Continuous Production of Flexible Fibers from Transgenically Produced Honeybee Silk Proteins

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Abstract

Flexible and solvent stable fibers are produced after concentrated recombinant honeybee protein solutions are extruded into a methanol bath, dried, drawn in aqueous methanol, then covalently cross-linked using dry heat. Proteins in solution are predominantly coiled coil. Significant levels of non-orientated ß-sheets form during drying or after coagulation in aqueous methanol. Drawing generally aligns the coiled coil component parallel with the fibre axis and ß-sheet component perpendicular to the fiber axis. The fibres are readily handled, stable in the strong protein denaturants, urea and guanidinium, and suitable for a range of applications such as weaving and knitting.mabi201300231-gra-0001

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