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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(5), 3170-3181; doi:10.3390/ijms12053170

Enhancing Effect of Glycerol on the Tensile Properties of Bombyx mori Cocoon Sericin Films

Institute of Applied Bioresources, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 March 2011 / Revised: 2 April 2011 / Accepted: 6 April 2011 / Published: 16 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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An environmental physical method described herein was developed to improve the tensile properties of Bombyx mori cocoon sericin films, by using the plasticizer of glycerol, which has a nontoxic effect compared with other chemical crosslinkers. The changes in the tensile characteristics and the structure of glycerolated (0–40 wt% of glycerol) sericin films were investigated. Sericin films, both in dry and wet states, showed enhanced tensile properties, which might be regulated by the addition of different concentrations of glycerol. The introduction of glycerol results in the higher amorphous structure in sericin films as evidenced by analysis of attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectra, thermogravimetry (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) curves. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) observation revealed that glycerol was homogeneously blended with sericin molecules when its content was 10 wt%, while a small amount of redundant glycerol emerged on the surface of sericin films when its content was increased to 20 wt% or higher. Our results suggest that the introduction of glycerol is a novel nontoxic strategy which can improve the mechanical features of sericin-based materials and subsequently promote the feasibility of its application in tissue engineering.
Keywords: glycerol; sericin; tensile strength; ATR-FTIR; secondary structure glycerol; sericin; tensile strength; ATR-FTIR; secondary structure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, H.; Deng, L.; Yang, M.; Min, S.; Yang, L.; Zhu, L. Enhancing Effect of Glycerol on the Tensile Properties of Bombyx mori Cocoon Sericin Films. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 3170-3181.

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