Production of Silk Sericin Nanofibers
Electrospinning is a scientifically attractive spinning technique, since it can produce fibers with the diameters ranging from the sub-micron to nano dimensional scale. The fiber diameters and their standard deviation primarily depend on the polymer solution properties and electrospinning process variables. Silk sericin powder was obtained from the raw silk fiber of Bombyx mori silkworm. The solution was prepared by dissolving silk sericin powder in water at 85 °C for 30 minutes. In the electrospinning process, voltage 20 kV was applied and the inner diameter of the syringe needle was 0.3 mm. The distance from the syringe tip to the target was 15 cm. The sericin nanofibers with smooth surfaces can not be produced at 40 wt%. However, fine nanofibers were produced at the concentrations of 50 wt% and 60 wt%. It was suggested that the average diameters of the nanofibers increased with increasing solution concentration and the optimum concentration was 50 wt% for best nanofibers. Then solution 50 wt% was electrospun with different voltages from 13 kV to 25 kV, the working distance is 10 cm, the as-spun silk nanofibers were produced and exhibited fine nanofibers with smooth surfaces. The average diameters and diameter distributions of the nanofibers decreased with increasing voltage.
Lun Bai and Guo-Qiang Chen
X. H. Zhang et al., "Production of Silk Sericin Nanofibers", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 175-176, pp. 348-352, 2011