Electrospinning of hybrid polymers to mimic spider dragline silk. A joint-project between Singapore’s Hwa Chong Institution and Virginia’s Academy of Science. Lim Yao Chong HCI ・ Low Rui Hao HCI ・ Tracey Atkinson AOS ・ Patrick Steiner AOS. Background Information.
Electrospinning of hybrid polymers to mimic spider dragline silk
A joint-project between Singapore’s Hwa Chong Institution and Virginia’s Academy of Science
Lim Yao Chong HCI ・ Low Rui Hao HCI ・ Tracey Atkinson AOS ・ Patrick Steiner AOS
Spider Dragline Silk KeratinElastinElectrospinning
It has a High tensile strengthand High extensibility.
Composite structure of crystalline and elastic regions
Job Division ・ Initial Progress ・ Sustained Communication・ Consolidation
With a given topic, the teams work on coming out with parallel projects:
Working towards the same goal
Aiding each other in research
Research Findings HCI
Conclusion: A keratin+PEO solution of concentration 10% is the optimal.
Restriction of resources and time.
Research Findings AOS
A solution was found that produced good fibres of elastin and keratin. The solution was 5%w of elastin and keratin, 5% w PEO and a very low concentration of sodium chloride.
By varying the amount of moles of elastin and keratin in the initial solution, and electrospinning using the phase 2 variables, meshes with different ratios of elastin:keratin were electrospun
Different electrospinning Parameters including voltage and distance to the collector plate were varied to produce the best electrospun mesh from the initial solution.
Using SEM images and tensile testing results, it was discovered that a 1:4 ratio of elastin to keratin produced a material that was as extensible as spider silk, but not as strong.