Effect of Silk Protein Processing on Drug Delivery from Silk Films

Eleanor M. Pritchard, Xiao Hu, Violet Finley, Catherine K. Kuo, David L. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Sericin removal from the core fibroin protein of silkworm silk is a critical first step in the use of silk for biomaterial-related applications, but degumming can affect silk biomaterial properties, including molecular weight, viscosity, diffusivity and degradation behavior. Increasing the degumming time (10, 30, 60, and 90min) decreases the average molecular weight of silk protein in solution, silk solution viscosity, and silk film glass-transition temperature, and increases the rate of degradation of a silk film by protease. Model compounds spanning a range of physical-chemical properties generally show an inverse relationship between degumming time and release rate through a varied degumming time silk coating. Degumming provides a useful control point to manipulate silk's material properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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