The Journal of Silk Science and Technology of Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-1698
Print ISSN : 1880-8204
ISSN-L : 1880-8204
Hexagonal Packing of Nanofibrils in Bombyx mori Silkworm Silk Revealed by Small-angle X-ray Scattering Analysis
Taiyo YoshiokaTsunenori Kameda
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2020 Volume 28 Pages 127-133


  The fibrillar structure of Bombyx mori silkworm silk is well known. However, its hierarchical details, such as the average dimensions of nanofibrils and bundles (i.e. fibrils) as well as nanofibril aggregation manner and orientation level, remain incompletely understood. This study investigated the fibrillar structure in B. mori silkworm silk by using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis. SAXS analysis revealed bundles comprising hexagonally packed nanofibrils. To our knowledge, this has never been reported in morphological observations of B. mori silkworm silk or any other native silks. The average diameters of nanofibrils and bundles were approximately 4.7 and 54 nm, respectively. Our results demonstrate the potential of SAXS analysis for investigating the hierarchical fibrillar structures of native silks.

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© 2020 by The Japanese Society of Silk Science and Technology
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