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Mechanical Testing of Engineered Spider Silk Filaments Provides Insights into Molecular Features on a Mesoscale

Title data

Lang, Gregor ; Neugirg, Benedikt R. ; Kluge, Daniel ; Fery, Andreas ; Scheibel, Thomas:
Mechanical Testing of Engineered Spider Silk Filaments Provides Insights into Molecular Features on a Mesoscale.
In: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Vol. 9 (2017) Issue 1 . - pp. 892-900.
ISSN 1944-8252
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.6b13093

Abstract in another language

Spider dragline silk shows the highest toughness in comparison to all other known natural or man-made fibers. Despite a broad experimental foundation concerning the macroscopic silk thread properties as well as a thorough simulation-based molecular understanding, the impact of the mesoscale building blocks, namely nano-/submicrometer-sized filaments, on the mechanical properties of the threads remains the missing link. Here, we illustrate the function of these mesoscaled building blocks using electrospun fibers made of a recombinant spider silk protein and show the impact of β-sheet content and fiber hydration on their mechanical performance. Specifically elucidating the interplay between β-sheet-cross-linking (fiber strength) and structural water (fiber extensibility), the results bridge the gap between the molecular and the macroscopic view on the mechanics of spider silk. It is demonstrated that the extensibility of the here used single (MaSp2-like) protein system is in good accordance with the simulated extensibilities published by other groups. Furthermore, sufficient hydration of the fibers is shown to be a prerequisite to obtain a toughness in the range of that of
natural dragline silk. Preliminary studies on electrospun fibers of the MaSp2-based recombinant spider silk proteins used in this work have indicated their basic applicability in the technical field of filter systems as well as in regenerative medicine. The presented work provides a fundamental understanding of the mechanical performance of such fibers under different wetting conditions, a prerequisite to further specify their potential for such applications.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: recombinant spider silk; electrospinning; AFM; mechanics; nanofibers
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Biomaterials
Faculties > Faculty of Engineering Science > Chair Biomaterials > Chair Biomaterials - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Polymer and Colloid Science
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Advanced Materials
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Molecular Biosciences
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Food and Health Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center for Material Science and Engineering - BayMAT
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 10:49
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2017 10:49
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/35672