File(s) under permanent embargo
Crystals in Antheraea assamensis silkworm cocoon: their removal, recovery and roles
journal contributionposted on 2015-12-25, 00:00 authored by Jasjeet Kaur, Rangam RajkhowaRangam Rajkhowa, T Tsuzuki, Xungai WangXungai Wang
Brick shaped mineral deposits or crystals are found in the shell of semi-domestic silk cocoon of Antheraea assamensis (A. assamensis). Effective removal and recovery of these crystals are important to understand their roles in the cocoon's protective function towards pupae. In this study, chemical and physical (ultrasonication) demineralisation methods were investigated for A. assamensis. It was found that the physical demineralisation method could effectively separate crystals without changing their shape and size and not effecting other components of the silk cocoon. The efficient recovery of the crystals, without any change in their chemical composition was confirmed based on FTIR, XRD and EDX techniques. Chemical demineralisation method was optimised and performed under milder conditions than reported in the past. It helped reeling of silk without much loss of strength or natural colour of silk fibre.