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Polymers 2019, 11(3), 456; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030456

Thermal Conductivity of Protein-Based Materials: A Review

1,2
,
1
and
1,2,3,*
1
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
3
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ 08028, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Properties and Applications of Polymers)
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Abstract

Fibrous proteins such as silks have been used as textile and biomedical materials for decades due to their natural abundance, high flexibility, biocompatibility, and excellent mechanical properties. In addition, they also can avoid many problems related to traditional materials such as toxic chemical residues or brittleness. With the fast development of cutting-edge flexible materials and bioelectronics processing technologies, the market for biocompatible materials with extremely high or low thermal conductivity is growing rapidly. The thermal conductivity of protein films, which is usually on the order of 0.1 W/m·K, can be rather tunable as the value for stretched protein fibers can be substantially larger, outperforming that of many synthetic polymer materials. These findings indicate that the thermal conductivity and the heat transfer direction of protein-based materials can be finely controlled by manipulating their nano-scale structures. This review will focus on the structure of different fibrous proteins, such as silks, collagen and keratin, summarizing factors that can influence the thermal conductivity of protein-based materials and the different experimental methods used to measure their heat transfer properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal conductivity; protein; crystal structure; green materials thermal conductivity; protein; crystal structure; green materials
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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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Xue, Y.; Lofland, S.; Hu, X. Thermal Conductivity of Protein-Based Materials: A Review. Polymers 2019, 11, 456.

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