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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 819464, 6 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Gelation Time and Polyalcohol Effect on Hydrogels from Domestic and Wild Silk Fibroins

1National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren’ai Road, Industrial Park, Suzhou 215123, China
2Industry Promoting Department, Suzhou Science and Technology Service Center, No. 979 Renmin Road, Suzhou 215002, China
3Department of Textile, Nantong Textile Vocational Technology College, No. 105 East Qingnian Road, Nantong 226007, China

Received 20 August 2011; Revised 20 January 2012; Accepted 8 February 2012

Academic Editor: Wen-Hua Sun

Copyright © 2012 Huijing Zhao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Silk fibroin (SF) hydrogels were obtained from both domestic (Bombyx mori) and wild (Antheraea pernyi) silkworms from aqueous silk fibroin solutions at room temperature. The gelation time of the Antheraea pernyi (A. pernyi) SF solution was significantly shorter than that of the Bombyx mori (B. mori) SF solution. The secondary structures of the two kinds of hydrogels were also compared. In order to further reduce the gelation time, various amounts of polyethylene glycol (PEG) were blended with the silk fibroins of A. pernyi and B. mori. The gelation time of both A. pernyi SF and B. mori SF decreased with the increased amount of PEG. After freeze-drying, the hydrogels were characterized through X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and Raman spectroscopy. Results showed that the addition of polyalcohol did not change the main secondary structure of the hydrogels. However, the addition of polyalcohol did reduce the gelation time and triggered additional formation of β-sheets.