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Silk Fibre Composites

Silk fibers, animal-based protein fibers, are composed of two fibroin protein filaments embedded in sericin, a glue-like protein coating. The exploitation of silk fibers as sutures and textiles has been done for centuries and industrial-scale production of silk fibers has further expanded their utilization. At present, both silk fibers and their protein component, known as regenerated silk fibroin, can be effectively used as either matrices or biofillers/reinforcements for the fabrication of composite materials because of their remarkable characteristics in terms of mechanical properties, degradability, and biocompatibility. The silk-based composites can be prepared in several forms, including fibers, films, and sponges or scaffolds. In recent years, silk-based composites have gained much more attention as one of the most promising candidates for use in various fields, such as technical textiles, structural applications, biosensors, biomedical applications, tissue engineering, and drug delivery systems. Since the incorporation of either the silk fibers or the regenerated silk makes the fabricated composites “greener”, silk-based composites should be potential alternatives to traditional composites on the basis of an environmentally friendly viewpoint.

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19 Sep 2012
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From the book series:
Green Chemistry Series