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Materials 2014, 7(9), 6158-6168; doi:10.3390/ma7096158

What Happens during Natural Protein Fibre Dissolution in Ionic Liquids

Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 14 August 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 28 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Here, we monitor the dissolution of several natural protein fibres such as wool, human hair and silk, in various ionic liquids (ILs). The dissolution of protein-based materials using ILs is an emerging area exploring the production of new materials from waste products. Wool is a keratin fibre, which is extensively used in the textiles industry and as a result has considerable amounts of waste produced each year. Wool, along with human hair, has a unique morphology whereby the outer layer, the cuticle, is heavily cross linked with disulphide bonds, whereas silk does not have this outer layer. Here we show how ILs dissolve natural protein fibres and how the mechanism of dissolution is directly related to the structure and morphology of the wool fibre.
Keywords: protein; ionic liquid (IL); dissolution; hydrogen bond; disulphide bond protein; ionic liquid (IL); dissolution; hydrogen bond; disulphide bond
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chen, J.; Vongsanga, K.; Wang, X.; Byrne, N. What Happens during Natural Protein Fibre Dissolution in Ionic Liquids. Materials 2014, 7, 6158-6168.

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