Structure–property relationships of Thai silk–microcrystalline cellulose biocomposite materials fabricated from ionic liquid

Kelsey DeFrates, Theodore Markiewicz, Kayla Callaway, Ye Xue, John Stanton, David Salas-de la Cruz, Xiao Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Biomaterials made from natural proteins and polysaccharides have become increasingly popular in the biomedical field due to their good biocompatibility and tunable biodegradability. However, the low miscibility of polysaccharides with proteins presents challenges in the creation of protein-polysaccharide composite materials. In this study, neat 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl) ionic liquid was used to regenerate Thailand gold Bombyx mori silk and microcrystalline cellulose blended films. This solvent was found to not only effectively dissolve both natural polymers, but also preserve the structure and integrity of the polymers. A single glass transition temperature for each blend was found in DSC curves, indicating good miscibility between the Thai silk and cellulose molecules. The structural composition as well as the morphology and thermal stability of blend films were then determined using FTIR, SEM and TGA. It was found that by varying the ratio of Thai silk to cellulose, the thermal and physical properties of the material could be tuned. Blended films tended to be more thermally stable which could be due to the presence of hydrophobic–hydrophobic or electrostatic interactions between the silk and cellulose. These studies offered a new pathway to understand the tunable properties of protein-polysaccharide composite biomaterials with controllable physical and biological properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Nov 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Structure–property relationships of Thai silk–microcrystalline cellulose biocomposite materials fabricated from ionic liquid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this