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Structure and characteristics of milled silk particles
journal contributionposted on 01.03.2014, 00:00 authored by M Kazemimostaghim, Rangam RajkhowaRangam Rajkhowa, Kiran PatilKiran Patil, T Tsuzuki, Xungai WangXungai Wang
This study examined the structure, thermal property, and ion adsorption of silk particles. The particles were prepared by attritor-bead mill combination, using alkaline (pH10) charge repulsion and surfactant steric repulsion methods. Both methods produced particles with a dominant β-sheet structure, similar to the silk fibre. There was no significant difference in the decomposition temperatures for either the silk fibre or the micro/nano silk particles. An important finding from this study is clear evidence of reduction of amorphous content during the final stage of powdering using the bead mill. As a result, despite reduction in β-sheet crystallites with the progressive milling, the relative β-sheet content actually increased during this process. However, intermolecular forces between the β-sheets reduced significantly and hence the XRD results showed significant reduction in crystallinity in nano silk particles but crystal forming segments remained with β-sheet conformations after milling. The structural change influenced the ion-adsorption property where particle-size reduction resulted in a significant increase in both the rate and volume of HCrO4- adsorption. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.