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Emergence of supercontraction in regenerated silkworm (Bombyx mori) silk fibers

By José Pérez-Rigueiro, Rodrigo Madurga, Alfonso M. Gañán-Calvo, Manuel Elices, Gustavo Victor Guinea Tortuero, Yugo Tasei, Akio Nishimura, Hironori Matsuda and Tetsuo Asakura


The conditions required for the emergence of supercontraction in regenerated silkworm (Bombyx mori) silk fibers are assessed through an experimental approach that combines the spinning of regenerated fibers with controlled properties and their characterization by 13C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Both supercontracting and non-supercontracting regenerated fibers are produced using the straining flow spinning (SFS) technique from 13C labeled cocoons. The short-range microstructure of the fibers is assessed through 13C CP/MAS in air and 13C DD/MAS in water, and the main microstructural features are identified and quantified. The mechanical properties of the regenerated fibers and their microstructures are compared with those of natural silkworm silk. The combined analysis highlights two possible key elements as responsible for the emergence of supercontraction: (1) the existence of an upper and a lower limit of the amorphous phase compatible with supercontraction, and (2) the existence of two ordered phases, β-sheet A and B, which correspond to different packing arrangements of the protein chains.Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad MAT2016-75544- C2-1-RMinisterio de Economía y Competitividad MAT2016-79832-RMinisterio de Economía y Competitividad DPI2016-78887-C3-1-RConsejería de Educación Comunidad de Madrid NEUROCENTRO-B2017/BMD-3760Ministerio de Educación, Ciencia y Cultura JP26248050Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad DPI2016-78887-C3-1-

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Year: 2019
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