2007 Volume 16 Pages 91-98
The silk fibroin (SF) fiber from the Bombyx mori silkworm was treated with ultrasonic and salt-shrinking treatments, and its structure and physical properties were investigated to elucidate the effects of the two treatments.
In conclusion, the weight of the SF decreased after the ultrasonic treatment. The SEM images of the SF that underwent partial ultrasonic treatment showed fractures on the vertical surface and micropores on the cross section surface of the silk fibers. The tensile strength and elongation percentage of ultrasonically treated SF decreased considerably. The silk fiber crinkled and shrunk when the ultrasonically treated SF was treated with calcium salt, and many micropores appeared inside the SF. There were also changes in the aggregation structure; some of the molecule chains changed from a β-sheet structure to an unregulated structure after the salt-shrinking treatment.