Silk solution processing automation.
Abstract: Natural silk
produced by silkworms and spiders exhibits many unique properties, such as high tensile
strength and extensibility, controllable degradation, biological compatibility, as well
as a structure that can be manipulated chemically for particular applications. Silk has
been used as a biomaterial in biomedical applications for years, most notably for
sutures and tissue enginee... read morering scaffolds. For many biomedical applications, silk cocoons
are transformed into a silk solution as the first step. The existing silk solution
processing used by biomedical researchers at Tufts University involves degumming,
drying, dissolving and dialysis, which require significant hands-on human involvement.
In this thesis, a refined silk solution processing approach is proposed with a focus on
a new automated boiling system for degumming silk cocoons. Using National Instruments'
LabVIEW software for control and customized water sensors for feedback, the automated
boiling system was demonstrated to perform correctly. Ongoing efforts to make monitoring
and control of the process will be discussed as
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Gary Leisk.
Committee: David Kaplan, and Chris Rogers.
Keywords: Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.read less