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Preparation and mechanical properties of layers made of recombinant spider silk proteins and silk from silk worm

: Junghans, F.; Morawietz, M.; Conrad, U.; Scheibel, T.; Heilmann, A.; Spohn, U.


Applied physics. A 82 (2006), Nr.2, Special Issue "SilK", S.253-260
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7250
ISSN: 0947-8396 (Print)
ISSN: 1432-0630 (Online)
Fraunhofer IWM ()
recombinant spider silk; thin protein film; acoustic impedance analysis; microindentation

Layers of recombinant spider silks and native silks from silk worms were prepared by sincoating and casting of various solutions. FT-IR spectra were recorded to investigate the influence of the different mechanic stress occurring during the preparation of the silk layers. The solubility of the recombinant spider silk proteins SO1-ELP, C16, AQ24NR3 and of the silk fibroin from Bombyx mori were investigated in hexafluorisopropanol, ionic liquids and concentrated salt solutions. The morphology and thickness of the layers were determined by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) or with a profilometer. The mechanical behaviour was investigated by acoustic impedance analysis by using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCMB) as well as by microindentation. The density of silk layers (d<300 nm) was determined based on AFM and QCMB measurements. At silk layers thicker than 300 nm significant changes of the half-band-half width can be correlated with increasing energy dissipation. Microhardness measurements demonstrate that recombinant spider silk and sericine-free Bombyx mori silk layers achieve higher elastic penetration moduls EEP and Martens hardness values HM than those of polyethylenterephthalate (PET) and polyetherimide (PEI) foils.