Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/55064
Title: Effect of degumming time on silkworm silk fibre for biodegradable polymer composites
Authors: Ho, MP
Wang, H
Lau, KT 
Keywords: Silk
Biodegradation
Hydrophilicity
Surface treatment
Biocompatibility
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: North-Holland
Source: Applied surface science, 2012, v. 258, no. 8, p. 3948-3955 How to cite?
Journal: Applied surface science 
Abstract: Recently, many studies have been conducted on exploitation of natural materials for modern product development and bioengineering applications. Apart from plant-based materials (such as sisal, hemp, jute, bamboo and palm fibre), animal-based fibre is a kind of sustainable natural materials for making novel composites. Silkworm silk fibre extracted from cocoon has been well recognized as a promising material for bio-medical engineering applications because of its superior mechanical and bioresorbable properties. However, when producing silk fibre reinforced biodegradable/bioresorbable polymer composites, hydrophilic sericin has been found to cause poor interfacial bonding with most polymers and thus, it results in affecting the resultant properties of the composites. Besides, sericin layers on fibroin surface may also cause an adverse effect towards biocompatibility and hypersensitivity to silk for implant applications. Therefore, a proper pre-treatment should be done for sericin removal. Degumming is a surface modification process which allows a wide control of the silk fibre's properties, making the silk fibre possible to be used for the development and production of novel bio-composites with unique/specific mechanical and biodegradable properties. In this paper, a cleaner and environmentally friendly surface modification technique for tussah silk in polymer based composites is proposed. The effectiveness of different degumming parameters including degumming time and temperature on tussah silk is discussed through the analyses of their mechanical and morphological properties. Based on results obtained, it was found that the mechanical properties of tussah silk are affected by the degumming time due to the change of the fibre structure and fibroin alignment.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/55064
ISSN: 0169-4332
EISSN: 1873-5584
DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2011.12.068
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