Fabrication and Characterization of Recombinant Silk‐Elastin‐Like‐Protein (SELP) Fiber
Author(s)Roberts, Erin G.; Rim, Nae‐Gyune; Huang, Wenwen; Tarakanova, Anna; Yeo, Jingjie; Buehler, Markus J; Kaplan, David L.; Wong, Joyce Y.; ... Show more Show less
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Silk-elastin-like-protein polymers (SELPs) are genetically engineered recombinant protein sequences consisting of repeating units of silk-like and elastin-like blocks. By combining these entities, it is shown that both the characteristic strength of silk and the temperature-dependent responsiveness of elastin can be leveraged to create an enhanced stimuli-responsive material. It is hypothesized that SELP behavior can be influenced by varying the silk-to-elastin ratio. If the responsiveness of the material at different ratios is significantly different, this would allow for the design of materials with specific temperature-based swelling and mechanical properties. This study demonstrates that SELP fiber properties can be controlled via a temperature transition dependent on the ratio of silk-to-elastin in the material. SELP fibers are experimentally wet spun from polymers with different ratios of silk-to-elastin and conditioned in either a below or above transition temperature (T t) water bath prior to characterization. The fibers with higher elastin content showed more stimuli-responsive behavior compared to the fibers with lower elastin content in the hot (57–60 °C) versus cold (4–7 °C) environment, both computationally and experimentally. This work builds a foundation for developing SELP materials with well-characterized mechanical properties and responsive features.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Roberts, Erin G. et al. "Fabrication and Characterization of Recombinant Silk‐Elastin‐Like‐Protein (SELP) Fiber." Macromolecular Bioscience 18, 12 (November 2018): e1800265 © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Author's final manuscript