Saturday, 24 May 2014

Artificial biocomposites of silk fibroin and amyloid fibrils

Researchers have combined two widely-studied fibrous protein assemblies – silk fibroin fibrils and amyloid fibrils – into a novel composite material. By varying the weight ratio of the two components, mechanical properties could be tuned: more amyloid fibril increased tensile modulus whereas more silk fibroin promotes tougher composites. The amyloid component could be enzymatically removed to generate a porous silk membrane.  Inorganic components were also added and a shape memory effect observed.  

Modulating Materials by Orthogonally Oriented β-Strands: Composites of Amyloid and Silk Fibroin Fibrils; S. Ling et al; Advanced Materials; DOI: 10.1002/adma.201400730

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