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Acid-Induced Assembly of a Reconstituted Silk Protein System



A. Pasha Tabatabai, Kathleen Weigandt, Daniel L. Blair


The chemical reconstitution of silk cocoons into stable aqueous suspensions allows for the creation of new classes of strong, biocompatible, and biodegradable silk materials. The addition of < 8 mM hydrochloric acid to a reconstituted silk solution induces aggregation, while no structural changes occur in the presence of salt at the same concentrations. Aggregate formation is not correlated to protein protonation. We investigate the structures present on the protein and aggregate lengthscales in these solutions using both optical and neutron scattering, while mass spectroscopy techniques shed light on a possible mechanism for aggregate formation. We find that the introduction of acid modulates the aggregate size and pervaded volume of the protein, an effect that is not observed with salt.
Physical Review E


Pasha Tabatabai, A. , Weigandt, K. and Blair, D. (2017), Acid-Induced Assembly of a Reconstituted Silk Protein System, Physical Review E, [online], (Accessed April 13, 2024)
Created August 9, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021