Korea-Australia Rheology Journal

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 119–125 | Cite as

Relationship between rheology and electro-spinning performance of regenerated silk fibroin prepared using different degumming methods

  • Hyun Ju Kim
  • In Chul Um


Electro-spun silk fibroin (SF) has been studied for biomedical applications because of its good biocompatibility, cyto-compatibility, and simple fabrication method. SF is obtained by a degumming process and the degumming method can affect the degree of molecular degradation of SF during the degumming process. In the present study, the effect of the degumming method on the rheology and electro-spinning performance of a silk solution was examined. In addition, the relationship between the rheology and electrospinnability was investigated. Regardless of the degumming method, all silk formic acid solutions exhibited almost Newtonian fluid behavior. The order of the viscosity of the silk solution was as follows: HTHP method > acid method > soap/soda method. An analysis of the correlation between the viscosity and electrospun morphology showed that the viscosity played a key role in determining the electro-spun morphology, and the critical viscosity for good fiber formation without beads in electro-spinning exists between 0.13 and 0.20 Pa·s. The viscosity also determines the maximum electro-spinning rate of the SF formic acid solution. The morphology and diameter of the electro-spun fiber were almost unaffected by the electro-spinning rate of the SF solution.


silk fibroin degumming method viscosity maximum electro-spinning rate fiber diameter 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altman, G.H., R.L. Horan, H.H. Lu, J. Moreau, I. Martin, J.C. Richmond, and D.L. Kaplan, 2002, Silk matrix for tissue engineered anterior cruciate ligaments, Biomaterials 23, 4131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arai, T., G. Freddi, R. Innocenti, and M. Tsukada, 2004, Biodegradation of bombyx mori silk fibroin fibers and films, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 91, 2383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cho, H.J., Y.J. Yoo, J.W. Kim, Y.H. Park, D.G. Bae, and I.C. Um, 2012a, Effect of molecular weight and storage time on the wet and electro-spinning of regenerated silk fibroin, Polym. Degrad. Stab. 97, 1060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cho, H.J., C.S. Ki, H. Oh, K.H. Lee, and I.C. Um, 2012b, Molecular weight distribution and solution properties of silk fibroins with different dissolution conditions, Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 51, 336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chung, D.E. and I.C. Um, 2014, Effect of molecular weight and concentration on crystallinity and post drawing of wet spun silk fibroin fiber, Fiber. Polym. 15, 153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fan, S., Y. Zhang, H. Shao, and X. Hu, 2013, Electrospun regenerated silk fibroin mats with enhanced mechanical properties, Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 56, 83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gupta, P., C. Elkins, T.E. Long, and G.L. Wiles, 2005, Electrospinning of linear homopolymers of poly (methyl methacrylate): exploring relationships between fiber formation, viscosity, molecular weight and concentration in a good solvent, Polymer 46, 4799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jin, H.J., S.V. Fridrikh, G.C. Rutledge, and D.L. Kaplan, 2002, Electrospinning Bombyx mori silk with poly (ethylene oxide), Biomacromolecules 3, 1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ki, C.S., J.W. Kim, J.H. Hyun, K.H. Lee, M. Hattori, D.K. Rah, and Y.H. Park, 2007, Electrospun three-dimensional silk fibroin nanofibrous scaffold, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 106, 3922.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kim, J., C.H. Kim, C.H. Park, J.N. Seo, H. Kweon, S.W. Kang, and K.G. Lee, 2010, Comparison of methods for the repair of acute tympanic membrane perforations: Silk patch vs. paper patch, Wound Rep. Regen. 18, 132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kim, S.H., Y.S. Nam, T.S. Nam, and W.H. Park, 2003, Silk fibroin nanofiber. Electrospinning, properties, and structure, Polym. J. 35, 185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ko, J.S. K. Yoon, C.S. Ki, H.J. Kim, D.G. Bae, K.H. Lee, Y.H. Park, and I.C. Um, 2013, Effect of degumming condition on the solution properties and electrospinnablity of regenerated silk solution, Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 55, 161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kweon, H., K.G. Lee, C.H. Chae, C. Balazsi, S.K. Min, J.Y. Kim, J.Y. Choi, and S.G. Kim, 2011, Development of nanohydroxyapatite graft with silk fibroin scaffold as a new bone substitute, J. Oral. Maxillofac. Surg. 69, 1578.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee, K. H., C.S. Ki, D.H. Baek, G.D. Kang, D.W. Ihm, and Y.H. Park, 2005, Application of electrospun silk fibroin nanofibers as an immobilization support of enzyme, Fiber. Polym. 6, 181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Min, B.M., G. Lee, S.H. Kim, Y.S. Nam, T.S. Lee, and W.H. Park, 2004, Electrospinning of silk fibroin nanofibers and its effect on the adhesion and spreading of normal human keratinocytes and fibroblasts in vitro, Biomaterials 25, 1289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Minoura, N., S. Aiba, Y. Gotoh, M. Tsukada, and Y. Imai, 1995, Attachment and growth of cultured fibroblast cells on silk protein matrices, J. Biomed. Mater. Res. 29, 1215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mit-Uppatham, C., M. Nithitanakul, and P. Supaphol, 2004, Ultrafine electrospun polyamide-6 fibers: Effect of solution conditions on morphology and average fiber diameter, Macromol. Chem. Phys. 205, 2327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Moroni, L., R. Licht, J. Boer, J.R. Wijin, and C.A. Blitterswijik, 2006, Fiber diameter and texture of electrospun PEOT/PBT scaffolds influence human mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and morphology, and the release of incorporated compounds, Biomaterials 27, 4911.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ohgo, K., C.H. Zhao, M. Kabayashi, and T. Asakura, 2003, Preparation of non-woven nanofibers of Bombyx mori silk, Samia cynthia ricini silk and recombinant hybrid silk with electrospinning method, Polymer 44, 841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Qiao, C., C. Guangxin, Y. Li, and T. Li, 2013, Viscosity properties of gelatin in solutions of monovalent and divalent salts. Korea-Australia Rheol. J. 25, 227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sakabe, H. H. Ito, T. Miyamoto, Y. Noishiki, and W.S. Ha, 1989, In vivo blood compatibility of regenerated silk fibroin, Sen-i Gakkaish 45, 487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Um, I.C., H.Y. Kweon, C.M. Hwang, B.G. Min, and Y.H. Park, 2002, Structural characteristics and properties of silk fibroin/polyurethane blend films, Int. J. Indust. Entomol. 5, 163.Google Scholar
  23. Wang, Y., D.D. Rudym, A. Walsh, L. Abrahamsen, H.J. Kim, H.S. Kim, C. Kirker-Head, and D.L. Kaplan, 2008, In vivo degradation of three-dimensional silk fibroin scaffolds, Biomaterials 29, 3415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yamada, H., H. Nakao, Y. Takasu, and K. Tsubouchi, 2001, Preparation of undegraded native molecular fibroin solution from silkworm cocoons, Mater. Sci. Eng. 14, 41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yoo, Y.J. and I.C. Um, 2013a, Examination of thermo-gelation behavior of HPMC and HEMC aqueous solution using rheology, Korea-Australia Rheol. J. 25, 67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yoo, Y.J. and I.C. Um, 2013b, Effect of extraction time on the rheological properties of sericin solutions and gels, Int. J. Indust. Entomol. 25, 180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Yoon, K., H.N. Lee, C.S. Ki, D. Fang, B.S. Hsiao, B. Chu, and I.C. Um, 2013, Effect of degumming conditions on electrospinning rate of regenerated silk, Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 61, 50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Society of Rheology (KSR) and the Australian Society of Rheology (ASR) and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bio-fibers and Materials ScienceKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea

Personalised recommendations