Optimization of Silk Processing for Enhanced Mechanical Properties.
silk fibers have been exploited in clinical applications for replacing and strengthening
connective tissues including ligaments and tendons and in the closure of wounds.
However, more recent work has focused on the use of reconstituted silk to create three
dimensional tissue scaffolds that can be used to regenerate living tissue replacements.
This work takes advantage of the ... read morefact that silk fibroin is a naturally occurring,
biocompatible polymer and can be formed into myriad constructs including fibers, films,
foams and sponges. While this has opened up numerous new opportunities for the use of
silk in biomedical engineering one of the major hurdles has been achieving mechanical
properties as robust as those exhibited by natural silk fibroin in a regenerated form.
This work explores the effect of the reconstitution process on the quality of the
regenerated silk solution and solid constructs through molecular weight, rheological and
mechanical analysis. These tests have also provided insight into the self assembly
process enabling the optimization of mechanical
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Gary Leisk.
Committee: David Kaplan, and Luisa Chiesa.
Keyword: Mechanical engineering.read less