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Native-like Flow Properties of an Artificial Spider Silk Dope

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journal contribution
posted on 05.01.2021, 04:29 by Tina Arndt, Peter R. Laity, Jan Johansson, Chris Holland, Anna Rising
Recombinant spider silk has emerged as a biomaterial that can circumvent problems associated with synthetic and naturally derived polymers, while still fulfilling the potential of the native material. The artificial spider silk protein NT2RepCT can be produced and spun into fibers without the use of harsh chemicals and here we evaluate key properties of NT2RepCT dope at native-like concentrations. We show that NT2RepCT recapitulates not only the overall secondary structure content of a native silk dope but also emulates its viscoelastic rheological properties. We propose that these properties are key to biomimetic spinning and that optimization of rheological properties could facilitate successful spinning of artificial dopes into fibers.