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Effect of silk fibroin interpenetrating networks on swelling/deswelling kinetics and rheological properties of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) hydrogels.
Novel protein/synthetic polymer hybrid interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) with Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) have been prepared by using methanol to postinduce SF crystallization. Those IPNs having the beta sheet crystalline structure of SF show improved storage and loss moduli. The IPN hydrogels show the same volume phase transition temperature and NaCl concentration as pure PNIPAAm hydrogels. The PNIPAAm/SF IPNs keep the swelling kinetics of PNIPAAm, while showing increased deswelling kinetics. The IPNs with SF beta sheet structure should decrease the formation of the skin layer observed in conventional PNIPAAm hydrogels. Therefore, the proposed IPN hydrogels composed of protein/polymer provide fast deswelling rates as well as improved mechanical properties over pure PNIPAAm hydrogels. The effect of SF beta sheet networks on the IPNs copolymerized with acrylic acid (AAc) (P(NIPAAm-co-AAc)/SF IPNs) is compared with that on the PNIPAAm/SF IPNs, and the parameters controlling the deswelling kinetics of the IPNs are investigated. Three parameters, (1) the skin layer formation, (2) the restriction of SF beta sheet networks, and (3) the aggregation force of NIPAAm chains, are cooperatively involved in the deswelling process of IPN hydrogels according to the SF content and the presence of the AAc moiety.
Protein Structure, Secondary
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't