the AgNPs strongly, providing good support and stabilization for the NPs, leading to strong wash fastness. The mechanical properties of the MFS‐AgNPs papers largely do not change compared to the MFS papers without nanoparticles, except for some higher concentration of AgNPs in the case of mulberry silk. The improved tensile properties of eri silk papers with or without AgNPs compared to mulberry silk papers can be attributed to the higher degree of fibrillation achieved in eri silk and its inherent higher ductility. MFS‐AgNPs from eri silk also exhibit strong antibacterial activity. This study provides the basis for the development of smart protein papers based on silk fiber and functional nanomaterials.

Our paper has been published in the journal Macromolecular Bioscience (2019 impact factor: 3.416).


Yujia Liang, Bin Tang, Aarushi Sharma, Dinidu Perera, Benjamin James Allardyce, Sourabh Ghosh, Hannes C. Schniepp*, Xungai Wang, Rangam Rajkhowa*
“Protein Paper from Exfoliated Eri Silk Nanofibers”
Macromolecular Bioscience (2020)

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DOI: 10.1002/mabi.202000357
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