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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1897; doi:10.3390/ijms17111897

Fabrication and Optimization of Stable, Optically Transparent, and Reusable pH-Responsive Silk Membranes

Pure and Applied Biochemistry, Chemical Center, Lund University, 22241 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John G. Hardy
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 25 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk-Based Materials: From Production to Characterization)
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The fabrication of silk-based membranes that are stable, optically transparent and reusable is yet to be achieved. To address this bottleneck we have developed a method to produce transparent chromogenic silk patches that are optically responsive to pH. The patches were produced by blending regenerated silk fibroin (RSF), Laponite® RD (nano clay) and the organic dyes neutral red and Thionine acetate. The Laponite® RD played a central role in the patch mechanical integrity and prevention of dye leaching. The process was optimized using a factorial design to maximize the patch response to pH by UV absorbance and fluorescence emission. New patches of the optimized protocol, made from solutions containing 125 μM neutral red or 250 μM of Thionine and 15 mg/mL silk, were further tested for operational stability over several cycles of pH altering. Stability, performance, and reusability were achieved over the tested cycles. The approach could be extended to other reporting molecules or enzymes able to bind to Laponite®. View Full-Text
Keywords: chromogenic; pH-responsive; silk patch; neutral red; thionine; Laponite®; membrane chromogenic; pH-responsive; silk patch; neutral red; thionine; Laponite®; membrane

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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Toytziaridis, A.; Dicko, C. Fabrication and Optimization of Stable, Optically Transparent, and Reusable pH-Responsive Silk Membranes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1897.

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