Presentation Title

Electrospinning Spider Silk

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-57

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Spider silk has a wide range of applications from biomaterials to high performance industrial fibers due to its strength, toughness, and biocompatibility. The main source of the silk’s strength is attributed to ordered protein regions within the silk fiber. As the silk is drawn from the spider, shear force along the duct aligns disordered protein chains to produce ordered protein regions from disordered ones. Electrospinning has recently gathered much attention for spinning micro and nano-scale fibers. It is a good procedure to mimic silk spinning because it applies shear stress on the spinning solution through electromagnetic forces induced by a large voltage difference. We electrospun three different concentrations of spinning solution by dissolving major ampullate silk collected from Nephila clavipes in hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP). We analyzed fiber morphology with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and protein structure through Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The fibers ranged from about 30nm to 300nm depending on spinning parameters. The FTIR spectra of the regenerated fibers were very similar to the native N. clavipes spectra despite some differences most likely due to experimental procedure. Nonetheless, this experiment demonstrates that electrospinning is able to produce fibers with morphology comparable to native spider silk.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Electrospinning Spider Silk

HUB 302-57

Spider silk has a wide range of applications from biomaterials to high performance industrial fibers due to its strength, toughness, and biocompatibility. The main source of the silk’s strength is attributed to ordered protein regions within the silk fiber. As the silk is drawn from the spider, shear force along the duct aligns disordered protein chains to produce ordered protein regions from disordered ones. Electrospinning has recently gathered much attention for spinning micro and nano-scale fibers. It is a good procedure to mimic silk spinning because it applies shear stress on the spinning solution through electromagnetic forces induced by a large voltage difference. We electrospun three different concentrations of spinning solution by dissolving major ampullate silk collected from Nephila clavipes in hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP). We analyzed fiber morphology with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and protein structure through Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The fibers ranged from about 30nm to 300nm depending on spinning parameters. The FTIR spectra of the regenerated fibers were very similar to the native N. clavipes spectra despite some differences most likely due to experimental procedure. Nonetheless, this experiment demonstrates that electrospinning is able to produce fibers with morphology comparable to native spider silk.