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Dependence of Mechanical Properties of Lacewing Egg Stalks on Relative Humidity

Title data

Bauer, Felix ; Bertinetti, Luca ; Masic, Admir ; Scheibel, Thomas:
Dependence of Mechanical Properties of Lacewing Egg Stalks on Relative Humidity.
In: Biomacromolecules. Vol. 13 (2012) Issue 11 . - pp. 3730-3735.
ISSN 1526-4602

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Silk fibers are well known for their mechanical properties such as strength and toughness and are lightweight, making them an interesting material for a variety of applications. Silk mechanics mainly rely on the secondary structure of the underlying proteins. Lacewing egg stalk silk proteins obtain a cross-β structure with individual β strands aligned perpendicular to the fiber axis. This structure is in contrast with that of silks of spiders or silkworms with β strands parallel to the fiber axis and to that of silks of honeybees with α helices arranged in coiled coils. On the basis of the cross-β structure the mechanical properties of egg stalks are different from those of other silks concerning extensibility, toughness, and bending stiffness. Here we show the influence of relative humidity on the mechanical behavior of lacewing egg stalks and propose a model based on secondary structure changes to explain the differences on a molecular level. At low relative humidity, the stalks rupture at an extension of 3%, whereas at high relative humidity the stalks rupture at 434%. This dramatic increase corresponds to breakage of hydrogen bonds between the β strands and a rearrangement thereof in a parallel-β structure.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
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 > Advanced Fields > Advanced Materials
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Molecular Biosciences
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Polymer and Colloid Science
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Food and Health Sciences
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 620 Engineering
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 06:58
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2022 10:34