Preparation and characterization of novel nanocomposite films formed from silk fibroin and nano-TiO2.Int J Biol Macromol. 2007 Jan 30; 40(2):105-11.IJ
This paper describes the synthesis and characterization of new regenerated silk fibroin (SF)/nano-TiO(2) composite films. The preparation method, based on the sol-gel technique using butyl titanate as oxide precursor, could avoid reagglomeration of the prepared nanoparticles. Samples were characterized mainly by X-ray diffraction (XRD), ultra-violet (UV) spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The UV and AFM results indicated that TiO(2) nanoparticles could be well dispersed inside the SF film, and the size of TiO(2) was about 80nm. The XRD and FT-IR analysis implied that the formation of nano-TiO(2) particles may induce the conformational transition of silk fibroin to a typical Silk II structure partly with the increasing of crystallinity in the composite films. Compared to the pure SF films, the mechanical and thermal properties of composite films were improved, and the solubility in water was decreased due to the conformational transition of silk fibroin to Silk II structure.