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Title: Electrospun Silk-Boron Nitride Nanofibers with Tunable Structure and Properties
In this study, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) nanosheets and Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF) proteins were combined and electrospun into BNSF nanofibers with different ratios. It was found that the surface morphology and crosslinking density of the nanofibers can be tuned through the mixing ratios. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy study showed that pure SF electrospun fibers were dominated by random coils and they gradually became α-helical structures with increasing h-BN nanosheet content, which indicates that the structure of the nanofiber material is tunable. Thermal stability of electrospun BNSF nanofibers were largely improved by the good thermal stability of BN, and the strong interactions between BN and SF molecules were revealed by temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC). With the addition of BN, the boundary water content also decreased, which may be due to the high hydrophobicity of BN. These results indicate that silk-based BN composite nanofibers can be potentially used in biomedical fields or green environmental research.
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National Science Foundation
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