Fluorescent silk fibroin nanofibers were fabricated via electrospinning method with three kinds of fluorescent dyes. Electrospun fluorescent nanofibers showed smooth surfaces and average diameters of 873 ± 135 nm, 835 ± 195 nm, and 925 ± 205 nm, respectively, for silk fibroin-fluorescein sodium, silk fibroin-rhodamine B, and silk fibroin-acridine orange nanofibers containing 2.0 wt% fluorescent dyes. At the same time, the secondary structure of silk fibroin in fluorescent nanofibers was predominantly amorphous conformation without influence by adding different concentrations of fluorescent dyes, as characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Thermal degradation behavior of fluorescent silk fibroin nanofibers with a dramatic decrease in weight residue was observed at around 250 °C. The fluorescence effect of fluorescent silk fibroin nanofibers was changed by changing the concentration of different fluorescent dyes. These fluorescent nanofibers may make promising textile materials for large scale application.
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