Spider silk is an attractive biopolymer with numerous potential applications due to its remarkable characteristics. Among the six categories of spider silks, flagelliform (Flag) spider silk possesses longer and more repetitive core domains than others, therefore performing the highest extensibility. To investigate the correlation between the recombinant spidroin size and the synthetic fiber properties, four recombinant proteins with different size (N-Scn-C (n=1-4)) were constructed and expressed using IMPACT system. Subsequently, different recombinant spidroins were spun into fibers through wet-spinning via a custom-made continuous post-drawing device. Mechanical test of the synthetic fibers with four parameters (maximum stress, maximum extension, Young's modulus and toughness) demonstrated that the extensibility of the fibers showed a positive correlation with spidroin size, consequently resulting in the extensibility of N-Sc4-C fiber ranked the highest (58.76%) among four fibers. Raman data revealed the relationship between secondary structure content and mechanical properties. The data here provided a deeper insight into the relationship between the function and structure of Flag silk for future design of artificial fibers.
- Received October 26, 2016.
- Accepted January 21, 2017.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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