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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 683962, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/683962
Research Article

Antheraea pernyi Silk Fiber: A Potential Resource for Artificially Biospinning Spider Dragline Silk

State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Material Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China

Received 16 September 2009; Revised 8 January 2010; Accepted 1 March 2010

Academic Editor: Kenneth L. White

Copyright © 2010 Yaopeng Zhang 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.

Abstract

The outstanding properties of spider dragline silk are likely to be determined by a combination of the primary sequences and the secondary structure of the silk proteins. Antheraea pernyi silk has more similar sequences to spider dragline silk than the silk from its domestic counterpart, Bombyx mori. This makes it much potential as a resource for biospinning spider dragline silk. This paper further verified its possibility as the resource from the mechanical properties and the structures of the A. pernyi silks prepared by forcible reeling. It is surprising that the stress-strain curves of the A. pernyi fibers show similar sigmoidal shape to those of spider dragline silk. Under a controlled reeling speed of 95 mm/s, the breaking energy was  J/kg, the tensile strength was 639 MPa and the initial modulus was 9.9 GPa. It should be noted that this breaking energy of the A. pernyi silk approaches that of spider dragline silk. The tensile properties, the optical orientation and the -sheet structure contents of the silk fibers are remarkably increased by raising the spinning speeds up to 95 mm/s.