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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 682563, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/682563
Research Article

Tunable Structures and Properties of Electrospun Regenerated Silk Fibroin Mats Annealed in Water Vapor at Different Times and Temperatures

1State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
2Department of Urology, Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai 200233, China

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 12 April 2014; Published 5 May 2014

Academic Editor: Huarong Nie

Copyright © 2014 Xiangyu Huang 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

Regenerated silk fibroin (SF) mats were fabricated using electrospinning technique, followed by mild water vapor annealing to effectively tune the structures and improve the mechanical properties of the mats at different annealing times and temperatures. The breaking strength and the breaking energy of the mats treated with water vapor at 65°C for 12 h reached 6.0 MPa and 171.7 J/kg, respectively. The conformational transition of the SF mats was significantly influenced by the treating temperature, while the influence of time was comparatively limited. The influence is consistent with the time-temperature equivalent principle and would be helpful for the preparation of water-vapor-annealed silk-based biomaterials for various applications.