Silk fibroin hydrogel is an ideal model as biomaterial matrix due to its excellent biocompatibility and used in the field of medical polymer materials. Nevertheless, native fibroin hydrogels show poor transparency and resilience. To settle these drawbacks, an interpenetrating network (IPN) of hydrogels are synthesized with changing ratios of silk fibroin/N
-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidonemixtures that crosslink by H2
and horseradish peroxidase. Interpenetrating polymer network structure can shorten the gel time and the pure fibroin solution gel time for more than a week. This is mainly due to conformation from the random coil to the β-sheet structure changes of fibroin. Moreover, the light transmittance of IPN hydrogel can be as high as more than 97% and maintain a level of 90% within a week. The hydrogel, which mainly consists of random coil, the apertures inside can be up to 200 μm. Elastic modulus increases during the process of gelation. The gel has nearly 95% resilience under the compression of 70% eventually, which is much higher than native fibroin gel. The results suggest that the present IPN hydrogels have excellent mechanical properties and excellent transparency.
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