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Open AccessArticle

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

Pure and Applied Biochemistry, Chemical Center, Lund University, 22241 Lund, Sweden
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Academic Editor: John G. Hardy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(11), 1897; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17111897
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)
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
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MDPI and ACS Style

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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