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Issue 34, 2016

Chemoenzymatic modification of silk fibroin with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,5-phenylene ether) using horseradish peroxidase

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Abstract

Chemical modification of silk materials is a powerful method for tailoring the desired physical properties for possible application in various fields. In this work, we modified silk fibroin with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,5-phenylene ether) (PPE) in order to imbue the silks with hydrophobicity so as to resist the absorption of humidity. This modification was achieved by chemoenzymatic polymerization of 2,6-dimethylphenol (DMP) using horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a catalyst in the presence of silk fibroin obtained from Bombyx mori. The PPE chain content in the modified silk was tuned by varying the feed concentration of DMP. Wide-angle X-ray scattering measurements revealed that β-sheet crystalline structures were formed in the PPE-modified silk, even after the introduction of bulky PPE chains. The PPE-modified silk showed glass transitions derived from the PPE domains, which enabled the formation of self-standing films upon thermal processing. Films of the PPE-modified silk exhibited higher static contact angles of water droplets compared to the native silk films, indicating that the film surface of silk fibroin became more hydrophobic due to the introduction of PPE. These improved physical properties were achieved without sacrificing the inherent secondary structure of silk fibroin, namely, the β-sheet structure that is largely responsible for the mechanical properties of silk materials.

Graphical abstract: Chemoenzymatic modification of silk fibroin with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,5-phenylene ether) using horseradish peroxidase

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
25 Jan 2016
Accepted
11 Mar 2016
First published
14 Mar 2016

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2016,6, 28737-28744
Article type
Paper

Chemoenzymatic modification of silk fibroin with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,5-phenylene ether) using horseradish peroxidase

L. Simmons, K. Tsuchiya and K. Numata, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 28737 DOI: 10.1039/C6RA02258H

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