Effect of surfactants on sol–gel transition of silk fibroin
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In this study, various surfactants were added to control the gelation time of silk fibroin (SF) aqueous solution. The gelation behaviors of SF aqueous solution in the presence of surfactant were investigated with attenuated total reflectance infrared, SEM, and a viscometer. When surfactants other than chitooligosaccharide were added into an SF aqueous solution, the gelation time of the solution was decreased under the fixed conditions. Particularly, anionic surfactant was found to be more effective than non-ionic and cationic surfactants in accelerating the gelation of SF. In addition, the conformational changes of SF hydrogel with or without surfactant were investigated in a time-resolved manner using infrared spectroscopy. Conformational transitions of SF nanofibers from random coil to β-sheet forms were strongly dependent on the inherent properties of surfactant, and on the different interactions between surfactant and SF molecules in aqueous solution. This approach to controlling the gelation of SF aqueous solution by the surfactant, and to monitoring their conformational changes on a real-time scale, may be critical in the design and tailoring of SF hydrogels useful for biomedical applications.
KeywordsSilk fibroin Gelation time Sol–gel transition Surfactant
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2012M2A2A6035747).
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