Electro-spun silk webs are potentially good candidates as tissue engineering scaffolds owing to their good bio- and cyto-compatibility. However, the low fabrication rate of electro-spun silk mats has been one of the obstacles in the mass production of such nanofibrous silk mats in applications to the biomedical field. In this study, the effects of degumming ratio and silk concentration on the electro-spinning process were investigated by using regenerated silk with different residual sericin contents and different silk concentrations in terms of the morphology and structure of the electro-spun silk web. The rate of production of electro-spun silk mats could be increased by approximately 5 fold at a degumming ratio of 19.5%. The electro-spinning rate of silk was affected by two main factors: (1) dope solution viscosity and (2) degumming ratio of silk. The conductivity of the silk dope solution, however, had little effects on the electro-spinning of regenerated silk. A constant spun fiber morphology was observed within the electro-spinning rate range (0.3-1.4. ml/h). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed that partial β-sheet crystallization occurred during electro-spinning. The molecular conformation was relatively unaffected by the electro-spinning rate of silk. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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