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Keywords:

  • B. mori silk fibroin;
  • biomineralization;
  • biopolymers;
  • hydroxyapatite crystals;
  • interfaces;
  • nucleation;
  • self-assembly

Abstract

Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) is known to be capable of facilitating nucleation of the hydroxyapatite crystals (HAps). To find out how SF mediates the nucleation of HAps, self-assembly of SF in 1.5 simulated body fluid (SBF) was observed in this study through design of a co-solution of SF and 1.5-times SBF (SF/1.5 SBF). After the co-solution of SF/1.5 SBF was incubated at 37.2 °C up to 7 days, SEM, X-ray, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) observations indicated that nucleation of HAps was increased. In addition, the structure of SF was transited from random coil into β-sheet indicated by FTIR spectra. The β-sheet assembly of SF in 1.5 SBF was also supported by CD spectra. Atomic force microscopy provided detailed progress of the self-assembly that SF incubated in 1.5 SBF was self-assembled in the form from dot, through rod to final net. Therefore, this study suggested that nucleation of HAps of SF was controlled by its molecular self-assembly. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys, 2013