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Innovative Multifunctional Silk Fibroin and Hydrotalcite Nanocomposites: A Synergic Effect of the Components

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journal contribution
posted on 13.01.2014, 00:00 by Tamara Posati, Valentina Benfenati, Anna Sagnella, Assunta Pistone, Morena Nocchetti, Anna Donnadio, Giampiero Ruani, Roberto Zamboni, Michele Muccini
Novel hybrid functional materials are formed by combining hydrotalcite-like compounds and silk fibroin (SF-HTlc) via an environmental friendly aqueous process. The nanocomposites can be prepared with different weight ratio of the constituting components and preserve the conformational properties of the silk protein and the lamellar structure of hydrotalcites. Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy analyses show a good dispersion degree of the inorganic nanoparticles into the organic silk matrix. A mutual benefit on the stability of both organic and inorganic components was observed in the nanocomposites. SF-HTlc displayed limited dissolution of hydrotalcite in acidic medium, enhanced mechanical properties, and higher protease resistance of silk protein. The transparency, flexibility, and acidic environment resistance of silk fibroin combined to the protective and reinforcing properties of hydrotalcites generate a hybrid material, which is very attractive for applications in recently reported silk based opto-electronic and photonics technologies.