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Sample records for silk female preference

  1. Why do males of the spider Pisaura mirabilis wrap their nuptial gifts in silk: Female preference or male control?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Tina; Bollerup, Kristine; Toft, Søren

    2008-01-01

    Males of the spider Pisaura mirabilis present a nuptial prey gift to the female during courtship as a mating effort. The gift is usually round and wrapped in white silk. It was suggested that the wrapped gift functions as a sensory trap by mimicking the female's eggsac implying that males exploit...

  2. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

  3. Population, Resources and Female Labor in the Raw Silk Industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim F. Liao

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Gendered realities in local regions are a prominent issue in today’s global economy. However, the process of globalization in the late-19th century already involved the local Nagano women in an indispensable role in Japan’s raw silk industry. This paper studies the interplay between population growth and relatively limited resources in Nagano vis-à-vis the demand for female labor during the Meiji era, when Japan became a major raw silk producer. The local/regional constraints in Nagano interacted with economic globalization and gave Nagano its position in the global market. Therefore, we cannot ignore the consequences of local/regional constraints and advantages in global processes on female workers. Population pressure and environmental squeeze are found to have been important forces that integrated the local and regional in the global process of industrialization and trade, and together, they produced social outcomes, such as gender hierarchies in globalization and glocalization processes.

  4. Infants Prefer Female Body Phenotypes; Infant Girls Prefer They Have an Hourglass Shape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Gerianne M; Hawkins, Laura B; Wilcox, Teresa; Hirshkowitz, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Adolescents and adults show preferences for male and female body shapes consistent with evolutionary theories of reproductive fitness and mate selection. However, when these preferences for females with narrow waists (i.e., 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio) and men with broad shoulders (i.e., mesomorphic body shape) emerge during the lifespan is largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, eye-movements were tracked in 146 infants (3-18 months of age) during computer presentation of three-dimensional human figures varying in body features thought relevant for reproductive success (e.g., secondary sex characteristics, waist-to-hip ratio). When presented with pairs of figures differing in apparent sex, male and female infants looked significantly longer at the female figure compared to the male figure, a new finding that extends previous research showing preferences for female faces in infancy. When presented with same-sex figures differing in characteristics associated with mate value, male and female infants looked longer at a low mate value male (i.e., an endomorphic body type) compared to a high mate value male (i.e., a mesomorphic body type), a finding that replicates the results of previous research. In addition, the novel use of high and low mate value female figures showed a sex difference in visual attention, such that female infants looked longer at the high mate value female figure compared to the low mate female figure whereas male infants showed the opposite pattern of results. In sum, these findings suggest that infants generally do not possess preferences for adult-defined attractive male body shapes. However, infant girls' greater attention to a female figure with an adult-preferred waist-to-hip ratio raises the possibility that evolved preferences for 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio influence girls' later preference for toys representing females with an hourglass shape, perhaps supporting elaboration of adult social behaviors that enhance reproductive success (e

  5. A preference for a sexual signal keeps females safe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae Won Kim

    Full Text Available Predation is generally thought to constrain sexual selection by female choice and limit the evolution of conspicuous sexual signals. Under high predation risk, females usually become less choosy, because they reduce their exposure to their predators by reducing the extent of their mate searching. However, predation need not weaken sexual selection if, under high predation risk, females exhibit stronger preferences for males that use conspicuous signals that help females avoid their predators. We tested this prediction in the fiddler crab Uca terpsichores by increasing females' perceived predation risk from crab-eating birds and measuring the attractiveness of a courtship signal that females use to find mates. The sexual signal is an arching mound of sand that males build at the openings of their burrows to which they attract females for mating. We found that the greater the risk, the more attractive were males with those structures. The benefits of mate preferences for sexual signals are usually thought to be linked to males' reproductive contributions to females or their young. Our study provides the first evidence that a female preference for a sexual signal can yield direct survival benefits by keeping females safe as they search for mates.

  6. Female partner preferences enhance offspring ability to survive an infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raveh, Shirley; Sutalo, Sanja; Thonhauser, Kerstin E; Thoß, Michaela; Hettyey, Attila; Winkelser, Friederike; Penn, Dustin J

    2014-01-23

    It is often suggested that mate choice enhances offspring immune resistance to infectious diseases. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a study with wild-derived house mice (Mus musculus musculus) in which females were experimentally mated either with their preferred or non-preferred male, and their offspring were infected with a mouse pathogen, Salmonella enterica (serovar Typhimurium). We found that offspring sired by preferred males were significantly more likely to survive the experimental infection compared to those sired by non-preferred males. We found no significant differences in the pathogen clearance or infection dynamics between the infected mice, suggesting that offspring from preferred males were better able to cope with infection and had improved tolerance rather than immune resistance. Our results provide the first direct experimental evidence within a single study that partner preferences enhance offspring resistance to infectious diseases.

  7. Men's strategic preferences for femininity in female faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Anthony C; Jones, Benedict C; Feinberg, David R; Perrett, David I

    2014-08-01

    Several evolutionarily relevant sources of individual differences in face preference have been documented for women. Here, we examine three such sources of individual variation in men's preference for female facial femininity: term of relationship, partnership status and self-perceived attractiveness. We show that men prefer more feminine female faces when rating for a short-term relationship and when they have a partner (Study 1). These variables were found to interact in a follow-up study (Study 2). Men who thought themselves attractive also preferred more feminized female faces for short-term relationships than men who thought themselves less attractive (Study 1 and Study 2). In women, similar findings for masculine preferences in male faces have been interpreted as adaptive. In men, such preferences potentially reflect that attractive males are able to compete for high-quality female partners in short-term contexts. When a man has secured a mate, the potential cost of being discovered may increase his choosiness regarding short-term partners relative to unpartnered men, who can better increase their short-term mating success by relaxing their standards. Such potentially strategic preferences imply that men also face trade-offs when choosing relatively masculine or feminine faced partners. In line with a trade-off, women with feminine faces were seen as more likely to be unfaithful and more likely to pursue short-term relationships (Study 3), suggesting that risk of cuckoldry is one factor that may limit men's preferences for femininity in women and could additionally lead to preferences for femininity in short-term mates. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  8. Correlated Male Preferences for Femininity in Female Faces and Voices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J Fraccaro

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sexually dimorphic physical traits are important for mate choice and mate preference in many species, including humans. Several previous studies have observed that women's preferences for physical cues of male masculinity in different domains (e.g., visual and vocal are correlated. These correlations demonstrate systematic, rather than arbitrary, variation in women's preferences for masculine men and are consistent with the proposal that sexually dimorphic cues in different domains reflect a common underlying aspect of male quality. Here we present evidence for a similar correlation between men's preferences for different cues of femininity in women; although men generally preferred feminized to masculinized versions of both women's faces and voices, the strength of men's preferences for feminized versions of female faces was positively and significantly correlated with the strength of their preferences for feminized versions of women's voices. In a second study, this correlation occurred when men judged women's attractiveness as long-term, but not short-term, mates, which is consistent with previous research. Collectively, these findings (1 present novel evidence for systematic variation in men's preferences for feminine women, (2 present converging evidence for concordant preferences for sexually dimorphic traits in different domains, and (3 complement findings of correlations between women's facial and vocal femininity.

  9. Preferred Leadership Behaviours of Male and Female Badminton Players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajkumar S HARMA

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Pr eferences for specific coaching behaviours of male and female Badminton players were measured by the modified and revised Leadership Scale for Sport. Eighty two (Males=61, Females=21 badminton players were selected from amongst the players representing th eir respective university teams in East - zone Inter - university Badminton (Men/Women tournaments held at Bilaspur (CG. The present investigation noted the statistically significant differences among East - zone Inter - university level male as well as female B adminton player’s preferences for specific coaching behaviour. Differences were not observed between male and female badminton players in all the dimensions together of specific coaching behaviours of preferred leadership. It is recommended that coaches a lign their coaching style to meet the needs of their teams.

  10. Infants prefer female body phenotypes; infant girls prefer they have an hourglass shape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerianne M Alexander

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents and adults show preferences for male and female body shapes consistent with evolutionary theories of reproductive fitness and mate selection. However, when these preferences for females with narrow waists (i.e., 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio and men with broad shoulders (i.e., mesomorphic body shape emerge during the lifespan is largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, eye-movements were tracked in 144 infants (3 to 18 months of age during computer presentation of three-dimensional human figures varying in body features thought relevant for reproductive success (e.g., secondary sex characteristics, waist-to-hip ratio. When presented with pairs of figures differing in apparent sex, male and female infants looked significantly longer at the female figure compared to the male figure, a new finding that extends previous research showing preferences for female faces in infancy. When presented with same-sex figures differing in characteristics associated with mate value, male and female infants looked longer at a low mate value male (i.e., an endomorphic body type compared to a high mate value male (i.e., a mesomorphic body type, a finding that replicates the results of previous research. In addition, the novel use of high and low mate value female figures showed a sex difference in visual attention, such that female infants looked longer at the high mate value female figure compared to the low mate female figure whereas male infants showed the opposite pattern of results. In sum, these findings suggest that infants generally do not possess preferences for adult-defined attractive male body shapes. However, infant girls’ greater attention to a female figure with an adult-preferred waist-to-hip ratio raises the possibility that evolved preferences for 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio influence girls’ later preference for toys representing females with an hourglass shape, perhaps supporting elaboration of adult social behaviors that enhance

  11. Psychological Type Preferences of Female Bible College Students in England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, William K.; Francis, Leslie J.

    2008-01-01

    A sample of 122 female students attending a Pentecostal Bible College in England completed Form G (Anglicised) of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The data demonstrated preferences for extraversion over introversion, for sensing over intuition, for feeling over thinking, and for judging over perceiving. The predominant type was ISFJ (16%),…

  12. The evolution of female preferences for multiple indicators of quality.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Doorn, G.S.; Weissing, F.J.

    In a variety of species, females exhibit preferences for multiple male ornaments. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. Which, if any, of these hypotheses is the most plausible in general remains largely unresolved based on the available empirical data. Yet theoretical

  13. Comparison between female and male of demand of sulfur-containing amino acid of domestic silk worms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinbo, Hiroshi; Inokuchi, Tamio

    1977-01-01

    Comparison of the demand of sulfur-containing amino acid (methionine and cystine) of young domestic silk worms was made between female and male using amino acid diet, and the relation among growth, blood protein and ninhydrin positive substance concentration was discussed. When 3 mg/g of methionine was added to the diet, the growth promotion effect of cystine was hardly recognized for male, while no addition of cystine showed inferior growth for female, however the normal growth was recognized when more than 1 mg/g was added. Accordingly, it is recognized that the female requires more sulfur-containing amino acid than the male. The relationship between the addition of methionine and cystine and the blood protein concentration showed the tendency to conform to the growth approximately. In the effects of blood protein concentration due to diet condition, the difference between female and male were recognized. The relationship between the addition of methionine and cystine in the diet and the ninhydrin positive substance concentration was high in case of the lack of methionine, but the relationship to cystine addition and the difference between female and male were not clear. As a result of measuring 14 CO 2 exhaled from the young worms injected with DL-cystine-1- 14 C, the resolution of cystine in the living body of female was lower than that of male. (Iwakiri, K.)

  14. Eye fixations indicate men's preference for female breasts or buttocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dagnino, Bruno; Navajas, Joaquin; Sigman, Mariano

    2012-08-01

    Evolutionary psychologists have been interested in male preferences for particular female traits that are thought to signal health and reproductive potential. While the majority of studies have focused on what makes specific body traits attractive-such as the waist-to-hip ratio, the body mass index, and breasts shape and size-there is little empirical research that has examined individual differences in male preferences for specific traits (e.g., favoring breasts over buttocks). The current study begins to fill this empirical gap. In the first experiment (Study 1), 184 male participants were asked to report their preference between breasts and buttocks on a continuous scale. We found that (1) the distribution of preference was bimodal, indicating that Argentinean males tended to define themselves as favoring breasts or buttocks but rarely thinking that these traits contributed equally to their choice and (2) the distribution was biased towards buttocks. In a second experiment (Study 2), 19 male participants were asked to rate pictures of female breasts and buttocks. This study was necessary to generate three categories of pictures with statistically different ratings (high, medium, and low). In a third experiment (Study 3), we recorded eye-movements of 25 male participants while they chose the more attractive between two women, only seeing their breasts and buttock. We found that the first and last fixations were systematically directed towards the self-reported preferred trait.

  15. Mate preference of female blue tits varies with experimental photoperiod.

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    Laura B Reparaz

    Full Text Available Organisms use environmental cues to time their life-cycles and among these cues, photoperiod is the main trigger of reproductive behaviours such as territory defence or song activity. Whether photoperiod is also important for another behaviour closely associated with reproduction, mate choice, is unknown. In many bird species, mate choice occurs at two different times during the annual cycle that strongly differ in daylength: in late winter when photoperiod is short and social mates are chosen, and again around egg-laying when photoperiod is longer and extra-pair mates are chosen. This duality makes the role that photoperiod plays on mate choice behaviours intriguing. We investigated the effect of photoperiod on mate choice using three experimental photoperiodic treatments (9 L:15 D, 14 L:10 D, 18 L:6 D, using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus as a biological model. We show that female choice was stronger under long photoperiods. In addition, female blue tits spent significantly more time near males with long tarsi and long wings. This latter preference was only expressed under long photoperiods, suggesting that some indices of male quality only become significant to females when they are strongly photostimulated, and therefore that females could select their social and extra-pair mates based on different phenotypic traits. These results shed light on the roles that photoperiod may play in stimulating pair-bonding and in refining female selectivity for male traits.

  16. Conditioned social preference, but not place preference, produced by intranasal oxytocin in female mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaki, Yutaka; Watanabe, Shigeru

    2016-04-01

    Oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in a variety of mammalian reproductive and social behaviors, and the use of intranasal OT for clinical purposes is on the rise. However, basic actions of OT, including the rewarding or reinforcing properties of the drug, are currently not fully understood. In this study, the authors investigated whether intranasally administered OT has different reinforcing properties for social and nonsocial stimuli and whether such effects are variable between male and female subjects. Conditioned social preference (CSP) and conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigms were used to examine social and nonsocial reinforcing properties of OT. In CSP, the presence of a same-sex unfamiliar conspecific was repeatedly paired with intranasal OT, while a different conspecific was associated with saline. The reinforcing effect of OT was assessed in a postconditioning choice test under a drug-free condition. In CPP, the 2 conspecifics were replaced with nonsocial black and white compartments. The authors found that intranasal OT (12 μg) in females supported the formation of CSP (Experiment 1) but not CPP (Experiment 3). Neither CSP (Experiment 2) nor CPP (Experiment 4) was formed in males. Extended conditioning with higher dose OT (36 μg), however, abolished the initial CSP in females and produced an aversion to the OT-paired stimulus mouse. Experiment 5 indicated that it was the repeated administrations rather than the higher dose that produced the abolition of the original preference. Overall, the current results demonstrate for the first time a sex- and stimulus-dependent reinforcing property of intranasal OT in mice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Iranian Female Language Learners' Listening Strategy Preferences in Multimedia Environment

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    Shabnam Talebi Eskandari

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Listening skill has been recently paid great attention comparing with the other three language skills since having communication is the first and most essential need. Language learners have been using the three different listening strategies (Cognitive, Meta-cognitive, and Socio-affective to improve their listening skills in multimedia environments in particular. The main focus of this study is to determine the most preferable listening strategies employed in improving listening skills in multimedia environment by female Iranian English language learners. To achieve the goals, thirty female English language learners – twenty to twenty five - out of sixty were selected. In order to collect data IELTS test as pre-test and post-test questionnaire and interview were used. The result indicated that these language learners mainly employed meta-cognitive strategies the most in the multimedia environment. Thus, it is implied that the findings would be beneficial to the classroom practice, guide learners and lecturers as well as syllabus planners and material designers

  18. Olfactory conditioned same-sex partner preference in female rats: Role of ovarian hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecamachaltzi-Silvaran, M B; Barradas-Moctezuma, M; Herrera-Covarrubias, D; Carrillo, P; Corona-Morales, A A; Perez, C A; García, L I; Manzo, J; Coria-Avila, Genaro A

    2017-11-01

    The dopamine D2-type receptor agonist quinpirole (QNP) facilitates the development of conditioned same-sex partner preference in males during cohabitation, but not in ovariectomized (OVX) females, primed with estradiol benzoate (EB) and progesterone (P). Herein we tested the effects of QNP on OVX, EB-only primed females. Females received a systemic injection (every four days) of either saline (Saline-conditioned) or QNP (QNP-conditioned) and then cohabited for 24h with lemon-scented stimulus females (CS+), during three trials. In test 1 (female-female) preference was QNP-free, and females chose between the CS+ female and a novel female. In test 2 (male-female) they chose between the CS+ female and a sexually experienced male. In test 1 Saline-conditioned females displayed more hops & darts towards the novel female, but QNP-conditioned females displayed more sexual solicitations towards the CS+ female. In test 2 Saline-conditioned females displayed a clear preference for the male, whereas QNP-conditioned females displayed what we considered a bisexual preference. We discuss the effect of dopamine and ovarian hormones on the development of olfactory conditioned same-sex preference in females. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Preference for Male Traits Differ in Two Female Morphs of the Tree Lizard, Urosaurus ornatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lattanzio, Matthew S.; Metro, Kevin J.; Miles, Donald B.

    2014-01-01

    Non-random female mating preferences may contribute to the maintenance of phenotypic variation in color polymorphic species. However, the effect of female preference depends on the types of male traits used as signals by receptive females. If preference signals derive from discrete male traits (i.e., morph-specific), female preferences may rapidly fix to a morph. However, female preference signals may also include condition-dependent male traits. In this scenario, female preference may differ depending on the social context (i.e., male morph availability). Male tree lizards (Urosaurus ornatus) exhibit a dewlap color polymorphism that covaries with mating behavior. Blue morph males are aggressive and defend territories, yellow males are less aggressive and defend smaller territories, and orange males are typically nomadic. Female U. ornatus are also polymorphic in dewlap color, but the covariation between dewlap color and female behavior is unknown. We performed an experiment to determine how female mate choice depends on the visual and chemical signals produced by males. We also tested whether female morphs differ in their preferences for these signals. Female preferences involved both male dewlap color and size of the ventral color patch. However, the female morphs responded to these signals differently and depended on the choice between the types of male morphs. Our experiment revealed that females may be capable of distinguishing among the male morphs using chemical signals alone. Yellow females exhibit preferences based on both chemical and visual signals, which may be a strategy to avoid ultra-dominant males. In contrast, orange females may prefer dominant males. We conclude that female U. ornatus morphs differ in mating behavior. Our findings also provide evidence for a chemical polymorphism among male lizards in femoral pore secretions. PMID:25033282

  20. SPIDER SILK

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    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  1. The effects of female status on sex differentiated mate preferences

    OpenAIRE

    Moore, Fhionna R.

    2007-01-01

    Mate preferences provide an opportunity to explore the validity of evolutionary and social role origin theories of sex differences in human behaviour. In evolutionary models, preferences are sex-specific adaptive responses to constraints to reproductive success. In social role models, sex differences arise from the allocation of men and women to different gender roles. I explored the effects of the status of women on preferences to assess the validity of the origin theories....

  2. Female preference for nests with many eggs : A cost-benefit analysis of female choice in fish with paternal care

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraak, SBM; Weissing, Franz

    1996-01-01

    In several fish species with paternal care, females prefer males guarding many eggs in their nest. This preference might be advantageous because the presence of many other eggs dilutes the risk of newly laid eggs being eaten by the father. To evaluate this hypothesis quantitatively, we constructed a

  3. Male flat lizards prefer females with novel scents | Lewis | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Males were given a choice between two refuges, an odourless control and one of the following: a conspecific female from the same population (sympatric), a conspecific female from a distant population (allopatric), and a female from their sister species (heterospecific), P. capensis. Males chose refuges treated with the scent ...

  4. Condition-dependent female preference for male genitalia length is based on male reproductive tactics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Jimenez, Armando; Rios-Cardenas, Oscar

    2017-12-06

    There is extensive morphological variation of male genitalia across animals with internal fertilization, even among closely related species. Most studies attempting to explain this extraordinary diversity have focused on processes that occur post-copula (e.g. sperm competition, cryptic female choice). Only a few studies have focused on the pre-copula process of female preference. In addition, the extent to which this variation could be associated with the use of different reproductive tactics has yet to be explored. Here, we show that female preference for male genitalia length in two livebearing fishes depends on the type of reproductive tactic of the males being evaluated as well as the body condition of the female. In a species where all males coax females to acquire matings (courters), females preferred males with short genitalia. In a species with genetically influenced alternative reproductive tactics (courter males that only court and produce courter sons, sneaker males that use the coercive tactic of sneak chase and produce sneaker sons), female preference depended on an interaction between male tactic and female condition: females in good condition preferred courter males with short genitalia, and sneaker males with long genitalia. Our results suggest that female preference for male traits favourable to their sons may be an important factor contributing to the diversification of male genitalia. Despite the contrasting selection for genitalia length that our female preference tests suggest, we found no significant differences in genitalia length between coaxing (courters) and coercive (sneakers) males. Our study represents a starting point to more clearly understand the role of alternative reproductive tactics and variation in female mate preference in the evolution of male genitalia. © 2017 The Author(s).

  5. Preferred leadership prototypes of male and female leaders in 27 countries

    OpenAIRE

    Lori D Paris; Jon P Howell; Peter W Dorfman; Paul J Hanges

    2009-01-01

    Our study shows that preferred leadership prototypes held by female leaders differ from the prototypes held by male leaders, and that these prototype differences vary across countries, cultures, and especially industries. In general, female managers prefer participative, team oriented, and charismatic leadership prototype dimensions more than males. Contrary to popular belief, both males and females valued humane-oriented leadership equally. Gender egalitarianism and industry type were import...

  6. Parallel female preferences for call duration in a diploid ancestor of an allotetraploid treefrog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bee, Mark A

    2008-09-01

    The gray treefrog species complex (Hyla chrysoscelis and H. versicolor) comprises a single allotetraploid species (H. versicolor) that arose multiple times from hybrid matings between an extant diploid species (H. chrysoscelis) and at least two other extinct diploid treefrogs. While previous studies have investigated female preferences for call duration in the tetraploid, we know little about these preferences in its putative diploid anscestors. Here, I report results from two-choice phonotaxis experiments investigating call duration preferences in H. chrysoscelis. Females preferred an average-length call over shorter-than-average calls (0.5-2.0 standard deviations [SD] below average), and they preferred longer-than-average calls over average or shorter-than-average calls if the difference in pulse number was at least 2.0 SD. When the amplitude of the longer alternative was attenuated by 6 dB, females still preferred an average-length call over a shorter-than-average call, but there was no preference for longer-than-average calls over an average call. In the presence of chorus noise, female preferences for both average and longer-than-average calls over shorter alternatives were weakened or reversed. Together, the results from this study reveal patterns of female preferences for call duration that are strikingly similar among two members of a species complex with a novel evolutionary history. In both species, female preferences are directional, nonlinear, and limited by environmental noise. Furthermore, these results also highlight the need for caution in studies of sexual selection when extrapolating from patterns of female preference obtained under ideal laboratory conditions to conclusions about how those preferences are expressed in the real world.

  7. Preferences of Male and Female Students for TSA Competitive Events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitts, Charles R.; Haynie, W. J., III

    2010-01-01

    Arguably a major issue facing technology education (TE) since its inception has been its failure to attract and keep female students. This article explains one primary reason female students may be avoiding TE courses, presents a research-tested set of tools that TE teachers can use to help fix the problem, and offers a new realizable pathway…

  8. Divergence in male cricket song and female preference functions in three allopatric sister species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hennig, Ralf Matthias; Blankers, Thomas; Gray, David A

    2016-05-01

    Multivariate female preference functions for male sexual signals have rarely been investigated, especially in a comparative context among sister species. Here we examined male signal and female preference co-variation in three closely related, but allopatric species of Gryllus crickets and quantified male song traits as well as female preferences. We show that males differ conspicuously in either one of two relatively static song traits, carrier frequency or pulse rate; female preference functions for these traits also differed, and would in combination enhance species discrimination. In contrast, the relatively dynamic song traits, chirp rate and chirp duty cycle, show minimal divergence among species and relatively greater conservation of female preference functions. Notably, among species we demonstrate similar mechanistic rules for the integration of pulse and chirp time scales, despite divergence in pulse rate preferences. As these are allopatric taxa, selection for species recognition per se is unlikely. More likely sexual selection combined with conserved properties of preference filters enabled divergent coevolution of male song and female preferences.

  9. Female field crickets incur increased parasitism risk when near preferred song.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cassandra M Martin

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Female animals often prefer males with conspicuous traits because these males provide direct or indirect benefits. Conspicuous male traits, however, can attract predators. This not only increases the risk of predation for conspicuous males but also for the females that prefer them. In the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps, males that produce preferred song types provide females with greater material benefits, but they are also more likely to attract lethal parasitoid flies. First, we conducted a field experiment that tested the hypothesis that females have a greater risk of fly parasitism when in association with preferred high chirp rate males. Females were nearly twice as likely to be parasitized when caged with high chirp rate song than when caged with low chirp rate song. Females may thus be forced to trade off the quality of the benefits they receive from mating with preferred males and the risk of being killed by a predator when near these males. Second, we assessed female parasitism rates in a natural population. Up to 6% of the females were parasitized in field samples. Because the females we collected could have become parasitized had they not been collected, this provides a minimum estimate of the female parasitism rate in the field. In a laboratory study, we found no difference in the proportion of time parasitized and unparasitized females spent hiding under shelters; thus, differences in activity patterns do not appear to have biased our estimate of female parasitism rates. Overall, our results suggest that female association costs have the potential to shape the evolution of female mating preferences.

  10. Body figure preference in South African adolescent females: A cross ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: The current study sought to explore body figure preference in a cross cultural South African sample, given the established relationship between body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. Methods: The sample comprised a community based, multi-racial adolescent population in both urban (n=1353) and rural ...

  11. Conspicuous female ornamentation and tests of male mate preference in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Shane Wright

    Full Text Available Sexual selection drives the evolution of exaggerated male ornaments in many animal species. Female ornamentation is now acknowledged also to be common but is generally less well understood. One example is the recently documented red female throat coloration in some threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus populations. Although female sticklebacks often exhibit a preference for red male throat coloration, the possibility of sexual selection on female coloration has been little studied. Using sequential and simultaneous mate choice trials, we examined male mate preferences for female throat color, as well as pelvic spine color and standard length, using wild-captured threespine sticklebacks from the Little Campbell River, British Columbia. In a multivariate analysis, we found no evidence for a population-level mate preference in males, suggesting the absence of directional sexual selection on these traits arising from male mate choice. Significant variation was detected among males in their preference functions, but this appeared to arise from differences in their mean responsiveness across mating trials and not from variation in the strength (i.e., slope of their preference, suggesting the absence of individual-level preferences as well. When presented with conspecific intruder males, male response decreased as intruder red throat coloration increased, suggesting that males can discriminate color and other aspects of phenotype in our experiment and that males may use these traits in intrasexual interactions. The results presented here are the first to explicitly address male preference for female throat color in threespine sticklebacks.

  12. Conspicuous female ornamentation and tests of male mate preference in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Daniel Shane; Pierotti, Michele E R; Rundle, Howard D; McKinnon, Jeffrey S

    2015-01-01

    Sexual selection drives the evolution of exaggerated male ornaments in many animal species. Female ornamentation is now acknowledged also to be common but is generally less well understood. One example is the recently documented red female throat coloration in some threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations. Although female sticklebacks often exhibit a preference for red male throat coloration, the possibility of sexual selection on female coloration has been little studied. Using sequential and simultaneous mate choice trials, we examined male mate preferences for female throat color, as well as pelvic spine color and standard length, using wild-captured threespine sticklebacks from the Little Campbell River, British Columbia. In a multivariate analysis, we found no evidence for a population-level mate preference in males, suggesting the absence of directional sexual selection on these traits arising from male mate choice. Significant variation was detected among males in their preference functions, but this appeared to arise from differences in their mean responsiveness across mating trials and not from variation in the strength (i.e., slope) of their preference, suggesting the absence of individual-level preferences as well. When presented with conspecific intruder males, male response decreased as intruder red throat coloration increased, suggesting that males can discriminate color and other aspects of phenotype in our experiment and that males may use these traits in intrasexual interactions. The results presented here are the first to explicitly address male preference for female throat color in threespine sticklebacks.

  13. When less is best: female brown-headed cowbirds prefer less intense male displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Loghlen, Adrian L; Rothstein, Stephen I

    2012-01-01

    Sexual selection theory predicts that females should prefer males with the most intense courtship displays. However, wing-spread song displays that male brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) direct at females are generally less intense than versions of this display that are directed at other males. Because male-directed displays are used in aggressive signaling, we hypothesized that females should prefer lower intensity performances of this display. To test this hypothesis, we played audiovisual recordings showing the same males performing both high intensity male-directed and low intensity female-directed displays to females (N = 8) and recorded the females' copulation solicitation display (CSD) responses. All eight females responded strongly to both categories of playbacks but were more sexually stimulated by the low intensity female-directed displays. Because each pair of high and low intensity playback videos had the exact same audio track, the divergent responses of females must have been based on differences in the visual content of the displays shown in the videos. Preferences female cowbirds show in acoustic CSD studies are correlated with mate choice in field and captivity studies and this is also likely to be true for preferences elucidated by playback of audiovisual displays. Female preferences for low intensity female-directed displays may explain why male cowbirds rarely use high intensity displays when signaling to females. Repetitive high intensity displays may demonstrate a male's current condition and explain why these displays are used in male-male interactions which can escalate into physical fights in which males in poorer condition could be injured or killed. This is the first study in songbirds to use audiovisual playbacks to assess how female sexual behavior varies in response to variation in a male visual display.

  14. Female preferences for aposematic signal components in a polymorphic poison frog

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maan, Martine E.; Cummings, Molly E.

    Aposematic signals may be subject to conflicting selective pressures from predators and conspecifics. We studied female preferences for different components of aposematic coloration in the polymorphic poison frog Oophaga pumilio across several phenotypically distinct populations. This frog shows

  15. Life-History and Developmental Antecedents of Female Vocational Preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichel, Laura S.; Muchinsky, Paul M.

    1995-01-01

    A group of 296 female undergraduates completed the Strong Interest Inventory, Biographical Questionnaire, Bem Sex-Role Inventory, and Self-Esteem Inventory. Life history was a better predictor of vocational interests than either sex-role orientation or self-esteem. The only significant exception was that Femininity correlated with interest in…

  16. Oviposition preference hierarchy in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera, Tephritidae): influence of female age and experience

    OpenAIRE

    Joachim-Bravo, Iara S.; Fernandes, Odair A.; Bortoli, Sérgio A.; Zucoloto, Fernando S.

    2001-01-01

    The influence of two factors, age and previous experience, on the oviposition hierarchy preference of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824) females was studied. Two populations were analyzed: one reared in laboratory during 17 years and the other captured in nature. In the first experiment the oviposition preference for four fruits, papaya, orange, banana and apple was tested at the beginning of oviposition period and 20 days past. The results showed that the wild females as much the laborator...

  17. Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Signaling Regulates Sexual Preference for Females in Male Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beny-Shefer, Yamit; Zilkha, Noga; Lavi-Avnon, Yael; Bezalel, Nadav; Rogachev, Ilana; Brandis, Alexander; Dayan, Molly; Kimchi, Tali

    2017-12-12

    Sexual preference for the opposite sex is a fundamental behavior underlying reproductive success, but the neural mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we examined the role of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcc) in governing chemosensory-mediated preference for females in TrpC2 -/- and wild-type male mice. TrpC2 -/- males, deficient in VNO-mediated signaling, do not display mating or olfactory preference toward females. We found that, during social interaction with females, TrpC2 -/- males do not show increased NAcc dopamine levels, observed in wild-type males. Optogenetic stimulation of VTA-NAcc dopaminergic neurons in TrpC2 -/- males during exposure to a female promoted preference response to female pheromones and elevated copulatory behavior toward females. Additionally, we found that signaling through the D1 receptor in the NAcc is necessary for the olfactory preference for female-soiled bedding. Our study establishes a critical role for the mesolimbic dopaminergic system in governing pheromone-mediated responses and mate choice in male mice. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Nucleus Accumbens Dopamine Signaling Regulates Sexual Preference for Females in Male Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yamit Beny-Shefer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Sexual preference for the opposite sex is a fundamental behavior underlying reproductive success, but the neural mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we examined the role of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens core (NAcc in governing chemosensory-mediated preference for females in TrpC2−/− and wild-type male mice. TrpC2−/− males, deficient in VNO-mediated signaling, do not display mating or olfactory preference toward females. We found that, during social interaction with females, TrpC2−/− males do not show increased NAcc dopamine levels, observed in wild-type males. Optogenetic stimulation of VTA-NAcc dopaminergic neurons in TrpC2−/− males during exposure to a female promoted preference response to female pheromones and elevated copulatory behavior toward females. Additionally, we found that signaling through the D1 receptor in the NAcc is necessary for the olfactory preference for female-soiled bedding. Our study establishes a critical role for the mesolimbic dopaminergic system in governing pheromone-mediated responses and mate choice in male mice.

  19. Trends in World Silk Cocoons and Silk Production and Trade, 2007-2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    AGATHA AGATHA POPESCU

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper aimed to analyze world production and trade for fresh silk cocoons and raw silk using FAO Stat data for  the  period 2007-2010. The use of index, share and comparison methods allowed to identify the major trends in the analyzed period. Silk decline was determined by the increased importance of cotton and artificial fibres in textile and clothing industry. Important changes are taking place on silk cocoons and silk market. While, the European market decreased, the Asian market has mainly developed fresh cocoons and raw silk, while the European market became more interested of clothes. Silk consumption declined because of consumer’s preference for synthetic fibres, except traditional consumers from Asia.  China is the main producer and exporter of fresh and dry cocoons, while raw silk is produced and exported by China, Brazil and Italy and imported by India, Japan and Italy. In Europe, Bulgaria is the top producer of fresh cocoons and raw silk and Italy is the main raw silk importer and the top producer and exporter of textile and fashion clothes. Silk will remain an important raw material for producing high quality and luxury clothes.

  20. FEMALE PREFERENCE FOR NESTS WITH EGGS IS BASED ON THE PRESENCE OF THE EGGS THEMSELVES

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KRAAK, SBM; GROOTHUIS, TGG; Kraak, Sarah B.M.; Groothuis, Ton G.G.

    1994-01-01

    In many fish species of which males care for eggs in a nest, including Aidablennius sphynx, females prefer to mate with males that already guard eggs. In this paper we present two aquarium experiments with this Mediterranean blenny to determine whether the females actually use the presence of eggs

  1. The relationship between leg preference and knee mechanics during sidestepping in collegiate female footballers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Scott R; Wang, Henry; Dickin, D Clark; Weiss, Kaitlyn J

    2014-11-01

    This study examined the relationship between leg preference and knee mechanics in females during sidestepping. Three-dimensional data were recorded on 16 female collegiate footballers during a planned 45° sidestep manoeuvre with their preferred and non-preferred kicking leg. Knee kinematics and kinetics during initial contact, weight acceptance, peak push-off, and final push-off phases of sidestepping were analysed in both legs. The preferred leg showed trivial to small increases (ES = 0.19-0.36) in knee flexion angle at initial contact, weight acceptance, and peak push-off, and small increases (ES = 0.21-0.34) in peak power production and peak knee extension velocity. The non-preferred leg showed a trivial increase (ES = 0.10) in knee abduction angle during weight acceptance; small to moderate increases (ES = 0.22-0.64) in knee internal rotation angle at weight acceptance, peak push-off, and final push-off; a small increase (ES = 0.22) in knee abductor moment; and trivial increases (ES = 0.09-0.14) in peak power absorption and peak knee flexion velocity. The results of this study show that differences do exist between the preferred and non-preferred leg in females. The findings of this study will increase the knowledge base of anterior cruciate ligament injury in females and can aid in the design of more appropriate neuromuscular, plyometric, and strength training protocols for injury prevention.

  2. Women's preference for masculine traits is disrupted by images of male-on-female aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yaoran; Bailey, Drew H; Winegard, Benjamin; Puts, David A; Welling, Lisa L M; Geary, David C

    2014-01-01

    Women's preferences for men's masculinized faces and voices were assessed after women (n = 331) were primed with images of male-on-male aggression, male-on-female aggression, pathogens, and neutral scenes. Male-on-male aggression and pathogen primes were associated with increased preference for masculine traits, but the same effect emerged in the neutral condition. We show the increased preference for masculine traits was due to repeated exposure to these traits, not the priming images themselves. Images of male-on-female aggression were an exception; these elicited feelings of disgust and anger appeared to disrupt the preference for masculinized traits. The results suggest women process men's facial and vocal traits as signals of aggressive potential and lose any preference for these traits with cues indicating men might direct this aggression toward them.

  3. Women's preference for masculine traits is disrupted by images of male-on-female aggression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaoran Li

    Full Text Available Women's preferences for men's masculinized faces and voices were assessed after women (n = 331 were primed with images of male-on-male aggression, male-on-female aggression, pathogens, and neutral scenes. Male-on-male aggression and pathogen primes were associated with increased preference for masculine traits, but the same effect emerged in the neutral condition. We show the increased preference for masculine traits was due to repeated exposure to these traits, not the priming images themselves. Images of male-on-female aggression were an exception; these elicited feelings of disgust and anger appeared to disrupt the preference for masculinized traits. The results suggest women process men's facial and vocal traits as signals of aggressive potential and lose any preference for these traits with cues indicating men might direct this aggression toward them.

  4. Elevated stress hormone diminishes the strength of female preferences for acoustic signals in the green treefrog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, A Gabriell; Leary, Christopher J

    2015-03-01

    Mate selection can be stressful; time spent searching for mates can increase predation risk and/or decrease food consumption, resulting in elevated stress hormone levels. Both high predation risk and low food availability are often associated with increased variation in mate choice by females, but it is not clear whether stress hormone levels contribute to such variation in female behavior. We examined how the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) affects female preferences for acoustic signals in the green treefrog, Hyla cinerea. Specifically, we assessed whether CORT administration affects female preferences for call rate - an acoustic feature that is typically under directional selection via mate choice by females in most anurans and other species that communicate using acoustic signals. Using a dual speaker playback paradigm, we show that females that were administered higher doses of CORT were less likely to choose male advertisement calls broadcast at high rates. Neither CORT dose nor level was related to the latency of female phonotactic responses, suggesting that elevated CORT does not influence the motivation to mate. Results were also not related to circulating sex steroids (i.e., progesterone, androgens or estradiol) that have traditionally been the focus of studies examining the hormonal basis for variation in female mate choice. Our results thus indicate that elevated CORT levels decrease the strength of female preferences for acoustic signals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Habitat adaptation rather than genetic distance correlates with female preference in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weitere Markus

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although some mechanisms of habitat adaptation of conspecific populations have been recently elucidated, the evolution of female preference has rarely been addressed as a force driving habitat adaptation in natural settings. Habitat adaptation of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra, as found in Middle Europe (Germany, can be framed in an explicit phylogeographic framework that allows for the evolution of habitat adaptation between distinct populations to be traced. Typically, females of S. salamandra only deposit their larvae in small permanent streams. However, some populations of the western post-glacial recolonization lineage use small temporary ponds as larval habitats. Pond larvae display several habitat-specific adaptations that are absent in stream-adapted larvae. We conducted mate preference tests with females from three distinct German populations in order to determine the influence of habitat adaptation versus neutral genetic distance on female mate choice. Two populations that we tested belong to the western post-glacial recolonization group, but are adapted to either stream or pond habitats. The third population is adapted to streams but represents the eastern recolonization lineage. Results Despite large genetic distances with FST values around 0.5, the stream-adapted females preferred males from the same habitat type regardless of genetic distance. Conversely, pond-adapted females did not prefer males from their own population when compared to stream-adapted individuals of either lineage. Conclusion A comparative analysis of our data showed that habitat adaptation rather than neutral genetic distance correlates with female preference in these salamanders, and that habitat-dependent female preference of a specific pond-reproducing population may have been lost during adaptation to the novel environmental conditions of ponds.

  6. Predator-induced changes of female mating preferences: innate and experiential effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indy Jeane

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In many species males face a higher predation risk than females because males display elaborate traits that evolved under sexual selection, which may attract not only females but also predators. Females are, therefore, predicted to avoid such conspicuous males under predation risk. The present study was designed to investigate predator-induced changes of female mating preferences in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana. Males of this species show a pronounced polymorphism in body size and coloration, and females prefer large, colorful males in the absence of predators. Results In dichotomous choice tests predator-naïve (lab-reared females altered their initial preference for larger males in the presence of the cichlid Cichlasoma salvini, a natural predator of P. mexicana, and preferred small males instead. This effect was considerably weaker when females were confronted visually with the non-piscivorous cichlid Vieja bifasciata or the introduced non-piscivorous Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus. In contrast, predator experienced (wild-caught females did not respond to the same extent to the presence of a predator, most likely due to a learned ability to evaluate their predators' motivation to prey. Conclusions Our study highlights that (a predatory fish can have a profound influence on the expression of mating preferences of their prey (thus potentially affecting the strength of sexual selection, and females may alter their mate choice behavior strategically to reduce their own exposure to predators. (b Prey species can evolve visual predator recognition mechanisms and alter their mate choice only when a natural predator is present. (c Finally, experiential effects can play an important role, and prey species may learn to evaluate the motivational state of their predators.

  7. Attractiveness of the female body: Preference for the average or the supernormal?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marković Slobodan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of the present study was to contrast the two hypotheses of female body attractiveness. The first is the “preference-for-the average” hypothesis: the most attractive female body is the one that represents the average body proportions for a given population. The second is the “preference-for-the supernormal” hypothesis: according to the so-called “peak shift effect”, the most attractive female body is more feminine than the average. We investigated the preference for three female body characteristics: waist to hip ratio (WHR, buttocks and breasts. There were 456 participants of both genders. Using a program for computer animation (DAZ 3D three sets of stimuli were generated (WHR, buttocks and breasts. Each set included six stimuli ranked from the lowest to the highest femininity level. Participants were asked to choose the stimulus within each set which they found most attractive (task 1 and average (task 2. One group of participants judged the body parts that were presented in the global context (whole body, while the other group judged the stimuli in the local context (isolated body parts only. Analyses have shown that the most attractive WHR, buttocks and breasts are more feminine (meaning smaller for WHR and larger for breasts and buttocks than average ones, for both genders and in both presentation contexts. The effect of gender was obtained only for the most attractive breasts: males prefer larger breasts than females. Finally, most attractive and average WHR and breasts were less feminine in the local than in the global context. These results support the preference-for the supernormal hypothesis: all analyses have shown that both male and female participants preferred female body parts which are more feminine than those judged average. [Project of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, Grant no. 179033

  8. Social bonds in the dispersing sex: partner preferences among adult female chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Steffen; McLellan, Karen; Schroepfer-Walker, Kara; Murray, Carson M; Krupenye, Christopher; Gilby, Ian C; Pusey, Anne E

    2015-07-01

    In most primate societies, strong and enduring social bonds form preferentially among kin, who benefit from cooperation through direct and indirect fitness gains. Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes , differ from most species by showing consistent female-biased dispersal and strict male philopatry. In most East African populations, females tend to forage alone in small core areas and were long thought to have weak social bonds of little biological significance. Recent work in some populations is challenging this view. However, challenges remain in quantifying the influence of shared space use on association patterns, and in identifying the drivers of partner preferences and social bonds. Here, we use the largest data set on wild chimpanzee behaviour currently available to assess potential determinants of female association patterns. We quantify pairwise similarities in ranging, dyadic association and grooming for 624 unique dyads over 38 years, including 17 adult female kin dyads. To search for social preferences that could not be explained by spatial overlap alone, we controlled for expected association based on pairwise kernel volume intersections of core areas. We found that association frequencies among females with above-average overlap correlated positively with grooming rates, suggesting that associations reflected social preferences in these dyads. Furthermore, when available, females preferred kin over nonkin partners for association and grooming, and variability was high among nonkin dyads. While variability in association above and below expected values was high, on average, nonkin associated more frequently if they had immature male offspring, while having female offspring had the opposite effect. Dominance rank, an important determinant of reproductive success at Gombe, influenced associations primarily for low-ranking females, who associated preferentially with each other. Our findings support the hypothesis that female chimpanzees form well

  9. Oviposition preference hierarchy in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera, Tephritidae: influence of female age and experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joachim-Bravo Iara S.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of two factors, age and previous experience, on the oviposition hierarchy preference of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824 females was studied. Two populations were analyzed: one reared in laboratory during 17 years and the other captured in nature. In the first experiment the oviposition preference for four fruits, papaya, orange, banana and apple was tested at the beginning of oviposition period and 20 days past. The results showed that the wild females as much the laboratory ones had an oviposition preference hierarchy at the beginning of peak period of oviposition. However this hierarchic preference disappeared in a later phase of life. In the second experiment the females were previously exposed to fruits of different hierarchic positions and afterwards their choice was tested in respect to the oviposition preference for those fruits. The results showed that there was an influence of the previous experience on the posterior choice of fruits to oviposition when the females were exposed to fruits of lower hierarchic position.

  10. Variation in social relationships relates to song preferences and EGR1 expression in a female songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubloom, Hannah E; Woolley, Sarah C

    2016-09-01

    Social experiences can profoundly shape social behavior and the underlying neural circuits. Across species, the formation of enduring social relationships is associated with both neural and behavioral changes. However, it remains unclear how longer-term relationships between individuals influence brain and behavior. Here, we investigated how variation in social relationships relates to variation in female preferences for and neural responses to song in a pair-bonding songbird. We assessed variation in the interactions between individuals in male-female zebra finch pairs and found that female preferences for their mate's song were correlated with the degree of affiliation and amount of socially modulated singing, but not with the frequency of aggressive interactions. Moreover, variation in measures of pair quality and preference correlated with variation in the song-induced expression of EGR1, an immediate early gene related to neural activity and plasticity, in brain regions important for auditory processing and social behavior. For example, females with weaker preferences for their mate's song had greater EGR1 expression in the nucleus Taeniae, the avian homologue of the mammalian medial amygdala, in response to playback of their mate's courtship song. Our data indicate that the quality of social interactions within pairs relates to variation in song preferences and neural responses to ethologically relevant stimuli and lend insight into neural circuits sensitive to social information. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1029-1040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Male Drosophila melanogaster learn to prefer an arbitrary trait associated with female mating status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verzijden, Machteld Nicolette; Abbott, Jessica K.; Philipsborn, Anne von

    2015-01-01

    Although males are generally less discriminating than females when it comes to choosing a mate, they still benefit from distinguishing between mates that are receptive to courtship and those that are not, in order to avoid wasting time and energy. It is known that males of Drosophila melanogaster...... color, but that males which were trained with sexually receptive females of a given eye color showed a preference for that color during a standard binary choice experiment. The learned cue was indeed likely to be truly visual, since the preference disappeared when the binary choice phase...

  12. Prediction of folding preference of 10 kDa silk-like proteins using a Lego approach and ab initio calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Gábor; Beke, Tamás; Borbély, János; Perczel, András

    2006-11-15

    Because of their great flexibility and strength resistance, both spider silks and silkworm silks are of increasing scientific and commercial interest. Despite numerous spectroscopic and theoretical studies, several structural properties at the atomic level have yet to be identified. The present theoretical investigation focuses on these issues by studying three silk-like model peptides: (AG)(64), [(AG)(4)EG](16), and [(AG)(4)PEG](16), using a Lego-type approach to construct these polypeptides. On the basis of these examples it is shown that thermoneutral isodesmic reactions and ab initio calculations provide a capable method to investigate structural properties of repetitive polypeptides. The most probable overall fold schema of these molecules with respect to the type of embedded hairpin structures were determined at the ab initio level of theory (RHF/6-311++G(d,p)//RHF/3-21G). Further on, analysis is carried out on the possible hairpin and turn regions and on their effect on the global fold. In the case of the (AG)(64) model peptide, the optimal beta-sheet/turn ratio was also determined, which provided good support for experimental observations. In addition, lateral shearing of a hairpin "folding unit" was investigated at the quantum chemical level to explain the mechanical properties of spider silk. The unique mechanical characteristics of silk bio-compounds are now investigated at the atomic level.

  13. Gender difference in color preference across cultures: \\ud An archetypal pattern modulated by a female cultural stereotype

    OpenAIRE

    Bonnardel, Valerie

    2017-01-01

    A gender difference in color preference among British participants has been repeatedly reported, in which both males and females show a preference for blue-green colors, while females express an additional preference for pink-purple colors6,10,12. To investigate the robustness of gender difference in color preference in a different culture, we tested 81 young adult Indians from a school of Design and compared them to 80 young British students in Psychology. A 35-item International Personality...

  14. Evidence for a receiver bias underlying female preference for a male mating pheromone in sea lamprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchinger, Tyler J.; Wang, Huiyong; Li, Weiming; Johnson, Nicholas S.

    2013-01-01

    Receiver bias models suggest that a male sexual signal became exaggerated to match a pre-existing sensory, perceptual or cognitive disposition of the female. Accordingly, these models predict that females of related taxa possessing the ancestral state of signalling evolved preference for the male trait in a non-sexual context. We postulated that female preference for the male-released bile alcohol mating pheromone, 3 keto petromyzonol sulfate (3kPZS), of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) evolved as a result of a receiver bias. In particular, we propose that migratory silver lamprey (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis), a basal member of the Petromyzontidae, evolved a preference for 3kPZS released by stream-resident larvae as a means of identifying productive habitat for offspring. Larval silver lamprey released 3kPZS at rates sufficient to be detected by migratory lampreys. Females responded to 3kPZS by exhibiting upstream movement behaviours relevant in a migratory context, but did not exhibit proximate behaviours important to mate search and spawning. Male silver lamprey did not release 3kPZS at rates sufficient to be detected by females in natural high-volume stream environments. We infer that female silver lamprey cue onto 3kPZS excreted by stream-resident larvae as a mechanism to locate habitat conducive to offspring survival and that males do not signal with 3kPZS. We suggest that this female preference for a male signal in a non-sexual context represents a bias leading to the sexual signalling observed in sea lamprey.

  15. Does foraging behaviour affect female mate preferences and pair formation in captive zebra finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeltje J Boogert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.

  16. Elite Female Business Students in China and Norway: Job-Related Values and Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordhaug, Odd; Gooderham, Paul; Zhang, Xian; Liu, Yali; Birkelund, Gunn Elisabeth

    2010-01-01

    The focus of this paper is on the work-related values, preferences, and future expectations among female students at two elite business schools in China and Norway. The paper argues that while gender theory predicts no significant differences between these two groups, both cultural and economic development theory imply fundamental differences. The…

  17. Preference for Graphic Horror Featuring Male versus Female Victimization: Personality and Past Film Viewing Experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamborini, Ron; And Others

    1987-01-01

    Investigates the relationship of personality and past film viewing experiences to preferences for different degrees of graphic horror in film, and for female versus male victimization. Finds that the Machiavellian trait of deceit, past exposure to horror films, and, for male subjects only, the enjoyment of pornography were good predictors. (SR)

  18. Cradling Side Preference Is Associated with Lateralized Processing of Baby Facial Expressions in Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggenberger, Harriet J.; Suter, Susanne E.; Reijnen, Ester; Schachinger, Hartmut

    2009-01-01

    Women's cradling side preference has been related to contralateral hemispheric specialization of processing emotional signals; but not of processing baby's facial expression. Therefore, 46 nulliparous female volunteers were characterized as left or non-left holders (HG) during a doll holding task. During a signal detection task they were then…

  19. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on partner preferences in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2014-04-01

    Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Female veterans' preferences for counseling related to intimate partner violence: Informing patient-centered interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Katherine M; Stirman, Shannon Wiltsey; Street, Amy E; Gerber, Megan R; Carpenter, S Louisa; Dichter, Melissa E; Bair-Merritt, Megan; Vogt, Dawne

    2016-01-01

    Female veterans are at high risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). A critical issue in the provision of health care to women who experience IPV is the delivery of effective brief counseling interventions that address women's unique needs. We aimed to identify female veterans' priorities and preferences for healthcare-based IPV counseling. A 2014 Web-based survey was administered to a national sample of US female veterans. Among 411 respondents (75% participation rate), 55% (n=226) reported IPV during their lifetime. These women identified priorities for the content focus of IPV-related counseling and preferences for the delivery of these services. Women prioritized counseling that focuses on physical safety and emotional health, with learning about community resources being a relatively lower priority. Participants preferred counseling to focus specifically on enhancing coping skills and managing mental health symptoms. In addition, women want counseling to be individualized and preferred the option to meet with a counselor immediately following disclosure. Affordable services and attention to privacy concerns were of paramount importance in the context of IPV-related counseling. These findings can inform patient-centered brief counseling interventions for women who experience IPV, which may ultimately reduce health disparities and violence among this population. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Mating changes the female dietary preference in the two-spotted cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke eTsukamoto

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Most insect species exhibit characteristic behavioral changes after mating. Typical post-mating behaviors in female insects include noticeable increases in food intake, elevated oviposition rates, lowered receptivity to courting males, and enhanced immune response. Although it has been reported that mated females of several insect species including the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster increase the amount of food intake and change their dietary preferences, the limited number of comparative studies prevent the formulation of generalities regarding post-mating behaviors in other insects in particular amongst orthopteran species. Here, we investigated whether females of the two-spotted cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, alter their feeding behavior after mating. Although significant differences in the amount of food intake after mating were not observed, all experimental data indicated a clear trend among crickets towards the ingestion of larger quantities of food. Geometric framework analyses revealed that the mated female crickets preferred food with higher protein content compared to virgin female crickets. This implies that this species required different nutritional demands after mating. These findings further expand our understanding of the behavioral and biological changes that are triggered in female insects post-mating, and highlight the potential for this species in investigating the molecular-based nutritional dependent activities that are linked to post-mating behaviors.

  2. Fine-scale genetic analysis of species-specific female preference in Drosophila simulans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laturney, M; Moehring, A J

    2012-09-01

    Behavioural differences are thought to be the first components to contribute to species isolation, yet the precise genetic basis of behavioural isolation remains poorly understood. Here, we used a combination of behaviour assays and genetic mapping to provide the first refined map locating candidate genes for interspecific female preference isolating Drosophila simulans from D. melanogaster. First, we tested whether two genes identified as affecting D. melanogaster female intraspecific mate choice also affect interspecific mate choice; neither of these genes was found to contribute to species-specific female preference. Next, we used deficiency mapping to locate genes on the right arm of the third chromosome for species-specific female preference and identified five small significant regions that contain candidate genes contributing to behavioural isolation. All five regions were located in areas that would have low interspecific recombination, which mirrors the results of other behavioural isolation studies that used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, but without the potential concern of bias towards regions of low recombination that QTL mapping may have. As this model system may be refined to the individual gene level using the same methodology, this initial map we provide may potentially serve as a ready template for the identification and characterization of the first behavioural isolation genes. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  3. Female mating preferences determine system-level evolution in a gene network model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierst, Janna L

    2013-06-01

    Environmental patterns of directional, stabilizing and fluctuating selection can influence the evolution of system-level properties like evolvability and mutational robustness. Intersexual selection produces strong phenotypic selection and these dynamics may also affect the response to mutation and the potential for future adaptation. In order to to assess the influence of mating preferences on these evolutionary properties, I modeled a male trait and female preference determined by separate gene regulatory networks. I studied three sexual selection scenarios: sexual conflict, a Gaussian model of the Fisher process described in Lande (in Proc Natl Acad Sci 78(6):3721-3725, 1981) and a good genes model in which the male trait signalled his mutational condition. I measured the effects these mating preferences had on the potential for traits and preferences to evolve towards new states, and mutational robustness of both the phenotype and the individual's overall viability. All types of sexual selection increased male phenotypic robustness relative to a randomly mating population. The Fisher model also reduced male evolvability and mutational robustness for viability. Under good genes sexual selection, males evolved an increased mutational robustness for viability. Females choosing their mates is a scenario that is sufficient to create selective forces that impact genetic evolution and shape the evolutionary response to mutation and environmental selection. These dynamics will inevitably develop in any population where sexual selection is operating, and affect the potential for future adaptation.

  4. Silk Electrogel Based Gastroretentive Drug Delivery System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qianrui

    Gastric cancer has become a global pandemic and there is imperative to develop efficient therapies. Oral dosing strategy is the preferred route to deliver drugs for treating the disease. Recent studies suggested silk electro hydrogel, which is pH sensitive and reversible, has potential as a vehicle to deliver the drug in the stomach environment. The aim of this study is to establish in vitro electrogelation e-gel based silk gel as a gastroretentive drug delivery system. We successfully extended the duration of silk e-gel in artificial gastric juice by mixing silk solution with glycerol at different ratios before the electrogelation. Structural analysis indicated the extended duration was due to the change of beta sheet content. The glycerol mixed silk e-gel had good doxorubicin loading capability and could release doxorubicin in a sustained-release profile. Doxorubicin loaded silk e-gels were applied to human gastric cancer cells. Significant cell viability decrease was observed. We believe that with further characterization as well as functional analysis, the silk e-gel system has the potential to become an effective vehicle for gastric drug delivery applications.

  5. Centrally-administered oxytocin promotes preference for familiar objects at a short delay in ovariectomized female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madularu, Dan; Athanassiou, Maria; Yee, Jason R; Mumby, Dave G

    2014-11-01

    Oxytocin has been previously associated with social attachment behaviors in various species, however, most studies focused on partner preference in the socially-monogamous prairie vole. In these, oxytocin treatment was shown to promote partner preference, such that females receiving either central or pulsatile peripheral administration would spend more time with a familiar male. This behavioral outcome was blocked by oxytocin receptor antagonist treatment. The aim of the current study was to further explore the preference-inducing properties of oxytocin by examining its effects on object preference on ovariectomized female rats. In other words, we assessed whether these effects would apply to objects and if they would be persistent across species. Eight rats were infused with oxytocin into the left ventricle and object preference was assessed at two delays: 30min and 4h. At the 30min delay, oxytocin-treated animals showed preference for the familiar object, whereas saline-treated controls exhibited preference for the novel object. At the 4h delay, both groups showed novel-object preference. Our findings show that oxytocin modulates object preference in the female rat at a shorter delay, similar to the findings from partner-preference studies in the prairie vole, suggesting that the mechanisms driving object preference might be in part similar to those responsible for partner preference. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Male mice song syntax depends on social contexts and influences female preferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan eChabout

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In 2005 Holy & Guo advanced the idea that male mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USV with some features similar to courtship songs of songbirds. Since then, studies showed that male mice emit USV songs in different contexts (sexual and other and possess a multisyllabic repertoire. Debate still exists for and against plasticity in their vocalizations. But the use of a multisyllabic repertoire can increase potential flexibility and information, in how elements are organized and recombined, namely syntax. In many bird species, modulating song syntax has ethological relevance for sexual behavior and mate preferences. In this study we exposed adult male mice to different social contexts and developed a new approach of analyzing their USVs based on songbird syntax analysis. We found that male mice modify their syntax, including specific sequences, length of sequence, repertoire composition, and spectral features, according to stimulus and social context. Males emit longer and simpler syllables and sequences when singing to females, but more complex syllables and sequences in response to fresh female urine. Playback experiments show that the females prefer the complex songs over the simpler ones. We propose the complex songs are to lure females in, whereas the directed simpler sequences are used for direct courtship. These results suggest that although mice have a much more limited ability of song modification, they could still be used as animal models for understanding some vocal communication features that songbirds are used for.

  7. Evolution of novel signal traits in the absence of female preferences in Neoconocephalus katydids (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah L Bush

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND SIGNIFICANCE: Communication signals that function to bring together the sexes are important for maintaining reproductive isolation in many taxa. Changes in male calls are often attributed to sexual selection, in which female preferences initiate signal divergence. Natural selection can also influence signal traits if calls attract predators or parasitoids, or if calling is energetically costly. Neutral evolution is often neglected in the context of acoustic communication.We describe a signal trait that appears to have evolved in the absence of either sexual or natural selection. In the katydid genus Neoconocephalus, calls with a derived pattern in which pulses are grouped into pairs have evolved five times independently. We have previously shown that in three of these species, females require the double pulse pattern for call recognition, and hence the recognition system of the females is also in a derived state. Here we describe the remaining two species and find that although males produce the derived call pattern, females use the ancestral recognition mechanism in which no pulse pattern is required. Females respond equally well to the single and double pulse calls, indicating that the derived trait is selectively neutral in the context of mate recognition.These results suggest that 1 neutral changes in signal traits could be important in the diversification of communication systems, and 2 males rather than females may be responsible for initiating signal divergence.

  8. Transgenic Silk Moths to Produce Spider Silk

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Herrera, Rene J

    2008-01-01

    .... Other alternatives like production of the protein that yields same or similar mechanical properties of dragline silk in microorganisms or mammalian cells, in spinning fibers from concentrated protein...

  9. Barriers, Motivations, and Preferences for Physical Activity Among Female African American Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gothe, Neha P; Kendall, Bradley J

    2016-01-01

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 11% of adults more than the age of 65 meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Among minority populations, only 5% of non-Hispanic Black older adults met the guidelines. Given our limited understanding of psychosocial and environmental factors that affect physical activity participation in these groups, the purpose of our focus groups was to investigate barriers, motivators, and preferences of physical activity for community-dwelling African American older adults. Three focus groups were conducted with female African American older adults ( N = 20). Questions posed to each focus group targeted motivations and barriers toward physical activity as well as their preferences for physical activity. The motivations included perceived health benefits of physical activity, social support, and enjoyment associated with engagement in physical activity. Prominent barriers included time and physical limitations, peer pressure and family responsibilities, and weather and poor neighborhood conditions. Group activities involving a dance component and novel exercises such as tai-chi or yoga were preferred choices. These findings should be taken into consideration when designing and implementing research or community physical activity programs for female African American older adults.

  10. Barriers, Motivations, and Preferences for Physical Activity Among Female African American Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha P. Gothe PhD

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 11% of adults more than the age of 65 meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Among minority populations, only 5% of non-Hispanic Black older adults met the guidelines. Given our limited understanding of psychosocial and environmental factors that affect physical activity participation in these groups, the purpose of our focus groups was to investigate barriers, motivators, and preferences of physical activity for community-dwelling African American older adults. Three focus groups were conducted with female African American older adults ( N = 20. Questions posed to each focus group targeted motivations and barriers toward physical activity as well as their preferences for physical activity. The motivations included perceived health benefits of physical activity, social support, and enjoyment associated with engagement in physical activity. Prominent barriers included time and physical limitations, peer pressure and family responsibilities, and weather and poor neighborhood conditions. Group activities involving a dance component and novel exercises such as tai-chi or yoga were preferred choices. These findings should be taken into consideration when designing and implementing research or community physical activity programs for female African American older adults.

  11. Preferences of group-housed female mice regarding structure of softwood bedding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchner, J; Hackbarth, H; Stelzer, H D; Tsai, P-P

    2012-04-01

    Bedding influences various parameters in the housing of laboratory mice, such as health, physiology and behaviour (often considered as being integral parts of welfare). Notwithstanding existent studies about bedding preferences of individually tested mice, data about group-housed mice are still lacking. The aim of this study was to find out the structure preference for softwood bedding of group-housed mice. One hundred and eight 8-week-old female mice (C57BL6/JOlaHsd and BALB/cOlaHsd) were housed in groups of three and were given one-week free access to two different bedding structures at a time. In three test combinations, softwood shaving bedding was tested versus softwood chip bedding products of three different particle sizes (fine/medium/coarse-grained). The preference test was performed in a DoubleCage system composed of two Makrolon type IIL cages, connected by a perspex tunnel. This validated system was able to detect the crossings of each individual animal with correct crossing time and direction. On the basis of these data, dwelling times on the particular bedding structures were statistically analysed as a parameter for bedding preferences. In all three test combinations, a highly significant shaving preference was detected. On average, mice spent 70% of their dwelling time on the shavings. This preference was more explicit during the light period and in C57BL/6J mice. The relative ranking of the bedding structures was: shavings > coarse-grained chips > medium chips = fine chips. By means of these results, a shaving structure as bedding can be recommended for laboratory mice, whereas fine chip structures should be avoided.

  12. Using Preferred Attribute Elicitation to Determine How Males and Females Evaluate Beer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muggah, Elizabeth M; McSweeney, Matthew B

    2017-08-01

    The variety of beers available for consumption has increased due to the recent emergence of many craft brewing operations and it has been suggested that this is affecting how consumers evaluate beer. Currently, beer consumers are mostly male and only 20% of women are primarily beer drinkers. The main objective of this project is to compare and contrast descriptions of beer products created by males and females. The preferred attribute elicitation (PAE) method was used to create a description of 4 beers common to residents of Nova Scotia, Canada. Four PAE sessions were held: 2 sessions consisted of females (n = 16 and 15) and 2 sessions of males (n = 11 and 17). Four beer samples were chosen from locally available commercial beers, 2 of these samples were considered to be craft-brewed beer and the other samples were nationally available brands (macrobrewed). Both the males and females generated descriptions that included 5 identical terms; however, they differed in the importance they assigned to each attribute. Notably, bitterness was perceived to be of more importance to female panelists. Throughout all PAE sessions, the craft-brewed beers were associated with considerably more sensory attributes than the macrobrewed beers. It can be concluded that both the female and male groups found discernible differences between the craft and macrobrewed beers; however, they place importance on different sensory attributes. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  13. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-02

    water and deformation conditions. Such fibres [Nexia ’ biosteel ’ silk ] were spun from recombinant silk ’cloned’ from Spidroin II and indeed show 67...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Biomechanics of Spider Silks F49620-03-1-0111 6. AUTHOR(S) Fritz Vollrath 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...Perform Pro, WHSIDIOR, Oct 94 COVER SHEET FINAL (3rd Year) Report to AFOSR on: BIOMECHANICS OF SPIDER SILKS Fritz Vollrath, Oxford University, England

  14. Radiation degradation of silk

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishida, Kazushige; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2001-03-01

    Silk fibroin powder was prepared from irradiated silk fibroin fiber by means of only physical treatment. Silk fibroin fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam in the dose range of 250 - 1000 kGy was pulverized by using a ball mill. Unirradiated silk fibroin fiber was not pulverized at all. But the more irradiation was increased, the more the conversion efficiency from fiber to powder was increased. The conversion efficiency of silk fibroin fiber irradiated 1000 kGy in oxygen was 94%. Silk fibroin powder shows remarkable solubility, which dissolved 57% into water of ambient temperature. It is a very interesting phenomenon that silk fibroin which did not treat with chemicals gets solubility only being pulverized. In order to study mechanism of solubilization of silk fibroin powder, amino acid component of soluble part of silk fibroin powder was analyzed. The more irradiation dose up, the more glycine or alanine degraded, but degradation fraction reached bounds about 50%. Other amino acids were degraded only 20% even at the maximum. To consider crystal construction of silk fibroin, it is suggested that irradiation on silk fibroin fiber selectively degrades glycine and alanine in amorphous region, which makes it possible to pulverize and to dissolve silk fibroin powder. (author)

  15. Genetic taste markers and preferences for vegetables and fruit of female breast care patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drewnowski, A; Henderson, S A; Hann, C S; Berg, W A; Ruffin, M T

    2000-02-01

    To explore links between genetic responsiveness to the bitter taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and self-reported preferences for vegetables and fruit of female breast care patients. PROP tasting was defined by detection thresholds and by perceived bitterness and hedonic ratings for PROP solutions. Nontasters, medium tasters, and supertasters were identified by their PROP thresholds and by the ratio of perceived bitterness of PROP to the perceived saltiness of sodium chloride solutions. Subjects rated preferences for vegetables and fruit using 9-point category scales. A clinical sample of 170 patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer and 156 cancer-free control subjects were recruited from the University of Michigan Breast Care Center. Principal components factor analysis, one-way analyses of variance, and Pearson correlations and chi 2 tests were used to analyze taste and food preference data. Genetic responsiveness to PROP was associated with lower acceptance of cruciferous and selected green and raw vegetables (P cancer prevention that emphasize consumption of cruciferous vegetables and bitter salad greens. Alternatively, PROP-sensitive women may seek to reduce bitter taste by adding fat, sugar, or salt.

  16. Implicit out-group preference is associated with eating disorders symptoms amongst Emirati females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Justin; Quadflieg, Susanne; O'Hara, Lily

    2016-04-01

    Studies exploring the relationship between acculturation and eating disorders symptoms have proven equivocal. Socially desirable responding associated with the use of explicit measures may account for these mixed findings. This study explores the relationship between in-group identity, acculturation and eating disorders symptoms using both implicit and explicit assessments. Emirati female college students (N=94) completed an affective priming task (APT) designed to implicitly assess Emirati in-group evaluations. Participants also completed explicit measures, including the Westernization Survey and the Multicomponent In-group Identification Scale. Eating disorders symptoms were assessed using the Eating Attitudes Test. Only implicit in-group evaluations were correlated with eating disorders symptoms. Specifically, increases in in-group preference were associated with lower levels of eating disorders symptomatology. Furthermore, participants with an actual out-group preference had significantly higher levels of eating disorders symptomatology compared with those demonstrating an in-group preference. These findings support the acculturative stress hypothesis, and suggest that the relationship between eating disorders and acculturation may be better understood with reference to implicit rather than explicit in-group evaluations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. New application of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamiishi, Youichi

    2000-01-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  18. New application of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  19. Outcome and preferences in male-to-female subjects with gender dysphoria: Experience from Eastern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Anirban; Sanyal, Debmalya

    2017-01-01

    Gender dysphoria (GD) is an increasingly recognized medical condition in India, and little scientific data on treatment outcomes are available. Our objective is to study the therapeutic options including psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments used for alleviating GD in male-to-female (MTF) transgender subjects in Eastern India. This is a retrospective study of treatment preferences and outcome in 55 MTF transgender subjects who were presented to the endocrine clinic. Descriptive statistical analysis is carried out in the present study, and Microsoft Word and Excel are used to generate graphs and tables. The mean follow-up was 1.9 years and 14 subjects (25.5%) were lost to follow-up after a single or 2-3 contact sessions. Rest 41 subjects (74.5%) desiring treatment had regular counseling and medical monitoring. All 41 subjects were dressing to present herself as female and all of them were receiving cross-sex hormone therapy either estrogen only (68%), or drospirenone in combination with estrogen (12%) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH) in combination with estrogens (19.5%). Most of the subjects preferred estrogen therapy as it was most affordable and only a small number of subjects preferred drospirenone or GnRH agonist because of cost and availability. 23.6% subjects underwent esthetic breast augmentation surgery and 25.5% underwent orchiectomy and/or vaginoplasty. Three subjects presented with prior breast augmentation surgery and nine subjects presented with prior orchiectomy without vaginoplasty, depicting a high prevalence of poorly supervised surgeries. Standards of care documents provide clinical guidance for health professionals about the optimal management of transsexual people. The lack of information among health professionals about proper and protocolwise management leads to suboptimal physical, social, and sexual results.

  20. Outcome and preferences in male–to–female subjects with gender dysphoria: Experience from Eastern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirban Majumder

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: Gender dysphoria (GD is an increasingly recognized medical condition in India, and little scientific data on treatment outcomes are available. Aims: Our objective is to study the therapeutic options including psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments used for alleviating GD in male–to–female (MTF transgender subjects in Eastern India. Subjects and Methods: This is a retrospective study of treatment preferences and outcome in 55 MTF transgender subjects who were presented to the endocrine clinic. Statistical Analysis Used: Descriptive statistical analysis is carried out in the present study, and Microsoft Word and Excel are used to generate graphs and tables. Results: The mean follow-up was 1.9 years and 14 subjects (25.5% were lost to follow-up after a single or 2–3 contact sessions. Rest 41 subjects (74.5% desiring treatment had regular counseling and medical monitoring. All 41 subjects were dressing to present herself as female and all of them were receiving cross-sex hormone therapy either estrogen only (68%, or drospirenone in combination with estrogen (12% or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH in combination with estrogens (19.5%. Most of the subjects preferred estrogen therapy as it was most affordable and only a small number of subjects preferred drospirenone or GnRH agonist because of cost and availability. 23.6% subjects underwent esthetic breast augmentation surgery and 25.5% underwent orchiectomy and/or vaginoplasty. Three subjects presented with prior breast augmentation surgery and nine subjects presented with prior orchiectomy without vaginoplasty, depicting a high prevalence of poorly supervised surgeries. Conclusions: Standards of care documents provide clinical guidance for health professionals about the optimal management of transsexual people. The lack of information among health professionals about proper and protocolwise management leads to suboptimal physical, social, and sexual results.

  1. Adolescent Female Text Messaging Preferences to Prevent Pregnancy After an Emergency Department Visit: A Qualitative Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernick, Lauren Stephanie; Schnall, Rebecca; Stockwell, Melissa S; Castaño, Paula M; Higgins, Tracy; Westhoff, Carolyn; Santelli, John; Dayan, Peter S

    2016-09-29

    Over 15 million adolescents use the emergency department (ED) each year in the United States. Adolescent females who use the ED for medical care have been found to be at high risk for unintended pregnancy. Given that adolescents represent the largest users of text messaging and are receptive to receiving text messages related to their sexual health, the ED visit represents an opportunity for intervention. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore interest in and preferences for the content, frequency, and timing of an ED-based text message intervention to prevent pregnancy for adolescent females. We conducted semistructured, open-ended interviews in one urban ED in the United States with adolescent females aged 14-19 years. Eligible subjects were adolescents who were sexually active in the past 3 months, presented to the ED for a reproductive health complaint, owned a mobile phone, and did not use effective contraception. Using an interview guide, enrollment continued until saturation of key themes. The investigators designed sample text messages using the Health Beliefs Model and participants viewed these on a mobile phone. The team recorded, transcribed, and coded interviews based on thematic analysis using the qualitative analysis software NVivo and Excel. Participants (n=14) were predominantly Hispanic (13/14; 93%), insured (13/14; 93%), ED users in the past year (12/14; 86%), and frequent text users (10/14; 71% had sent or received >30 texts per day). All were interested in receiving text messages from the ED about pregnancy prevention, favoring messages that were "brief," "professional," and "nonaccusatory." Respondents favored texts with links to websites, repeated information regarding places to receive "confidential" care, and focused information on contraception options and misconceptions. Preferences for text message frequency varied from daily to monthly, with random hours of delivery to maintain "surprise." No participant feared that text

  2. Comparative Study of Silk-Silk Alloy Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Ye; Jao, Dave; Hu, Wenbing; Wolf, Nathan; Rocks, Eva-Marie; Hu, Xiao

    Silk fibroin materials can be used for various kinds of biomedical applications. We report a comparative study of silk-silk blend materials using thermal analysis and infrared spectroscopy. Four groups of silk-silk blend films: Mori-Tussah, Mori-Muga, Mori-Eri and Mori-Thai, were fabricated from aqueous solutions and blended at different weight ratios, respectively. These silk-silk blend systems exploit the beneficial material properties of both silks. DSC and temperature-modulated DSC were used to measure the transition temperatures and heat capacity of these water-based silk-silk blend films. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer was used to characterize secondary structures of silk-silk blends. This study demonstrates that Mori silk are fully miscible with Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk at different weight ratios without phase separation. Glass transition temperatures, degradation temperatures and the contents of alpha-helix and random coils of those silk-silk blend films can be controlled by changing the contents of different silks in the blend system. The features of Mori silk combined with the attributes of Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk offer a useful suite of materials for a variety of applications in the future.

  3. Male foraging efficiency, but not male problem-solving performance, influences female mating preferences in zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Chantal

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits.

  4. Outcome and preferences in female-to-male subjects with gender dysphoria: Experience from Eastern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Anirban; Sanyal, Debmalya

    2016-01-01

    Awareness of gender dysphoria (GD) and its treatment is increasing. There is paucity of scientific data from India regarding the therapeutic options being used for alleviating GD, which includes psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments. To study the therapeutic options including psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments used for alleviating GD. This is a retrospective study of treatment preferences and outcome in 18 female-to-male (FTM) transgender subjects who presented to the endocrine clinic. The mean follow-up was 1.6 years and only one subject was lost to follow-up after a single visit. All subjects desiring treatment had regular counseling and medical monitoring. All FTM subjects were cross-dressing. Seventeen (94.4%) FTM subjects were receiving cross-sex hormone therapy, in the form of testosterone only (61.1%) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist in combination with testosterone (11.1%) or medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) depot in combination with testosterone (22.2%). FTM subjects preferred testosterone or testosterone plus MPA; very few could afford GnRH therapy. Testosterone esters injection was preferred by most (72.2%) subjects as it was most affordable while 22.2% chose 3 monthly injections of testosterone undecanoate for convenience and better symptomatic improvement, but it was more expensive. None preferred testosterone gels because of cost and availability concerns. About 33.3% of our subjects underwent mastectomy, 38.9% had hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and only one subject underwent phalloplasty. About 16.7% of FTM subjects presented with prior mastectomy depicting a high prevalence of unsupervised or poorly supervised surgeries not following protocol wise approach. Notwithstanding of advances in Standards of Care in the Western world, there is lack of awareness and acceptance in the FTM subjects, about proper and timely protocol-wise management options leading to suboptimal physical, social, and

  5. Outcome and preferences in female-to-male subjects with gender dysphoria: Experience from Eastern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anirban Majumder

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: Awareness of gender dysphoria (GD and its treatment is increasing. There is paucity of scientific data from India regarding the therapeutic options being used for alleviating GD, which includes psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments. Aim: To study the therapeutic options including psychotherapy, hormone, and surgical treatments used for alleviating GD. Settings and Design: This is a retrospective study of treatment preferences and outcome in 18 female-to-male (FTM transgender subjects who presented to the endocrine clinic. Results: The mean follow-up was 1.6 years and only one subject was lost to follow-up after a single visit. All subjects desiring treatment had regular counseling and medical monitoring. All FTM subjects were cross-dressing. Seventeen (94.4% FTM subjects were receiving cross-sex hormone therapy, in the form of testosterone only (61.1% or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH agonist in combination with testosterone (11.1% or medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA depot in combination with testosterone (22.2%. FTM subjects preferred testosterone or testosterone plus MPA; very few could afford GnRH therapy. Testosterone esters injection was preferred by most (72.2% subjects as it was most affordable while 22.2% chose 3 monthly injections of testosterone undecanoate for convenience and better symptomatic improvement, but it was more expensive. None preferred testosterone gels because of cost and availability concerns. About 33.3% of our subjects underwent mastectomy, 38.9% had hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and only one subject underwent phalloplasty. About 16.7% of FTM subjects presented with prior mastectomy depicting a high prevalence of unsupervised or poorly supervised surgeries not following protocol wise approach. Conclusion: Notwithstanding of advances in Standards of Care in the Western world, there is lack of awareness and acceptance in the FTM subjects, about proper and timely protocol

  6. Associations between body morphology, mating success and mate preferences among Slovak males and females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokop, Pavol; Fedor, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Human body morphology is thought to be correlated with sexual behaviour and sociosexuality (defined as an increased willingness to engage in sex without commitment) influences the perception of certain cues of physical attractiveness. Based on a sample of Slovak university students, we investigated relationships between 1) male and female mating success and reported body morphology (body mass index, BMI and waist-to-hip ratio, WHR) and 2) mate preference characteristics and mating success. Both males and females reported a similar number of long-term sexual partners and frequency of engaging in extra-pair copulation (EPC). The mating success of both sexes was positively mediated by self-perceived attractiveness. However, female BMI was inversely associated with mating success whereas increasing BMI was positively associated with male mating success (the total number of lifetime sexual partners) as well as with the likelihood of engaging in EPC. Unrestricted sociosexuality positively correlated with direct and indirect benefits from mating and negatively with the religious/political background of a potential mate and with the desire for a home/ children. These results confirm the hypothesis that human body morphology is associated with sexual behaviour and that cues of direct/indirect benefits in a potential mate positively correlate with sociosexuality.

  7. Effect of Vomeronasal Organ Removal From Male Mice on Their Preference for and Neural Fos Responses to Female Urinary Odors

    OpenAIRE

    Pankevich, Diana E.; Cherry, James A.; Baum, Michael J.

    2006-01-01

    Four experiments were conducted to determine whether vomeronasal organ (VNO) inputs in male mice mediate the rewarding properties of estrous female urinary odors. Sexually naive male mice with either an intact (VNOi) or lesioned (VNOx) VNO preferred to investigate female urine over water in Y-maze tests. Subsequently, VNOi males ran significantly more quickly and remained in nasal contact longer with estrous female urine than with male urine, whereas VNOx males investigated these odors equall...

  8. Global dynamics of a PDE model for aedes aegypti mosquitoe incorporating female sexual preference

    KAUST Repository

    Parshad, Rana

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we study the long time dynamics of a reaction diffusion system, describing the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are the primary cause of dengue infection. The system incorporates a control attempt via the sterile insect technique. The model incorporates female mosquitoes sexual preference for wild males over sterile males. We show global existence of strong solution for the system. We then derive uniform estimates to prove the existence of a global attractor in L-2(Omega), for the system. The attractor is shown to be L-infinity(Omega) regular and posess state of extinction, if the injection of sterile males is large enough. We also provide upper bounds on the Hausdorff and fractal dimensions of the attractor.

  9. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  11. The effect of body coloration and group size on social partner preferences in female fighting fish (Betta splendens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakeslee, C; McRobert, S P; Brown, A C; Clotfelter, E D

    2009-02-01

    Females of the fighting fish Betta splendens have been shown to associate with other B. splendens females in a manner reminiscent of shoaling behavior. Since body coloration varies dramatically in this species, and since body coloration has been shown to affect shoalmate choice in other species of fish, we examined the influence of body coloration on association preferences in female B. splendens. In dichotomous choice tests, B. splendens females spent more time swimming near groups of females (regardless of coloration) than swimming near an empty chamber, and chose to swim near fish of similar coloration to their own when choosing between two distinctly colored groups of females. When examining the interplay between body coloration and group size, focal fish spent more time swimming near larger groups (N=5) of similarly colored fish than swimming near an individual female of similar coloration. However, focal fish showed no preference when presented with an individual female of similar coloration and a larger group of females of dissimilar coloration. These results suggest that association choices in B. splendens females are strongly affected by both body coloration and by group size.

  12. Mate choice in the eye and ear of the beholder? Female multimodal sensory configuration influences her preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronald, Kelly L; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Lucas, Jeffrey R

    2018-05-16

    A common assumption in sexual selection studies is that receivers decode signal information similarly. However, receivers may vary in how they rank signallers if signal perception varies with an individual's sensory configuration. Furthermore, receivers may vary in their weighting of different elements of multimodal signals based on their sensory configuration. This could lead to complex levels of selection on signalling traits. We tested whether multimodal sensory configuration could affect preferences for multimodal signals. We used brown-headed cowbird ( Molothrus ater ) females to examine how auditory sensitivity and auditory filters, which influence auditory spectral and temporal resolution, affect song preferences, and how visual spatial resolution and visual temporal resolution, which influence resolution of a moving visual signal, affect visual display preferences. Our results show that multimodal sensory configuration significantly affects preferences for male displays: females with better auditory temporal resolution preferred songs that were shorter, with lower Wiener entropy, and higher frequency; and females with better visual temporal resolution preferred males with less intense visual displays. Our findings provide new insights into mate-choice decisions and receiver signal processing. Furthermore, our results challenge a long-standing assumption in animal communication which can affect how we address honest signalling, assortative mating and sensory drive. © 2018 The Author(s).

  13. Water-insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Q.; Hu, X; Wang, X; Kluge, J; Lu, S; Cebe, P; Kaplan, D

    2010-01-01

    Water-insoluble regenerated silk materials are normally produced by increasing the {beta}-sheet content (silk II). In the present study water-insoluble silk films were prepared by controlling the very slow drying of Bombyx mori silk solutions, resulting in the formation of stable films with a predominant silk I instead of silk II structure. Wide angle X-ray scattering indicated that the silk films stabilized by slow drying were mainly composed of silk I rather than silk II, while water- and methanol-annealed silk films had a higher silk II content. The silk films prepared by slow drying had a globule-like structure at the core surrounded by nano-filaments. The core region was composed of silk I and silk II, surrounded by hydrophilic nano-filaments containing random turns and {alpha}-helix secondary structures. The insoluble silk films prepared by slow drying had unique thermal, mechanical and degradative properties. Differential scanning calorimetry results revealed that silk I crystals had stable thermal properties up to 250 C, without crystallization above the T{sub g}, but degraded at lower temperatures than silk II structure. Compared with water- and methanol-annealed films the films prepared by slow drying had better mechanical ductility and were more rapidly enzymatically degraded, reflecting the differences in secondary structure achieved via differences in post processing of the cast silk films. Importantly, the silk I structure, a key intermediate secondary structure for the formation of mechanically robust natural silk fibers, was successfully generated by the present approach of very slow drying, mimicking the natural process. The results also point to a new mode of generating new types of silk biomaterials with enhanced mechanical properties and increased degradation rates, while maintaining water insolubility, along with a low {beta}-sheet content.

  14. DNA preservation in silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yawen; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Gong, He; Liu, Meng; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-27

    The structure of DNA is susceptible to alterations at high temperature and on changing pH, irradiation and exposure to DNase. Options to protect and preserve DNA during storage are important for applications in genetic diagnosis, identity authentication, drug development and bioresearch. In the present study, the stability of total DNA purified from human dermal fibroblast cells, as well as that of plasmid DNA, was studied in silk protein materials. The DNA/silk mixtures were stabilized on filter paper (silk/DNA + filter) or filter paper pre-coated with silk and treated with methanol (silk/DNA + PT-filter) as a route to practical utility. After air-drying and water extraction, 50-70% of the DNA and silk could be retrieved and showed a single band on electrophoretic gels. 6% silk/DNA + PT-filter samples provided improved stability in comparison with 3% silk/DNA + filter samples and DNA + filter samples for DNA preservation, with ∼40% of the band intensity remaining at 37 °C after 40 days and ∼10% after exposure to UV light for 10 hours. Quantitative analysis using the PicoGreen assay confirmed the results. The use of Tris/borate/EDTA (TBE) buffer enhanced the preservation and/or extraction of the DNA. The DNA extracted after storage maintained integrity and function based on serving as a functional template for PCR amplification of the gene for zinc finger protein 750 (ZNF750) and for transgene expression of red fluorescence protein (dsRed) in HEK293 cells. The high molecular weight and high content of a crystalline beta-sheet structure formed on the coated surfaces likely accounted for the preservation effects observed for the silk/DNA + PT-filter samples. Although similar preservation effects were also obtained for lyophilized silk/DNA samples, the rapid and simple processing available with the silk-DNA-filter membrane system makes it appealing for future applications.

  15. Mud and silk in the dark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    P. S. Reboleira, Ana Sofia; Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    chamber, using the available substrate reinforced by a silken web. We present the detailed ultrastructure of the moulting chamber and silk. It takes five days to build the moulting chamber and between 29 (female) and 35 (male) days to shed the exuviae. The male maturation moult is preceded...

  16. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  17. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R; Herberstein, M E

    2010-01-01

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  18. Silk-based biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altman, Gregory H; Diaz, Frank; Jakuba, Caroline; Calabro, Tara; Horan, Rebecca L; Chen, Jingsong; Lu, Helen; Richmond, John; Kaplan, David L

    2003-02-01

    Silk from the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been used as biomedical suture material for centuries. The unique mechanical properties of these fibers provided important clinical repair options for many applications. During the past 20 years, some biocompatibility problems have been reported for silkworm silk; however, contamination from residual sericin (glue-like proteins) was the likely cause. More recent studies with well-defined silkworm silk fibers and films suggest that the core silk fibroin fibers exhibit comparable biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo with other commonly used biomaterials such as polylactic acid and collagen. Furthermore, the unique mechanical properties of the silk fibers, the diversity of side chain chemistries for 'decoration' with growth and adhesion factors, and the ability to genetically tailor the protein provide additional rationale for the exploration of this family of fibrous proteins for biomaterial applications. For example, in designing scaffolds for tissue engineering these properties are particularly relevant and recent results with bone and ligament formation in vitro support the potential role for this biomaterial in future applications. To date, studies with silks to address biomaterial and matrix scaffold needs have focused on silkworm silk. With the diversity of silk-like fibrous proteins from spiders and insects, a range of native or bioengineered variants can be expected for application to a diverse set of clinical needs.

  19. [An investigation of career choice, plans and expectations and practice preferences of male and female dental students

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daalmans, M.T.; Vissia, M.S.; Kuijpers-Jagtman, A.M.; Lagro-Janssen, A.L.M.

    2004-01-01

    Aim of this study was to get more insight into the career choice, plans and expectations, and practice pattern preferences of male and female dental students in The Netherlands. A structured questionnaire was sent out to all 5th year dental students in The Netherlands in the academic year 2001/2002

  20. Another Look at Sex Differences in Preferred Mate Characteristics: The Effects of Endorsing the Traditional Female Gender Role

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johannesen-Schmidt, Mary C.; Eagly, Alice H.

    2002-01-01

    This research used an individual differences approach to test Eagly and Wood's (1999) claim that sex differences in the characteristics that people prefer in mates reflect the tendency for men and women to occupy different social roles in a society. The study related the extent to which participants endorsed the traditional female gender role to…

  1. Ethanol preference is impacted by estrus stage but not housing or stress in female C57BL/6J mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly N. Williams

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Vulnerability to maladaptive patterns of alcohol use, including dependence and relapse, is influenced by a combination of biological and environmental factors. A better understanding of how individual factors influence alcohol use is needed to help reduce alcohol dependence and relapse rates in the general population. This study explored how environmental enrichment (EE, stress and estrus cycle stage affect ethanol (ETOH preference in female mice. Mice were housed in enriched or standard environments and exposed chronically to ETOH for two hours a day for twelve days, before entering a brief ETOH-free abstinence period. At the end of this abstinence period, mice were exposed to a series of mild stressors (forced swim tests and anxiety was assessed via an elevated plus-maze. Preference was measured using a two-bottle choice test prior to ETOH exposure (baseline, after chronic ETOH exposure, and immediately following the abstinence period and stressor. Results revealed that mice preferred ETOH more strongly after chronic ETOH exposure, but that this increase was not affected by environment. ETOH preference was further increased after a brief abstinence period, but preference was not affected by environment or mild stress. However, mice in the proestrus/estrus stage of the estrus cycle preferred ETOH more strongly after a brief abstinence period than did mice in the metestrus/diestrus stage, suggesting that circulating levels of gonadal hormones may contribute to the incubation of drug preference. Anxiety- and despair-like behaviors were not impacted by estrus cycle stage. These findings suggest that estrus stage may affect ETOH preference, even after relatively short drug-free periods. Further research is needed to rectify the role of EE and stress in individual vulnerability or resilience to substance abuse. These findings also highlight a need for increased research into how gonadal hormones may influence ETOH preference in both mice and humans.

  2. Feeding preference of adult females of ribbonfish Trichiurus lepturus through prey proximate-composition and caloric values

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Trindade Bittar

    Full Text Available In the present study we analysed the proximate-composition and caloric values of the preferred prey consumed by ribbonfish, Trichiurus lepturus L. 1758 (adult females, that are distributed in the inner continental shelf from northern Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil (~22ºS, assessing the potential of nutritional and energetic approach as a tool to understand the feeding selective pattern of this marine top carnivore. The preferred prey of this predator composed of fish co-specifics, Pellona harroweri, Chirocentrodon bleekerianus, Lycengraulis grossidens, Peprilus paru, squid Doryteuthis plei, and shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri were collected from 2007 to 2010 for proximate-composition (water, protein, lipid, ash, and carbohydrate and caloric value analyses. The correspondence analysis showed that protein is the main component in the prey species (61.32% of variance explained, standing out from the other nutrients. Lipid has the highest percentage related to L. grossidens, ash to X. kroyeri and carbohydrate to D. plei. The strong correlations between protein and caloric value (positive and lipid and caloric value (negative indicated that T. lepturus is attending its energy demand through the prey protein content. This work elucidated the feeding preference of adult females of T. lepturus in relation to nutritional and caloric content of their preferred prey. The species showed food selectivity to prey that provide more energy per ingested biomass, so that the feeding events can maximize the predator's caloric gain, which is obtained by a protein-based diet.

  3. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P.; Kaplan, David L.; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000 K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130–270 ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50% MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25 °C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50% MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37 °C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature Tm(II) = 351 ± 2.6 °C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at Tm(I) = 292 ± 3.8 °C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065 s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment.

  4. Genetic engineered color silk: fabrication of a photonics material through a bioassisted technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Katsuhiko

    2018-05-15

    Silk produced by the silkworm Bombyx mori is an attractive material because of its luster, smooth and soft texture, conspicuous mechanical strength, good biocompatibility, slow biodegradation, and carbon neutral synthesis. Silkworms have been domesticated and bred for production of better quality and quantity of silk, resulting in the development of sericulture and the textile industry. Silk is generally white, so dyeing is required to obtain colored fiber. However, the dyeing process involves harsh conditions and generates a large volume of waste water, which have environmentally and economically negative impacts. Although some strains produce cocoons that contain pigments derived from the mulberry leaves that they eat, the pigments are distributed in the sericin layer and are lost during gumming. In trials for production of colored silk by feeding silkworms on diets containing dyes, only limited species of dye molecules were incorporated into the silk threads. A method for the generation of transgenic silkworm was established in conjunction with the discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP), and silkworms carrying the GFP gene spun silk threads that formed cocoons that glowed bright green and still retained the original properties of silk. A wide range of color variation of silk threads has been obtained by replacing the GFP gene with the genes of other fluorescent proteins chosen from the fluorescent protein palette. The genetically modified silk with photonic properties can be processed to form various products including linear threads, 2D fabrics, and 3D materials. The transgenic colored silk could be economically advantageous due to addition of a new value to silk and reduction of cost for water waste, and environmentally preferable for saving water. Here, I review the literature regarding the production methods of fluorescent silk from transgenic silkworms and present examples of genetically modified color silk.

  5. MATE CHOICE IN AIDABLENNIUS-SPHYNX (TELEOSTEI, BLENNIIDAE) - FEMALES PREFER NESTS CONTAINING MORE EGGS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KRAAK, SBM; VIDELER, JJ

    1991-01-01

    Criteria for female mate choice were investigated in a natural population of a Mediterranean blenny, Aidablennius sphynx. Removable test tubes in concrete blocks were offered as nests. Each tube was guarded by a male and females laid eggs in the tubes. Nests with larger broods received significantly

  6. Preferences and Ratings of Partner Traits in Female Survivors of Childhood Abuse With PTSD and Healthy Controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberz, Klara A; Müller-Engelmann, Meike; Priebe, Kathlen; Friedmann, Franziska; Görg, Nora; Herzog, Julia Isabell; Steil, Regina

    2017-11-01

    There is growing empirical evidence for an association between childhood abuse (CA) and intimate partner violence (IPV) in adulthood. We tested whether revictimized survivors of severe to extreme severities of child sexual abuse (CSA) and severe severities of child physical abuse (CPA) differed from nonvictimized healthy controls in their trait preferences in intimate partners and their current mate choice. In a sample of 52 revictimized female patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after CSA/CPA and 52 female healthy controls, the validated Intimate Partner Preferences Questionnaire (IPPQ) was used to assess (a) the desirability of tenderness, dominance, and aggression traits in potential partners, and (b) the presence of these traits in their current intimate partners. Factors potentially associated with partner preference and mate choice, for example, chronicity of traumatic events and lower self-esteem, were explored. Our results showed that, in general, revictimized PTSD patients did not have a preference for dominant or aggressive partners. However, revictimized women displayed a significantly larger discrepancy than did healthy controls between their preferences for tenderness traits and their ratings of the presence of tenderness traits in their current partners. Our results indicated that revictimized patients had lower self-esteem values; however, these values were associated with higher demands for tenderness traits. Furthermore, our results revealed that compared with patients who experienced early-onset childhood abuse (CA), those who experienced later onset CA were more accepting of dominant traits in potential partners. Women who had experienced IPV rated their current partners to be overly dominant. A higher tolerance of dominance traits might increase the risk of IPV in a specific subgroup of abused women (women with a later onset of abuse experiences and experiences of IPV).

  7. Female plastic surgery patients prefer mirror-reversed photographs of themselves: A prospective study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Runz, Antoine; Boccara, David; Chaouat, Marc; Locatelli, Katia; Bertheuil, Nicolas; Claudot, Frédérique; Bekara, Farid; Mimoun, Maurice

    2016-01-01

    The use of a patient's image in plastic surgery is common today. Thus, plastic surgeons should master the use of the image and be aware of the implications of the patients' perception of themselves. The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon in which a person tends to rate things more positively merely because (s)he is familiar with them. Faces are asymmetric, so faces in photos are different from those observed in mirrors. The main objective of this study was to assess whether patients within a plastic surgery population, particularly those undergoing facial aesthetic surgery, preferred standard photographs or mirror-reversed photographs of themselves. A prospective study was conducted in a plastic surgery department, which included women who were admitted to the hospital the day before their procedures. The patients were separated into the following two groups: Group 1 was composed of patients who were undergoing facial aesthetic surgeries, and Group 2 consisted of other patients who presented to the plastic surgery department for surgery. The patients were required to rate their appreciation of their own faces and to choose between standard and mirror-reversed photos of themselves. A total of 214 patients participated. The median age was 47.9 years (interquartile range (IQR): 36.4-60.6), and the median face appreciation was 5 (IQR: 5-7). The preference for the mirror-reversed photograph was significantly different from chance (p < 0.001, binomial (214, 156, 0.5)); 73% of the patients preferred the mirror-reversed photographs. The proportions of patients who preferred the mirror-reversed photograph differed significantly (p = 0.047) between Groups 1 (84%) and 2 (70%). Plastic surgery patients have a significant preference for mirror-reversed photographs of themselves over standard photographs. This preference is even more pronounced among patients who are undergoing facial aesthetic surgery. III. Copyright © 2015 British Association of Plastic

  8. Silk Electrogel Rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabai, A. P.; Urbach, J. S.; Blair, D. L.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2014-03-01

    We present experimental results on the rheology on electrogels derived from aqueous solutions of reconstituted Bombyx Mori silk fibroin protein. Through electrochemistry, the silk protein solution develops local pH changes resulting in the assembly of protein into a weak gel. We determine the physical properties of the electrogels by performing rheology and observe that they exhibit the characteristics of a crosslinked biopolymer network. Interestingly, we find that these silk gels exhibit linear elasticity over a range of up to two orders of magnitude larger than most crosslinked biopolymer networks. Moreover, the nonlinear rheology exhibits a strain-stiffening behavior that is fundamentally different than the strain-stiffening observed in crosslinked biopolymers. Through rheological techniques we aim to understand this distinctive material that cannot be explained by current polymeric models. This work is supported by a grant from the AFOSR FA9550-07-1-0130.

  9. Influencers and preference predictors of HPV vaccine uptake among US male and female young adult college students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Scott LaJoie

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of male and female college students in Kentucky about HPV associated diseases and vaccines, and to determine which parameters predicted self-reported uptake of HPV vaccination. Materials and methods: A self-selected cross-sectional sample of college students completed an evidence-based online survey. Results: Of approximately 1200 potential respondents, 585 completed the survey. The average age was 20.6 (SD 3.15 and 78% were female; 84% of the population had had one or more sexual partners. Concern for HPV vaccine safety and potential need for boosters did not significantly deter vaccine uptake. Likewise, knowledge about HPV associated cancers was not predictive of vaccine uptake. On the other hand, parental influence for vaccination was a strong predictor for vaccine uptake (aOR = 5.32, 2.71–13.03, and free vaccine nearly doubled the likelihood of being vaccinated (aOR 1.90, 1.05–3.41. In addition, the strong preference for the respondent's partner to be HPV vaccinated predicted vaccine uptake (aOR = 4.04, 95% CI: 2.31–7.05, but the lack of preference for partner vaccination predicted an unvaccinated self (aOR = 0.50, 0.27–0.93. Conclusions: HPV vaccination has been successful in young adult college students in Kentucky. Young adults prefer their partners to be HPV vaccinated regardless of whether they themselves are vaccinated. Parental influence and free vaccine were positive predictors for vaccine uptake in this population. Keywords: Knowledge, HPV vaccine, Young adults, Preferences, Safety

  10. Real estate ads in Emei music frog vocalizations: female preference for calls emanating from burrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jianguo; Tang, Yezhong; Narins, Peter M

    2012-06-23

    During female mate choice, both the male's phenotype and resources (e.g. his nest) contribute to the chooser's fitness. Animals other than humans are not known to advertise resource characteristics to potential mates through vocal communication; although in some species of anurans and birds, females do evaluate male qualities through vocal communication. Here, we demonstrate that calls of the male Emei music frog (Babina dauchina), vocalizing from male-built nests, reflect nest structure information that can be recognized by females. Inside-nest calls consisted of notes with energy concentrated at lower frequency ranges and longer note durations when compared with outside-nest calls. Centre frequencies and note durations of the inside calls positively correlate with the area of the burrow entrance and the depth of the burrow, respectively. When given a choice between outside and inside calls played back alternately, more than 70 per cent of the females (33/47) chose inside calls. These results demonstrate that males of this species faithfully advertise whether or not they possess a nest to potential mates by vocal communication, which probably facilitates optimal mate selection by females. These results revealed a novel function of advertisement calls, which is consistent with the wide variation in both call complexity and social behaviour within amphibians.

  11. Transobturator tapes are preferable over transvaginal tapes for the management of female stress urinary incontinence: Against

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Chawla

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Midurethral placement of tension-free vaginal tapes with a transvaginal route for stress urinary incontinence achieves higher and better long-term success rates than the transobturator route. Bladder perforations are reported more in transvaginal tape (TVT but incidences of vaginal erosions, extrusion, and groin pain are exceedingly more in TOT groups. There is no clear evidence that transobturator tape (TOT is associated with less post-operative voiding problems than TVT. Major complications such as bowel injuries and significant vascular injuries with TVT are rare. TVT has been found to be superior to TOT and preferable in technically demanding conditions such as prior anti-incontinence operation failures, obese women, and very elevated and scarred lateral cul-de sac. TVT is always preferred in severe grades of stress urinary incontinence and with patients of intrinsic sphincter deficiency (ISD with little or no urethral mobility.

  12. Estradiol induces region-specific inhibition of ZENK but does not affect the behavioral preference for tutored song in adult female zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Wade, Juli

    2008-01-01

    Female zebra finches display a preference for songs of males raised with tutors compared to those from males without tutors. To determine howthis behavioral preference may bemediated by auditory perception sites, the social behavior network, and the dopamine reward system, and whether responses of these regions are affected by estradiol, females were treated with hormone or blank implants.An auditory choice test was conducted followed by exposure to tutored or untutored song or silence to exa...

  13. Identifying cognitive preferences for attractive female faces: an event-related potential experiment using a study-test paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yan; Kong, Fanchang; Chen, Hong; Jackson, Todd; Han, Li; Meng, Jing; Yang, Zhou; Gao, Jianguo; Najam ul Hasan, Abbasi

    2011-11-01

    In this experiment, sensitivity to female facial attractiveness was examined by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to attractive and unattractive female faces within a study-test paradigm. Fourteen heterosexual participants (age range 18-24 years, mean age 21.67 years) were required to judge 84 attractive and 84 unattractive face images as either "attractive" or "unattractive." They were then asked whether they had previously viewed each face in a recognition task in which 50% of the images were novel. Analyses indicated that attractive faces elicited more enhanced ERP amplitudes than did unattractive faces in judgment (N300 and P350-550 msec) and recognition (P160 and N250-400 msec and P400-700 msec) tasks on anterior locations. Moreover, longer reaction times and higher accuracy rate were observed in identifying attractive faces than unattractive faces. In sum, this research identified neural and behavioral bases related to cognitive preferences for judging and recognizing attractive female faces. Explanations for the results are that attractive female faces arouse more intense positive emotions in participants than do unattractive faces, and they also represent reproductive fitness and mating value from the evolutionary perspective. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. How parasitoid females produce sexy sons: a causal link between oviposition preference, dietary lipids and mate choice in Nasonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaul, Birgit; Ruther, Joachim

    2011-11-07

    Sexual selection theory predicts that phenotypic traits used to choose a mate should reflect honestly the quality of the sender and thus, are often costly. Physiological costs arise if a signal depends on limited nutritional resources. Hence, the nutritional condition of an organism should determine both its quality as a potential mate and its ability to advertise this quality to the choosing sex. In insects, the quality of the offspring's nutrition is often determined by the ovipositing female. A causal connection, however, between the oviposition decisions of the mother and the mating chances of her offspring has never been shown. Here, we demonstrate that females of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis prefer those hosts for oviposition that have been experimentally enriched in linoleic acid (LA). We show by (13)C-labelling that LA from the host diet is a precursor of the male sex pheromone. Consequently, males from LA-rich hosts produce and release higher amounts of the pheromone and attract more virgin females than males from LA-poor hosts. Finally, males from LA-rich hosts possess three times as many spermatozoa as those from LA-poor hosts. Hence, females making the right oviposition decisions may increase both the fertility and the sexual attractiveness of their sons.

  15. Understanding Patient Preference in Female Pelvic Imaging: Transvaginal Ultrasound and MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakala, Michelle D; Carlos, Ruth C; Mendiratta-Lala, Mishal; Quint, Elisabeth H; Maturen, Katherine E

    2018-04-01

    Women with pelvic pain or abnormal uterine bleeding may undergo diagnostic imaging. This study evaluates patient experience in transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and explores correlations between preference and symptom severity. Institutional review board approval was obtained for this Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant prospective study. Fifty premenopausal women with pelvic symptoms evaluated by recent TVUS and MRI and without history of gynecologic cancer or hysterectomy were included. A phone questionnaire used validated survey instruments including Uterine Fibroid Symptoms Quality of Life index, Testing Morbidities Index, and Wait Trade Off for TVUS and MRI examinations. Using Wait Trade Off, patients preferred TVUS over MRI (3.58 vs 2.80 weeks, 95% confidence interval [CI] -1.63, 0.12; P = .08). Summary test utility of Testing Morbidities Index for MRI was worse than for TVUS (81.64 vs 87.42, 95%CI 0.41, 11.15; P = .03). Patients reported greater embarrassment during TVUS than during MRI (P MRI, and greater mental (P = .02) and physical (P = .02) problems after MRI versus TVUS. Subscale correlations showed physically inactive women rated TVUS more negatively (R = -0.32, P = .03), whereas women with more severe symptoms of loss of control of health (R = -0.28, P = .04) and sexual dysfunction (R = -0.30, P = .03) rated MRI more negatively. Women with pelvic symptoms had a slight but significant preference for TVUS over MRI. Identifying specific distressing aspects of each test and patient factors contributing to negative perceptions can direct improvement in both test environment and patient preparation. Improved patient experience may increase imaging value. Copyright © 2018 The Association of University Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Social preference and maternal defeat-induced social avoidance in virgin female rats: sex differences in involvement of brain oxytocin and vasopressin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukas, Michael; Neumann, Inga D

    2014-08-30

    Research concerning non-reproductive sociability in rodents is mainly restricted to assessing the effects of oxytocin (OXT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) in male rats and mice. Comparable studies on natural social preference and social avoidance in females are substantially lacking. Here, we adapted a behavioral paradigm for monitoring social preference of female rats consisting of two consecutive exposures to either non-social or social stimuli. Further, to induce stimulus-specific social avoidance, female rats were exposed to a single 10-min maternal defeat by a lactating dam. Social preference towards same-sex conspecifics in female rats was shown to be independent of the estrous cycle and even more pronounced than in male rats. Intracerebroventricular (icv) application of OXT, AVP, or their selective receptor antagonists or agonists, did not alter naturally-occurring social preference in female rats. Stimulus-specific social avoidance could be induced by prior exposure to a lactating rat: an effect that could not be reversed/overcome by icv OXT. The female social preference paradigm for rats established in this study detected subtle sex differences in social preference behavior of rats. Further, stimulus-specific social deficits could be induced in female rats using an acute exposure to social defeat - as previously observed in male rodents. Female rats show strong social preference behavior, which can be prevented by social defeat, but does not seem to be regulated by the OXT or AVP systems. Accordingly, icv application of synthetic OXT does not reverse maternal defeat-induced social avoidance in female rats. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Sex differences in relative foot length and perceived attractiveness of female feet: relationships among anthropometry, physique, and preference ratings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voracek, Martin; Fisher, Maryanne L; Rupp, Barbara; Lucas, Deanna; Fessler, Daniel M T

    2007-06-01

    Foot size proportionate to stature is smaller in women than in men, and small feet apparently contribute to perceived physical attractiveness of females. This exploratory study investigated the sex difference in relative foot length and interrelations among foot length, physique, and foot preference ratings in samples from Austria and Canada, each comprised of 75 men and 75 women. The findings included the following lines of evidence: the sex difference in relative foot length replicated in both data sets; the magnitude of this sex effect was large. Relative foot length was smaller in young, nulliparous, and slim women. Pointed-toe and high-heel shoes were more likely worn by smaller, lighter, and slimmer women. Men reported liking women's feet in general more than vice versa. A vast majority of both men and women favored small feet in women, but large feet in men. One's own foot size appeared to correspond to evaluations of attractiveness; particularly, women with small feet preferred small feet in women in general. The preference for small feet in women was convergent across different methods of evaluating attractiveness. Directions for investigations in this emerging field of research on physical attractiveness are discussed.

  18. Influencers and preference predictors of HPV vaccine uptake among US male and female young adult college students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaJoie, A Scott; Kerr, Jelani C; Clover, Richard D; Harper, Diane M

    2018-06-01

    The purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of male and female college students in Kentucky about HPV associated diseases and vaccines, and to determine which parameters predicted self-reported uptake of HPV vaccination. A self-selected cross-sectional sample of college students completed an evidence-based online survey. Of approximately 1200 potential respondents, 585 completed the survey. The average age was 20.6 (SD 3.15) and 78% were female; 84% of the population had had one or more sexual partners. Concern for HPV vaccine safety and potential need for boosters did not significantly deter vaccine uptake. Likewise, knowledge about HPV associated cancers was not predictive of vaccine uptake. On the other hand, parental influence for vaccination was a strong predictor for vaccine uptake (aOR = 5.32, 2.71-13.03), and free vaccine nearly doubled the likelihood of being vaccinated (aOR 1.90, 1.05-3.41). In addition, the strong preference for the respondent's partner to be HPV vaccinated predicted vaccine uptake (aOR = 4.04, 95% CI: 2.31-7.05), but the lack of preference for partner vaccination predicted an unvaccinated self (aOR = 0.50, 0.27-0.93). HPV vaccination has been successful in young adult college students in Kentucky. Young adults prefer their partners to be HPV vaccinated regardless of whether they themselves are vaccinated. Parental influence and free vaccine were positive predictors for vaccine uptake in this population. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Modern Sexism and Preference for a Coach among Select National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Female Athletes: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenawalt, Nancy Jo

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this explanatory mixed methods research study was to examine the relationship of modern sexism to a female athlete's preference for a coach based on the sex of the coach. Female athletes (N = 155) from one National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I institution in the Northeastern United States participated in the…

  20. Female breast cancer incidence and survival in Utah according to religious preference, 1985–1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Ray M; Folsom, Jeffrey A

    2005-01-01

    Background Female breast cancer incidence rates in Utah are among the lowest in the U.S. The influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) religion on these rates, as well as on disease-specific survival, will be explored for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer in Utah from 1985 through 1999. Methods Population-based records for incident female breast cancer patients were linked with membership records from the LDS Church to determine religious affiliation and, for LDS Church members, level of religiosity. Incidence rates were age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population using the direct method. Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare survival among religiously active LDS, less religiously active LDS, and non-LDS with simultaneous adjustment for prognostic factors. Results Age-adjusted breast cancer incidence rates were consistently lower for LDS than non-LDS in Utah from 1985 through 1999. Rates were lower among LDS compared with non-LDS across the age span. In 1995–99, the age-adjusted incidence rates were 107.6 (95% CI: 103.9 – 111.3) for LDS women and 130.5 (123.2 – 137.9) for non-LDS women. If non-LDS women in Utah had the same breast cancer risk profile as LDS women, an estimated 214 (4.8%) fewer malignant breast cancer cases would have occurred during 1995–99. With religiously active LDS serving as the reference group, the adjusted death hazard ratio for religiously less active LDS was 1.09 (0.94 – 1.27) and for non-LDS was 0.86 (0.75 – 0.98). Conclusion In Utah, LDS lifestyle is associated with lower incidence rates of female breast cancer. However, LDS experience poorer survivability from breast cancer than their non-LDS counterparts. Parity and breastfeeding, while protective factors against breast cancer, may contribute to poorer prognosis of female breast cancer in LDS women. PMID:15904509

  1. Female breast cancer incidence and survival in Utah according to religious preference, 1985-1999.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Ray M; Folsom, Jeffrey A

    2005-05-18

    Female breast cancer incidence rates in Utah are among the lowest in the U.S. The influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (LDS or Mormon) religion on these rates, as well as on disease-specific survival, will be explored for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer in Utah from 1985 through 1999. Population-based records for incident female breast cancer patients were linked with membership records from the LDS Church to determine religious affiliation and, for LDS Church members, level of religiosity. Incidence rates were age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population using the direct method. Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare survival among religiously active LDS, less religiously active LDS, and non-LDS with simultaneous adjustment for prognostic factors. Age-adjusted breast cancer incidence rates were consistently lower for LDS than non-LDS in Utah from 1985 through 1999. Rates were lower among LDS compared with non-LDS across the age span. In 1995-99, the age-adjusted incidence rates were 107.6 (95% CI: 103.9 - 111.3) for LDS women and 130.5 (123.2 - 137.9) for non-LDS women. If non-LDS women in Utah had the same breast cancer risk profile as LDS women, an estimated 214 (4.8%) fewer malignant breast cancer cases would have occurred during 1995-99. With religiously active LDS serving as the reference group, the adjusted death hazard ratio for religiously less active LDS was 1.09 (0.94 - 1.27) and for non-LDS was 0.86 (0.75 - 0.98). In Utah, LDS lifestyle is associated with lower incidence rates of female breast cancer. However, LDS experience poorer survivability from breast cancer than their non-LDS counterparts. Parity and breastfeeding, while protective factors against breast cancer, may contribute to poorer prognosis of female breast cancer in LDS women.

  2. Structural Origins of Silk Piezoelectricity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L

    2011-02-22

    Uniaxially oriented, piezoelectric silk films were prepared by a two-step method that involved: (1) air drying aqueous, regenerated silk fibroin solutions into films, and (2) drawing the silk films to a desired draw ratio. The utility of two different drawing techniques, zone drawing and water immersion drawing were investigated for processing the silk for piezoelectric studies. Silk films zone drawn to a ratio of λ= 2.7 displayed relatively high dynamic shear piezoelectric coefficients of d(14) = -1.5 pC/N, corresponding to over two orders of magnitude increase in d(14) due to film drawing. A strong correlation was observed between the increase in the silk II, β-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (C(β)∝ e(2.5) (λ)), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of β-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for λ= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d(14)∝ e(2.4) (λ)). Water immersion drawing led to a predominantly silk I structure with a low degree of orientation (FWHM = 75°) and a much weaker piezoelectric response compared to zone drawing. Similarly, increasing the β-sheet crystallinity without inducing crystal alignment, e.g. by methanol treatment, did not result in a significant enhancement of silk piezoelectricity. Overall, a combination of a high degree of silk II, β-sheet crystallinity and crystalline orientation are prerequisites for a strong piezoelectric effect in silk. Further understanding of the structural origins of silk piezoelectricity will provide important options for future biotechnological and biomedical applications of this protein.

  3. Subchronic toxicity study of corn silk with rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cuina; Zhang, Tiehua; Liu, Jun; Lu, Shuang; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Erlei; Wang, Zuozhao; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jingbo

    2011-09-01

    Corn silk is a traditional herbal medicine in China, which has been used in many parts of the world for the treatment of edema as well as for cystitis, gout, kidney stones, nephritis, prostatitis and similar ailments. However, there is little scientific evidence about its safety. As a part of its safety assessment, a subchronic toxicity was performed in this paper. The subchronic toxicity was investigated in male and female Wistar rats by dietary administration at concentrations of 0.5%, 2.0% and 8.0% (w/w) for 90 days. Overall health, body weight, food consumption, hematology, blood chemistry, organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were compared between test and control groups. A number of significant differences were seen between groups, but none of them was considered to be adverse. Based on the present study, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of corn silk is at least 8.0% which corresponds to a mean daily corn silk intake of approximately 9.354 and 10.308 g/day/kg body weight for males and females, respectively. The results obtained in the present study suggest that consumption of corn silk has no adverse effects and support the safety of corn silk for humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P; Kaplan, David L; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130-270ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50%MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25°C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50%MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37°C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature T m (II)=351±2.6°C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at T m (I)=292±3.8°C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment. Silkworm silk is a naturally occurring biomaterial. The fibroin component of silk forms two types of crystals. Silk properties depend upon the

  5. Silk Film Embossing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Mark S.

    New tools are often required to facilitate new discoveries and test new methods. Commercial offerings can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to customize. The development of ad-hoc tools provides the most flexibility and provides an opportunity to modify and refine a technology. An embossing system was developed for silk film imprinting and stamping in order to facilitate and add versatility to the efforts involving micro- and nanoscale device manufacturing in biopolymers. This system features temperature controlled embossing surfaces, adjustable embossing pressures, and variable embossing times. The device can also be fitted with interchangeable temperature controlled embossing and stamping tools. The design, development, fabrication, applications, and future improvements are explored for the system. This device may facilitate new discoveries in the realm of biopolymer micro- and nanomanufacturing and may provide a path towards high volume production of silk film based technologies.

  6. Adolescent THC exposure does not sensitize conditioned place preferences to subthreshold d-amphetamine in male and female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Robin J; Bye, Cameron; Trow, Jan; McDonald, Robert J

    2018-01-01

    The acute effects of marijuana consumption on brain physiology and behaviour are well documented, but the long-term effects of its chronic use are less well known. Chronic marijuana use during adolescence is of increased interest, given that the majority of individuals first use marijuana during this developmental stage , and  adolescent marijuana use is thought to increase the susceptibility to abusing other drugs when exposed later in life. It is possible that marijuana use during critical periods in adolescence could lead to increased sensitivity to other drugs of abuse later on. To test this, we chronically administered ∆ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to male and female Long-Evans (LER) and Wistar (WR) rats directly after puberty onset. Rats matured to postnatal day 90 before being exposed to a conditioned place preference task (CPP). A subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine, found not to induce place preference in drug naïve rats, was used as the unconditioned stimulus. The effect of d-amphetamine on neural activity was inferred by quantifying cfos expression in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal hippocampus following CPP training. Chronic exposure to THC post-puberty had no potentiating effect on a subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine to induce CPP. No differences in cfos expression were observed. These results show that chronic exposure to THC during puberty did not increase sensitivity to d-amphetamine in adult LER and WR rats. This supports the concept that THC may not sensitize the response to all drugs of abuse.

  7. Do Masculine Men Smell Better? An Association Between Skin Color Masculinity and Female Preferences for Body Odor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrito, Mariana L; Santos, Isabel M; Alho, Laura; Ferreira, Jacqueline; Soares, Sandra C; Bem-Haja, Pedro; Silva, Carlos F; Perrett, David I

    2017-03-01

    A recent study claimed face skin color as a sexually dimorphic variable that influences attractiveness preferences in mate choice. Thereby, skin color may assume the role of a mate quality signal influencing attractiveness preferences. As body odor is linked to attractiveness, this study aimed to explore whether the odors of men with more masculine facial skin color would be evaluated more positively than odors from less masculine men. Female raters were presented with body odors of 18 men and were asked to rate them in various characteristics. Multilevel modeling revealed that the odors of the donors with more masculine color were rated not only as more attractive, more pleasant, and sexier, but also healthier. This indicates that odor associated with men with more masculine skin color is attractive, just as other sexually dimorphic traits. Furthermore, we found a negative relation between skin color masculinity and perceived odor maleness. Regarding this last finding, a new discussion is introduced with respect to the influence of cognitive stereotypes in odor judgments. Altogether, the study supports the possibility that chemosensory signals may be communicating signs of mate quality associated with masculinity. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Applicability of biotechnologically produced insect silks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herold, Heike M; Scheibel, Thomas

    2017-09-26

    Silks are structural proteins produced by arthropods. Besides the well-known cocoon silk, which is produced by larvae of the silk moth Bombyx mori to undergo metamorphosis inside their silken shelter (and which is also used for textile production by men since millennia), numerous further less known silk-producing animals exist. The ability to produce silk evolved multiple independent times during evolution, and the fact that silk was subject to convergent evolution gave rise to an abundant natural diversity of silk proteins. Silks are used in air, under water, or like honey bee silk in the hydrophobic, waxen environment of the bee hive. The good mechanical properties of insect silk fibres together with their non-toxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable nature renders these materials appealing for both technical and biomedical applications. Although nature provides a great diversity of material properties, the variation in quality inherent in materials from natural sources together with low availability (except from silkworm silk) impeded the development of applications of silks. To overcome these two drawbacks, in recent years, recombinant silks gained more and more interest, as the biotechnological production of silk proteins allows for a scalable production at constant quality. This review summarises recent developments in recombinant silk production as well as technical procedures to process recombinant silk proteins into fibres, films, and hydrogels.

  9. Female preference and predation risk models can explain the maintenance of a fallow deer (Dama dama lek and its 'handy' location.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Apollonio

    Full Text Available We tested the predictions of three models (female preference; hotspot; predator avoidance on lek formation in the fallow deer population of San Rossore, Tuscany. We collected behavioural observations in two leks and radiotracking data on 67 deer over 7 years. Two deer sub-populations were present in the northern and southern sides of the area, respectively, the two sectors being delimited by a river and including one lek each. Predictions were tested for one lek (SG, located in the south-side where we set up our 7-year radiotracking program. Data from a second lek (FO, north-side were used to test those predictions which imply the occurrence of multiple leks in the same population. We showed that the majority of females made one single visit to one lek, only during the rut. The lek was located outside areas of higher female traffic and home range overlap, and females increased home range sizes during the rut to reach it. Twilight routes of females never crossed the lek; instead, females walked atypical routes and at a faster pace to reach the lek and mate. The distance between the two leks was higher than the average diameter of female home ranges, and only one lek was present within female home ranges. Males reached the lek one month before the arrival of females, corroborating that lekking is a female-initiated process (females moving towards large clumped male aggregations rather than a male-initiated process (males moving towards female hotspots. Our results supported the female preference model, and rejected the predictions of the hotspot model. Also, leks were located far from areas with higher predation risk, supporting the predator avoidance model. The position of lek SG resulted 'handy' at the sub-population level because of the optimal trade-off between travel costs for females to reach it and avoidance of human predators.

  10. Female Preference and Predation Risk Models Can Explain the Maintenance of a Fallow Deer (Dama dama) Lek and Its ‘Handy’ Location

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apollonio, Marco; De Cena, Fabio; Bongi, Paolo; Ciuti, Simone

    2014-01-01

    We tested the predictions of three models (female preference; hotspot; predator avoidance) on lek formation in the fallow deer population of San Rossore, Tuscany. We collected behavioural observations in two leks and radiotracking data on 67 deer over 7 years. Two deer sub-populations were present in the northern and southern sides of the area, respectively, the two sectors being delimited by a river and including one lek each. Predictions were tested for one lek (SG), located in the south-side where we set up our 7-year radiotracking program. Data from a second lek (FO, north-side) were used to test those predictions which imply the occurrence of multiple leks in the same population. We showed that the majority of females made one single visit to one lek, only during the rut. The lek was located outside areas of higher female traffic and home range overlap, and females increased home range sizes during the rut to reach it. Twilight routes of females never crossed the lek; instead, females walked atypical routes and at a faster pace to reach the lek and mate. The distance between the two leks was higher than the average diameter of female home ranges, and only one lek was present within female home ranges. Males reached the lek one month before the arrival of females, corroborating that lekking is a female-initiated process (females moving towards large clumped male aggregations) rather than a male-initiated process (males moving towards female hotspots). Our results supported the female preference model, and rejected the predictions of the hotspot model. Also, leks were located far from areas with higher predation risk, supporting the predator avoidance model. The position of lek SG resulted ‘handy’ at the sub-population level because of the optimal trade-off between travel costs for females to reach it and avoidance of human predators. PMID:24599036

  11. A test of genetic association among male nuptial coloration, female mating preference, and male aggression bias within a polymorphic population of cichlid fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inke van der SLUIJS, Peter D. DIJKSTRA, Charlotte M. LINDEYER et al.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Both inter- and intrasexual selection have been implicated in the origin and maintenance of species-rich taxa with diverse sexual traits. Simultaneous disruptive selection by female mate choice and male-male competition can, in theory, lead to speciation without geographical isolation if both act on the same male trait. Female mate choice can generate discontinuities in gene flow, while male-male competition can generate negative frequency-dependent selection stabilizing the male trait polymorphism. Speciation may be facilitated when mating preference and/or aggression bias are physically linked to the trait they operate on. We tested for genetic associations among female mating preference, male aggression bias and male coloration in the Lake Victoria cichlid Pundamilia. We crossed females from a phenotypically variable population with males from both extreme ends of the phenotype distribution in the same population (blue or red. Male offspring of a red sire were significantly redder than males of a blue sire, indicating that intra-population variation in male coloration is heritable. We tested mating preferences of female offspring and aggression biases of male offspring using binary choice tests. There was no evidence for associations at the family level between female mating preferences and coloration of sires, but dam identity had a significant effect on female mate preference. Sons of the red sire directed significantly more aggression to red than blue males, whereas sons of the blue sire did not show any bias. There was a positive correlation among individuals between male aggression bias and body coloration, possibly due to pleiotropy or physical linkage, which could facilitate the maintenance of color polymorphism [Current Zoology 59 (2: 221-229, 2013].

  12. Invited review nonmulberry silk biopolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, S C; Kundu, Banani; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Bano, Subia; Nayak, Sunita; Kundu, Joydip; Mandal, Biman B; Bhardwaj, Nandana; Botlagunta, Mahendran; Dash, Biraja C; Acharya, Chitrangada; Ghosh, Ananta K

    2012-06-01

    The silk produced by silkworms are biopolymers and can be classified into two types--mulberry and nonmulberry. Mulberry silk of silkworm Bombyx mori has been extensively explored and used for century old textiles and sutures. But for the last few decades it is being extensively exploited for biomedical applications. However, the transformation of nonmulberry silk from being a textile commodity to biomaterials is relatively new. Within a very short period of time, the combination of load bearing capability and tensile strength of nonmulberry silk has been equally envisioned for bone, cartilage, adipose, and other tissue regeneration. Adding to its advantage is its diverse morphology, including macro to nano architectures with controllable degradation and biocompatibility yields novel natural material systems in vitro. Its follow on applications involve sustained release of model compounds and anticancer drugs. Its 3D cancer models provide compatible microenvironment systems for better understanding of the cancer progression mechanism and screening of anticancer compounds. Diversely designed nonmulberry matrices thus provide an array of new cutting age technologies, which is unattainable with the current synthetic materials that lack biodegradability and biocompatibility. Scientific exploration of nonmulberry silk in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and biotechnological applications promises advancement of sericulture industries in India and China, largest nonmulberry silk producers of the world. This review discusses the prospective biomedical applications of nonmulberry silk proteins as natural biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Male/Female Preferences for Masculine-Feminine Trait Clusters Derived from a Multidimensional Scaling of Hypothesized Masculine-Feminine and Creative-Noncreative Trait Terms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyman, Ruth Bernstein

    There still remains in our social institutions and individual lives a considerable splitting between feminine and masculine gender distinctions. The present study determined the dimensionality of the space of 53 admirable personality traits hypothesized to relate to femininity-masculinity and creativity, and assessed preferences of females versus…

  14. Oxytocin Removes Estrous Female vs. Male Preference of Virgin Male Rats: Mediation of the Supraoptic Nucleus Via Olfactory Bulbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Yu Liu

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Social functions of oxytocin (OT have been explored extensively; however, relationship between the effect of intranasally applied OT (nasal OT on the social preference (SP and intracerebral actions of endogenous OT remains unclear. To resolve this question, we first observed effects of nasal OT on the SP of virgin young adult male rats toward unfamiliar virgin estrous female (EF vs. virgin male rats. The results showed that the test male rats exhibited significantly more times and longer duration accessing the female than the male, which were acutely eliminated by nasal OT. Then, we examined the approaches mediating nasal OT effects on the activity of potential brain targets in Western blots and found that nasal OT activated the olfactory bulbs (OBs and the supraoptic nucleus (SON, but not the piriform cortex, amygdala and hippocampus as shown by significant changes in the expression of c-Fos and/or phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (pERK 1/2. Moreover, microinjection of TTX into the OBs blocked nasal OT-evoked increases in pERK1/2 levels as well as the molecular association between ERK1/2 and OT-neurophysin in the SON. Electrolytic lesions of the lateral olfactory tract did not significantly change the basal levels of pERK 1/2 in the SON; however, upon nasal OT, pERK 1/2 levels in the SON reduced significantly. Lastly, microinjection of L-aminoadipic acid (gliotoxin into the SON to reduce OT levels reduced the duration of the test male’s accessing the EF and blocked the nasal OT-evoked increase in the duration of test male’s accessing the male while significantly increasing pERK1/2 levels in the amygdala. These findings reveal for the first time that nasal OT acutely eliminates virgin males’ SP to EFs via the OB-SON route and that OT neurons could mediate the social effects of nasal OT by suppressing social phobia generated in the amygdala.

  15. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  16. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10 2−3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices

  17. Natural printed silk substrate circuit fabricated via surface modification using one step thermal transfer and reduction graphene oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jiliang; Huang, Zhan; Wang, Chaoxia

    2018-05-01

    Graphene conductive silk substrate is a preferred material because of its biocompatibility, flexibility and comfort. A flexible natural printed silk substrate circuit was fabricated by one step transfer of graphene oxide (GO) paste from transfer paper to the surface of silk fabric and reduction of the GO to reduced graphene oxide (RGO) using a simple hot press treatment. The GO paste was obtained through ultrasonic stirring exfoliation under low temperature, and presented excellent printing rheological properties at high concentration. The silk fabric was obtained a surface electric resistance as low as 12.15 KΩ cm-1, in the concentration of GO 50 g L-1 and hot press at 220 °C for 120 s. Though the whiteness and strength decreased with the increasing of hot press temperature and time slowly, the electric conductivity of RGO surface modification silk substrate improved obviously. The surface electric resistance of RGO/silk fabrics increased from 12.15 KΩ cm-1 to 18.05 KΩ cm-1, 28.54 KΩ cm-1 and 32.53 KΩ cm-1 after 10, 20 and 30 washing cycles, respectively. The results showed that the printed silk substrate circuit has excellent washability. This process requires no chemical reductant, and the reduction efficiency and reduction degree of GO is high. This time-effective and environmentally-friendly one step thermal transfer and reduction graphene oxide onto natural silk substrate method can be easily used to production of reduced graphene oxide (RGO) based flexible printed circuit.

  18. When Do Girls Prefer Football to Fashion? An Analysis of Female Underachievement in Relation to "Realistic" Mathematics Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boaler, Jo

    1994-01-01

    Reports on a study of the move away from abstract calculations toward "mathematics in context" among 50 British female secondary school students. Discusses implications of findings in relation to reported female underachievement and disinterest in school mathematics. (CFR)

  19. Ontogenetic shifts in male mating preference and morph-specific polyandry in a female colour polymorphic insect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanchez-Guillen, Rosa Ana; Hammers, Martijn; Hansson, Bengt; Van Gossum, Hans; Cordero-Rivera, Adolfo; Galicia Mendoza, Dalia Ivette; Wellenreuther, Maren

    2013-01-01

    Background: Sexual conflict over mating rates may favour the origin and maintenance of phenotypes with contrasting reproductive strategies. The damselfly Ischnura elegans is characterised by a female colour polymorphism that consists of one androchrome and two gynochrome female morphs. Previous

  20. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  1. Silk Film Topography Directs Collective Epithelial Cell Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Mark I.

    2012-01-01

    The following study provides new insight into how surface topography dictates directed collective epithelial cell sheet growth through the guidance of individual cell movement. Collective cell behavior of migrating human corneal limbal-epithelial cell sheets were studied on highly biocompatible flat and micro-patterned silk film surfaces. The silk film edge topography guided the migratory direction of individual cells making up the collective epithelial sheet, which resulted in a 75% increase in total culture elongation. This was due to a 3-fold decrease in cell sheet migration rate efficiency for movement perpendicular to the topography edge. Individual cell migration direction is preferred in the parallel approach to the edge topography where localization of cytoskeletal proteins to the topography’s edge region is reduced, which results in the directed growth of the collective epithelial sheet. Findings indicate customized biomaterial surfaces may be created to direct both the migration rate and direction of tissue epithelialization. PMID:23185573

  2. Attraction, Oviposition Preferences, and Olfactory Responses of Corn-Infesting Ulidiidae (Diptera) to Various Host-Based Substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, D; Nuessly, G S; Kendra, P E; Colquhoun, T A; Seal, D R

    2017-08-01

    Fresh market sweet corn (Zea mays L., convar. saccharata var. rugosa, Poales: Poaceae) ears produced in Florida are damaged by the larvae of Euxesta stigmatias Loew, Euxesta eluta Loew, and Chaetopsis massyla Walker (Diptera: Ulidiidae) that renders ears unmarketable. No standard lure exists for monitoring these pests. Oviposition substrate and attractant bioassays were designed to identify attractive substrates for further semiochemical investigation. Frass from the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), was more attractive than other ovipositional substrates tested for E. eluta and C. massyla, and resulted in greater ovipositional output. Tassel-derived armyworm frass was more attractive than leaf-derived frass for oviposition. Frass also resulted in greater oviposition output by two species. In attraction bioassays, frass was generally preferred over the corresponding corn tissue, and only C. massyla demonstrated a preference for silk-frass over tassel-frass. The most promising substrates were then evaluated by electroantennography (EAG) to quantify olfactory responses. Frass volatiles also elicited greater antennal responses than corn volatiles. With tassel-frass, greater amplitude EAG responses were recorded from immature E. eluta female antennae, while mature female E. stigmatias exhibited greater responses. Equivalent antennal response to silk-frass was observed from E. eluta. Overall, silk-frass elicited the greatest EAG responses among all three fly species. Our results indicate that armyworm frass is an important resource in the chemical ecology of corn-infesting silk flies, and this substrate warrants further investigation for potential attractants that may facilitate development of novel management tools for these pests. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Do masculine men smell better? An association between skin color masculinity and female preferences for body odor

    OpenAIRE

    Carrito, Mariana L.; Santos, Isabel M.; Alho, Laura; Ferreira, Jacqueline; Soares, Sandra C.; Bem-Haja, Pedro; Silva, Carlos F.; Perrett, David I.

    2017-01-01

    This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and Programa Operacional de Potencial Humano/Fundo Social Europeu (SFRH/BD/77592/2011 to M.L.C.). A recent study claimed face skin color as a sexually dimorphic variable that influences attractiveness preferences in mate choice. Thereby, skin color may assume the role of a mate quality signal influencing attractiveness preferences. As body odor is linked to attractiveness, this study aimed to explore whether the odors of men...

  4. Acquired Smell? Mature Females of the Common Green Bottle Fly Shift Semiochemical Preferences from Feces Feeding Sites to Carrion Oviposition Sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Bekka S; Babcock, Tamara; Gries, Regine; Benn, Arlan; Gries, Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    We investigated foraging decisions by adult females of the common green bottle fly, Lucilia sericata, in accordance with their physiological state. When we gave female flies a choice between visually occluded, fresh canine feces (feeding site) and a CO2-euthanized rat (carrion oviposition site), 3-d-old "protein-starved" females responded equally well to feces and carrion, whereas protein-fed gravid females with mature oocytes responded only to carrion, indicating resource preferences based on a fly's physiological state. Dimethyl trisulfide (DMTS) is known to attract gravid L. sericata females to carrion. Therefore, we analyzed headspace from canine feces by gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) and GC/mass spectrometry. In bioassays, of the 17 fecal odorants that elicited GC-EAD responses from fly antennae, a blend of indole and one or more of the alcohols phenol, m-/p-cresol and 1-octen-3-ol proved as attractive to flies as canine feces. Unlike young females, gravid females need to locate carrion for oviposition and distinguish between fresh and aging carrion, the latter possibly detrimental to offspring. Gravid female L. sericata accomplish this task, in part, by responding to trace amounts of DMTS emanating from fresh carrion and by discriminating against carrion as soon it begins to produce appreciable amounts of indole, which is also the second-most abundant semiochemical in fresh canine feces, and apparently serves as an indicator of food rather than oviposition resources. Our results emphasize the importance of studying foraging choices by flies in accordance with their physiological stage.

  5. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew J; Seib, F Philipp

    2015-11-09

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of "stealth" design principals is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential -56 ± 5.6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using clinically established and emerging anticancer drugs. Overall, PEGylated silk nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency (>93%) and a pH-dependent release over 14 days. Finally, we demonstrated significant cytotoxicity of drug loaded silk nanoparticles applied as single and combination nanomedicines to human breast cancer cells. In conclusion, these results, taken together with prior silk nanoparticle data, support a viable future for silk-based nanomedicines.

  6. Effect of. gamma. -irradiation on the crystalline structure of silk fibroin and silk sericin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-02-01

    Changes in the crystalline structure of silk sericin and silk fibroin induced by gamma-irradiation in the atmosphere described. The crystalline structure of silk sericin which had been subjected to gamma-irradiation remained unchanged. However the decomposition temperature of the specimen decreased to about 230 deg C, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. The structure of the silk 1 type crystal of silk fibroin in the solid state, with a low degree of molecular orientation, changed into the silk 2 type crystal, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. No changes in the crystalline structure were observed in the solid state of the silk 2 type crystal regardless of gamma-irradiation. The decrease in the decomposition temperature of the specimen was attributed to the decrease in the molecular orientation. However, the molecular conformation of silk fibroin with a randomly coiled structure remained unchanged even after gamma-irradiation.

  7. Politics of contemporary "Silk Roads"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey I. Litvinov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently in mass media we can find the idea about a new Silk Road or the concept of "Silk Road Economic Belt" which has been formulated by the Chinese PresidentXi Jinping on September 7,2013, during his official visit to Kazakhstan. This project is not only the creation of a transport, power and trade corridor, and also the project which will promote development of tourism in the region and to strengthening of cultural exchanges of China with the countries of Central Asia, it also includes construction of a network of high-speed fiber-optical networks. The economic strip of the Silk Road will begin in China and pass across the Central and the Southern Asia, part of branches across the territory of the Russian Federation and to leave to Europe. This international investment project assumes creation of a continental transport way. For implementation of overland part of "A great Silk Road is a three railway corridors (northern, central have to be constructed and southern They have form a basis for development of other means of transport, including automobile subsequently. Construction of these three railway corridors acts as the most important and necessary stage of implementation of the project. The government of China declares that creation of an economic belt of the Silk way is a revival of once prospering trade-transport and cultural corridor from Asia to Europe which will promote activization of a friendly exchange between the people of the different countries. Further all this has to connect trade and economic space of Europe and Asia in a whole that has to serve implementation of deeper economic cooperation, between the countries participating in him, to increase in a trade turnover and expansion of scientific and technical exchanges between them.

  8. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of “stealth” design principals...... is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential −56 ± 5.......6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using...

  9. Silk nanoparticles—an emerging anticancer nanomedicine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Philipp Seib

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Silk is a sustainable and ecologically friendly biopolymer with a robust clinical track record in humans for load bearing applications, in part due to its excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Our ability to take bottom-up and top-down approaches for the generation of silk (inspired biopolymers has been critical in supporting the evolution of silk materials and formats, including silk nanoparticles for drug delivery. Silk nanoparticles are emerging as interesting contenders for drug delivery and are well placed to advance the nanomedicine field. This review covers the use of Bombyx mori and recombinant silks as an anticancer nanomedicine, highlighting the emerging trends and developments as well as critically assessing the current opportunities and challenges by providing a context specific assessment of this multidisciplinary field.

  10. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, Banani; Schlimp, Christoph J; Nürnberger, Sylvia; Redl, Heinz; Kundu, S C

    2014-05-13

    Silkworm's silk is natural biopolymer with unique properties including mechanical robustness, all aqueous base processing and ease in fabrication into different multifunctional templates. Additionally, the nonmulberry silks have cell adhesion promoting tri-peptide (RGD) sequences, which make it an immensely potential platform for regenerative medicine. The compatibility of nonmulberry silk with human blood is still elusive; thereby, restricts its further application as implants. The present study, therefore, evaluate the haematocompatibility of silk biomaterials in terms of platelet interaction after exposure to nonmulberry silk of Antheraea mylitta using thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The mulberry silk of Bombyx mori and clinically used Uni-Graft W biomaterial serve as references. Shortened clotting time, clot formation times as well as enhanced clot strength indicate the platelet mediated activation of blood coagulation cascade by tested biomaterials; which is comparable to controls.

  11. Male and female western gorilla diet: preferred foods, use of fallback resources, and implications for ape versus old world monkey foraging strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doran-Sheehy, D; Mongo, P; Lodwick, J; Conklin-Brittain, N L

    2009-12-01

    Most of what is currently known about western gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) diet is based on indirect studies using fecal samples and trail signs rather than measures based on direct observations. Here we report results on adult male and female western gorilla foraging behavior, based on systematic focal observations and nutritional analyses of foods. We found that western gorillas, like other apes, are highly selective ripe fruit specialists, seeking fruit high in energy, low in antifeedants, and rare in the environment. During seasonal fruiting peaks, fruit accounted for up to 70% of feeding time. When ripe fruit was scarce, gorillas increased time spent feeding on leaves and nonpreferred fruits and herbs. Leaves were the major fallback food, accounting for up to 70% of feeding time in males and 50% in females during periods of fruit scarcity. In spite of large differences in body size, the sexes were remarkably similar in their overall diet, not differing in time spent feeding on fruit or preferred herbs. However, the male consistently fed more often and on a greater variety of leaves than did females, whereas females fed more often on fallback herbs and termites. Our findings, when considered in light of previous findings on sympatric mangabeys, indicate that the foraging strategy of western gorillas is broadly similar to that of chimpanzees and orangutans, and distinct from that of old world monkeys.

  12. The Use of Silk in Nanomedicine Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiasson, Raymond; Hasan, Moaraj; Al Nazer, Q.

    2016-01-01

    Biopolymers made up of silk proteins have been used in numerous drug delivery applications and represent an excellent source of natural biomaterials. In particular silk fibroin has proved valuable as a building block for nanomedicines and drug delivery implants, owing to its favorable...... biocompatibility, degradation, stabilization and controllability. In this chapter we will discuss the various sources of silk biomaterial and how this naturally occurring biopolymer has been utilized in the development of nanomedicines and implantable drug delivery systems, demonstrating how silk is a unique...

  13. The Silk Route from Land to Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Weatherford

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Silk Route reached its historic and economic apogee under the Mongol Empire (1207–1368, as a direct result of the policies of Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan and his successors. Because the land network proved inefficient for the amount of goods needing transport from one part of the empire to another, the Mongols expanded the Silk Route to ocean shipping and thus created the first Maritime Silk Route. The sea traffic initially expanded the land routes but soon strangled them. With the expansion of the Maritime Silk Route through the fourteenth century, the land connections reverted to local networks and lost their global importance.

  14. Female preference for sympatric vs. allopatric male throat color morphs in the mesquite lizard (Sceloporus grammicus species complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Bastiaans

    Full Text Available Color polymorphic sexual signals are often associated with alternative reproductive behaviors within populations, and the number, frequency, or type of morphs present often vary among populations. When these differences lead to assortative mating by population, the study of such polymorphic taxa may shed light on speciation mechanisms. We studied two populations of a lizard with polymorphic throat color, an important sexual signal. Males in one population exhibit orange, yellow, or blue throats; whereas males in the other exhibit orange, yellow, or white throats. We assessed female behavior when choosing between allopatric and sympatric males. We asked whether females discriminated more when the allopatric male was of an unfamiliar morph than when the allopatric male was similar in coloration to the sympatric male. We found that female rejection of allopatric males relative to sympatric males was more pronounced when males in a pair were more different in throat color. Our findings may help illuminate how behavioral responses to color morph differences between populations with polymorphic sexual signals contribute to reproductive isolation.

  15. Female preference for sympatric vs. allopatric male throat color morphs in the mesquite lizard (Sceloporus grammicus) species complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastiaans, Elizabeth; Bastiaans, Mary Jane; Morinaga, Gen; Castañeda Gaytán, José Gamaliel; Marshall, Jonathon C; Bane, Brendan; de la Cruz, Fausto Méndez; Sinervo, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Color polymorphic sexual signals are often associated with alternative reproductive behaviors within populations, and the number, frequency, or type of morphs present often vary among populations. When these differences lead to assortative mating by population, the study of such polymorphic taxa may shed light on speciation mechanisms. We studied two populations of a lizard with polymorphic throat color, an important sexual signal. Males in one population exhibit orange, yellow, or blue throats; whereas males in the other exhibit orange, yellow, or white throats. We assessed female behavior when choosing between allopatric and sympatric males. We asked whether females discriminated more when the allopatric male was of an unfamiliar morph than when the allopatric male was similar in coloration to the sympatric male. We found that female rejection of allopatric males relative to sympatric males was more pronounced when males in a pair were more different in throat color. Our findings may help illuminate how behavioral responses to color morph differences between populations with polymorphic sexual signals contribute to reproductive isolation.

  16. Silk film biomaterials for ocular surface repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Brian David

    Current biomaterial approaches for repairing the cornea's ocular surface upon injury are partially effective due to inherent material limitations. As a result there is a need to expand the biomaterial options available for use in the eye, which in turn will help to expand new clinical innovations and technology development. The studies illustrated here are a collection of work to further characterize silk film biomaterials for use on the ocular surface. Silk films were produced from regenerated fibroin protein solution derived from the Bombyx mori silkworm cocoon. Methods of silk film processing and production were developed to produce consistent biomaterials for in vitro and in vivo evaluation. A wide range of experiments was undertaken that spanned from in vitro silk film material characterization to in vivo evaluation. It was found that a variety of silk film properties could be controlled through a water-annealing process. Silk films were then generated that could be use in vitro to produce stratified corneal epithelial cell sheets comparable to tissue grown on the clinical standard substrate of amniotic membrane. This understanding was translated to produce a silk film design that enhanced corneal healing in vivo on a rabbit injury model. Further work produced silk films with varying surface topographies that were used as a simplified analog to the corneal basement membrane surface in vitro. These studies demonstrated that silk film surface topography is capable of directing corneal epithelial cell attachment, growth, and migration response. Most notably epithelial tissue development was controllably directed by the presence of the silk surface topography through increasing cell sheet migration efficiency at the individual cellular level. Taken together, the presented findings represent a comprehensive characterization of silk film biomaterials for use in ocular surface reconstruction, and indicate their utility as a potential material choice in the

  17. Punctuated evolution of viscid silk in spider orb webs supported by mechanical behavior of wet cribellate silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piorkowski, Dakota; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2017-08-01

    The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating. Recent cDNA libraries revealed the expression of flagelliform silk proteins in cribellate orb-weaving spiders. We hypothesized that the presence of flagelliform proteins in cribellate silk could have allowed for a gradual shift in mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, whose effect was masked by the dry nature of its adhesive. We measured supercontraction and mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, in wet and dry states, for two species of cribellate orb web-weaving spiders to see if water enabled flagelliform silk-like performance. We found that compliance and extensibility of wet cribellate silk increased compared to dry state as expected. However, when compared to other silk types, the response to water was more similar to other web silks, like major and minor ampullate silk, than to viscid silk. These findings support the punctuated evolution of viscid silk mechanical performance.

  18. Fabrication of elastomeric silk fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradner, Sarah A; Partlow, Benjamin P; Cebe, Peggy; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2017-09-01

    Methods to generate fibers from hydrogels, with control over mechanical properties, fiber diameter, and crystallinity, while retaining cytocompatibility and degradability, would expand options for biomaterials. Here, we exploited features of silk fibroin protein for the formation of tunable silk hydrogel fibers. The biological, chemical, and morphological features inherent to silk were combined with elastomeric properties gained through enzymatic crosslinking of the protein. Postprocessing via methanol and autoclaving provided tunable control of fiber features. Mechanical, optical, and chemical analyses demonstrated control of fiber properties by exploiting the physical cross-links, and generating double network hydrogels consisting of chemical and physical cross-links. Structure and chemical analyses revealed crystallinity from 30 to 50%, modulus from 0.5 to 4 MPa, and ultimate strength 1-5 MPa depending on the processing method. Fabrication and postprocessing combined provided fibers with extensibility from 100 to 400% ultimate strain. Fibers strained to 100% exhibited fourth order birefringence, revealing macroscopic orientation driven by chain mobility. The physical cross-links were influenced in part by the drying rate of fabricated materials, where bound water, packing density, and microstructural homogeneity influenced cross-linking efficiency. The ability to generate robust and versatile hydrogel microfibers is desirable for bottom-up assembly of biological tissues and for broader biomaterial applications. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. SILK FIBRE DEGRADATION AND ANALYSIS BY PROTEOMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YUKSELOGLU S.Muge

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Silk is one of the promising natural fibres and has a long established history in textile production throughout the centuries. Silk is produced by cultured silk worms, spiders, scorpions, mites and flies. It is extracellular proteinaceous fibres which consist of highly crystalline and insoluble proteins, the fibroins glued with sericin and an amourphous protein. On the other hand, understanding and controlling the degradation of protein materials are important for determining quality and the value of appearance retention in textiles. Hence, for silk textiles, appearance retention is critical value for the quality. And this is one of the key properties directly related to the degree and nature of protein degradation. It is therefore necessary to understand the silk composition and damage to obtain good conservation treatments and long-term preservation especially for the historical silk fabrics. In this study, silk fibre and its properties are briefly introduced along with images on their fibre damages. Additionally, proteomics method which helps to understand the degradation at the molecular level in textiles is introduced. Finally, proteomic evaluation of silk is summarized according to the researchers carried out in the literature.

  20. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  1. A Role for Matrix Metalloproteinases in Nicotine-Induced Conditioned Place Preference and Relapse in Adolescent Female Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reka Natarajan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Reconfiguration of extracellular matrix proteins appears to be necessary for the synaptic plasticity that underlies memory consolidation. The primary candidates involved in controlling this process are a family of endopeptidases called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs; however, the potential role of MMPs in nicotine addiction-related memories has not been adequately tested. Present results indicate transient changes in hippocampal MMP-2, -3, and -9 expression following context dependent learning of nicotine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP. Members of a CPP procedural control group also indicated similar MMP changes, suggesting that memory activation occurred in these animals as well. However, hippocampal MMP-9 expression was differentially elevated in members of the nicotine-induced CPP group on days 4 and 5 of training. Inhibition of MMPs using a broad spectrum MMP inhibitor (FN439 during nicotine-induced CPP training blocked the acquisition of CPP. Elevations in hippocampal and prefrontal cortex MMP-3 expression—but not MMP-2 and -9—accompanied reactivation of a previously learned drug related memory. Decreases in the actin regulatory cytoskeletal protein cortactin were measured in the HIP and PFC during the initial two days of acquisition of CPP; however, no changes were seen following re-exposure to the drug related environment. These results suggest that MMP-9 may be involved in facilitating the intracellular and extracellular events required for the synaptic plasticity underlying the acquisition of nicotine-induced CPP. Furthermore, MMP-3 appears to be important during re-exposure to the drug associated environment. However, rats introduced into the CPP apparatus and given injections of vehicle rather than nicotine during training also revealed a pattern of MMP expression similar to nicotine-induced CPP animals.

  2. Silk-Silk Interactions between Silkworm Fibroin and Recombinant Spider Silk Fusion Proteins Enable the Construction of Bioactive Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilebäck, Linnea; Chouhan, Dimple; Jansson, Ronnie; Widhe, Mona; Mandal, Biman B; Hedhammar, My

    2017-09-20

    Natural silk is easily accessible from silkworms and can be processed into different formats suitable as biomaterials and cell culture matrixes. Recombinant DNA technology enables chemical-free functionalization of partial silk proteins through fusion with peptide motifs and protein domains, but this constitutes a less cost-effective production process. Herein, we show that natural silk fibroin (SF) can be used as a bulk material that can be top-coated with a thin layer of the recombinant spider silk protein 4RepCT in fusion with various bioactive motifs and domains. The coating process is based on a silk assembly to achieve stable interactions between the silk types under mild buffer conditions. The assembly process was studied in real time by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. Coatings, electrospun mats, and microporous scaffolds were constructed from Antheraea assama and Bombyx mori SFs. The morphology of the fibroin materials before and after coating with recombinant silk proteins was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. SF materials coated with various bioactive 4RepCT fusion proteins resulted in directed antibody capture, enzymatic activity, and improved cell attachment and spreading, respectively, compared to pristine SF materials. The herein-described procedure allows a fast and easy route for the construction of bioactive materials.

  3. Buyid Silk and the Tale of Bibi Shahrbanu: Identification of Biomarkers of Artificial Aging (Forgery) of Silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moini, Mehdi; Rollman, Christopher M

    2017-10-03

    Buyid silk forgery is one of the most famous silk forgeries in the world. In 1924-1925, excavation of the Bibi Shahrbanu site in Iran unearthed several silk textiles. The silks were thought to be of the Buyid period (934-1062 BCE) of the Persian Empire and have since been known as the "Buyid silks". In the 1930s, more silk appeared and was reported as being from the Buyid period as well. Controversy over the authenticity of these silks escalated after the purchase of the silks by museums throughout the world. Extensive investigations of several of these silks have been conducted over the years with respect to iconography, weaving patterns, dyes/mordant, style, and even radiocarbon dating. It was found that most of the silks are not from Buyid period. To test the authenticity of these silk fabrics, the recently developed silk dating technique using amino acid racemization (AAR) in conjunction with capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry was applied to 13 Buyid silk specimens from the Textile Museum collections. Among these silk specimens, the AAR ratios of only one specimen were consistent with authentic silk fabrics collected from various museums. In addition, the aspartic acid racemization ratio of this specimen was also consistent with its 14 C dating. The other "Buyid silks" showed excessive levels of amino acid racemization not only for aspartic acid, but also for phenylalanine and tyrosine, inconsistent with racemization rates of these amino acids in authentic historical silk fabrics. Treatment of modern silk with a base at different pH and temperature reproduced the AAR pattern of the Buyid silks, implying that chemical treatment with a base at relatively high temperatures was perhaps the method used to artificially age these fabrics. The results imply that the racemization ratios of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and tyrosine can be used as biomarkers for identification of naturally versus artificially aged silk.

  4. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xianhua

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Silk sericin (SS/silk fibroin (SF blend nanofibers have been produced by electrospinning in a binary SS/SF trifluoroacetic acid (TFA solution system, which was prepared by mixing 20 wt.% SS TFA solution and 10 wt.% SF TFA solution to give different compositions. The diameters of the SS/SF nanofibers ranged from 33 to 837 nm, and they showed a round cross section. The surface of the SS/SF nanofibers was smooth, and the fibers possessed a bead-free structure. The average diameters of the SS/SF (75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blend nanofibers were much thicker than that of SS and SF nanofibers. The SS/SF (100/0, 75/25, and 50/50 blend nanofibers were easily dissolved in water, while the SS/SF (25/75 and 0/100 blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in water. The SS/SF blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in methanol. The SS/SF blend nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermal analysis. FTIR showed that the SS/SF blend nanofibers possessed a random coil conformation and ß-sheet structure.

  5. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  6. Circadian activity rhythms and voluntary ethanol intake in male and female ethanol-preferring rats: effects of long-term ethanol access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenwasser, Alan M; McCulley, Walter D; Fecteau, Matthew

    2014-11-01

    Chronic alcohol (ethanol) intake alters fundamental properties of the circadian clock. While previous studies have reported significant alterations in free-running circadian period during chronic ethanol access, these effects are typically subtle and appear to require high levels of intake. In the present study we examined the effects of long-term voluntary ethanol intake on ethanol consumption and free-running circadian period in male and female, selectively bred ethanol-preferring P and HAD2 rats. In light of previous reports that intermittent access can result in escalated ethanol intake, an initial 2-week water-only baseline was followed by either continuous or intermittent ethanol access (i.e., alternating 15-day epochs of ethanol access and ethanol deprivation) in separate groups of rats. Thus, animals were exposed to either 135 days of continuous ethanol access or to five 15-day access periods alternating with four 15-day periods of ethanol deprivation. Animals were maintained individually in running-wheel cages under continuous darkness throughout the experiment to allow monitoring of free-running activity and drinking rhythms, and 10% (v/v) ethanol and plain water were available continuously via separate drinking tubes during ethanol access. While there were no initial sex differences in ethanol drinking, ethanol preference increased progressively in male P and HAD2 rats under both continuous and intermittent-access conditions, and eventually exceeded that seen in females. Free-running period shortened during the initial ethanol-access epoch in all groups, but the persistence of this effect showed complex dependence on sex, breeding line, and ethanol-access schedule. Finally, while females of both breeding lines displayed higher levels of locomotor activity than males, there was little evidence for modulation of activity level by ethanol access. These results are consistent with previous findings that chronic ethanol intake alters free-running circadian

  7. Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, François; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A.; Soares, Jason W.; Karatzas, Costas N.

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks are protein-based ``biopolymer'' filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to ``biomimic'' the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence.

  8. Uncovering the structure-function relationship in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarger, Jeffery L.; Cherry, Brian R.; van der Vaart, Arjan

    2018-03-01

    All spiders produce protein-based biopolymer fibres that we call silk. The most studied of these silks is spider dragline silk, which is very tough and relatively abundant compared with other types of spider silks. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding the relationship between the molecular structure and mechanical properties of spider dragline silks. In this Review, we overview experimental and computational studies that have provided a wealth of detail at the molecular level on the highly conserved repetitive core and terminal regions of spider dragline silk. We also discuss the role of the nanocrystalline β-sheets and amorphous regions in determining the properties of spider silk fibres, endowing them with strength and elasticity. Additionally, we outline imaging techniques and modelling studies that elucidate the importance of the hierarchical structure of silk fibres at the molecular level. These insights into structure-function relationships can guide the reverse engineering of spider silk to enable the production of superior synthetic fibres.

  9. Dermatologic Diseases in Silk Workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J S Pasricha

    1985-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of 112 workers of a silk facory near Bangalore, for dermatologic diseases revealed (1 a characteristic wearing off of the medial halves of the distal free edges of the finger nail plates in 10 of the 15 cocoonsorters, (2 maceration of the palms in 58 workers of the boiling and reeling section, and (3 pitted keratolysis of the palms, in 42 workers, also from the boiling and reeling section. There was no clinical evidence of contact dermatitis, and patch tests with the silk thread from the cocoons in 25 workers showed a very mild reaction in 2 workers and a doubtful reaction in another two. In addition, one worker from the skeining section had crisscross superficial fissures on the finger tips caused by friction, two workers had paronychia ′of the fingers and four workers had dermatophytFNx01t fingers webs. As in the previous survey, these workers also had a high incidence of ichthyosis (92 workers and hyperketatosis of the palms (62 workers and soles (110 workers.

  10. Adolescent THC exposure does not sensitize conditioned place preferences to subthreshold d-amphetamine in male and female rats [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin J Keeley

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The acute effects of marijuana consumption on brain physiology and behaviour are well documented, but the long-term effects of its chronic use are less well known. Chronic marijuana use during adolescence is of increased interest, given that the majority of individuals first use marijuana during this developmental stage , and  adolescent marijuana use is thought to increase the susceptibility to abusing other drugs when exposed later in life. It is possible that marijuana use during critical periods in adolescence could lead to increased sensitivity to other drugs of abuse later on. To test this, we chronically administered ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC to male and female Long-Evans (LER and Wistar (WR rats directly after puberty onset. Rats matured to postnatal day 90 before being exposed to a conditioned place preference task (CPP. A subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine, found not to induce place preference in drug naïve rats, was used as the unconditioned stimulus. The effect of d-amphetamine on neural activity was inferred by quantifying cfos expression in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal hippocampus following CPP training. Chronic exposure to THC post-puberty had no potentiating effect on a subthreshold dose of d-amphetamine to induce CPP. No differences in cfos expression were observed. These results show that chronic exposure to THC during puberty did not increase sensitivity to d-amphetamine in adult LER and WR rats. This supports the concept that THC may not sensitize the response to all drugs of abuse.

  11. Manufacture and Drug Delivery Applications of Silk Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Johnston, Blair F; Seib, F Philipp

    2016-10-08

    Silk is a promising biopolymer for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications due to its outstanding mechanical properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability, as well its ability to protect and subsequently release its payload in response to a trigger. While silk can be formulated into various material formats, silk nanoparticles are emerging as promising drug delivery systems. Therefore, this article covers the procedures for reverse engineering silk cocoons to yield a regenerated silk solution that can be used to generate stable silk nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are subsequently characterized, drug loaded and explored as a potential anticancer drug delivery system. Briefly, silk cocoons are reverse engineered first by degumming the cocoons, followed by silk dissolution and clean up, to yield an aqueous silk solution. Next, the regenerated silk solution is subjected to nanoprecipitation to yield silk nanoparticles - a simple but powerful method that generates uniform nanoparticles. The silk nanoparticles are characterized according to their size, zeta potential, morphology and stability in aqueous media, as well as their ability to entrap a chemotherapeutic payload and kill human breast cancer cells. Overall, the described methodology yields uniform silk nanoparticles that can be readily explored for a myriad of applications, including their use as a potential nanomedicine.

  12. Silk fibers and silk-producing organs of Harpactea rubicunda (C. L. Koch 1838) (Araneae, Dysderidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajer, Jaromír; Malý, Jan; Reháková, Dana

    2013-01-01

    Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to study the silk spinning apparatus and silks of Harpactea rubicunda spiders. Three types of silk secretions that are produced by three kinds of silk spinning glands (ampullate, piriform, and pseudaciniform) and released through three types of spigots, were confirmed for both adult and juvenile spiders. Silk secretions for the construction of spider webs for shelter or retreat are produced by the pseudaciniform silk glands. Silk secretions that are released from spigots in the course of web construction are not processed by the legs during the subsequent process of hardening. Pairs of nanofibril bundles seemed to be part of the basic microarchitecture of the web silk fibers as revealed by AFM. These fiber bundles frequently not only overlap one another, but occasionally also interweave. This structural variability may strengthen the spider web. High-resolution AFM scans of individual nanofibrils show a distinctly segmented nanostructure. Each globular segment is ∼30-40 nm long along the longitudinal axis of the fiber, and resembles a nanosegment of artificial fibroin described by Perez-Rigueiro et al. (2007). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. A test of the critical assumption of the sensory bias model for the evolution of female mating preference using neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Rebecca C

    2009-07-01

    The sensory bias model for the evolution of mating preferences states that mating preferences evolve as correlated responses to selection on nonmating behaviors sharing a common sensory system. The critical assumption is that pleiotropy creates genetic correlations that affect the response to selection. I simulated selection on populations of neural networks to test this. First, I selected for various combinations of foraging and mating preferences. Sensory bias predicts that populations with preferences for like-colored objects (red food and red mates) should evolve more readily than preferences for differently colored objects (red food and blue mates). Here, I found no evidence for sensory bias. The responses to selection on foraging and mating preferences were independent of one another. Second, I selected on foraging preferences alone and asked whether there were correlated responses for increased mating preferences for like-colored mates. Here, I found modest evidence for sensory bias. Selection for a particular foraging preference resulted in increased mating preference for similarly colored mates. However, the correlated responses were small and inconsistent. Selection on foraging preferences alone may affect initial levels of mating preferences, but these correlations did not constrain the joint evolution of foraging and mating preferences in these simulations.

  14. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wachiraporn Pewlong; Boonya Sudatis [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-09-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated in the dose range up to 2500 kGy using an electron beam accelerator to apply the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The tensile strength of irradiated fibroin fiber decreased with increasing dose and the presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced the degradation. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: calcium chloride solution (CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O = 1 : 2 : 8 in mole ratio), hydrochloric acid (0.5N) and distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water-soluble protein was extracted by distilled water. (author)

  15. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pewlong, W.; Sudatis, B.; Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl 2 /C 2 H 5 OH/H 2 O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  16. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pewlong, W; Sudatis, B [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-03-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  17. Evaluation of silk-floss fiber and dog fur as sorbent materials for the petroleum sector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Lucas P. dos [Universidade Federal do Parana (PGMec/UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia Mecanica; Dubiella, Juliana [Universidade Federal do Parana (DEMEC/UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Mecanica. Programa Institucional de Bolsas de Iniciacao Cientifica; Perotta, Larissa [Universidade Federal do Parana (UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Programa Interdisciplinar em Engenharia de Petroleo e Gas Natural; Satyanarayana, Kestur G. [Universidade Federal do Parana (UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Flores-Sahagun, Thais Sydenstricker [Universidade Federal do Parana (DEMEC/UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Mecanica

    2009-07-01

    In this study silk-floss and dog fur were tested as sorbent materials for oils and the results were compared with peat, a commercial sorbent. Sorption tests were carried out in dry and aqueous systems, with and without stirring for different periods of time (5-1440 min). Density, hydrophobicity, buoyancy and water uptake by the fibers of the impregnated sorbents have been determined. The use of silk-floss and dog fur was also tested in columns to purify water containing toluene, benzene, motor oil or sunflower oil. Breakthrough curves during 120 min were drawn for each material with the samples (oily water or water containing benzene or toluene) and were analyzed by ultraviolet spectroscopy. It was concluded that the silk-floss is the best sorbent material (65.3 g oil/g sorbent) followed by the dog fur (34.6 g oil/g sorbent) and peat (19.5 g oil/g sorbent), for sorption time of 1 h in dynamic condition. The efficiency of the pollutant removal from water with the use of adsorption columns was high for both materials although the use of dog fur was preferable because of the slight superiority in efficiency compared to silk-floss and also, due to the easier packing of the dog fur in the column. (author)

  18. Facts and myths of antibacterial properties of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Jasjeet; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Afrin, Tarannum; Tsuzuki, Takuya; Wang, Xungai

    2014-03-01

    Silk cocoons provide protection to silkworm from biotic and abiotic hazards during the immobile pupal phase of the lifecycle of silkworms. Protection is particularly important for the wild silk cocoons reared in an open and harsh environment. To understand whether some of the cocoon components resist growth of microorganisms, in vitro studies were performed using gram negative bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) to investigate antibacterial properties of silk fiber, silk gum, and calcium oxalate crystals embedded inside some cocoons. The results show that the previously reported antibacterial properties of silk cocoons are actually due to residues of chemicals used to isolate/purify cocoon elements, and properly isolated silk fiber, gum, and embedded crystals free from such residues do not have inherent resistance to E. coli. This study removes the uncertainty created by previous studies over the presence of antibacterial properties of silk cocoons, particularly the silk gum and sericin. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Structural analysis and application to biomaterials of the silk fibroins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakazawa, Yasumoto

    2010-01-01

    Silk fibroin from Bombyx mori silkworm has outstanding mechanical properties despite being spun from aqueous solution. I have clarified two distinct structures in the solid state; silk I and silk II, which mean the structures before and after spinning, by using solid state NMR. Moreover, I have been developing several kinds of biomaterials, such as bone regeneration materials and vascular grafts. In this paper, I present two topics: one is the structural analyses of the silk fibroin in detail, the other is applications of silk fibroins to tissue engineering. In the case of vascular regeneration, I have developed the small diameter vascular grafts made by silk fibroins. The new grafts from silk fibroins have good patency, and these grafts were commonly covered with cells and platelets at 4 weeks after implantation. For bone tissue engineering, I performed structural analyses of a new silk-like peptide, E n (AGSGAG) 4 , in order to consider the molecular design of biomaterials for bone regeneration. (author)

  20. Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress induced by ... The present study aims at exploring the effects of flavonoids from corn silk (FCS) on oxidative stress induced by exhaustive exercise in mice. ... from 32 Countries:.

  1. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    OpenAIRE

    E. Khanpour*; M. Modarresi

    2017-01-01

    Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan). The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temper...

  2. Ultrastructure of the silk glands in three adult females of sphecid wasps of the genus Microstigmus (Hymenoptera: Pemphredoninae Ultraestructura de las glándulas de seda en hembras adultas de tres especies de avispas del género Microstigmus (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae: Pemphredoninae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JOSÉ EDUARDO SERRÃO

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The ultrastructure of silk glands in adult females of sphecid wasps is described. Individual glands are scattered in the more posterior portion of the metasoma being each gland formed by an enlarged secretory unity with one conducting canal. Each secretory unit is a gland cell containing a large lumen and numerous secretory granules, which are delimited by membrane and filled with middle electron dense content of homogeneous aspect, which are exocytosed into the extra cellular lumen. Cell cytoplasm is filled with rough endoplasmic reticulum, polyribosomes and Golgi apparatuses profiles. The basal plasma membrane has many short infoldings and is lined by a thin basement membrane. The apical membrane is invaginated to form the boundary of the lumen, containing scattered short microvilli. The cells are mononucleated and the nucleus is pleomorphic containing disperse chromatin. The extracellular lumen is separated of the receiving canal by a convoluted sponge-like wall forming many villi, which in their tip are lined by a thin single layered cuticle. In the basal region of the villi a cuticular covering is lacking. In the conducting canal secretion acquire two different electron densities. A thin cuticle lines the lumen of conducting canal and the cell cytoplasm is scarce and the organelles are represented for few rough endoplasmic reticulum and polyribosomes. These results are discussed in relation to function and origin of silk gland in adult SphecidaeSe describe la ultraestructura de las glándulas de la seda en tres hembras adultas de avispas Sphecidae del género Microstigmus. Las glándulas individualmente se dispersan en la porción más posterior del metasoma, y cada una de ellas está formada por una unidad secretora grande y un canal que conduce la secreción. Cada célula de la unidad secretora contiene un gran lumen y numerosos gránulos secretores, los que están delimitados por una membrana y repletos de un contenido denso a los

  3. Polymorphic regenerated silk fibers assembled through bioinspired spinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Shengjie; Qin, Zhao; Li, Chunmei; Huang, Wenwen; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2017-11-09

    A variety of artificial spinning methods have been applied to produce regenerated silk fibers; however, how to spin regenerated silk fibers that retain the advantages of natural silks in terms of structural hierarchy and mechanical properties remains challenging. Here, we show a bioinspired approach to spin regenerated silk fibers. First, we develop a nematic silk microfibril solution, highly viscous and stable, by partially dissolving silk fibers into microfibrils. This solution maintains the hierarchical structures in natural silks and serves as spinning dope. It is then spun into regenerated silk fibers by direct extrusion in the air, offering a useful route to generate polymorphic and hierarchical regenerated silk fibers with physical properties beyond natural fiber construction. The materials maintain the structural hierarchy and mechanical properties of natural silks, including a modulus of 11 ± 4 GPa, even higher than natural spider silk. It can further be functionalized with a conductive silk/carbon nanotube coating, responsive to changes in humidity and temperature.

  4. Gender inequality and entrepreneurship: the Indian silk industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayoux, L

    1993-12-01

    The production of raw silk yarns from cocoons (reeling) is a crucial middle stage in the silk industry. The author reviews the experience of attempts to encourage women's entrepreneurship in this industry in Karnataka, South India. Reeling is a potentially lucrative field with possibilities for upward mobility from small-scale to large-scale production if credit is readily available. The industry in India employs large numbers of skilled female workers from all communities and is one of few in which a sectoral gender policy is being implemented. While these factors may be thought to be conducive to the development of women entrepreneurs, none were in the areas studied at the time of research. No women were involved in marketing through the official marketing system and no women's co-operatives were operating. While women were listed among registered reelers, men controlled the businesses. Men simply used women to obtain supplementary bank loans or funds through other avenues otherwise open to only women. Policies for women in reeling have therefore proved to be overwhelmingly unsuccessful. The author considers gender inequality and gender policy at length in this context and concludes that the problem is systemic and structural in nature. Policy implications are considered.

  5. Peri-adolescent drinking of ethanol and/or nicotine modulates astroglial glutamate transporters and metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 in female alcohol-preferring rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alasmari, Fawaz; Bell, Richard L; Rao, P S S; Hammad, Alaa M; Sari, Youssef

    2018-07-01

    Impairment in glutamate neurotransmission mediates the development of dependence upon nicotine (NIC) and ethanol (EtOH). Previous work indicates that continuous access to EtOH or phasic exposure to NIC reduces expression of the glutamate transporter-1 (GLT-1) and cystine/glutamate antiporter (xCT) but not the glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST). Additionally, metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) expression was affected following exposure to EtOH or NIC. However, little is known about the effects of EtOH and NIC co-consumption on GLT-1, xCT, GLAST, and mGluR1 expression. In this study, peri-adolescent female alcohol preferring (P) rats were given binge-like access to water, sucrose (SUC), SUC-NIC, EtOH, or EtOH-NIC for four weeks. The present study determined the effects of these reinforcers on GLT-1, xCT, GLAST, and mGluR1 expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), hippocampus (HIP) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). GLT-1 and xCT expression were decreased in the NAc following both SUC-NIC and EtOH-NIC. In addition, only xCT expression was downregulated in the HIP in both of these latter groups. Also, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in the HIP was reduced following SUC, SUC-NIC, EtOH, and EtOH-NIC consumption. Similar to previous work, GLAST expression was not altered in any brain region by any of the reinforcers. However, mGluR1 expression was increased in the NAc in the SUC-NIC, EtOH, and EtOH-NIC groups. These results indicate that peri-adolescent binge-like drinking of EtOH or SUC with or without NIC may exert differential effects on astroglial glutamate transporters and receptors. Our data further parallel some of the previous findings observed in adult rats. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Hybrid Silk Fibers Dry-Spun from Regenerated Silk Fibroin/Graphene Oxide Aqueous Solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Yaopeng; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2016-02-10

    Regenerated silk fibroin (RSF)/graphene oxide (GO) hybrid silk fibers were dry-spun from a mixed dope of GO suspension and RSF aqueous solution. It was observed that the presence of GO greatly affect the viscosity of RSF solution. The RSF/GO hybrid fibers showed from FTIR result lower β-sheet content compared to that of pure RSF fibers. The result of synchrotron radiation wide-angle X-ray diffraction showed that the addition of GO confined the crystallization of silk fibroin (SF) leading to the decrease of crystallinity, smaller crystallite size, and new formation of interphase zones in the artificial silks. Synchrotron radiation small-angle X-ray scattering also proved that GO sheets in the hybrid silks and blended solutions were coated with a certain thickness of interphase zones due to the complex interaction between the two components. A low addition of GO, together with the mesophase zones formed between GO and RSF, enhanced the mechanical properties of hybrid fibers. The highest breaking stress of the hybrid fibers reached 435.5 ± 71.6 MPa, 23% improvement in comparison to that of degummed silk and 72% larger than that of pure RSF silk fiber. The hybrid RSF/GO materials with good biocompatibility and enhanced mechanical properties may have potential applications in tissue engineering, bioelectronic devices, or energy storage.

  7. Silk: a potential medium for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobajo, Cassandra; Behzad, Farhad; Yuan, Xue-Feng; Bayat, Ardeshir

    2008-01-01

    Human skin is a complex bilayered organ that serves as a protective barrier against the environment. The loss of integrity of skin by traumatic experiences such as burns and ulcers may result in considerable disability or ultimately death. Therefore, in skin injuries, adequate dermal substitutes are among primary care targets, aimed at replacing the structural and functional properties of native skin. To date, there are very few single application tissue-engineered dermal constructs fulfilling this criterion. Silk produced by the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a long history of use in medicine. It has recently been increasingly investigated as a promising biomaterial for dermal constructs. Silk contains 2 fibrous proteins, sericin and fibroin. Each one exhibits unique mechanical and biological properties. Comprehensive review of randomized-controlled trials investigating current dermal constructs and the structures and properties of silk-based constructs on wound healing. This review revealed that silk-fibroin is regarded as the most promising biomaterial, providing options for the construction of tissue-engineered skin. The research available indicates that silk fibroin is a suitable biomaterial scaffold for the provision of adequate dermal constructs.

  8. Effect of degumming ph value on electrospining of silk fibroin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Shen-Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Regenerated silk fibroin fibers show properties dependent on the molecular weight of fibroin. The cocoon-degumming approaches had great impact on the degradation of silk fibroin. The effect of degumming pH value to electrospining of fibroin was studied in this paper. The viscosity and molecular weight of regenerated silk fibroin were studied using rheometer and gel electrophoresis. The results showed that the weaker the alkalinity of degumming reagent, there was the milder the effect on silk fibroin molecular. The fibroin fibers can be prepared by electrospining with low concentration of regenerated silk fibroin solution.

  9. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

    Spider silk is an ultrastrong and extensible self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms the mechanical characteristics of many synthetic materials including steel. Here we report atomic-level structures that represent aggregates of MaSp1 proteins from the N. Clavipes silk sequence based on a bottom-up computational approach using replica exchange molecular dynamics. We discover that poly-alanine regions predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains while disorderly structures are formed by poly-glycine repeats, resembling 31-helices. These could be the molecular source of the large semicrystalline fraction observed in silks, and also form the basis of the so-called "prestretched" molecular configuration. Our structures are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content.

  10. Silk industry and carbon footprint mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomin, A. M.; Garcia, J. B., Jr.; Zonatti, W. F.; Silva-Santos, M. C.; Laktim, M. C.; Baruque-Ramos, J.

    2017-10-01

    Currently there is a concern with issues related to sustainability and more conscious consumption habits. The carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced directly and indirectly by human activities and is usually expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. The present study takes into account data collected in scientific literature regarding the carbon footprint, garments produced with silk fiber and the role of mulberry as a CO2 mitigation tool. There is an indication of a positive correlation between silk garments and carbon footprint mitigation when computed the cultivation of mulberry trees in this calculation. A field of them mitigates CO2 equivalents in a proportion of 735 times the weight of the produced silk fiber by the mulberry cultivated area. At the same time, additional researches are needed in order to identify and evaluate methods to advertise this positive correlation in order to contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

  11. Silk fibroin in tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasoju, Naresh; Bora, Utpal

    2012-07-01

    Tissue engineering (TE) is a multidisciplinary field that aims at the in vitro engineering of tissues and organs by integrating science and technology of cells, materials and biochemical factors. Mimicking the natural extracellular matrix is one of the critical and challenging technological barriers, for which scaffold engineering has become a prime focus of research within the field of TE. Amongst the variety of materials tested, silk fibroin (SF) is increasingly being recognized as a promising material for scaffold fabrication. Ease of processing, excellent biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical properties and tailorable degradability of SF has been explored for fabrication of various articles such as films, porous matrices, hydrogels, nonwoven mats, etc., and has been investigated for use in various TE applications, including bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, skin, liver, trachea, nerve, cornea, eardrum, dental, bladder, etc. The current review extensively covers the progress made in the SF-based in vitro engineering and regeneration of various human tissues and identifies opportunities for further development of this field. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Multifunctional silk-heparin biomaterials for vascular tissue engineering applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seib, F. Philipp; Herklotz, Manuela; Burke, Kelly A.; Maitz, Manfred F.; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, silk has been proposed for numerous biomedical applications that go beyond its traditional use as a suture material. Silk sutures are well tolerated in humans, but the use of silk for vascular engineering applications still requires extensive biocompatibility testing. Some studies have indicated a need to modify silk to yield a hemocompatible surface. This study examined the potential of low molecular weight heparin as a material for refining silk properties by acting as a carrier for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and improving silk hemocompatibility. Heparinized silk showed a controlled VEGF release over 6 days; the released VEGF was bioactive and supported the growth of human endothelial cells. Silk samples were then assessed using a humanized hemocompatibility system that employs whole blood and endothelial cells. The overall thrombogenic response for silk was very low and similar to the clinical reference material polytetrafluoroethylene. Despite an initial inflammatory response to silk, apparent as complement and leukocyte activation, the endothelium was maintained in a resting, anticoagulant state. The low thrombogenic response and the ability to control VEGF release support the further development of silk for vascular applications. PMID:24099708

  13. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  14. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiya, Shigeharu; Tsubota, Takuya; Kimoto, Mai

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP) axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp) directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM)-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh) regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins. PMID:29615585

  15. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeharu Takiya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins.

  16. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... specific limitations: Category of food Maximum level of use in food (as served) 1 Functional use Baked... chapter 10 Do. Soft candy, § 170.3(n)(38) of this chapter 20 Do. All other food categories 4 Do. 1 Parts... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section...

  17. Consuming a low-fat diet from weaning to adulthood reverses the programming of food preferences in male, but not in female, offspring of 'junk food'-fed rat dams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Z Y; Muhlhausler, B S

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to determine whether the negative effects of maternal 'junk food' feeding on food preferences and gene expression in the mesolimbic reward system could be reversed by weaning the offspring onto a low-fat diet. Offspring of control (n = 11) and junk food-fed (JF, n = 12) dams were weaned onto a standard rodent chow until 6 weeks (juvenile) or 3 months (adult). They were then given free access to both chow and junk food for 3 weeks and food preferences determined. mRNA expression of key components of the mesolimbic reward system was determined by qRT-PCR at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months of age. In the juvenile group, both male and female JF offspring consumed more energy and carbohydrate during the junk food exposure at 6 weeks of age and had a higher body fat mass at 3 months (P junk food; however, female JF offspring had a higher body fat mass at 6 months (P junk food exposure on food preferences and fat mass can be reversed by consuming a low-fat diet from weaning to adulthood in males. Females, however, retain a higher propensity for diet-induced obesity even after consuming a low-fat diet for an extended period after weaning. © 2013 Scandinavian Physiological Society. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Enzymatically crosslinked silk-hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raia, Nicole R; Partlow, Benjamin P; McGill, Meghan; Kimmerling, Erica Palma; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Kaplan, David L

    2017-07-01

    In this study, silk fibroin and hyaluronic acid (HA) were enzymatically crosslinked to form biocompatible composite hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties similar to that of native tissues. The formation of di-tyrosine crosslinks between silk fibroin proteins via horseradish peroxidase has resulted in a highly elastic hydrogel but exhibits time-dependent stiffening related to silk self-assembly and crystallization. Utilizing the same method of crosslinking, tyramine-substituted HA forms hydrophilic and bioactive hydrogels that tend to have limited mechanics and degrade rapidly. To address the limitations of these singular component scaffolds, HA was covalently crosslinked with silk, forming a composite hydrogel that exhibited both mechanical integrity and hydrophilicity. The composite hydrogels were assessed using unconfined compression and infrared spectroscopy to reveal of the physical properties over time in relation to polymer concentration. In addition, the hydrogels were characterized by enzymatic degradation and for cytotoxicity. Results showed that increasing HA concentration, decreased gelation time, increased degradation rate, and reduced changes that were observed over time in mechanics, water retention, and crystallization. These hydrogel composites provide a biologically relevant system with controllable temporal stiffening and elasticity, thus offering enhanced tunable scaffolds for short or long term applications in tissue engineering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Silks produced by insect labial glands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sehnal, František; Sutherland, T.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 4 (2008), s. 145-153 ISSN 1933-6896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 907 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk * proteinaceous polymers * alfa-helices Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.875, year: 2008 http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/prion/article/7489

  20. Solubilization of silk protein by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sudatis, Boonya; Pongpat, Suchada [Office of Atomic Energy of Peace, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2002-03-01

    Gamma irradiated silk fibroin at doses of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 125, 250, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy were soaked in water for 1 hr. Silk fibroin solubilized percentage was investigated from lost weight of sample (dried at 105{sup 0}C), they were 0, 0, 0.7, 0, 0.11, 0.11, 0, 0.73, 0.77, 4.38, 8.32, 10.22 and 18.52 respectively. It showed that at the higher dose up to 250 kGy had direct effect to solubility, and increased with increasing dose. In addition, silk sericin dissolved 77.76, 82.22, 83.55, 84.31, 86.04, 86.67 and 87.37% after gamma irradiation at the doses of 0, 50, 100, 200, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy respectively. It presents that radiation can cause silk protein, fibroin and sericin dissolve because of their degradation. (author)

  1. Curcumin-functionalized silk biomaterials for anti-aging utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Qian, Cheng; Wu, Jianbing; Liu, Yawen; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Liu, Meng; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-15

    Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) and exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity, thus functional for anti-aging. However, poor stability and low solubility of curcumin in aqueous conditions limit its biomedical applications. Previous studies have shown that the anti-oxidation activity of curcumin embedded in silk fibroin films could be well preserved, resulting in the promoted adipogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on the surface of the films. In the present study, curcumin was encapsulated in both silk fibroin films (silk/cur films) and nanoparticles (silk/cur NPs), and their anti-aging effects were compared with free curcumin in solution, with an aim to elucidate the mechanism of anti-aging of silk-associated curcumin and to better serve biomedical applications in the future. The morphology and structure of silk/cur film and silk/cur NP were characterized using SEM, FTIR and DSC, indicating characteristic stable beta-sheet structure formation in the materials. Strong binding of curcumin molecules to the beta-sheet domains of silk fibroin resulted in the slow release of curcumin with well-preserved activity from the materials. For cell aging studies, rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in the presence of free curcumin (FC), silk/cur film and silk/cur NP, and cell proliferation and markers of aging (P53, P16, HSP70 gene expression and β-Galactosidase activity) were examined. The results indicated that cell aging was retarded in all FC, silk/cur NP and silk/cur film samples, with the silk-associated curcumin superior to the FC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Biodegradable materials based on silk fibroin and keratin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, Andreia; Freddi, Giuliano; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2008-04-01

    Wool and silk were dissolved and used for the preparation of blended films. Two systems are proposed: (1) blend films of silk fibroin and keratin aqueous solutions and (2) silk fibroin and keratin dissolved in formic acid. The FTIR spectra of pure films cast from aqueous solutions indicated that the keratin secondary structure mainly consists of alpha-helix and random coil conformations. The IR spectrum of pure SF is characteristic of films with prevalently amorphous structure (random coil conformation). Pure keratin film cast from formic acid shows an increase in the amount of beta-sheet and disordered keratin structures. The FTIR pattern of SF dissolved in formic acid is characteristic of films with prevalently beta-sheet conformations with beta-sheet crystallites embedded in an amorphous matrix. The thermal behavior of the blends confirmed the FTIR results. DSC curve of pure SF is typical of amorphous SF and the curve of pure keratin show the characteristic melting peak of alpha-helices for the aqueous system. These patterns are no longer observed in the films cast from formic acid due to the ability of formic acid to induce crystallization of SF and to increase the amount of beta-sheet structures on keratin. The nonlinear trend of the different parameters obtained from FTIR analysis and DSC curves of both SF/keratin systems indicate that when proteins are mixed they do not follow additives rules but are able to establish intermolecular interactions. Degradable polymeric biomaterials are preferred candidates for medical applications. It was investigated the degradation behavior of both SF/keratin systems by in vitro enzymatic incubation with trypsin. The SF/keratin films cast from water underwent a slower biological degradation than the films cast from formic acid. The weight loss obtained is a function of the amount of keratin in the blend. This study encourages the further investigation of the type of matrices presented here to be applied whether in scaffolds

  3. 3D freeform printing of silk fibroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Maria J; Dixon, Thomas A; Cohen, Eliad; Huang, Wenwen; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2018-04-15

    Freeform fabrication has emerged as a key direction in printing biologically-relevant materials and structures. With this emerging technology, complex structures with microscale resolution can be created in arbitrary geometries and without the limitations found in traditional bottom-up or top-down additive manufacturing methods. Recent advances in freeform printing have used the physical properties of microparticle-based granular gels as a medium for the submerged extrusion of bioinks. However, most of these techniques require post-processing or crosslinking for the removal of the printed structures (Miller et al., 2015; Jin et al., 2016) [1,2]. In this communication, we introduce a novel method for the one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Silk fibroin has been used as a biopolymer for bioprinting in several contexts, but chemical or enzymatic additives or bulking agents are needed to stabilize 3D structures. Our method requires no post-processing of printed structures and allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into arbitrary geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. 3D bioprinting has emerged as a technology that can produce biologically relevant structures in defined geometries with microscale resolution. Techniques for fabrication of free-standing structures by printing into granular gel media has been demonstrated previously, however, these methods require crosslinking agents and post-processing steps on printed structures. Our method utilizes one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite), with no need for additional crosslinking compounds or post processing of the material. This new method allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into defined geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  4. Cytocompatibility of a silk fibroin tubular scaffold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiannan; Wei, Yali; Yi, Honggen; Liu, Zhiwu; Sun, Dan; Zhao, Huanrong

    2014-01-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin (SF) materials are increasingly used for tissue engineering applications. In order to explore the feasibility of a novel biomimetic silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEG-DE), biocompatibility with cells was evaluated. The novel biomimetic design of the SFTS consisted of three distinct layers: a regenerated SF intima, a silk braided media and a regenerated SF adventitia. The SFTS exhibited even silk fibroin penetration throughout the braid, forming a porous layered tube with superior mechanical, permeable and cell adhesion properties that are beneficial to vascular regeneration. Cytotoxicity and cell compatibility were tested on L929 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EA.hy926). DNA content analysis, scanning electron and confocal microscopies and MTT assay showed no inhibitory effects on DNA replication. Cell morphology, viability and proliferation were good for L929 cells, and satisfactory for EA.hy926 cells. Furthermore, the suture retention strength of the SFTS was about 23 N and the Young's modulus was 0.2–0.3 MPa. Collectively, these data demonstrate that PEG-DE crosslinked SFTS possesses the appropriate cytocompatibility and mechanical properties for use as vascular scaffolds as an alternative to vascular autografts. - Highlights: • A PEG-DE cross-linked small caliber porous silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) • PEG-DE cross-linked SF film had no inhibitory effect on DNA replication of cells. • Cells cultured on the SFTS showed good morphology, cell viability and proliferative activity. • SFTS would be beneficial to endothelialization. • SFTS had good suture retention strength and flexibility

  5. Electrodeposited silk coatings for functionalized implant applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elia, Roberto

    The mechanical and morphological properties of titanium as well as its biocompatibility and osteoinductive characteristics have made it the material of choice for dental implant systems. Although the success rate of titanium implants exceeds 90% in healthy individuals, a large subset of the population has one or more risk factors that inhibit implant integration. Treatments and coatings have been developed to improve clinical outcomes via introduction of appropriate surface topography, texture and roughness or incorporation of bioactive molecules. It is essential that the coatings and associated deposition techniques are controllable and reproducible. Currently, methods of depositing functional coatings are dictated by numerous parameters (temperature, particle size distribution, pH and voltage), which result in variable coating thickness, strength, porosity and weight, and hinder or preclude biomolecule incorporation. Silk is a highly versatile protein with a unique combination of mechanical and physical properties, including tunable degradation, biocompatibility, drug stabilizing capabilities and mechanical properties. Most recently an electrogelation technique was developed which allows for the deposition of gels which dry seamlessly over the contoured topography of the conductive substrate. In this work we examine the potential use of silk electrogels as mechanically robust implant coatings capable of sequestering and releasing therapeutic agents. Electrodeposition of silk electrogels formed in uniform electric fields was characterized with respect to field intensity and deposition time. Gel formation kinetics were used to derive functions which allowed for the prediction of coating deposition over a range of process and solution parameters. Silk electrogel growth orientation was shown to be influenced by the applied electric field. Coatings were reproducible and tunable via intrinsic silk solution properties and extrinsic process parameters. Adhesion was

  6. NGOs and gender policy: some issues from the south Indian silk-reeling industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayoux, L

    1993-10-01

    In India, silk reeling, the middle stage in silk production, is potentially very profitable, and the silk industry has been required to adopt gender-aware policies such as appointing female staff and introducing gender sensitization training. To date, policies designed to encourage women's entrepreneurship in the reeling industry have been unsuccessful. Men have appropriated credit issued in women's names, and no women's cooperatives are currently in operation. The policies designed to encourage female entrepreneurship in reeling woefully overlooked the complexity of this work which involves a substantial investment of capital and significant risk. Women and girls continue to work as unpaid family workers and wage laborers without the benefits of governmental policies to protect their interests. In fact, attempts to introduce labor legislation to protect women have been blocked on the national level by the powerful Reelers' Association. Policies which address gender issues in the family and in the wider context of the silk industry are also lacking, and there is a wide variation in how women are able or unable to manipulate their positions to their advantage. Women's inabilities are the root cause of their inability to become entrepreneurs and improve their labor status. Nongovernmental organizations can enhance entrepreneurship and cooperative development by improving training in all aspects of running a business and in group formation. Women laborers must organize to improve wages and working conditions, and women must be able to increase their control over income and resources and their access to the outside world even as they decrease the time spent on unpaid reproductive labor.

  7. Spider Silk Processing for Spidroin Recovery from Crossopriza Lyoni Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtar, J. A.; Ooi, W. L.; Yusuf, F.

    2018-03-01

    Spider silk is a potential biomaterial that can be used in various applications for its outstanding physicomechanical properties attributed by the spidroin composition. Efforts for commercializing spider silks have been mainly focused on the characterization of spidroins from the Entelegyne spiders for exceptional fibre construction. Hence, studies on silk proteins from the Haplogyne species remain neglected. The aim of this study is to isolate spidroin from Crossopriza lyoni web. Silk processing involved the pretreatment of fibres for the shell layer removal from the surface. A screening study was conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, incubation time and agitation speed on spidroin extraction using Ajisawa’s reagent by OFAT analysis followed by statistical optimization of the extraction process via RSM for maximal protein recovery. All parameters exerted significant effect on spidroin recovery (pspider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  8. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Shipley, N. H.; Lewis, R. V. Int. J. Biol.Macromol. 1999, 24, 271. (c) Thiel, B. L.; Guess, K. B.; Viney, C. Biopolymers 1997, 41, 703. (13) Silk ...Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of

  9. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Han Linna; Liu Tongjun; Guo Jianyou; Liu Yongmei

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk ...

  10. Ptychographic X-ray Tomography of Silk Fiber Hydration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esmaeili, Morteza; Fløystad, Jostein B.; Diaz, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Studying noninvasively the internal nanoporous structure of a single Tussah silk fiber under different humidity conditions, we demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of in-situ ptychographic tomography. The resulting 3D images of the silk fiber interior, obtained at both dry and humid con...... normal to the fiber axis. Exploiting quantitative information on the fiber’s electron density, hydration was found to proceed through interaction with the silk protein rather than filling of pores....

  11. Mechanism of Stabilization of Labile Compounds by Silk Fibroin Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-05

    saliva, or urine , and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation protein biomarkers in... samples for long-term ambient storage and subsequent on-demand recovery and laboratory analysis. Air dried silks provide a protective barrier that...silk in the stabilization of a range of different analytes, including entrapment, storage and recovery. Here, we successfully used silk fibroin as a

  12. SilkDB: a knowledgebase for silkworm biology and genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Jing; Xia, Qingyou; He, Ximiao

    2005-01-01

    The Silkworm Knowledgebase (SilkDB) is a web-based repository for the curation, integration and study of silkworm genetic and genomic data. With the recent accomplishment of a approximately 6X draft genome sequence of the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori), SilkDB provides an integrated representati....... SilkDB is publicly accessible at http://silkworm.genomics.org.cn. Udgivelsesdato: 2005-Jan-1...

  13. Maize silk antibiotic polyphenol compounds and molecular genetic improvement of resistance to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea Boddie) in sh2 sweet corn

    OpenAIRE

    Baozhu Guo; Ana Butrón; Brian T. Scully

    2010-01-01

    The flavor of sh2 super-sweet corn is preferred by consumers. Unfortunately, sh2 sweet corn has little genetic variation for insect resistance. In this paper we review the functions of two loci, p1 and a1. The P1 allele has a major role in sh2 sweet corn resistance to corn earworm, an allele that was lost in historical selection because of its pleiotropic effect on undesirable cob color and silk browning. The P1 allele has significant effects on biosyntheses of silk antibiotic compounds, mays...

  14. Worthless donations: male deception and female counter play in a nuptial gift-giving spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albo, Maria J; Winther, Gudrun; Tuni, Cristina; Toft, Søren; Bilde, Trine

    2011-11-14

    In nuptial gift-giving species, benefits of acquiring a mate may select for male deception by donation of worthless gifts. We investigated the effect of worthless gifts on mating success in the spider Pisaura mirabilis. Males usually offer an insect prey wrapped in silk; however, worthless gifts containing inedible items are reported. We tested male mating success in the following experimental groups: protein enriched fly gift (PG), regular fly gift (FG), worthless gift (WG), or no gift (NG). Males that offered worthless gifts acquired similar mating success as males offering nutritional gifts, while males with no gift experienced reduced mating success. The results suggest that strong selection on the nuptial gift-giving trait facilitates male deception by donation of worthless gifts. Females terminated matings faster when males offered worthless donations; this demonstrate a cost of deception for the males as shorter matings lead to reduced sperm transfer and thus give the deceiving males a disadvantage in sperm competition. We propose that the gift wrapping trait allows males to exploit female foraging preference by disguising the gift content thus deceiving females into mating without acquiring direct benefits. Female preference for a genuine prey gift combined with control over mating duration, however, counteracts the male deception.

  15. Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Sinha, Arun K.; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2016-03-01

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

  16. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Fabrication and Biocompatibility of Electrospun Silk Biocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ick-Soo Kim

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Silk fibroin has attracted great interest in tissue engineering because of its outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability and minimal inflammatory reaction. In this study, two kinds of biocomposites based on regenerated silk fibroin are fabricated by electrospinning and post-treatment processes, respectively. Firstly, regenerated silk fibroin/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS hybrid nanofibers with high hydrophilicity are prepared, which is superior for fibroblast attachment. The electrospinning process causes adjacent fibers to ‘weld’ at contact points, which can be proved by scanning electron microscope (SEM. The water contact angle of silk/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS composites shows a sharper decrease than pure regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber, which has a great effect on the early stage of cell attachment behavior. Secondly, a novel tissue engineering scaffold material based on electrospun silk fibroin/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA biocomposites is prepared by means of an effective calcium and phosphate (Ca–P alternate soaking method. nHA is successfully produced on regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber within several min without any pre-treatments. The osteoblastic activities of this novel nanofibrous biocomposites are also investigated by employing osteoblastic-like MC3T3-E1 cell line. The cell functionality such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity is ameliorated on mineralized silk nanofibers. All these results indicate that this silk/nHA biocomposite scaffold material may be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

  18. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  19. Second-order nonlinear optical microscopy of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Hien, Khuat Thi Thu; Mizutani, Goro; Rutt, Harvey N.

    2017-06-01

    Asymmetric β-sheet protein structures in spider silk should induce nonlinear optical interaction such as second harmonic generation (SHG) which is experimentally observed for a radial line and dragline spider silk using an imaging femtosecond laser SHG microscope. By comparing different spider silks, we found that the SHG signal correlates with the existence of the protein β-sheets. Measurements of the polarization dependence of SHG from the dragline indicated that the β-sheet has a nonlinear response depending on the direction of the incident electric field. We propose a model of what orientation the β-sheet takes in spider silk.

  20. Water and Land Footprints and Economic Productivity as Factors in Local Crop Choice: The Case of Silk in Malawi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rick J. Hogeboom

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In deciding what crops to grow, farmers will look at, among other things, the economically most productive use of the water and land resources that they have access to. However, optimizing water and land use at the farm level may result in total water and land footprints at the catchment level that are in conflict with sustainable resource use. This study explores how data on water and land footprints, and on economic water and land productivity can inform micro-level decision making of crop choice, in the macro-level context of sustainable resource use. For a proposed sericulture project in Malawi, we calculated water and land footprints of silk along its production chain, and economic water and land productivities. We compared these to current cropping practices, and addressed the implications of water consumption at the catchment scale. We found that farmers may prefer irrigated silk production over currently grown rain-fed staple crops, because its economic water and land productivity is higher than that for currently grown crops. However, because the water footprint of irrigated silk is higher, sericulture will increase the pressure on local water resources. Since water consumption in the catchment generally does not exceed the maximum sustainable footprint, sericulture is a viable alternative crop for farmers in the case study area, as long as silk production remains small-scale (~3% of the area at most and does not depress local food markets.

  1. Silk constructs for delivery of muskuloskeletal therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinel, Lorenz; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a biopolymer with distinguishing features from many other bio- as well as synthetic polymers. From a biomechanical and drug delivery perspective, SF combines remarkable versatility for scaffolding (solid implants, hydrogels, threads, solutions), with advanced mechanical properties and good stabilization and controlled delivery of entrapped protein and small molecule drugs, respectively. It is this combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical features which render SF so exciting for biomedical applications. his pattern along with the versatility of this biopolymer have been translated into progress for musculoskeletal applications. We review the use and potential of silk fibroin for systemic and localized delivery of therapeutics in diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We also present future directions for this biopolymer as well as the necessary research and development steps for their achievement. PMID:22522139

  2. Silk fibroin nanostructured materials for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitropoulos, Alexander N.

    Nanostructured biopolymers have proven to be promising to develop novel biomedical applications where forming structures at the nanoscale normally occurs by self-assembly. However, synthesizing these structures can also occur by inducing materials to transition into other forms by adding chemical cross-linkers, changing pH, or changing ionic composition. Understanding the generation of nanostructures in fluid environments, such as liquid organic solvents or supercritical fluids, has not been thoroughly examined, particularly those that are based on protein-based block-copolymers. Here, we examine the transformation of reconstituted silk fibroin, which has emerged as a promising biopolymer due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ease of functionalization, into submicron spheres and gel networks which offer applications in tissue engineering and advanced sensors. Two types of gel networks, hydrogels and aerogels, have small pores and large surface areas that are defined by their structure. We design and analyze silk nanoparticle formation using a microfluidic device while offering an application for drug delivery. Additionally, we provide a model and characterize hydrogel formation from micelles to nanoparticles, while investigating cellular response to the hydrogel in an in vitro cell culture model. Lastly, we provide a second model of nanofiber formation during near-critical and supercritical drying and characterize the silk fibroin properties at different drying pressures which, when acting as a stabilizing matrix, shows to improve the activity of entrapped enzymes dried at different pressures. This work has created new nanostructured silk fibroin forms to benefit biomedical applications that could be applied to other fibrous proteins.

  3. Gaochang Buddhism and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available At the crossroads between the West and the East in ancient times, one point along the Silk Road was Gaochang (the Turpan basin in Xinjiang which played an important role in cultural exchange and the spread of Buddhism. The bidirectional influence of Buddhism in Gaochang was achieved as Buddhism spread eastward, and through its westward transmission which resulted in Gaochang’s unique and significant position in the history of cultural interaction.

  4. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianyou; Liu, Tongjun; Han, Linna; Liu, Yongmei

    2009-11-23

    Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic beta-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p corn silk extract 15 days later. Also, the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. However, ascension of blood glucose induced by adrenalin and gluconeogenesis induced by L-alanine were not inhibited by corn silk extract treatment (p > 0.05). Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05). Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured beta-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  5. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  6. Male gender preference, female gender disadvantage as risk factors for psychological morbidity in Pakistani women of childbearing age - a life course perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medhin Girmay

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Pakistan, preference for boys over girls is deeply culturally embedded. From birth, many women experience gendered disadvantages; less access to scarce resources, poorer health care, higher child mortality, limited education, less employment outside of the home and circumscribed autonomy. The prevalence of psychological morbidity is exceptionally high among women. We hypothesise that, among women of childbearing age, gender disadvantage is an independent risk factor for psychological morbidity Methods A cross-sectional catchment area survey of 525 women aged 18 to 35 years living in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The effect of gender disadvantage was assessed as a latent variable using structural equation modelling. Indicators were parental gender preference, low parental care, parental overprotection, limited education, early age at marriage, marital dissatisfaction and low autonomy. Psychological morbidity was assessed using the 20 item Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ. Results Gender disadvantage was independently predictive of psychological morbidity. Among married women, socio-economic status did not predict psychological morbidity, and the effect of education was mediated through gender disadvantage rather than socioeconomic status (SES. The women's own preference for a male child was strongly predicted by their perceptions of having been disadvantaged by their gender in their families of origin. Conclusions The high prevalence of psychological morbidity among women in Pakistan is concerning given recently reported strong associations with low birth weight and infant stunting. Social action, public policies and legislation are indicated to reduce culturally embedded preferences. Neglect of these fundamentals will entrench consequent inequities including gender bias in access to education, a key millennium development goal.

  7. Recombinant protein blends: silk beyond natural design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinjaski, Nina; Kaplan, David L

    2016-06-01

    Recombinant DNA technology and new material concepts are shaping future directions in biomaterial science for the design and production of the next-generation biomaterial platforms. Aside from conventionally used synthetic polymers, numerous natural biopolymers (e.g., silk, elastin, collagen, gelatin, alginate, cellulose, keratin, chitin, polyhydroxyalkanoates) have been investigated for properties and manipulation via bioengineering. Genetic engineering provides a path to increase structural and functional complexity of these biopolymers, and thereby expand the catalog of available biomaterials beyond that which exists in nature. In addition, the integration of experimental approaches with computational modeling to analyze sequence-structure-function relationships is starting to have an impact in the field by establishing predictive frameworks for determining material properties. Herein, we review advances in recombinant DNA-mediated protein production and functionalization approaches, with a focus on hybrids or combinations of proteins; recombinant protein blends or 'recombinamers'. We highlight the potential biomedical applications of fibrous protein recombinamers, such as Silk-Elastin Like Polypeptides (SELPs) and Silk-Bacterial Collagens (SBCs). We also discuss the possibility for the rationale design of fibrous proteins to build smart, stimuli-responsive biomaterials for diverse applications. We underline current limitations with production systems for these proteins and discuss the main trends in systems/synthetic biology that may improve recombinant fibrous protein design and production. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. A STUDY OF LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES OF ALL FEMALE STUDENTS IN UNIVERSITY LEVEL (A Case Study in one of Islamic University in Bandung)

    OpenAIRE

    Siti Nuraeni Muhtar

    2015-01-01

    This research investigated students learning styles of all female students in University Level. The study involved 129 students in one of Islamic University in Bandung. The C.I.T.E Learning Styles Instrument by Joy Reid was used to identify 6 different kinds of Learning Styles. The research questions were as follows: (1) What are the learning styles  possessed by students?, (2) What are the dominant learning styles of Female Students in University Level?, and (3) How do those learning styles ...

  9. COMPARATIVE STUDY OF HEALTH STATUS BETWEEN COUNTRIES ALONG THE NEW SILK ROAD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju’e Yan

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Using World Statistics Data from the year 2012, health status differences between countries along the “New Silk Road” were compared and analyzed. Life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 60, healthy life expectancy, neonatal mortality rate, infant mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, maternal mortality ratio, as well as certain disease incidence rates were used. The study indicated that the 12 countries along the New Silk Road had longer life expectancy at birth. Females had longer life expectancy at birth than males, but life expectancy at age 60 was shorter than the global average, and healthy life expectancy at birth was also shorter. Maternal health status was generally good in each country. China, Russia, and 4 other countries had better children’s health status than India, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Non-communicable diseases caused higher mortality than communicable diseases and accidental injuries. However, the age standardized mortality rates of communicable diseases in India, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Afghanistan were still relatively high. Communicable diseases were also the leading cause of reduction in life expectancy. Tuberculosis had a more significant impact on health status. In conclusion, health status varies among the New Silk Road countries. Countries including China and Iran have relatively better health status, and non communicable diseases were the predominant risk factor impacting health. However, in countries such as India and Afghanistan, mortality caused by communicable diseases is still prominent. Under the current trend of globalization, New Silk Road countries are supposed to collaborate to expand their healthcare systems, and improve the health conditions for their people.

  10. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  11. Acute and Subacute Toxicity Evaluation of Corn Silk Extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Ae Wha; Kang, Hyeon Jung; Kim, Sun Lim; Kim, Myung Hwan; Kim, Woo Kyoung

    2018-03-01

    Many studies have reported therapeutic efficacy of corn silk extract. However, research on its toxicity and safe dose range is limited. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the acute and subacute toxicity of corn silk extract in ICR mice. To determine acute toxicity, corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was orally administered to mice at a dose of 0 or 2,000 mg/kg. Clinical symptoms, mortality, and body weight changes were recorded for 14 days. To determine subacute toxicity, corn silk extract was orally administered to mice over a 4-week period, and then body weight, water and food consumption, and organ weight were determined. In addition, urine and serum analyses were performed. In the acute toxicity study, no death or abnormal symptoms was observed in all treatment groups during the study period. Body weights did not show any significant change compared to those of the control group. Lethal dose of corn silk extract was estimated to be more than 2,000 mg/kg. In the 4-week subacute toxicity study, there was no corn silk extract related toxic effect on body weight, water intake, food consumption, urine parameters, clinical chemistry, or organ weight. Histopathological examination showed no abnormality related to the administration of corn silk extract at 500 mg/kg. The maximum non-toxic dose of corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was found to be more than 500 mg/kg.

  12. Clay-Enriched Silk Biomaterials for Bone Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieszawska, Aneta J.; Llamas, Jabier Gallego; Vaiana, Christopher A.; Kadakia, Madhavi P.; Naik, Rajesh R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The formation of silk protein/clay composite biomaterials for bone tissue formation is described. Silk fibroin serves as an organic scaffolding material offering mechanical stability suitable for bone specific uses. Clay montmorillonite (Cloisite ® Na+) and sodium silicate are sources of osteoinductive silica-rich inorganic species, analogous to bioactive bioglass-like bone repair biomaterial systems. Different clay particle-silk composite biomaterial films were compared to silk films doped with sodium silicate as controls for support of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in osteogenic culture. The cells adhered and proliferated on the silk/clay composites over two weeks. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed increased transcript levels for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and collagen type 1 (Col I) osteogenic markers in the cells cultured on the silk/clay films in comparison to the controls. Early evidence for bone formation based on collagen deposition at the cell-biomaterial interface was also found, with more collagen observed for the silk films with higher contents of clay particles. The data suggest that the silk/clay composite systems may be useful for further study toward bone regenerative needs. PMID:21549864

  13. Re-opening the silk road to transform Chinese trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N. Mao (Ning); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China's traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  14. The failure mode of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eshkour, R A; Ariffin, A K; Zulkifli, R; Sulong, A B; Azhari, C H

    2012-01-01

    In this study the quasi static compression test over natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been carried out, the natural silk epoxy composite tubes consist of 24 layer of woven natural silk as reinforcement and thermoset epoxy resin as matrix which both of them i e natural silk and epoxy have excellent mechanical properties More over the natural silk have better moisture resistance in comparison with other natural reinforcements, the length of tubes are 50, 80 and 120 mm The natural silk epoxy composite tubes are associated with an external trigger which includes 4 steel pieces welded on downside flat plate fixture The hand lay up fabrication method has been used to make the natural silk epoxy composite tubes Instron universal testing machine with 250 KN load capacity has been employed to accomplish this investigation The failure modes of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been investigated by representative photographs which has been taken by a high resolution camera(12 2 Mp) during the quasi static compression test, from the photographs is observed the failure modes is progressive local buckling

  15. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The mechanism of silk formation in Apis mellifera salivary glands, during the 5th instar, was studied. Larval salivary glands were dissected and prepared for light and polarized light microscopy, as well as for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that silk formation starts at the middle of the 5th ...

  16. Re-Opening the Silk Road to Transform Chinese Trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Ning (Mao); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China’s traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  17. Structure, composition and mechanical properties of the silk fibres of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The silk egg case and orb web of spiders are elaborate structures that are assembled from a number of components. We analysed the structure, the amino acid and fibre compositions, and the tensile properties of the silk fibres of the egg case of Nephila clavata. SEM shows that the outer and inner covers of the egg case ...

  18. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The mechanism of silk formation in Apis mellifera salivary glands, during the 5th instar, was studied. Larval salivary glands .... be used in the silk-manufacture industry. This paper analyses .... (figure 3C); and are highly birefringent (figure 3D).

  19. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Ishida, Kazunari; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  20. Self-assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Sungkyun

    The supramolecular self-assembly behavior of silk fibroin was investigated using osmotic stress technique. In Chapter 2, a ternary phase diagram of water-silk-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results on the osmotically stressed regenerated silk fibroin of Bombyx mori silkworm. Microscopic data indicated that silk I is a hydrated structure and a rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk I to silk II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide. In Chapter 3, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated silk fibroin was performed, based on the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers. The osmotic stress was applied in order to pre-structure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 microm was produced. In Chapter 4, we investigated if there is a noticeable synergistic osmotic pressure increase between co-existing polymeric osmolyte and salt when extremely highly concentrated salt molecules are present both at sample subphase and stressing subphase, as is the case of silk fibroin self-assembly. The equilibration method that measures osmotic pressure relative to a reference with known osmotic pressure was introduced. Osmotic pressure of aqueous LiBr solution up to 2.75M was measured and it was found that the synergistic effect was insignificant up to this salt concentration. Solution parameters of stressing solutions and Arrhenius kinetics based on time-temperature relationship for the equilibration process were derived as well. In Chapter 5, self-assembly behavior of natural silk fibroin within the gland of Bombyx mori silkworm was investigated using osmotic

  1. Corn silk induces nitric oxide synthase in murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung A; Choi, Sang Kyu; Choi, Hye Seon

    2004-12-31

    Corn silk has been purified as an anticoagulant previously and the active component is a polysaccharide with a molecular mass of 135 kDa. It activates murine macrophages to induce nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and generate substantial amounts of NO in time and dose-dependent manners. It was detectable first at 15 h after stimulation by corn silk, peaked at 24 h, and undetectable by 48 h. Induction of NOS is inhibited by pyrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) and genistein, an inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) and tyrosine kinase, respectively, indicating that iNOS stimulated by corn silk is associated with tyrosine kinase and NF-kappaB signaling pathways. IkappaB-alpha degradation was detectible at 10 min, and the level was restored at 120 min after treatment of corn silk. Corn silk induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB by phosphorylation and degradation of IkappaB-alpha.

  2. Study on silk yellowing induced by gamma-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    The changes in the yellow color of silk threads with total dose of irradiation applied were described and studied by a colorimetric method and by monochrome photography. The change into a yellow color of the specimen in the course of irradiation was clearly detected in photographs using filters, 2B and SC 56 under light conditions at the wavelength of 366 nm. The b/L value measured by colorimetry in undegummed and degummed silk fibers sharply increased in the early stage of irradiation. Yellow color indices (b/L) of the specimen subjected to gamma-irradiation continued to increase and the yellow color of the silk threads became more pronounced above a total dose of irradiation of 21 Mrad. The b/L value of the undegummed silk fiber which had deen irradiated was about 2 times that of the degummed silk fiber. (author)

  3. Effects of alkyl polyglycoside (APG) on Bombyx mori silk degumming and the mechanical properties of silk fibroin fibre

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qing, E-mail: sericult@suda.edu.cn

    2017-05-01

    Alkyl polyglycoside (APG), a nonionic surfactant, is often considered to be a green surfactant and is synthesized using glucose and long chain fatty alcohols. It is used as a degumming agent of Bombyx mori silk fibre in this study for the first time. We studied APG systematically in comparison to the traditional degumming methods, such as aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate (Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}) and neutral soap (NS). After repeatedly boiling silk fibres in an aqueous solution of 0.25% APG three times for 30 min and using a bath ratio of 1:90–120 (g/mL), sericin was completely removed from the fibre. SDS-PAGE showed that the degumming in APG did not induce an evident breakage of the silk fibroin peptide chains, including the light chain and P25 protein. The tensile properties, thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observation of the degummed fibroin fibre all show that APG is a degumming agent similar to NS and far superior to Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. These results indicate that APG is an environment-friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts. - Graphical abstract: APG has potential uses as a green degumming/refining reagent for silkworm cocoons or silk fibres in the silk industry and for sericulture production. Display Omitted.

  4. Multiscale mechanisms of nutritionally induced property variation in spider silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobbs, Madeleine; Martens, Penny J.; Tso, I-Min; Chuang, Wei-Tsung; Chang, Chung-Kai; Sheu, Hwo-Shuenn

    2018-01-01

    Variability in spider major ampullate (MA) silk properties at different scales has proven difficult to determine and remains an obstacle to the development of synthetic fibers mimicking MA silk performance. A multitude of techniques may be used to measure multiscale aspects of silk properties. Here we fed five species of Araneoid spider solutions that either contained protein or were protein deprived and performed silk tensile tests, small and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS), amino acid composition analyses, and silk gene expression analyses, to resolve persistent questions about how nutrient deprivation induces variations in MA silk mechanical properties across scales. Our analyses found that the properties of each spider’s silk varied differently in response to variations in their protein intake. We found changes in the crystalline and non-crystalline nanostructures to play specific roles in inducing the property variations we found. Across treatment MaSp expression patterns differed in each of the five species. We found that in most species MaSp expression and amino acid composition variations did not conform with our predictions based on a traditional MaSp expression model. In general, changes to the silk’s alanine and proline compositions influenced the alignment of the proteins within the silk’s amorphous region, which influenced silk extensibility and toughness. Variations in structural alignment in the crystalline and non-crystalline regions influenced ultimate strength independent of genetic expression. Our study provides the deepest insights thus far into the mechanisms of how MA silk properties vary from gene expression to nanostructure formations to fiber mechanics. Such knowledge is imperative for promoting the production of synthetic silk fibers. PMID:29390013

  5. The influence of specific binding of collagen-silk chimeras to silk biomaterials on hMSC behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bo; DesRochers, Teresa M; Qin, Guokui; Xia, Xiaoxia; Thiagarajan, Geetha; Brodsky, Barbara; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Collagen-like proteins in the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes adopt a triple-helix structure with a thermal stability similar to that of animal collagens, can be expressed in high yield in Escherichia coli and can be easily modified through molecular biology techniques. However, potential applications for such recombinant collagens are limited by their lack of higher order structure to achieve the physical properties needed for most biomaterials. To overcome this problem, the S. pyogenes collagen domain was fused to a repetitive Bombyx mori silk consensus sequence, as a strategy to direct specific non-covalent binding onto solid silk materials whose superior stability, mechanical and material properties have been previously established. This approach resulted in the successful binding of these new collagen-silk chimeric proteins to silk films and porous scaffolds, and the binding affinity could be controlled by varying the number of repeats in the silk sequence. To explore the potential of collagen-silk chimera for regulating biological activity, integrin (Int) and fibronectin (Fn) binding sequences from mammalian collagens were introduced into the bacterial collagen domain. The attachment of bioactive collagen-silk chimeras to solid silk biomaterials promoted hMSC spreading and proliferation substantially in comparison to the controls. The ability to combine the biomaterial features of silk with the biological activities of collagen allowed more rapid cell interactions with silk-based biomaterials, improved regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation, as well as the formation of artificial extracellular matrices useful for tissue engineering applications. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A STUDY OF LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES OF ALL FEMALE STUDENTS IN UNIVERSITY LEVEL (A Case Study in one of Islamic University in Bandung

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Nuraeni Muhtar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This research investigated students learning styles of all female students in University Level. The study involved 129 students in one of Islamic University in Bandung. The C.I.T.E Learning Styles Instrument by Joy Reid was used to identify 6 different kinds of Learning Styles. The research questions were as follows: (1 What are the learning styles  possessed by students?, (2 What are the dominant learning styles of Female Students in University Level?, and (3 How do those learning styles influence students’ level of study?.The data percentages show that most of students in each class have visual learning style by the percentage (A:65,21%, B:73,17%, C:66,67%, D:73,91%. The second highest numbers also happens to Kinesthetic learning style  (A:69,56%, B:48,78%, C:59,532%, D:65,22% and Individual learning style (A:73,91%, B:43,90%, C:47,62%, D:69,56%. From those data, it can be concluded that more than a half female students in that university are visual, kinesthetic and auditory learners. Tactile learnes are only between 40-50 % of students. And the least percentage of students are auditory and group learners. Based on the result, the learning styles of every class are different. The phenomena shows that there are no special kinds of learning styles that can determine level of study.         Keywords: learning style, visual, kinesthetic, auditory,  tactile

  7. Health and Health Care From the Perspective of Intimate Partner Violence Adult Female Victims in Shelters: Impact of IPV, Unmet Needs, Barriers, Experiences, and Preferences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Pamela; Kothari, Catherine; Lubwama, Grace; Brown, Cathy L; Frank Benton, Jennifer

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) predicts poor health for victims and their children, but little is known about the perspective of victims. This study reports the perspectives of adult female IPV victims about the impact of IPV on their health and barriers of health care access for themselves and their children. The majority rated their health as good to excellent (69%). However, 83.5% indicated that IPV negatively affected their health; 53.5% had unmet health care needs. Mental health care was the most common unmet need for women; children's unmet needs were immunizations and preventive care. Transportation difficulties posed the biggest barrier to health care access.

  8. Preferences for behavioural, analytic and gestalt psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobel, H J

    1979-09-01

    This study investigated preferences for behavioural, analytic and gestalt psychotherapy among a sample of 40 SES class III and IV adult females and 67 college freshmen who had never been actual therapy patients. A scaled survey assessed general preference, preference given an imagined long-standing depressive disorder, preference given an imagined specific phobia, and preference for the therapist-patient relationship. Three audio tapes were designed, each describing one of the modalities. High inter-rater reliability and agreement were determined by three independent judges. Results showed that young females had a general preference for gestalt therapy. Young and old females, but not young males, significantly preferred behavioural therapy for a specific phobia. Under forced-choice conditions the group as a whole significantly preferred gestalt therapy. No differences were found for the relationship or preference given a depressive disorder. Preference was hypothesized as a cognitive structure with potential use in therapist-client matching.

  9. Independent preferences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vind, Karl

    1991-01-01

    A simple mathematical result characterizing a subset of a product set is proved and used to obtain additive representations of preferences. The additivity consequences of independence assumptions are obtained for preferences which are not total or transitive. This means that most of the economic ...... theory based on additive preferences - expected utility, discounted utility - has been generalized to preferences which are not total or transitive. Other economic applications of the theorem are given...

  10. Inhibitory effect of corn silk on skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang Yoon; Lee, Yeonmi; Kim, Sung Soo; Ju, Hyun Min; Baek, Ji Hwoon; Park, Chul-Soo; Lee, Dong-Hyuk

    2014-03-03

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  11. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Yoon Choi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  12. Effects of silk fibroin in murine dry eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chae Eun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Chan Hum; Yang, Jaewook

    2017-03-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of silk fibroin in a mouse model of dry eye. The experimental dry eye mouse model was developed using more than twelve-weeks-old NOD.B10.H2b mice exposing them to 30-40% ambient humidity and injecting them with scopolamine hydrobromide for 10 days. Tear production and corneal irregularity score were measured by the instillation of phosphate buffered saline or silk fibroin. Corneal detachment and conjunctival goblet cell density were observed by hematoxylin and eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining in the cornea or conjunctiva. The expression of inflammatory markers was detected by immunohistochemistry in the lacrimal gland. The silk group tear production was increased, and corneal smoothness was improved. The corneal epithelial cells and conjunctival goblet cells were recovered in the silk groups. The expression of inflammatory factors was inhibited in the lacrimal gland of the silk group. These results show that silk fibroin improved the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal gland in the mouse model of dry eye. These findings suggest that silk fibroin has anti-inflammatory effects in the experimental models of dry eye.

  13. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  14. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S.; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P.

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  15. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  16. Silk-microfluidics for advanced biotechnological applications: A progressive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konwarh, Rocktotpal; Gupta, Prerak; Mandal, Biman B

    2016-01-01

    Silk based biomaterials have not only carved a unique niche in the domain of regenerative medicine but new avenues are also being explored for lab-on-a-chip applications. It is pertinent to note that biospinning of silk represents nature's signature microfluidic-maneuver. Elucidation of non-Newtonian flow of silk in the glands of spiders and silkworms has inspired researchers to fabricate devices for continuous extrusion and concentration of silk. Microfluidic channel networks within porous silk scaffolds ensure optimal nutrient and oxygen supply apart from serving as precursors for vascularization in tissue engineering applications. On the other hand, unique topographical features and surface wettability of natural silk fibers have inspired development of a number of simple and cost-effective devices for applications like blood typing and chemical sensing. This review mirrors the recent progress and challenges in the domain of silk-microfluidics for prospective avant-garde applications in the realm of biotechnology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Binding Quantum Dots to Silk Biomaterials for Optical Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Disi Lu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantum dots (QDs, have great potential for fabricating optical sensing devices and imaging biomaterial degradation in vivo. In the present study, 2-mercaptoethylamine- (MEA- and mercaptopropionic acid- (MPA- capped CdTe-QDs were physically incorporated in silk films that contained a high content (>30% of crystalline beta-sheet structure. The beta-sheets were induced by the addition of glycerol, water annealing, glycerol/annealing, or treatment with methanol. Incorporation of QDs did not influence the formation of beta-sheets. When the films were extracted with water, most QDs remained associated with the silk, based on the retention of photoluminescence in the silk films and negligible photoluminescence in the extracts. Compared to the solution state, photoluminescence intensity significantly decreased for MEA-QDs but not for MPA-QDs in the silk films, while the emission maximum blue shifted (≈4 nm slightly for both. Further film digestion using protease XIV, alpha-chymotrypsin, and the combination of the two proteases suggested that QDs may be bound to the silk beta-sheet regions but not the amorphous regions. QDs photoluminescence in silk films was quenched when the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 was above 0.2-0.3 mM, indicating the QDs-incorporated silk films can be used to report oxidation potential in solution.

  18. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  19. Suicide attempts and suicides in Bolivia from 2007 to 2012: pesticides are the preferred method - females try but males commit suicide!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørs, Erik; Christoffersen, Mette; Veirum, Nikoline Høgsgaard; Aquilar, Guido Condarco; Morant, Rafael Cervantes; Konradsen, Flemming

    2014-01-01

    Suicide attempts and suicides constitute a significant burden on communities and health systems, especially in low income countries. However, many low income countries lack epidemiological information on which to base future preventive strategies. This study reports on gender and age profiles as well as the likely background and means used for suicide attempts and suicides in Bolivia. This study presents 1124 cases from four different sources of information: (i) emergency ward data with suicide attempts by poisoning from the year 2007, (ii) psychiatric ward data including suicide attempts from July 2011 to July 2012, (iii) newspaper articles reporting attempted suicides and suicides from 2009 to 2011, and (iv) the National Statistics on Crime reporting suicides from the years 2010-2011. Data on age was stratified into three age groups: adolescents aged 10-19 years, young adults aged 20-29 years, and older adults aged above 29 years. Data from the hospital wards and Crime Statistics were pooled to compare characteristics of suicide attempts with suicides concerning age and gender. Data on age, gender, methods used, and reasons were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 21. Hospital data showed that more females (403/657, 61%) than males (254/657, 39%) attempted suicide, and females attempted suicide at a younger age than males (pcommitted suicide, and furthermore it was most prevalent among young adults aged 20-29 years of both genders, as observed from the Crime Statistics. The dominant method was pesticide poisoning varying from 400 out of 657 (70.5%) of the hospital poisoning cases to 65 out of 172 (37.8%) of the newspaper cases. Newspaper data showed a higher mortality rate (65/77, 85.1%) among those using violent methods such as hanging and jumping compared to non-violent methods (43/84, 50.9%) such as ingesting chemicals and drugs (psuicide seemed to be hidden due to cultural and religious reasons. More females attempted suicide, whereas more males realized suicide

  20. A novel electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2012-01-01

    A novel electrospinning of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers with different composition ratios was performed with methanoic acid as a spinning solvent. The silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrids containing up to 30% hydroxyapatite nanoparticles could be electrospun into the continuous fibrous structure. The electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers showed bigger diameter and wider diameter distribution than pure silk fibroin nanofibers, and the average diameter gradually increased from 95 to 582 nm. At the same time, the secondary structure of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite nanofibers was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared analysis, and DSC measurement. Comparing with the pure silk fibroin nanofibers, the crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. X-ray diffraction results demonstrated the hydroxyapatite crystalline nature remained as evidenced from the diffraction planes (002), (211), (300), and (202) of the hydroxyapatite crystallites, which was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis. The thermal behavior of hybrid nanofibers exhibited the endothermic peak of moisture evaporation ranging from 86 to 113 °C, and the degradation peak at 286 °C appeared. The SF/HAp nanofibers mats containing 30% HAp nanoparticles showed higher breaking tenacity and extension at break for 1.1688 ± 0.0398 MPa and 6.55 ± 1.95%, respectively. Therefore, the electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers should be provided potentially useful options for the fabrication of biomaterial scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. -- Highlights: ► The novel SF/HAp nanofibers were directly prepared by electrospinning method. ► The nanofiber diameter had significant related to the content of HAp. ► The crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. ► The HAp crystals existing in the hybrid nanofibers were characterized

  1. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang, Guangqiang; Yang, Yuhong; Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  2. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Linna

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Methods Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c, insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic β-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. Results After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p 0.05. Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05. Conclusion Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured β-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  3. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Guangqiang [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Yang, Yuhong [Research Centre for Analysis and Measurement, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Chen, Xin, E-mail: chenx@fudan.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China)

    2016-07-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  4. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Sang Yoon Choi; Yeonmi Lee; Sung Soo Kim; Hyun Min Ju; Ji Hwoon Baek; Chul-Soo Park; Dong-Hyuk Lee

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin prod...

  5. Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepore, Emiliano; Bosia, Federico; Bonaccorso, Francesco; Bruna, Matteo; Taioli, Simone; Garberoglio, Giovanni; Ferrari, Andrea C.; Pugno, Nicola Maria

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk has promising mechanical properties, since it conjugates high strength (~1.5 GPa) and toughness (~150 J g-1). Here, we report the production of silk incorporating graphene and carbon nanotubes by spider spinning, after feeding spiders with the corresponding aqueous dispersions. We observe an increment of the mechanical properties with respect to pristine silk, up to a fracture strength ~5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus ~1570 J g-1. This approach could be extended to other biological systems and lead to a new class of artificially modified biological, or ‘bionic’, materials.

  6. Plasticity in Major Ampullate Silk Production in Relation to Spider Phylogeny and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutry, Cecilia; Řezáč, Milan; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2011-01-01

    Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions) between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve. PMID:21818328

  7. Plasticity in major ampullate silk production in relation to spider phylogeny and ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Boutry

    Full Text Available Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve.

  8. The reinforcing properties of ethanol are quantitatively enhanced in adulthood by peri-adolescent ethanol, but not saccharin, consumption in female alcohol-preferring (P) rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toalston, Jamie E; Deehan, Gerald A; Hauser, Sheketha R; Engleman, Eric A; Bell, Richard L; Murphy, James M; McBride, William J; Rodd, Zachary A

    2015-08-01

    Alcohol drinking during adolescence is associated in adulthood with heavier alcohol drinking and an increased rate of alcohol dependence. Past research in our laboratory has indicated that peri-adolescent ethanol consumption can enhance the acquisition and reduce the rate of extinction of ethanol self-administration in adulthood. Caveats of the past research include reinforcer specificity, increased oral consumption during peri-adolescence, and a lack of quantitative assessment of the reinforcing properties of ethanol. The current experiments were designed to determine the effects of peri-adolescent ethanol or saccharin drinking on acquisition and extinction of oral ethanol self-administration and ethanol seeking, and to quantitatively assess the reinforcing properties of ethanol (progressive ratio). Ethanol or saccharin access by alcohol-preferring (P) rats occurred during postnatal day (PND) 30-60. Animals began operant self-administration of ethanol or saccharin after PND 85. After 10 weeks of daily operant self-administration, rats were tested in a progressive ratio paradigm. Two weeks later, self-administration was extinguished in all rats. Peri-adolescent ethanol consumption specifically enhanced the acquisition of ethanol self-administration, reduced the rate of extinction for ethanol self-administration, and quantitatively increased the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. Peri-adolescent saccharin consumption was without effect. The data indicate that ethanol consumption during peri-adolescence results in neuroadaptations that may specifically enhance the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. This increase in the reinforcing properties of ethanol could be a part of biological sequelae that are the basis for the effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the increase in the rate of alcoholism during adulthood. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. The Reinforcing Properties of Ethanol are Quantitatively Enhanced in Adulthood by Peri-Adolescent Ethanol, but not Saccharin, Consumption in Female Alcohol-Preferring (P) Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toalston, Jamie E.; Deehan, Gerald A.; Hauser, Sheketha R.; Engleman, Eric A.; Bell, Richard L.; Murphy, James M.; McBride, William J.; Rodd, Zachary A.

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol drinking during adolescence is associated in adulthood with heavier alcohol drinking and an increased rate of alcohol dependence. Past research in our laboratory has indicated that peri-adolescent ethanol consumption can enhance the acquisition and reduce the rate of extinction of ethanol self-administration in adulthood. Caveats of the past research include reinforcer specificity, increased oral consumption during peri-adolescence, and a lack of quantitative assessment of the reinforcing properties of ethanol. The current experiments were designed to determine the effects of peri-adolescent ethanol or saccharin drinking on acquisition and extinction of oral ethanol self-administration and ethanol seeking, and to quantitatively assess the reinforcing properties of ethanol (progressive ratio). Ethanol or saccharin access by alcohol-preferring (P) rats occurred during postnatal day (PND) 30–60. Animals began operant self-administration of ethanol or saccharin after PND 85. After 10 weeks of daily operant self-administration, rats were tested in a progressive ratio paradigm. Two weeks later, self-administration was extinguished in all rats. Peri-adolescent ethanol consumption specifically enhanced the acquisition of ethanol self-administration, reduced the rate of extinction for ethanol self-administration, and quantitatively increased the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. Peri-adolescent saccharin consumption was without effect. The data indicate that ethanol consumption during peri-adolescence results in neuroadaptations that may specifically enhance the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. This increase in the reinforcing properties of ethanol could be a part of biological sequelae that are the basis for the effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the increase in the rate of alcoholism during adulthood. PMID:26074425

  10. Extended vs. brief intermittent access to palatable food differently promote binge-like intake, rejection of less preferred food, and weight cycling in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreisler, A D; Garcia, M G; Spierling, S R; Hui, B E; Zorrilla, E P

    2017-08-01

    Palatable food access promotes obesity leading some to diet. Here, we modeled the roles of duration, intermittency and choice of access in bingeing, escalation of daily intake, and underacceptance of alternatives. Female rats with ("Choice") or without continuous chow access, received chow or continuous (Chocolate), intermittent (MWF) long (24h, Int-Long), or intermittent short (30min, Int-Short) access to a sucrose-rich, chocolate-flavored diet (CHOC). Int-Long rats showed cycling body weight; they overate CHOC, had increased feed efficiency on access days and underate chow and lost weight on non-access days, the latter correlating with their reduced brown fat. Int-Short rats had the greatest 30-min intake upon CHOC access, but did not underaccept chow or weight cycle. Individual vulnerability for intermittent access-induced feeding adaptations was seen. Continuous access rats gained fat disproportionate, but in direct relation, to their normalized energy intake and persistently underaccepted chow despite abstinence and return to normal weight. Abstinence reduced the binge-like CHOC intake of Int-Short rats and increased that of continuous access rats, but not to levels associated with intermittent access history. Choice increased daily CHOC intake under Continuous access and binge-like intake under Int-Short access. Intermittency and duration of past access to palatable food have dissociable, individually-vulnerable influences on its intake and that of alternatives. With extended access, daily intake reflects the palatability of available food, rather than metabolic need. Ongoing restrictedness of access or a history of intermittency each drive binge-like intake. Aspects of palatable food availability, similar and different to drug availability, promote disordered eating. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Effect of the sterilization method on the properties of Bombyx mori silk fibroin films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George, Karina A. [Queensland Eye Institute, 41 Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (Australia); Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland 4059 (Australia); Shadforth, Audra M.A. [Queensland Eye Institute, 41 Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (Australia); Chirila, Traian V., E-mail: traian.chirila@qei.org.au [Queensland Eye Institute, 41 Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (Australia); Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, 4072 (Australia); Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland 4006 (Australia); Faculty of Science and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4001 (Australia); Laurent, Matthieu J. [Queensland Eye Institute, 41 Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (Australia); Ecole Superieure d' Ingenieurs de Luminy (ESIL), Universite de la Mediterranee Aix-Marseille II, Luminy case 925 13288, Marseille, Cedex 09 (France); Stephenson, Sally-Anne [Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Queensland 4059 (Australia); Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4001 (Australia); Edwards, Grant A. [Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, St Lucia, 4072 (Australia); Madden, Peter W. [Queensland Eye Institute, 41 Annerley Road, South Brisbane, Queensland 4101 (Australia); Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland 4006 (Australia); and others

    2013-03-01

    We have compared the effects of different sterilization techniques on the properties of Bombyx mori silk fibroin thin films with the view to subsequent use for corneal tissue engineering. The transparency, tensile properties, corneal epithelial cell attachment and degradation of the films were used to evaluate the suitability of certain sterilization techniques including gamma-irradiation (in air or nitrogen), steam treatment and immersion in aqueous ethanol. The investigations showed that gamma-irradiation, performed either in air or in a nitrogen atmosphere, did not significantly alter the properties of films. The films sterilized by gamma-irradiation or by immersion in ethanol had a transparency greater than 98% and tensile properties comparable to human cornea and amniotic membrane, the materials of choice in the reconstruction of ocular surface. Although steam-sterilization produced stronger, stiffer films, they were less transparent, and cell attachment was affected by the variable topography of these films. It was concluded that gamma-irradiation should be considered to be the most suitable method for the sterilization of silk fibroin films, however, the treatment with ethanol is also an acceptable method. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The effects of four methods of sterilization on the properties of silk fibroin films were investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Steam treatment leads to stiffer films but to lower transparency and variable surface topography. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Degradation of fibroin is enhanced in the films that were gamma-irradiated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The effects on mechanical properties are explained through changes in both primary and secondary structure of fibroin. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Gamma-irradiation and immersion in aqueous ethanol are suggested as preferred methods of sterilization.

  12. Effect of the sterilization method on the properties of Bombyx mori silk fibroin films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, Karina A.; Shadforth, Audra M.A.; Chirila, Traian V.; Laurent, Matthieu J.; Stephenson, Sally-Anne; Edwards, Grant A.; Madden, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    We have compared the effects of different sterilization techniques on the properties of Bombyx mori silk fibroin thin films with the view to subsequent use for corneal tissue engineering. The transparency, tensile properties, corneal epithelial cell attachment and degradation of the films were used to evaluate the suitability of certain sterilization techniques including gamma-irradiation (in air or nitrogen), steam treatment and immersion in aqueous ethanol. The investigations showed that gamma-irradiation, performed either in air or in a nitrogen atmosphere, did not significantly alter the properties of films. The films sterilized by gamma-irradiation or by immersion in ethanol had a transparency greater than 98% and tensile properties comparable to human cornea and amniotic membrane, the materials of choice in the reconstruction of ocular surface. Although steam-sterilization produced stronger, stiffer films, they were less transparent, and cell attachment was affected by the variable topography of these films. It was concluded that gamma-irradiation should be considered to be the most suitable method for the sterilization of silk fibroin films, however, the treatment with ethanol is also an acceptable method. - Highlights: ► The effects of four methods of sterilization on the properties of silk fibroin films were investigated. ► Steam treatment leads to stiffer films but to lower transparency and variable surface topography. ► Degradation of fibroin is enhanced in the films that were gamma-irradiated. ► The effects on mechanical properties are explained through changes in both primary and secondary structure of fibroin. ► Gamma-irradiation and immersion in aqueous ethanol are suggested as preferred methods of sterilization.

  13. Conductive Au nanowires regulated by silk fibroin nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Bo-Ju; Lu, Qiang

    2014-03-01

    Conductive Au-biopolymer composites have promising applications in tissue engineering such as nerve tissue regeneration. In this study, silk fibroin nanofibers were formed in aqueous solution by regulating silk self-assembly process and then used as template for Au nanowire fabrication. We performed the synthesis of Au seeds by repeating the seeding cycles for several times in order to increase the density of Au seeds on the nanofibers. After electroless plating, densely decorated Au seeds grew into irregularly shaped particles following silk nanofiber to fill the gaps between particles and finally form uniform continuous nanowires. The conductive property of the Au-silk fibroin nanowires was studied with current-voltage ( I-V) measurement. A typical ohmic behavior was observed, which highlighted their potential applications in nerve tissue regeneration.

  14. Silk-polypyrrole biocompatible actuator performance under biologically relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Jo'elen; Peterson, Ben; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    Biocompatible actuators that are capable of controlled movement and can function under biologically relevant conditions are of significant interest in biomedical fields. Previously, we have demonstrated that a composite material of silk biopolymer and the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy) can be formed into a bilayer device that can bend under applied voltage. Further, these silk-PPy composites can generate forces comparable to human muscle (>0.1 MPa) making them ideal candidates for interfacing with biological tissues. Here silk-PPy composite films are tested for performance under biologically relevant conditions including exposure to a complex protein serum and biologically relevant temperatures. Free-end bending actuation performance, current response, force generation and, mass degradation were investigated . Preliminary results show that when exposed to proteins and biologically relevant temperatures, these silk-PPy composites show minimal degradation and are able to generate forces and conduct currents comparable to devices tested under standard conditions. NSF.

  15. Native Silk Feedstock as a Model Biopolymer: A Rheological Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laity, Peter R; Holland, Chris

    2016-08-08

    Variability in silk's rheology is often regarded as an impediment to understanding or successfully copying the natural spinning process. We have previously reported such variability in unspun native silk extracted straight from the gland of the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori and discounted classical explanations such as differences in molecular weight and concentration. We now report that variability in oscillatory measurements can be reduced onto a simple master-curve through normalizing with respect to the crossover. This remarkable result suggests that differences between silk feedstocks are rheologically simple and not as complex as originally thought. By comparison, solutions of poly(ethylene-oxide) and hydroxypropyl-methyl-cellulose showed similar normalization behavior; however, the resulting curves were broader than for silk, suggesting greater polydispersity in the (semi)synthetic materials. Thus, we conclude Nature may in fact produce polymer feedstocks that are more consistent than typical man-made counterparts as a model for future rheological investigations.

  16. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  17. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Liang; Hedhammar, My; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus; Johansson, Jan; Habibovic, Pamela; van Blitterswijk, Clemens

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently,

  18. Silk scaffolds in bone tissue engineering: An overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Promita; Kundu, Banani; Naskar, Deboki; Kim, Hae-Won; Maiti, Tapas K; Bhattacharya, Debasis; Kundu, Subhas C

    2017-11-01

    Bone tissue plays multiple roles in our day-to-day functionality. The frequency of accidental bone damage and disorder is increasing worldwide. Moreover, as the world population continues to grow, the percentage of the elderly population continues to grow, which results in an increased number of bone degenerative diseases. This increased elderly population pushes the need for artificial bone implants that specifically employ biocompatible materials. A vast body of literature is available on the use of silk in bone tissue engineering. The current work presents an overview of this literature from materials and fabrication perspective. As silk is an easy-to-process biopolymer; this allows silk-based biomaterials to be molded into diverse forms and architectures, which further affects the degradability. This makes silk-based scaffolds suitable for treating a variety of bone reconstruction and regeneration objectives. Silk surfaces offer active sites that aid the mineralization and/or bonding of bioactive molecules that facilitate bone regeneration. Silk has also been blended with a variety of polymers and minerals to enhance its advantageous properties or introduce new ones. Several successful works, both in vitro and in vivo, have been reported using silk-based scaffolds to regenerate bone tissues or other parts of the skeletal system such as cartilage and ligament. A growing trend is observed toward the use of mineralized and nanofibrous scaffolds along with the development of technology that allows to control scaffold architecture, its biodegradability and the sustained releasing property of scaffolds. Further development of silk-based scaffolds for bone tissue engineering, taking them up to and beyond the stage of human trials, is hoped to be achieved in the near future through a cross-disciplinary coalition of tissue engineers, material scientists and manufacturing engineers. The state-of-art of silk biomaterials in bone tissue engineering, covering their wide

  19. Direct transfer of subwavelength plasmonic nanostructures on bioactive silk films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Dianmin; Tao, Hu; Trevino, Jacob; Mondia, Jessica P; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Dal Negro, Luca

    2012-11-27

    By a reusable transfer fabrication technique, we demonstrate high-fidelity fabrication of metal nanoparticles, optical nanoantennas, and nanohole arrays directly on a functional silk biopolymer. The ability to reproducibly pattern silk biopolymers with arbitrarily complex plasmonic arrays is of importance for a variety of applications in optical biosensing, tissue engineering, cell biology, and the development of novel bio-optoelectronic medical devices. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. [Study on the chemical constituents of flavones from corn silk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui-en; Xu, De-ping

    2007-02-01

    The three flavones were isolated from water extracts of corn silk by chromatography on macroporous resin, polyamide, ODS and Sephadex LH-20. Three compounds were identified as formononetin (7-hydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone) ( I ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rham-nosyl-6-C-( 3-deoxyglucosyl) -3 '-methoxyluteolin( II ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-( 6-deoxy-ax-5-methyl-xylo-hexos-4-ulosyl) -3'-methoxyluteolin( II ). Compounds ( I ) and ( II ) were isolated from the corn silk for the first time.

  1. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  2. Flexible and wearable electronic silk fabrics for human physiological monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Cuiping; Zhang, Huihui; Lu, Zhisong

    2017-09-01

    The development of textile-based devices for human physiological monitoring has attracted tremendous interest in recent years. However, flexible physiological sensing elements based on silk fabrics have not been realized. In this paper, ZnO nanorod arrays are grown in situ on reduced graphene oxide-coated silk fabrics via a facile electro-deposition method for the fabrication of silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing devices. The data show that well-aligned ZnO nanorods with hexagonal wurtzite crystalline structures are synthesized on the conductive silk fabric surface. After magnetron sputtering of gold electrodes, silk-fabric-based devices are produced and applied to detect periodic bending and twisting. Based on the electric signals, the deformation and release processes can be easily differentiated. Human arterial pulse and respiration can also be real-time monitored to calculate the pulse rate and respiration frequency, respectively. Throat vibrations during coughing and singing are detected to demonstrate the voice recognition capability. This work may not only help develop silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing elements for potential applications in clinical diagnosis, daily healthcare monitoring and voice recognition, but also provide a versatile method for fabricating textile-based flexible electronic devices.

  3. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  4. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Bombyx Mori Silk Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Y.; Martin, D. C.

    1997-03-01

    The microstructure of B. Mori silk fibers before and after degumming was examined by TEM, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), WAXS and low voltage SEM. SEM micrographs of the neat cocoon revealed a network of pairs of twisting filaments. After degumming, there were only individual filaments showing a surface texture consistent with an oriented fibrillar structure in the fiber interior. WAXS patterns confirmed the oriented beta-sheet crystal structure common to silkworm and spider silks. Low dose SAED results were fully consistent with the WAXS data, and revealed that the crystallographic texture did not vary significantly across the fiber diameter. TEM observations of microtomed fiber cross sections indicated a somewhat irregular shape, and also revealed a 0.5-2 micron sericin coating which was removed by the degumming process. TEM observations of the degummed silk fiber showed banded features with a characteristic spacing of nominally 600 nm along the fiber axis. These bands were oriented in a roughly parabolic or V-shape pointing along one axis within a given fiber. We hypothesize that this orientation is induced by the extrusion during the spinning process. Equatorial DF images revealed that axial and lateral sizes of the β-sheet crystallites in silk fibroin ranged from 20 to 170 nm and from 1 to 24 nm, respectively. Crazes developed in the degummed silk fiber parallel to the fiber direction. The formation of these crazes suggests that there are significant lateral interactions between fibrils in silk fibers.

  5. Engagement and contestation: The entangled imagery of the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timur Dadabaev

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable debate over how and in what form Central Asian (CA states should conduct relations among each other and with other post-Soviet states. The notion of the “Silk Road” has become one of the symbols of extended economic and political cooperation. Notably, however, Japan (Silk Road Diplomacy, 1996–1999, China (One Belt, One Road [OBOR] or the Belt and Road initiative [BRI] and South Korea (Silk Road Strategy, 2011 have used the rhetoric of reviving the Silk Road to imply closer engagement with the CA region but with different connotations. This paper focuses on the formation of this discourse of engagement with the CA region through the notion of the Silk Road in China, South Korea and Japan and raises the following questions: What are the approaches that facilitate the most effective ways of engaging CA states under this “Silk Road” rhetoric? What are the principles that have detrimental effects on the successes and failures of the engagement of China, Japan and South Korea? The primary objective of this paper is to address these questions and to stimulate debate among both academics and policy makers on the formats of engagement and cooperation in Eurasia.

  6. Development and Evaluation of Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microsphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narinder Singh

    Full Text Available Aim: Current experimental investigation is dedicated to prepare microspheres with small size and good sphericity by Phase Separation method using Isoniazid (INH as model drug. Silk fibroin has unique intrinsic qualities like biodegradability, biocompatibility or release properties and their tunable drug loading capacity. The delivery loading proficiency of the drug molecules in silk spheres be contingent on their charge, and hydrophobicity or subsequent in altered drug release profiles. Methods: In the present work Isoniazid loaded silk fibroin microsphere was prepared by using phase separation method. Microsphere was evaluated for Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, Entrapment efficiency, Scanning electron microscopy Studies. Results: Scanning electron microscopy studies revealed that Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microspheres were spherical. Entrapment Efficiency of Isoniazid loaded Microspheres of different Formulation from F1 to F5 was in range of 53 to 68 %. F3 showed 68.47 % entrapment Efficiency and the optimized formulation drug release was 93.56 % at 24 hours. Conclusion: Experimental report disclosed a new aqueous based formulation method for silk spheres with controllable shape or size and sphere. Isoniazid loaded silk microspheres may act as ideal nano formulation with elaborated studies.

  7. Recombinant spider silk genetically functionalized with affinity domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Ronnie; Thatikonda, Naresh; Lindberg, Diana; Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan; Nygren, Per-Åke; Hedhammar, My

    2014-05-12

    Functionalization of biocompatible materials for presentation of active protein domains is an area of growing interest. Herein, we describe a strategy for functionalization of recombinant spider silk via gene fusion to affinity domains of broad biotechnological use. Four affinity domains of different origin and structure; the IgG-binding domains Z and C2, the albumin-binding domain ABD, and the biotin-binding domain M4, were all successfully produced as soluble silk fusion proteins under nondenaturing purification conditions. Silk films and fibers produced from the fusion proteins were demonstrated to be chemically and thermally stable. Still, the bioactive domains are concluded to be folded and accessible, since their respective targets could be selectively captured from complex samples, including rabbit serum and human plasma. Interestingly, materials produced from mixtures of two different silk fusion proteins displayed combined binding properties, suggesting that tailor-made materials with desired stoichiometry and surface distributions of several binding domains can be produced. Further, use of the IgG binding ability as a general mean for presentation of desired biomolecules could be demonstrated for a human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF) model system, via a first capture of anti-VEGF IgG to silk containing the Z-domain, followed by incubation with hVEGF. Taken together, this study demonstrates the potential of recombinant silk, genetically functionalized with affinity domains, for construction of biomaterials capable of presentation of almost any desired biomolecule.

  8. Facial Diversity and Infant Preferences for Attractive Faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langlois, Judith H.; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Three studies examined infant preferences for attractive faces of White males, White females, Black females, and infants. Infants viewed pairs of faces rated for attractiveness by adults. Preferences for attractive faces were found for all facial types. (BC)

  9. Determination of Na, Mn and Cu in cocoon, raw silk and degummed silk by nondestructive activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maki, Y; Ishiguro, Y [Industrial Research Inst. of Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama (Japan)

    1976-01-01

    The sodium, manganese and copper contained in cocoons, raw silk and degummed silk thread were determined by the nondestructive activation analysis. After each sample was irradiated with the thermal neutron flux of 5 x 10/sup 11/n/cm/sup 2/.sec, its ..gamma..-ray spectrum was measured with a NaI(Tl) detector. With the photoelectric peaks at 511 keV (/sup 64/Cu), 1368 keV (/sup 24/Na) and 847 keV (/sup 56/Mn), each element was quantitatively determined and its content was obtained. The measurement of the ..gamma..-ray spectra of samples with a Ge (Li) detector proved the presence of An, Sb, Fe, Zn, Cr, Sc, Co, etc. Large amounts of Na and Cu were detected in the sericin portion of cocoons, and the adhesion of Cu from a reeling-off machine to raw silk was also observed during the process of degumming cocoons to make raw silk.

  10. Electricity from the Silk Cocoon Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulachan, Brindan; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Rai, Ratan Kumar; Mallick, Chandrakant; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Teotia, Arun Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Sinha, Neeraj; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2014-01-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraea mylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management. PMID:24961354

  11. Gender Preference in Primary School Enrolment among ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Gender Preference in Primary School Enrolment among Households in Northern ... Narrowing and eliminating enrolment gaps between male and female ... that income level of the household head, number of male and female children of ...

  12. Silla Art and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwangshik Choe

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Western and Indian features found in Silla art, whether they came from the Western border regions of China or through a connection with China, it is recognized that there was both a direct and indirect a relationship between Silla, the West, and India. Many scholars have been interested in these aspects, conducting various studies as these factors played a large part in defining the origin of ancient culture and the process of harmonization between cultures. Through the Silk Road scholars are able to identify how Western cultures and civilizations were introduced to the Silla Dynasty. As the Korean peninsula has been a nexus for exchange between the East and the West, this paper aims to understand the meaning of the “Silk Road” and examines the actual state of cultural exchange at this historical site. Through artifacts excavated from Hwangnamdae-ch’ong (especially glass products, it has been determined that the Western and Western bordering countries of China culturally influenced the art of Silla. They also clearly prove that Buddhist sculptures from India and the Western bordering countries of China had a great impact on Silla art as well. Through these findings, it can be confirmed that from ancient times the influence of many cultures including China, the West, and the Western bordering countries of China had an impact on Korean culture. Particularly, Indian Buddhism which flowed into China and the Korea peninsula participated in the development of Silla culture and also played a significant role in the formation of traditional Korean culture.

  13. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Amanda E

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  14. The potential of silk and silk-like proteins as natural mucoadhesive biopolymers for controlled drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Brooks

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1 deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2 promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3 prolong the drug’s local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  15. Natural Silk as a Photonics Component: a Study on Its Light Guiding and Nonlinear Optical Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Kujala, Sami; Mannila, Anna; Karvonen, Lasse; Kieu, Khanh; Sun, Zhipei

    2016-01-01

    Silk fibers are expected to become a pathway to biocompatible and bioresorbable waveguides, which could be used to deliver localized optical power for various applications, e.g., optical therapy or imaging inside living tissue. Here, for the first time, the linear and nonlinear optical properties of natural silk fibers have been studied. The waveguiding properties of silk fibroin of largely unprocessed Bombyx mori silkworm silk are assessed using two complementary methods, and found to be on ...

  16. Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement of a Large Anonymous Online Marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather...analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international on- line marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We...anonymity, Silk Road needs to also preserve payment anonymity. To that effect, Silk Road only supports Bitcoin (BTC, [30]) as a trading currency

  17. Multifunctional surface modification of silk fabric via graphene oxide repeatedly coating and chemical reduction method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jiliang; Wang, Chaoxia

    2017-05-01

    Multifunctional silk fabrics with electrical conductive, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent were successfully prepared by surface modification with graphene oxide (GO). The yellow-brown GO deposited on the surface of silk fabric was converted into graphitic black reduced graphene (RGO) by sodium hydrosulfite. The surface properties of silk fabrics were changed by repeatedly RGO coating process, which have been proved by SEM and XPS. The SEM results showed that the RGO sheets were successive form a continuously thin film on the surface of silk fabrics, and the deposition of GO or RGO also can be proved by XPS. The electrical conductivity was tested by electrical surface resistance value of the silk fabric, the surface resistance decreased with increasing of RGO surface modification times, and a low surface resistance value reached to 3.24 KΩ cm-1 after 9 times of modification, indicating the silk obtained excellent conductivity. The UPF value of one time GO modification silk fabric (silk-1RGO) was enhanced significantly to 24.45 in comparison to 10.40 of original silk. The contact angle of RGO coating silk samples was all above of 120°. The durability of RGO coated silk fabrics was tested by laundering. The electrical surface resistance of silk-4RGO (65.74 KΩ cm-1), silk-6RGO (15.54 KΩ cm-1) and silk-8RGO (3.86 KΩ cm-1) fabrics was up to 86.82, 22.30 and 6.57 KΩ cm-1 after 10 times of standard washing, respectively. The UPF value, contact angle and color differences of RGO modified silk fabric slightly changed before and after 10 times of standard washing. Therefore, the washing fastness of electric conduction, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent multifunctional silk fabrics was excellent.

  18. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

  19. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  20. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Correlation between fibroin amino acid sequence and physical silk properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedic, Robert; Zurovec, Michal; Sehnal, Frantisek

    2003-09-12

    The fiber properties of lepidopteran silk depend on the amino acid repeats that interact during H-fibroin polymerization. The aim of our research was to relate repeat composition to insect biology and fiber strength. Representative regions of the H-fibroin genes were sequenced and analyzed in three pyralid species: wax moth (Galleria mellonella), European flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella), and Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). The amino acid repeats are species-specific, evidently a diversification of an ancestral region of 43 residues, and include three types of regularly dispersed motifs: modifications of GSSAASAA sequence, stretches of tripeptides GXZ where X and Z represent bulky residues, and sequences similar to PVIVIEE. No concatenations of GX dipeptide or alanine, which are typical for Bombyx silkworms and Antheraea silk moths, respectively, were found. Despite different repeat structure, the silks of G. mellonella and E. kuehniella exhibit similar tensile strength as the Bombyx and Antheraea silks. We suggest that in these latter two species, variations in the repeat length obstruct repeat alignment, but sufficiently long stretches of iterated residues get superposed to interact. In the pyralid H-fibroins, interactions of the widely separated and diverse motifs depend on the precision of repeat matching; silk is strong in G. mellonella and E. kuehniella, with 2-3 types of long homogeneous repeats, and nearly 10 times weaker in P. interpunctella, with seven types of shorter erratic repeats. The high proportion of large amino acids in the H-fibroin of pyralids has probably evolved in connection with the spinning habit of caterpillars that live in protective silk tubes and spin continuously, enlarging the tubes on one end and partly devouring the other one. The silk serves as a depot of energetically rich and essential amino acids that may be scarce in the diet.

  2. 'Surfing the Silk Road': a study of users' experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hout, Marie Claire; Bingham, Tim

    2013-11-01

    The online drug marketplace called 'Silk Road' has operated anonymously on the 'Deep Web' since 2011. It is accessible through computer encrypting software (Tor) and is supported by online transactions using peer to peer anonymous and untraceable crypto-currency (Bit Coins). The study aimed to describe user motives and realities of accessing, navigating and purchasing on the 'Silk Road' marketplace. Systematic online observations, monitoring of discussion threads on the site during four months of fieldwork and analysis of anonymous online interviews (n=20) with a convenience sample of adult 'Silk Road' users was conducted. The majority of participants were male, in professional employment or in tertiary education. Drug trajectories ranged from 18 months to 25 years, with favourite drugs including MDMA, 2C-B, mephedrone, nitrous oxide, ketamine, cannabis and cocaine. Few reported prior experience of online drug sourcing. Reasons for utilizing 'Silk Road' included curiosity, concerns for street drug quality and personal safety, variety of products, anonymous transactioning, and ease of product delivery. Vendor selection appeared to be based on trust, speed of transaction, stealth modes and quality of product. Forums on the site provided user advice, trip reports, product and transaction reviews. Some users reported solitary drug use for psychonautic and introspective purposes. A minority reported customs seizures, and in general a displacement away from traditional drug sourcing (street and closed markets) was described. Several reported intentions to commence vending on the site. The study provides an insight into 'Silk Road' purchasing motives and processes, the interplay between traditional and 'Silk Road' drug markets, the 'Silk Road' online community and its communication networks. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Preferences for ARV-based HIV prevention methods among men and women, adolescent girls and female sex workers in Gauteng Province, South Africa: a protocol for a discrete choice experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaife, Matthew; Eakle, Robyn; Cabrera, Maria; Vickerman, Peter; Tsepe, Motlalepule; Cianci, Fiona; Delany-Moretlwe, Sinead; Terris-Prestholt, Fern

    2016-06-27

    For the past few decades, condoms have been the main method of HIV prevention. Recent advances in antiretroviral (ARV)-based prevention products have substantially changed the prevention landscape, yet little is known about how popular these products will be among potential users, or whether new methods might be used in conjunction with, or instead of, condoms. This study will use a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to (1) explore potential users' preferences regarding HIV prevention products, (2) quantify the importance of product attributes and (3) predict the uptake of products to inform estimates of their potential impact on the HIV epidemic in South Africa. We consider preferences for oral pre-exposure prophylaxis; a vaginal microbicide gel; a long-acting vaginal ring; a SILCS diaphragm used in concert with gel; and a long-acting ARV-based injectable. This study will gather data from 4 populations: 200 women, 200 men, 200 adolescent girls (aged 16-17 years) and 200 female sex workers. The DCE attributes and design will be developed through a literature review, supplemented by a thematic analysis of qualitative focus group discussions. Extensive piloting will be carried out in each population through semistructured interviews. The final survey will be conducted using computer tablets via a household sample (for women, men and adolescents) and respondent-driven sampling (for female sex workers), and DCE data analysed using a range of multinomial logit models. This study has been approved by the University of the Witwatersrand Human Research Ethics Committee and the Research Ethics Committee at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Findings will be presented to international conferences and peer-reviewed journals. Meetings will be held with opinion leaders in South Africa, while results will be disseminated to participants in Ekurhuleni through a public meeting or newsletter. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where

  4. [Engineered spider silk: the intelligent biomaterial of the future. Part I].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florczak, Anna; Piekoś, Konrad; Kaźmierska, Katarzyna; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozłowska, Hanna

    2011-06-17

    The unique properties of spider silk such as strength, extensibility, toughness, biocompatibility and biodegradability are the reasons for the recent development in silk biomaterial technology. For a long time scientific progress was impeded by limited access to spider silk. However, the development of the molecular biology strategy was a breaking point in synthetic spider silk protein design. The sequences of engineered spider silk are based on the consensus motives of the corresponding natural equivalents. Moreover, the engineered silk proteins may be modified in order to gain a new function. The strategy of the hybrid proteins constructed on the DNA level combines the sequence of engineered silk, which is responsible for the biomaterial structure, with the sequence of polypeptide which allows functionalization of the silk biomaterial. The functional domains may comprise receptor binding sites, enzymes, metal or sugar binding sites and others. Currently, advanced research is being conducted, which on the one hand focuses on establishing the particular silk structure and understanding the process of silk thread formation in nature. On the other hand, there are attempts to improve methods of engineered spider silk protein production. Due to acquired knowledge and recent progress in synthetic protein technology, the engineered silk will turn into intelligent biomaterial of the future, while its industrial production scale will trigger a biotechnological revolution.

  5. Effects of Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and silk clipping in field corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckel, Sandy; Stewart, S D; Tindall, K V

    2013-10-01

    Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) is an emerging silk-feeding insect found in fields in the lower Corn Belt and Midsouthern United States. Studies were conducted in 2010 and 2011 to evaluate how silk clipping in corn affects pollination and yield parameters. Manually clipping silks once daily had modest effects on yield parameters. Sustained clipping by either manually clipping silks three times per day or by caging Japanese beetles onto ears affected total kernel weight if it occurred during early silking (R1 growth stage). Manually clipping silks three times per day for the first 5 d of silking affected the number of kernels per ear, total kernel weight, and the weight of individual kernels. Caged beetles fed on silks and, depending on the number of beetles caged per ear, reduced the number of kernels per ear. Caging eight beetles per ear significantly reduced total kernel weight compared with noninfested ears. Drought stress before anthesis appeared to magnify the impact of silk clipping by Japanese beetles. There was evidence of some compensation for reduced pollination by increasing the size of pollinated kernels within the ear. Our results showed that it requires sustained silk clipping during the first week of silking to have substantial impacts on pollination and yield parameters, at least under good growing conditions. Some states recommend treating for Japanese beetle when three Japanese beetles per ear are found, silks are clipped to < 13 mm, and pollination is < 50% complete, and that recommendation appears to be adequate.

  6. The inflammatory responses to silk films in vitro and in vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meinel, L.; Hofmann, S.; Karageorgiou, V.; Kirker-Head, C.; McCool, J.; Gronowicz, G.; Zichner, L.; Langer, R.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    Silks have a long history of biomedical use as sutures. Silk can be purified, chemically modified to attach RGD sequences and processed into highly porous scaffolds for tissue engineering. We report biocompatibility studies of silk films (with or without covalently bound RGD) that were seeded with

  7. The effect of thyroxine on silk gland and the effect of two thyroxine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influence of feeding mulberry leaves treated with thyroxine to the growth of the silk gland, and the effect of two different mulberry species, that is, Morus nigra and Morus multicaulis treated with thyroxine on silk quality in the silkworm were studied. The silk glands from thyroxine treated Bombyx mori larvae weighed ...

  8. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline and amorphous (helical structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size, on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain. The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  9. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S [Department of Physics and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Park, Jin Gyu [FAMU-FSU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, High-Performance Materials Institute, Florida State University, 2005 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G [FAMU-FSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Branco Lopes, Elsa [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear/CFMC-UL, P-2686-953 Sacavem (Portugal); Englander, Ongi, E-mail: esteven@magnet.fsu.edu [FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, Florida 32310 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of {beta}-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and {beta}-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of {beta}-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  10. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G; Branco Lopes, Elsa; Englander, Ongi

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  11. Adsorption Properties of Lac Dyes on Wool, Silk, and Nylon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been growing interest in the dyeing of textiles with natural dyes. The research about the adsorption properties of natural dyes can help to understand their adsorption mechanism and to control their dyeing process. This study is concerned with the kinetics and isotherms of adsorption of lac dyes on wool, silk, and nylon fibers. It was found that the adsorption kinetics of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the pseudosecond-order kinetic model, and the adsorption rate of lac dyes was the fastest for silk and the slowest for wool. The activation energies for the adsorption process on wool, silk, and nylon were found to be 107.15, 87.85, and 45.31 kJ/mol, respectively. The adsorption of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the Langmuir mechanism, indicating that the electrostatic interactions between lac dyes and those fibers occurred. The saturation values for lac adsorption on the three fibers decreased in the order of wool > silk > nylon; the Langmuir affinity constant of lac adsorption on nylon was much higher than those on wool and silk.

  12. Biomaterials Derived from Silk-Tropoelastin Protein Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Wang, Xiuli; Rnjak, Jelena; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2010-01-01

    A structural protein blend system based on silkworm silk fibroin and recombinant human tropoelastin is described. Silk fibroin, a semicrystalline fibrous protein with beta-sheet crystals provides mechanical strength and controllable biodegradation, while tropoelastin, a noncrystallizable elastic protein provides elasticity. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) indicated that silk becomes miscible with tropoelastin at different blend ratios, without macrophase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed secondary structural changes of the blend system (beta-sheet content) before and after methanol treatment. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) nano-indentation demonstrated that blending silk and tropoelastin at different ratios resulted in modification of mechanical features, with resilience from ~68% to ~97%, and elastic modulus between 2~9Mpa, depending on the ratio of the two polymers. Some of these values are close to those of native aortic elastin or elastin-like polypeptides. Significantly, during blending and drying silk-tropoelastin form micro- and nano-scale porous morphologies which promote human mesenchymal stem cell attachment and proliferation. These blends offer a new protein biomaterial system for cell support and tailored biomaterial properties to match mechanical needs. PMID:20674969

  13. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree; Kerdchoechuen, Orapin

    2011-06-01

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25 C for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10 C with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks

  14. Extracted sericin from silk waste for film formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rungsinee Sothornvit

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Sericin is the second main component in cocoons, which are removed in the silk reeling process of the raw silk industry and in the silk waste degumming of the spun silk industry. The main amino acid of sericin, serine, exhibits a skin moisturing and antiwrinkle action, which is interesting to use for film formation in this study. The extraction conditions of sericin from two silk wastes, pieced cocoon and inferior knubbs were studied to find the optimum extraction conditions. Boiling water extraction was considered based on the response surface methodology (RSM in order to identify the important factors for the sericin extraction. The two factors considered were time and temperature. Both factors were needed to be independent parameters in the predicted equation in order to improve the model fit with R2 = 0.84. The components ofextracted sericin were 18.24% serine, 9.83% aspatate, and 5.51% glycine with a molecular weight of 132 kDa. Film formationfrom extracted sericin was carried out to find the optimum conditions. Extracted sericin could not form a stand-alonefilm. Therefore, polysaccharide polymers, such as glucomannan, were incorporated with glycerol to form a flexible film.Sericin-based films were characterized for its properties in terms of solubility and permeability before application. It wasfound that sericin-based films showed a film flexibility and solubility without an increasing film water vapor permeability.

  15. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree [Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology, Nakhon Nayok, (Thailand); Kerdchoechuen, Orapin [School of Bioresources and Technology, King Mongkuts University, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2011-06-15

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25{sup C} for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10{sup C} with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks.

  16. Patients' preferences for nurses' gender in Jordan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Muayyad M; Alasad, Jafar A

    2007-08-01

    The purpose of the study was to examine patients' preferences for nurses' gender in Jordan. The public, private and university hospitals are represented by selecting one major hospital from each health sector. The sample size was 919 participants. Data were collected by a questionnaire through standardized individual interviews with patients. The findings of the study indicate that gender preferences are stronger among female patients than among male patients. Furthermore, two-thirds of female patients preferred female nurses, whereas only 3.4% preferred male nurses to care for them. In contrast, one-third of male patients' preferred male nurses, and only 10% preferred female nurses. The authors recommend that the high percentage of male nursing students need to be reconsidered by health policy-makers in Jordan.

  17. The effects of rearing conditions on sexual traits and preferences in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne

    2008-01-01

    Although theory predicts that females should prefer the highest quality male, female mating preferences within populations often show pronounced variation. What causes and maintains this variation remains poorly understood. This thesis addresses the influence of rearing conditions both on female

  18. Addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk scaffolds improves mammalian cell activity while reducing bacterial growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Chung

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Silk possesses many beneficial wound healing properties, and electrospun scaffolds are especially applicable for skin applications, due to their smaller interstices and higher surface areas compared to non-electrospun equivalents. However, purified silk promotes microbial growth. In contrast, selenium nanoparticles have excellent antibacterial properties and are a novel antimicrobial chemistry. Here, electrospun silk scaffolds were doped with selenium nanoparticles to impart antibacterial properties to the silk scaffolds. Results showed significantly improved bacterial inhibition and improvement in human dermal fibroblast metabolic activity. These results suggest that the addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk is a promising approach to improve wound healing with reduced infection, without relying on antibiotics.

  19. Rapid nano impact printing of silk biopolymer thin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Robert D.; Gray, Caprice; Mandelup, Ethan; Amsden, Jason J.; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2011-11-01

    In this paper, nano impact printing of silk biopolymer films is described. An indenter is rapidly accelerated and transfers the nanopattern from a silicon master into the silk film during an impact event that occurs in less than 1 ms. Contact stresses of greater than 100 MPa can be achieved during the short impact period with low power and inexpensive hardware. Ring shaped features with a diameter of 2 µm and a ring width of 100-200 nm were successfully transferred into untreated silk films using this method at room temperature. Mechanical modeling was carried out to determine the contact stress distribution, and demonstrates that imprinting can occur for contact stresses of less than 2 MPa. Thermal characterization at the impact location shows that raising the temperature to 70 °C has only a limited effect on pattern transfer. Contact stresses of greater than approximately 100 MPa result in excessive deformation of the film and poor pattern transfer.

  20. Rapid nano impact printing of silk biopolymer thin films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Robert D; Gray, Caprice; Mandelup, Ethan; Amsden, Jason J; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, nano impact printing of silk biopolymer films is described. An indenter is rapidly accelerated and transfers the nanopattern from a silicon master into the silk film during an impact event that occurs in less than 1 ms. Contact stresses of greater than 100 MPa can be achieved during the short impact period with low power and inexpensive hardware. Ring shaped features with a diameter of 2 µm and a ring width of 100–200 nm were successfully transferred into untreated silk films using this method at room temperature. Mechanical modeling was carried out to determine the contact stress distribution, and demonstrates that imprinting can occur for contact stresses of less than 2 MPa. Thermal characterization at the impact location shows that raising the temperature to 70 °C has only a limited effect on pattern transfer. Contact stresses of greater than approximately 100 MPa result in excessive deformation of the film and poor pattern transfer.

  1. Beneficial Effects of Corn Silk on Metabolic Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bing; Xiao, Tiegang; Ruan, Jun; Liu, Wensheng

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a very common medical problem worldwide. It includes obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and abnormal levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It is closely associated with insulin resistance and may lead to diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, or cardiovascular diseases. Corn silk (CS), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to have multiple beneficial effects, including hypotensive, anti-diabetic, and hypolipidemic properties. This suggests that corn silk could be used to treat or prevent metabolic syndrome. In this review, we will discuss the potential role of corn silk in different components of metabolic syndrome. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  2. Fabrication and characterization of biomaterial film from gland silk of muga and eri silkworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Saranga; Talukdar, Bijit; Bharali, Rupjyoti; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Devi, Dipali

    2013-05-01

    This study discusses the possibilities of liquid silk (Silk gland silk) of Muga and Eri silk, the indigenous non mulberry silkworms of North Eastern region of India, as potential biomaterials. Silk protein fibroin of Bombyx mori, commonly known as mulberry silkworm, has been extensively studied as a versatile biomaterial. As properties of different silk-based biomaterials vary significantly, it is important to characterize the non mulberry silkworms also in this aspect. Fibroin was extracted from the posterior silk gland of full grown fifth instars larvae, and 2D film was fabricated using standard methods. The films were characterized using SEM, Dynamic contact angle test, FTIR, XRD, DSC, and TGA and compared with respective silk fibers. SEM images of films reveal presence of some globules and filamentous structure. Films of both the silkworms were found to be amorphous with random coil conformation, hydrophobic in nature, and resistant to organic solvents. Non mulberry silk films had higher thermal resistance than mulberry silk. Fibers were thermally more stable than the films. This study provides insight into the new arena of research in application of liquid silk of non mulberry silkworms as biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Xiao; Qiu Yiwei; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  4. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao, Wang; Yiwei, Qiu; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  5. The osteogenic potential of mesoporous bioglasses/silk and non-mesoporous bioglasses/silk scaffolds in ovariectomized rats: in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Cheng

    Full Text Available Silk-based scaffolds have been introduced to bone tissue regeneration for years, however, their local therapeutic efficiency in bone metabolic disease condition has been seldom reported. According to our previous report, mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG/silk scaffolds exhibits superior in vitro bioactivity and in vivo osteogenic properties compared to non-mesoporous bioactive glass (BG/silk scaffolds, but no information could be found about their efficiency in osteoporotic (OVX environment. This study investigated a biomaterial-based approach for improving MSCs behavior in vitro, and accelerating OVX defect healing by using 3D BG/silk and MBG/silk scaffolds, and pure silk scaffolds as control. The results of SEM, CCK-8 assay and quantitative ALP activity showed that MBG/silk scaffolds can improve attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of both O-MSCs and sham control. In vivo therapeutic efficiency was evaluated by μCT analysis, hematoxylin and eosin staining, safranin O staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, indicating accelerated bone formation with compatible scaffold degradation and reduced osteoclastic response of defect healing in OVX rats after 2 and 4 weeks treatment, with a rank order of MBG/silk > BG/silk > silk group. Immunohistochemical markers of COL I, OPN, BSP and OCN also revealed that MBG/silk scaffolds can better induce accelerated collagen and non-collagen matrix production. The findings of this study suggest that MBG/silk scaffolds provide a better environment for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation, and act as potential substitute for treating local osteoporotic defects.

  6. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Khanpour*

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan. The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temperature of 90-95 °C on magnetic stirrer for 30 min. The levels of allantoin in aqueous extracts were determined by HPLC. Quantification was achieved using an C18 column (250×4.6 mm, 5 µm under isocratic conditions and phosphate buffer solution (pH 3.0 as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. Column effluent was monitored at 210 nm. The calibration curve of allantoin standard was plotted with concentrations from 6.25 to 100 µg/mL. Results: The calibration curve of standard was linear over the concentration range used (R2=0.9999. The results showed that the amount of allantoin in samples was between 205 and 374 mg/100g of dry plant material. The corn silk samples of Razavi Khorasan and Fars provinces showed the lowest and highest amount of allantoin, respectively. Conclusion: The levels of allantoin obtained in this study were higher than the values reported in other studies; therefore, the researchers of this project are investigating the wound healing effect of corn silk.

  7. Design and Optimization of Resorbable Silk Internal Fixation Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Dylan S.

    Limitations of current material options for internal fracture fixation devices have resulted in a large gap between user needs and hardware function. Metal systems offer robust mechanical strength and ease of implantation but require secondary surgery for removal and/or result in long-term complications (infection, palpability, sensitivity, etc.). Current resorbable devices eliminate the need for second surgery and long-term complications but are still associated with negative host response as well as limited functionality and more difficult implantation. There is a definitive need for orthopedic hardware that is mechanically capable of immediate fracture stabilization and fracture fixation during healing, can safely biodegrade while allowing complete bone remodeling, can be resterilized for reuse, and is easily implantable (self-tapping). Previous work investigated the use of silk protein to produce resorbable orthopedic hardware for non- load bearing fracture fixation. In this study, silk orthopedic hardware was further investigated and optimized in order to better understand the ability of silk as a fracture fixation system and more closely meet the unfulfilled market needs. Solvent-based and aqueous-based silk processing formulations were cross-linked with methanol to induce beta sheet structure, dried, autoclaved and then machined to the desired device/geometry. Silk hardware was evaluated for dry, hydrated and fatigued (cyclic) mechanical properties, in vitro degradation, resterilization, functionalization with osteoinductive molecules and implantation technique for fracture fixation. Mechanical strength showed minor improvements from previous results, but remains comparable to current resorbable fixation systems with the advantages of self-tapping ability for ease of implantation, full degradation in 10 months, ability to be resterilized and reused, and ability to release molecules for osteoinudction. In vivo assessment confirmed biocompatibility, showed

  8. Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-02

    inert  atmosphere  (N2   gas   flow  rate  of  100  mL/min).  Changes   in  weight  percentage  during   temperature...Performance 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01-06-2012 to 31-05-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behaviour 5a...deploy the huge range in mechanical behaviour between different silk species and intra-species varieties. In particular, I set out to formulate a

  9. Corn silk induced cyclooxygenase-2 in murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung A; Shin, Hyun-Hee; Choi, Sang Kyu; Choi, Hye-Seon

    2005-10-01

    Stimulation of murine macrophages with corn silk induced cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 with secretion of PGE2. Expression of COX-2 was inhibited by pyrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), and increased DNA binding by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), indicating that COX-2 induction proceeds also via the NF-kappaB signaling pathway. A specific inhibitor of COX-2 decreased the expression level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) stimulated by corn silk. PGE2 elevated the expression level of iNOS, probably via EP2 and EP4 receptors on the surface of the macrophages.

  10. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  11. Structure determination of spider silk from X-ray images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulrich, Stephan; Zippelius, Annette [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik (Germany); Meling, Martin [Max-Planck-Institut fuer biophysikalische Chemie, Goettingen (Germany); Glisovic, Anja; Salditt, Tim [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Roentgenphysik (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    Spider silk consists of interconnected crystallites, which are typically aligned along the fiber axis. We present a method to systematically determine the structure of these crystallites. Hereby we introduce a model that calculates the scattering function G(q) which is fitted to the measured X-ray image (silk from nephila clavipes). With it, the crystallites' size, the constitution and dimensions of their unit cell, as well as their tilt with respect to the fiber axis is identified, and furthermore the effect of coherent scattering from different crystallites is investigated. The shown methods and the presented model can easily be generalized to a wide class of composite materials.

  12. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  13. Enhancing analysis of cells and proteins by fluorescence imaging on silk-based biomaterials: modulating the autofluorescence of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neo, Puay Yong; Tan, Daryl Jian-An; Shi, Pujiang; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James Cho-Hong

    2015-02-01

    Silk is a versatile and established biomaterial for various tissue engineering purposes. However, it also exhibits strong autofluorescence signals-thereby hindering fluorescence imaging analysis of cells and proteins on silk-derived biomaterials. Sudan Black B (SB) is a lysochrome dye commonly used to stain lipids in histology. It has also been reported to be able to quench autofluorescence of tissues in histology and has been tested on artificial biomedical polymers in recent years. It was hypothesized that SB would exert similar quenching effects on silk, modulating the autofluorescence signals, and thereby enabling improved imaging analysis of cells and molecules of interests. The quenching effect of SB on the intrinsic fluorescence properties of silk and on commercial fluorescent dyes were first investigated in this study. SB was then incorporated into typical fluorescence-based staining protocols to study its effectiveness in improving fluorescence-based imaging of the cells and proteins residing with the silk-based biomaterials. Silk processed into various forms of biomaterials (e.g., films, sponges, fibers, and electrospun mats) was seeded with cells and cultured in vitro. At sacrificial time points, specimens were harvested, fixed, and prepared for fluorescence staining. SB, available commercially as a powder, was dissolved in 70% ethanol (0.3% [w/v]) to form staining solutions. SB treatment was introduced at the last step of typical immunofluorescence staining protocols for 15-120 min. For actin staining protocols by phalloidin toxin, SB staining solutions were added before and after permeabilization with Triton-X for 15-30 min. Results showed that ideal SB treatment duration is about 15 min. Apart from being able to suppress the autofluorescence of silk, this treatment duration was also not too long to adversely affect the fluorescent labeling probes used. The relative improvement brought about by SB treatment was most evident in the blue and green

  14. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingi Agnarsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41,000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200,000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to 'blindly fishing' in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? METHODOLOGY: We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy 'Darwin's bark spider' (Caerostris darwini, which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m(2 suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m(3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m(3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. CONCLUSIONS: Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web

  15. Social preferences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gulløv, Eva

    2014-01-01

    The focus of this article is social divisions among preschool children in daycare centers. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in three daycare centers in Denmark, the analysis concerns young children’s social preferences. The ethnographic material shows that despite an explicit political ambition...... of daycares as means for social and cultural integration, lines of division do exist amongst the children. Such divisions are established in the daily interactions of the daycare, but they also reflect those of the broader society. With a focus on children’s interactions and social preferences, the material...... indicates that children’s choices of playmates run along lines of ethnic and class divisions. The article will address this pattern and analyze its causes in order to understand why such lines of divisions are to be found in an institutional context designed to overcome social inequality and prevent social...

  16. Response of human corneal fibroblasts on silk film surface patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Marchant, Jeff; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-06-11

    Transparent, biodegradable, mechanically robust, and surface-patterned silk films were evaluated for the effect of surface morphology on human corneal fibroblast (hCF) cell proliferation, orientation, and ECM deposition and alignment. A series of dimensionally different surface groove patterns were prepared from optically graded glass substrates followed by casting poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) replica molds. The features on the patterned silk films showed an array of asymmetric triangles and displayed 37-342 nm depths and 445-3 582 nm widths. hCF DNA content on all patterned films were not significantly different from that on flat silk films after 4 d in culture. However, the depth and width of the grooves influenced cell alignment, while the depth differences affected cell orientation; overall, deeper and narrower grooves induced more hCF orientation. Over 14 d in culture, cell layers and actin filament organization demonstrated that confluent hCFs and their cytoskeletal filaments were oriented along the direction of the silk film patterned groove axis. Collagen type V and proteoglycans (decorin and biglycan), important markers of corneal stromal tissue, were highly expressed with alignment. Understanding corneal stromal fibroblast responses to surface features on a protein-based biomaterial applicable in vivo for corneal repair potential suggests options to improve corneal tissue mimics. Further, the approaches provide fundamental biomaterial designs useful for bioengineering oriented tissue layers, an endemic feature in most biological tissue structures that lead to critical tissue functions.

  17. Visual responses of corn silk flies (Diptera: Ulidiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn silk flies are major pests impacting fresh market sweet corn production in Florida and Georgia. Control depends solely on well-times applications of insecticides to protect corn ear development. Surveillance depends on visual inspection of ears with no effective trapping methods currently ava...

  18. Antibiotic-Releasing Silk Biomaterials for Infection Prevention and Treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Valentin, Thomas; Panilaitis, Bruce; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Effective treatment of infections in avascular and necrotic tissues can be challenging due to limited penetration into the target tissue and systemic toxicities. Controlled release polymer implants have the potential to achieve the high local concentrations needed while also minimizing systemic exposure. Silk biomaterials possess unique characteristics for antibiotic delivery including biocompatibility, tunable biodegradation, stabilizing effects, water-based processing and diverse material f...

  19. Differential scanning fluorimetry illuminates silk feedstock stability and processability

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dicko, C.; Kasoju, Naresh; Hawkins, N.; Vollrath, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 1 (2016), s. 255-262 ISSN 1744-683X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0029 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : differential scanning fluorimetry * biomaterials * silk fibroin Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.889, year: 2016

  20. Silk cocoon drying in forced convection type solar dryer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Panna Lal

    2011-01-01

    The thin layer silk cocoon drying was studied in a forced convection type solar dryer. The drying chamber was provided with several trays on which the cocoons loaded in thin layer. The hot air generated in the solar air heater was forced into drying chamber to avoid the direct exposure of sunlight and UV radiation on cocoons. The drying air temperature varied from 50 to 75 o C. The cocoon was dried from the initial moisture content of about 60-12% (wb). The drying data was fitted to thin layer drying models. Drying behaviour of the silk cocoon was best fitted with the Wang and Singh drying model. Good agreement was obtained between predicted and experimental values. Quality of the cocoons dried in the solar dryer was at par with the cocoons dried in the conventional electrical oven dryer in term of the silk yield and strength of the silk. Saving of electrical energy was about 0.75 kWh/kg cocoons dried. Economic analysis indicated that the NPV of the solar dryer was higher and more stable (against escalation rate of electricity) as compare to the same for electrical oven dryer. Due to simplicity in design and construction and significant saving of operational electrical energy, solar cocoon dryer seems to be a viable option.

  1. The Political Economics of the New Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sárvári Balázs

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available What has now been coined the term XXI Century Silk Road had evolved from a speech given by Chinese premier Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in 2013. It was initially a plan aimed at promoting the bilateral relations of China and its neighbors; however, the initiative had since then traversed the region’s borders and become a global project.

  2. Silk for silver : Dutch-Vietnamese relations, 1637-1700

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoang Anh Tuan,

    2006-01-01

    Against the background of a regional crisis caused by dynastic change in China and the closure of Japan in the middle of the seventeenth century, the Vietnamese kingdom of Tonkin rose to the fore as the major silk producing and exporting region in East Asia. Based on a wealth of so far unused

  3. Silk fibroin as biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melke, Johanna; Midha, Swati; Ghosh, Sourabh; Ito, Keita; Hofmann, Sandra

    2016-02-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a fibrous protein which is produced mainly by silkworms and spiders. Its unique mechanical properties, tunable biodegradation rate and the ability to support the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells along the osteogenic lineage, have made SF a favorable scaffold material for bone tissue engineering. SF can be processed into various scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified, which provides an impressive toolbox and allows SF scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing SF, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Silk fibroin is a natural biomaterial with remarkable biomedical and mechanical properties which make it favorable for a broad range of bone tissue engineering applications. It can be processed into different scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified which provides a unique toolbox and allows silk fibroin scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing silk fibroin, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Redoable Tie-Over Dressing Using Multiple Loop Silk Threads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Jong Jo

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available After skin grafting, to prevent hematoma or seroma collection at the graft site, a tie-over dressing has been commonly used. However, although the conventional tie-over dressing by suture is a useful method for securing a graft site, refixation is difficult when repeated tie-over dressing is needed. Therefore, we recommend a redoable tie-over dressing technique with multiple loops threads and connecting silk threads. After the raw surface of each of our cases was covered with a skin graft, multiple loop silk thread attached with nylon at the skin graft margin. We applied the ointment gauze and wet cotton/fluffy gauze over the skin graft, then fixed the dressing by connecting cross-counter multiple loop thread with connecting silk threads. When we opened the tie-over dressing by cutting the connecting silk threads, we repeated the tie-over dressing with the same method. The skin graft was taken successfully without hematoma or seroma collection or any other complications. In conclusion, we report a novel tie-over dressing enabling simple fixation of the dressing to maintain proper tension for wounds that require repetitive fixation. Further, with this reliable method, the skin grafts were well taken.

  5. Redoable Tie-Over Dressing Using Multiple Loop Silk Threads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Jong Jo

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available After skin grafting, to prevent hematoma or seroma collection at the graft site, a tie-over dressing has been commonly used. However, although the conventional tie-over dressing by suture is a useful method for securing a graft site, refixation is difficult when repeated tieover dressing is needed. Therefore, we recommend a redoable tie-over dressing technique with multiple loops threads and connecting silk threads. After the raw surface of each of our cases was covered with a skin graft, multiple loop silk thread attached with nylon at the skin graft margin. We applied the ointment gauze and wet cotton/fluffy gauze over the skin graft, then fixed the dressing by connecting cross-counter multiple loop thread with connecting silk threads. When we opened the tie-over dressing by cutting the connecting silk threads, we repeated the tie-over dressing with the same method. The skin graft was taken successfully without hematoma or seroma collection or any other complications. In conclusion, we report a novel tie-over dressing enabling simple fixation of the dressing to maintain proper tension for wounds that require repetitive fixation. Further, with this reliable method, the skin grafts were well taken.

  6. Silk fibroin as an organic polymer for controlled drug delivery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofmann, S.; Foo, S.; Rossetti, F.; Textor, M.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.; Merkle, H.P.; Meinel, L.

    2006-01-01

    The pharmaceutical utility of silk fibroin (SF) materials for drug delivery was investigated. SF films were prepared from aqueous solutions of the fibroin protein polymer and crystallinity was induced and controlled by methanol treatment. Dextrans of different molecular weights, as well as proteins,

  7. Conservation of silk genes in Trichoptera and Lepidoptera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yonemura, N.; Mita, K.; Tamura, T.; Sehnal, František

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 6 (2009), s. 641-653 ISSN 0022-2844 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA5007402 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk evolution * Trichoptera * Lepidoptera Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.323, year: 2009

  8. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  9. Effect of polyamines on mechanical and structural properties of Bombyx mori silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yerra, Aparna; Mysarla, Danti Kumari; Siripurapu, Prasanthi; Jha, Anjali; Valluri, Satyavathi V; Mamillapalli, Anitha

    2017-01-01

    Silkworm, Bombyx mori (B. mori) belongs to the Lepidoptera family. The silk produced from this insect, mulberry silk, gained lot of importance as a fabric. Silk is being exploited as a biomaterial due to its surprising strength and biocompatibility. Polyamines (PA) are important cell growth regulators. In the present work the effect of treatment of polyamines, putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm) on the quantity and quality of silk produced was assessed. Results showed that exogenous feeding of Spd at a concentration of 50 µM increased fiber length significantly. Analysis by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) on the properties of silk obtained from Spd treated silkworms revealed an increase in percentage of absorption with no difference in peak positions of amide I and amide III groups. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed an increase in diameter of silk. Further, analysis at molecular level showed an increase in fibroin expression in Spd treated silk glands. However, the Spd treatment showed no significant difference with respect to fibroin to sericin ratio per unit weight of cocoon, silk tenacity, and percent elongation. Thus, the present results show that polyamine treatment would influence silk quality at structural, mechanical, and molecular level in the Bombyx mori, which can be exploited in silk biomaterial production. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Co-effect of silk and amniotic membrane for tendon repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Young-Kwon; Kim, Jun-Hyung; Eo, Su-Rak

    2016-08-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine the feasibility and biocompatibility of a silk scaffold and a composite silk scaffold in terms of new tendon generation using a rabbit Achilles tendon model. The silk scaffold was constructed using a weaving machine, then soaked in a 1% collagen-hyaluronan (HA) solution and air-dried, whereas the composite silk scaffold was composed of a silk scaffold containing a lyophilized collagen-HA substrate. Tenocytes were cultured in vitro to compare cell populations in the two groups. The cellular densities on composite silk scaffolds were 40% higher on average than those on silk scaffolds in 30-day tenocyte cultures. The tendon scaffolds had implanted into Achilles tendon defects in 16 white New Zealand rabbits. Rabbits were randomly divided into the following three groups: group I, silk scaffold alone; group II, composite silk scaffold; and group III, composite silk scaffold wrapped by an amniotic membrane. Implants were harvested 2, 8, and 12 weeks post-implantation. Histological examinations were conducted using hematoxylin-eosin (H&E), Masson's trichrome, and by performing immunohistochemical staining for CD34. After 12 weeks, the three groups were distinguishable based on gross examination. The histological examination revealed more organized collagen fibrils in groups III, which showed a dense, parallel, linear organization of collagen bundles. CD34 staining revealed neoangiogenesis in groups III. The results of this research showed that collagen-HA substrates with amniotic membrane accelerate cellular migration and angiogenesis in neotendons.

  11. Analysis of proteome dynamics inside the silk gland lumen of Bombyx mori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Zhang, Yan; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Xiaolu; Guo, Pengchao; Wang, Dandan; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland is the only organ where silk proteins are synthesized and secreted in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Silk proteins are stored in the lumen of the silk gland for around eight days during the fifth instar. Determining their dynamic changes is helpful for clarifying the secretion mechanism of silk proteins. Here, we identified the proteome in the silk gland lumen using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and demonstrated its changes during two key stages. From day 5 of the fifth instar to day 1 of wandering, the abundances of fibroins, sericins, seroins, and proteins of unknown functions increased significantly in different compartments of the silk gland lumen. As a result, these accumulated proteins constituted the major cocoon components. In contrast, the abundances of enzymes and extracellular matrix proteins decreased in the silk gland lumen, suggesting that they were not the structural constituents of silk. Twenty-five enzymes may be involved in the regulation of hormone metabolism for proper silk gland function. In addition, the metabolism of other non-proteinous components such as chitin and pigment were also discussed in this study. PMID:27102218

  12. Thermal Performance Testing of Cryogenic Multilayer Insulation with Silk Net Spacers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, W L; Frank, D J; Nast, T C; Fesmire, J E

    2015-01-01

    Early comprehensive testing of cryogenic multilayer insulation focused on the use of silk netting as a spacer material. Silk netting was used for multiple test campaigns that were designed to provide baseline thermal performance estimates for cryogenic insulation systems. As more focus was put on larger systems, the cost of silk netting became a deterrent and most aerospace insulation firms were using Dacron (or polyester) netting spacers by the early 1970s. In the midst of the switch away from silk netting there was no attempt to understand the difference between silk and polyester netting, though it was widely believed that the silk netting provided slightly better performance. Without any better reference for thermal performance data, the silk netting performance correlations continued to be used. In order to attempt to quantify the difference between the silk netting and polyester netting, a brief test program was developed. The silk netting material was obtained from Lockheed Martin and was tested on the Cryostat-100 instrument in three different configurations, 20 layers with both single and double netting and 10 layers with single netting only. The data show agreement within 15 - 30% with the historical silk netting based correlations and show a substantial performance improvement when compared to previous testing performed using polyester netting and aluminum foil/fiberglass paper multilayer insulation. Additionally, the data further reinforce a recently observed trend that the heat flux is not directly proportional to the number of layers installed on a system. (paper)

  13. Improved strength of silk fibers in Bombyx mori trimolters induced by an anti-juvenile hormone compound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Kaiyu; Dong, Zhaoming; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Dandan; Tang, Muya; Zhang, Xiaolu; Xia, Qingyou; Zhao, Ping

    2018-05-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibers with thin diameters have advantages of lightness and crease-resistance. Many studies have used anti-juvenile hormones to induce trimolters in order to generate thin silk; however, there has been comparatively little analysis of the morphology, structure and mechanical properties of trimolter silk. This study induced two kinds of trimolters by appling topically anti-juvenile hormones and obtained thin diameter silk. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), FTIR analysis, tensile mechanical testing, chitin staining were used to reveal that the morphology, conformation and mechanical property of the trimolter silk. Cocoon of trimolters were highly densely packed by thinner fibers and thus had small apertures. We found that the conformation of trimolter silk fibroin changed and formed more β-sheet structures. In addition, analysis of mechanical parameters yielded a higher Young's modulus and strength in trimolter silk than in the control. By chitin staining of silk gland, we postulated that the mechanical properties of trimolters' silk was enhanced greatly during to the structural changes of silk gland. We induced trimolters by anti-juvenile hormones and the resulting cocoons were more closely packed and had smaller silk fiber diameters. We found that the conformation of trimolters silk fibroin had a higher content of β-sheet structures and better mechanical properties. Our study revealed the structures and mechanical properties of trimolter silk, and provided a valuable reference to improve silk quality by influencing molting in silkworms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Osteoinductive recombinant silk fusion proteins for bone regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinjaski, Nina; Plowright, Robyn; Zhou, Shun; Belton, David J; Perry, Carole C; Kaplan, David L

    2017-02-01

    Protein polymers provide a unique opportunity for tunable designs of material systems due to the genetic basis of sequence control. To address the challenge of biomineralization interfaces with protein based materials, we genetically engineered spider silks to design organic-inorganic hybrid systems. The spider silk inspired domain (SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQGT) 15 served as an organic scaffold to control material stability and to allow multiple modes of processing, whereas the hydroxyapatite binding domain VTKHLNQISQSY (VTK), provided control over osteogenesis. The VTK domain was fused either to the N-, C- or both terminals of the spider silk domain to understand the effect of position on material properties and mineralization. The addition of the VTK domain to silk did not affect the physical properties of the silk recombinant constructs, but it had a critical role in the induction of biomineralization. When the VTK domain was placed on both the C- and N-termini the formation of crystalline hydroxyapatite was significantly increased. In addition, all of the recombinant proteins in film format supported the growth and proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Importantly, the presence of the VTK domain enhanced osteoinductive properties up to 3-fold compared to the control (silk alone without VTK). Therefore, silk-VTK fusion proteins have been shown suitable for mineralization and functionalization for specific biomedical applications. Organic-inorganic interfaces are integral to biomaterial functions in many areas of repair and regeneration. Several protein polymers have been investigated for this purpose. Despite their success the limited options to fine-tune their material properties, degradation patterns and functionalize them for each specific biomedical application limits their application. Various studies have shown that the biological performance of such proteins can be improved by genetic engineering. The present study provides data

  15. Identification of circular RNA in the Bombyx mori silk gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Huaiyan; Feng, Tieshan; Wu, Yuqian; Liu, Chun; Xia, Qingyou; Cheng, Tingcai

    2017-10-01

    Bombyx mori is an economically important holometabolous lepidopteran insect. In B. mori endogenous noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs play crucial biological functions in metamorphosis and sex determination. In addition, circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been recently identified as noncoding RNAs in most common model organisms and show potential as gene regulators. However, to date, there have been few studies on the circRNAs present in the B. mori genome conducted to date. Here, we identified 3916 circRNAs by deep circular transcriptome sequencing using the silk gland of B. mori. 3155 circRNAs were found to be derived from 1727 parental genes. The circRNAs displayed tissue-specific expression between the middle silk gland (MSG) and posterior silk gland (PSG), with 2532 and 880 being upregulated circRNAs in the MSG and PSG, respectively. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses showed that the parental genes from the MSG and PSG were generally annotated to similar categories and pathways. The interaction network of circRNAs and miRNAs showed that circRNAs might act as miRNA sponges or interact with miRNAs in some other way. Overall, the results revealed the complicated patterns of circRNAs in the B. mori silk gland providing a new angle from which to explore the mechanisms of complex gene regulation and efficient silk protein synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Women's Stereotypes and Consumer Preferences

    OpenAIRE

    Velandia Morales, Andrea; Universidad de Granada; Rodríguez-Bailón, Rosa; Universidad de Granada

    2011-01-01

    According to The Ambivalent Sexism Theory (Glick y Fiske, 1996) there are distinct stereotypes of women that men express different attitudes. Among them, the housewife, sexy women and executive women are the clearest ones. One hundred people participated in the present study in order to test the relationship between the female stereotypes, their level of influence and prestige and the level of preference for a commercial product (described in female and male terms). The results showed that se...

  17. Female pattern hair loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İdil Ünal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Female androgenetic alopecia is the commonest cause of hair loss in women. It is characterized by a diffuse reduction in hair density over the crown and frontal scalp with retention of the frontal hairline and a characteristic pattern distribution in genetically predisposed women. Because of the uncertain relationship with the androgens Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL is the most preferred definition of the condition. This review has been focused on the clinical features, diagnosis and treatment alternatives of FPHL.

  18. Sample selection, preparation methods, and the apparent tensile properties of silkworm (B. mori) cocoon silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Emily J; Bianchini, Lindsay L; Viney, Christopher

    2012-06-01

    Reported literature values of the tensile properties of natural silk cover a wide range. While much of this inconsistency is the result of variability that is intrinsic to silk, some is also a consequence of differences in the way that silk is prepared for tensile tests. Here we explore how measured mechanical properties of Bombyx mori cocoon silk are affected by two intrinsic factors (the location from which the silk is collected within the cocoon, and the color of the silk), and two extrinsic factors (the storage conditions prior to testing, and different styles of reeling the fiber). We find that extrinsic and therefore controllable factors can affect the properties more than the intrinsic ones studied. Our results suggest that enhanced inter-laboratory collaborations, that lead to standardized sample collection, handling, and storage protocols prior to mechanical testing, would help to decrease unnecessary (and complicating) variation in reported tensile properties. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Concentration state dependence of the rheological and structural properties of reconstituted silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Chunli; Holland, Chris; Porter, David; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2009-10-12

    The ability to control the processing of artificial silk is key to the successful application of this important and high performance biopolymer. Understanding where our current reconstitution process can be improved will not only aid us in the creation of better materials, but will also provide insight into the natural material along the way. This study aims to understand what proportion of reconstituted silk contributes to its rheological properties and what conformational state the silk proteins are in. It shows, for the first time, that a change in rheological properties can be related to a change in silk structures present in solution and reveals a low concentration gel state for silk that may have important implications for future successful artificial processing of silk.

  20. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Investigation of synthetic spider silk crystallinity and alignment via electrothermal, pyroelectric, literature XRD, and tensile techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Troy; Putzeys, Tristan; Copeland, Cameron G; Xing, Changhu; Lewis, Randolph V; Ban, Heng; Glorieux, Christ; Wubbenhorst, Michael

    2017-04-01

    The processes used to create synthetic spider silk greatly affect the properties of the produced fibers. This paper investigates the effect of process variations during artificial spinning on the thermal and mechanical properties of the produced silk. Property values are also compared to the ones of the natural dragline silk of the N. clavipes spider, and to unprocessed (as-spun) synthetic silk. Structural characterization by scanning pyroelectric microscopy is employed to provide insight into the axial orientation of the crystalline regions of the fiber and is supported by XRD data. The results show that stretching and passage through liquid baths induce crystal formation and axial alignment in synthetic fibers, but with different structural organization than natural silks. Furthermore, an increase in thermal diffusivity and elastic modulus is observed with decreasing fiber diameter, trending towards properties of natural fiber. This effect seems to be related to silk fibers being subjected to a radial gradient during production.

  2. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  3. Dissolvable Films of Silk Fibroin for Ultrathin Conformal Bio-Integrated Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    implantation. *A full list of authors and their affiliations appears at the end of the paper. Silk is an appealing biopolymer as a temporary, soluble...18 APR 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin...10.1038/NMAT2745 Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin conformal bio-integrated electronics Dae-Hyeong Kim and Jonathan Viventi et al

  4. Graphene oxide from silk cocoon: a novel magnetic fluorophore for multi-photon imaging

    OpenAIRE

    Roy, Manas; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Maurya, Sandeep Kumar; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Sethy, Niroj; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Goswami, Debabrata; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Das, Mainak

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we synthesized graphene oxide from silk cocoon embarking its new dimension as a magnetic fluorophore when compared with its present technical status, which at best is for extracting silk as a biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. We produced graphene oxide by pyrolysing the silk cocoon in an inert atmosphere. The collected raw carbon is oxidized by nitric acid that readily produces multilayer graphene oxide with nano carbon particulates. Structural properties of the g...

  5. Physico-chemical study of flavonoids from different matureness corn silk material

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Peng; Lapčík, Lubomír; Lapčíková, Barbora; Kalytchuk, Sergii

    2018-01-01

    There was tested a simple extraction procedure of flavonoids separation from the original corn silk (CS) material. It was found, that the total flavonoids content differs with the extraction time and extraction temperature. There were found different flavonoids contents in extracts prepared from different maturity stages of the original corn silk material (silking stage (CS-S), milky stage (CS-M)). Extracted flavonoids content was quantified by the lutin standardization method by means of col...

  6. Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network: Silk Road 2, the sequel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolliver, Diana S

    2015-11-01

    Housing an illicit, online drug retail market generating sales in the millions of USD, the Silk Road was a profitable marketplace with a growing and loyal consumer base. Following its FBI-forced shut down in October 2013, the Silk Road enjoyed newfound fame that contributed to an increase in new users downloading and accessing the Tor Network; however, with this particular marketplace out of order, Silk Road 2 was launched to fill the void. The goals of this study were to (1) compare the metrics of Silk Road 2 to the original site, and to (2) determine if there were any indications of the presence of more sophisticated drug trafficking operations. Data were collected from Silk Road 2 during the months of August and September 2014 using webcrawling software. Silk Road 2 was a much smaller marketplace than the original Silk Road. Of the 1834 unique items for sale, 348 were drug items sold by 145 distinct vendors shipping from 19 countries. Of the drug items advertised, most were stimulants and hallucinogens. The United States is both the number one country of origin for drug sales on Silk Road 2 and the number one destination country. Interestingly, 73% of all vendor accounts on Silk Road 2 advertised drug items, even though drugs only constituted 19% of all items advertised. This study was the first to research Silk Road 2, the replacement illicit marketplace to the original virtual Silk Road. This study was also the first to examine indications of the presence of more coordinated drug trafficking efforts in an online setting. The findings indicated that while Silk Road 2 was not primarily a drug market, there were indications that some vendor accounts may have connections reaching beyond a base retail market. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    OpenAIRE

    Christine Radtke

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropo...

  8. Sympatric speciation: perfume preferences of orchid bee lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Duncan E

    2008-12-09

    Female attraction to an environmentally derived mating signal released by male orchid bees may be tightly linked to shared olfactory preferences of both sexes. A change in perfume preference may have led to divergence of two morphologically distinct lineages.

  9. Characterization and assembly of a GFP-tagged cylindriform silk into hexameric complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öster, Carl; Svensson Bonde, Johan; Bülow, Leif; Dicko, Cedric

    2014-04-01

    Spider silk has been studied extensively for its attractive mechanical properties and potential applications in medicine and industry. The production of spider silk, however, has been lagging behind for lack of suitable systems. Our approach focuses on solving the production of spider silk by designing, expressing, purifying and characterizing the silk from cylindriform glands. We show that the cylindriform silk protein, in contrast to the commonly used dragline silk protein, is fully folded and stable in solution. With the help of GFP as a fusion tag we enhanced the expression of the silk protein in Escherichia coli and could optimize the downstream processing. Secondary structures analysis by circular dichroism and FTIR shows that the GFP-silk fusion protein is predominantly α-helical, and that pH can trigger a α- to β-transition resulting in aggregation. Structural analysis by small angle X-ray scattering suggests that the GFP-Silk exists in the form of a hexamer in solution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Silk Composite with a Fluoropolymer as a Water-Resistant Protein-Based Material

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiji Numata

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Silk-based materials are water-sensitive and show different physical properties at different humidities and under wet/dry conditions. To overcome the water sensitivity of silk-based materials, we developed a silk composite material with a fluoropolymer. Blending and coating the silk protein-based materials, such as films and textiles, with the fluoropolymer enhanced the surface hydrophobicity, water vapor barrier properties, and size stability during shrinkage tests. This material design with a protein biopolymer and a fluoropolymer is expected to broaden the applicability of protein-based materials.

  11. Flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance of silk fabric coated by graphene oxide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Yi-Min

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk fabrics were coated by graphene oxide hydrosol in order to improve its flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance. In addition, montmorillonoid was doped into the graphene oxide hydrosol to further improve the flame retardancy of silk fabrics. The flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance were mainly characterized by limiting oxygen index, vertical flame test, smoke density test, and ultraviolet protection factor. The synergistic effect of graphene oxide and montmorillonoid on the thermal stabilization property of the treated silk fabrics was also investigated. The results show that the treated silk fabrics have excellent flame retardancy, thermal stability, smoke suppression, and ultraviolet resistance simultaneously.

  12. Nutritional compositions and antioxidative capacity of the silk obtained from immature and mature corn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurhanan Abdul Rahman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The silks of immature and mature corn were evaluated for their variations in nutritional compositions, mineral content and antioxidant capacity. Both immature and mature silks were good source of nutritional compositions. Immature silks contained significantly higher moisture (89.31% (fresh basis, lipid (1.27% and protein (12.96% content than the mature silk. Mature silks contained higher composition of ash (5.51%, carbohydrate (29.74% and total dietary fiber (51.25 g/100 g, than the immature silk, but the difference was not significant. In mineral determination, immature silk was rich source of Ca (1087.08 μg/g, Mg (1219.17 μg/g, Cu (5.60 μg/g and Zn (46.37 μg/g than the mature silks. In contrast, other minerals such as K (35671.67 μg/g, Na (266.67 μg/g, Fe (4.50 μg/g and Mn (35.57 μg/g were found higher in the mature silk. The silks were extracted with ethyl acetate, ethanol and water using the Soxhlet extraction method to determine the polyphenol and ABTS radical scavenging capacity. From this study, the highest content of total polyphenol of immature silks was exhibited by ethanol extract (92.21 mg GAE/g while water extract (64.22 mg GAE/g had the highest polyphenol content among mature silk extracts. Total flavonoid content of both immature and mature silks was higher in the water extract at 8.40 mg CAE/g and 2.31 mg CAE/g, respectively. In the ABTS free radical assay method, all immature silk extracts had higher percentage of inhibition compared to the mature silks. Among all three crude extracts, the ethanol extract of immature (EC50 = 0.478 mg/ml and mature silk (EC50 = 0.799 mg/ml exhibited the strongest antioxidant capacity followed by the water and ethyl acetate extract.

  13. A highly divergent gene cluster in honey bees encodes a novel silk family

    OpenAIRE

    Sutherland, Tara D.; Campbell, Peter M.; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Wanjura, Wolfgang J.; Haritos, Victoria S.

    2006-01-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1–4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-r...

  14. Biobased silver nanocolloid coating on silk fibers for prevention of post-surgical wound infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhas SP

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Sindhu Priya Dhas, Suruthi Anbarasan, Amitava Mukherjee, Natarajan Chandrasekaran Center for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore, India Abstract: Bombyx mori silk fibers are an important biomaterial and are used in surgical sutures due to their remarkable biocompatibility. The major drawback to the application of biomaterials is the risk of bacterial invasion, leading to clinical complications. We have developed an easy and cost-effective method for fabrication of antibacterial silk fibers loaded with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs by an in situ and ex situ process using an aqueous extract of Rhizophora apiculata leaf. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that well dispersed nanoparticles impregnated the silk fibers both in situ and ex situ. The crystalline nature of the AgNPs in the silk fibers was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction. The thermal and mechanical properties of the silk fibers were enhanced after they were impregnated with AgNPs. The silver-coated silk fibers fabricated by the in situ and ex situ method exhibited more than 90% inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Silk fibers doped with AgNPs were found to be biocompatible with 3T3 fibroblasts. The results obtained represent an important advance towards the clinical application of biocompatible AgNP-loaded silk fibers for prevention of surgical wound infections. Keywords: silk fibers, silver nanoparticles, antibacterial activity, wound infections, cytotoxicity, 3T3 fibroblast cells

  15. Structural and thermal properties of silk fibroin - Silver nanoparticles composite films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivananda, C. S.; Rao B, B. Lakshmeesha; Shetty, G. Rajesh; Sangappa, Y.

    2018-05-01

    In this work, silk fibroin-silver nanoparticles (SF-AgNPs) composite films have been prepared by simple solution casting method. The composite films were examined for structural and thermal properties using X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimatric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. The XRD results showed that with the introduction of AgNPs in the silk fibroin matrix the amorphous nature of the silk fibroin decreases with increasing nanoparticles concentration. The silk fibroin films possess good thermal stability with the presence of AgNPs.

  16. Radiation processing of silk protein (Bilateral research cooperation OAEP and JAERI. December 1998 - December 2002)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Thailand's production of silk, about 1,200 ton per year, also gives about 10% of silk waste which is expected to be recycled into new material (non-textile application) and to avoid environmental pollution. For this purpose, cooperative program 'radiation processing of silk protein' was conducted between OAEP (Thailand) and JAERI. Among the results already obtained are: radiation degradation of silk protein (fibroin) with gamma rays at 160 kGy, production of fine silk milled powder (<90 microns) by electron beam irradiation at 250-1000 kGy (dry method) using electron accelerator (1 MeV, 1 mA), use of antioxidant effect of silk protein on lipid peroxidation and antibacterial activity of irradiated silk protein powder, and wound dressing hydrogel mixed with silk protein and use of antibacterial activity of cross-linked silk protein/PVA hydrogel. Other topics of interest are gamma irradiation of anionic natural polymer solution for use as latex protein scavenger and gamma radiation degradation of chitosan for use as plant growth promoter and fungicide. (S. Ohno)

  17. Silk fibroin-chondroitin sulfate scaffold with immuno-inhibition property for articular cartilage repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Feifei; Zhang, Xianzhu; Cai, Dandan; Li, Jun; Mu, Qin; Zhang, Wei; Zhu, Shouan; Jiang, Yangzi; Shen, Weiliang; Zhang, Shufang; Ouyang, Hong Wei

    2017-11-01

    The demand of favorable scaffolds has increased for the emerging cartilage tissue engineering. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and silk fibroin have been investigated and reported with safety and excellent biocompatibility as tissue engineering scaffolds. However, the rapid degradation rate of pure CS scaffolds presents a challenge to effectively recreate neo-tissue similar to natural articular cartilage. Meanwhile the silk fibroin is well used as a structural constituent material because its remarkable mechanical properties, long-lasting in vivo stability and hypoimmunity. The application of composite silk fibroin and CS scaffolds for joint cartilage repair has not been well studied. Here we report that the combination of silk fibroin and CS could synergistically promote articular cartilage defect repair. The silk fibroin (silk) and silk fibroin/CS (silk-CS) scaffolds were fabricated with salt-leaching, freeze-drying and crosslinking methodologies. The biocompatibility of the scaffolds was investigated in vitro by cell adhesion, proliferation and migration with human articular chondrocytes. We found that silk-CS scaffold maintained better chondrocyte phenotype than silk scaffold; moreover, the silk-CS scaffolds reduced chondrocyte inflammatory response that was induced by interleukin (IL)-1β, which is in consistent with the well-documented anti-inflammatory activities of CS. The in vivo cartilage repair was evaluated with a rabbit osteochondral defect model. Silk-CS scaffold induced more neo-tissue formation and better structural restoration than silk scaffold after 6 and 12weeks of implantation in ICRS histological evaluations. In conclusion, we have developed a silk fibroin/ chondroitin sulfate scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering that exhibits immuno-inhibition property and can improve the self-repair capacity of cartilage. Severe cartilage defect such as osteoarthritis (OA) is difficult to self-repair because of its avascular, aneural and alymphatic nature

  18. Development of an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent-assay technique for accurate identification of poorly preserved silks unearthed in ancient tombs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Qin; Wu, Xiaofeng; Zheng, Hailing; Zhou, Yang

    2015-05-01

    We report the preparation of a specific fibroin antibody and its use for the identification of unearthed ancient silk relics. Based on the 12-amino-acid repeat sequence "GAGAGSGAGAGS", which is found in fibroin of the silkworm Bombyx mori, a specific antibody against fibroin was prepared in rabbits through peptide synthesis and carrier-protein coupling. This antibody was highly specific for fibroin found in silk. Using this antibody we have successfully identified four silk samples from different time periods. Our results reveal, for the first time, a method capable of detecting silk from a few milligrams of archaeological fabric that has been buried for thousands of years, confirming that the ancient practice of wearing silk products while praying for rebirth dated back to at least 400 BCE. This method also complements current approaches in silk detection, especially for the characterization of poorly preserved silks, promoting the investigation of silk origins and of ancient clothing cultures.

  19. SILK ROAD DISEASE: FROM LEGENDS TO THE 21st CENTURY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. S. Alekberova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the historical and geographical aspects of Behcet’s disease (BD. As is known, the geographical distribution of this disease is associated with the ancient caravan route called the Silk Road: it was in these areas along which the latter once ran there have been predominantly cases of BD so far. There are discrepancies in the literature regarding whether the Silk Road was across the North Caucasus, along the coast of the Caspian Sea in particular. In support of this conjecture, there is interesting evidence: stone-cutting images that have been retained on the houses of the Dagestani settlement of Kubachi. All give an answer why the natives of the North Caucasus constitute one-fourth of the total number of BD patients followed up at the V.A. Nasonova Research Institute of Rheumatology 

  20. Peculiar torsion dynamical response of spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dabiao; Yu, Longteng; He, Yuming; Peng, Kai; Liu, Jie; Guan, Juan; Dunstan, D. J.

    2017-07-01

    The torsional properties of spider dragline silks from Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes spiders are investigated by using a torsion pendulum technique. A permanent torsional deformation is observed after even small torsional strain. This behaviour is quite different from that of the other materials tested here, i.e., carbon fiber, thin metallic wires, Kevlar fiber, and human hair. The spider dragline thus displays a strong energy dissipation upon the initial excitation (around 75% for small strains and more for a larger strain), which correspondingly reduces the amplitude of subsequent oscillations around the new equilibrium position. The variation of torsional stiffness in relaxation dynamics of spider draglines for different excitations is also determined. The experimental result is interpreted in the light of the hierarchical structure of dragline silk.

  1. Ultra-high Thermal Conductivity of Spider Silk: Protein Function Study with Controlled Structure Change and Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-23

    induced increase in energy transport capacity of silkworm silks , Biopolymers , (10 2014): 0. doi: 10.1002/bip.22496 Shen Xu, Zaoli Xu, James Starrett...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: In the past three years, we have conducted extensive research to study the structure of spider silks and investigate how the...manually spun spider silks demonstrates that the alignment of the antiparallel beta-sheet crystals in spider silks plays one of the most important

  2. An Understanding of The Maritime Silk Road International Strategic Importance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin; Hongyu

    2015-01-01

    "The Maritime Silk Road"conception has a very significant international strategic importance,and to China,will certainly play a great role in promoting its economic development,which is only on the surface,and an in-depth reading is that it is a top-level strategic design,whose strategic role with the passage of time will be enlarged.In his address to Indonesian National Assembly in October 2013,President Xi

  3. Silk fibroin gelation via non-solvent induced phase separation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kasoju, Naresh; Hawkins, N.; Pop-Georgievski, Ognen; Kubies, Dana; Vollrath, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 4, č. 3 (2016), s. 460-473 ISSN 2047-4830 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0029; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : silk fibroin * non-solvent induced phase separation * desolvation Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 4.210, year: 2016

  4. Unique molecular architecture of silk fibroin in the waxmoth

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Žurovec, Michal; Sehnal, František

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 277, č. 25 (2002), s. 22639-22647 ISSN 0021-9258 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/96/1100; GA ČR GA204/00/0019; GA MŠk ME 204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907 Keywords : silk Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 6.696, year: 2002

  5. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu-Qing; Shen, Wei-De; Xiang, Ru-Li; Zhuge, Lan-Jian; Gao, Wei-Jian; Wang, Wen-Bao

    2007-10-01

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl2, the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the ɛ-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and α-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel β-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, 13C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with β-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular substructure of the degraded silk

  6. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Yuqing; Shen Weide; Xiang Ruli; Zhuge Lanjian; Gao Weijian; Wang Wenbao

    2007-01-01

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl 2 , the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the ε-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and α-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel β-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, 13 C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with β-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular substructure of the degraded silk

  7. Formation of silk fibroin nanoparticles in water-miscible organic solvent and their characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang Yuqing, E-mail: yqzhang@public1.sz.js.cn; Shen Weide; Xiang Ruli [Soochow University, Silk Biotechnol. Lab., School of Life Science (China); Zhuge Lanjian; Gao Weijian; Wang Wenbao [Soochow University, Analytical Center (China)

    2007-10-15

    When Silk fibre derived from Bombyx mori, a native biopolymer, was dissolved in highly concentrated neutral salts such as CaCl{sub 2}, the regenerated liquid silk, a gradually degraded peptide mixture of silk fibroin, could be obtained. The silk fibroin nanoparticles were prepared rapidly from the liquid silk by using water-miscible protonic and polar aprotonic organic solvents. The nanoparticles are insoluble but well dispersed and stable in aqueous solution and are globular particles with a range of 35-125 nm in diameter by means of TEM, SEM, AFM and laser sizer. Over one half of the {epsilon}-amino groups exist around the protein nanoparticles by using a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) method. Raman spectra shows the tyrosine residues on the surface of the globules are more exposed than those on native silk fibers. The crystalline polymorph and conformation transition of the silk nanoparticles from random-coil and {alpha}-helix form (Silk I) into anti-parallel {beta}-sheet form (Silk II) are investigated in detail by using infrared, fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy, DSC, {sup 13}C CP-MAS NMR and electron diffraction. X-ray diffraction of the silk nanoparticles shows that the nanoparticles crystallinity is about four fifths of the native fiber. Our results indicate that the degraded peptide chains of the regenerated silk is gathered homogeneously or heterogeneously to form a looser globular structure in aqueous solution. When introduced into excessive organic solvent, the looser globules of the liquid silk are rapidly dispersed and simultaneously dehydrated internally and externally, resulting in the further chain-chain contact, arrangement of those hydrophobic domains inside the globules and final formation of crystalline silk nanoparticles with {beta}-sheet configuration. The morphology and size of the nanoparticles are relative to the kinds, properties and even molecular structures of organic solvents, and more significantly to the looser globular

  8. Web building and silk properties functionally covary among species of wolf spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacava, Mariángeles; Camargo, Arley; Garcia, Luis F; Benamú, Marco A; Santana, Martin; Fang, Jian; Wang, Xungai; Blamires, Sean J

    2018-04-15

    Although phylogenetic studies have shown covariation between the properties of spider major ampullate (MA) silk and web building, both spider webs and silks are highly plastic so we cannot be sure whether these traits functionally covary or just vary across environments that the spiders occupy. As MaSp2-like proteins provide MA silk with greater extensibility, their presence is considered necessary for spider webs to effectively capture prey. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are predominantly non-web building, but a select few species build webs. We accordingly collected MA silk from two web-building and six non-web-building species found in semirural ecosystems in Uruguay to test whether the presence of MaSp2-like proteins (indicated by amino acid composition, silk mechanical properties and silk nanostructures) was associated with web building across the group. The web-building and non-web-building species were from disparate subfamilies so we estimated a genetic phylogeny to perform appropriate comparisons. For all of the properties measured, we found differences between web-building and non-web-building species. A phylogenetic regression model confirmed that web building and not phylogenetic inertia influences silk properties. Our study definitively showed an ecological influence over spider silk properties. We expect that the presence of the MaSp2-like proteins and the subsequent nanostructures improves the mechanical performance of silks within the webs. Our study furthers our understanding of spider web and silk co-evolution and the ecological implications of spider silk properties. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Gel spinning of silk tubes for tissue engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Tubular vessels for tissue engineering are typically fabricated using a molding, dipping, or electrospinning technique. While these techniques provide some control over inner and outer diameters of the tube, they lack the ability to align the polymers or fibers of interest throughout the tube. This is an important aspect of biomaterial composite structure and function for mechanical and biological impact of tissue outcomes. We present a novel aqueous process system to spin tubes from biopolymers and proteins such as silk fibroin. Using silk as an example, this method of winding an aqueous solution around a reciprocating rotating mandrel offers substantial improvement in the control of the tube properties, specifically with regard to winding pattern, tube porosity, and composite features. Silk tube properties are further controlled via different post-spinning processing mechanisms such as methanol-treatment, air-drying, and lyophilization. This approach to tubular scaffold manufacture offers numerous tissue engineering applications such as complex composite biomaterial matrices, blood vessel grafts and nerve guides, among others. PMID:18801570

  10. Silk Fibroin Degradation Related to Rheological and Mechanical Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partlow, Benjamin P; Tabatabai, A Pasha; Leisk, Gary G; Cebe, Peggy; Blair, Daniel L; Kaplan, David L

    2016-05-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin has been proposed as a material substrate for biomedical, optical, and electronic applications. Preparation of the silk fibroin solution requires extraction (degumming) to remove contaminants, but results in the degradation of the fibroin protein. Here, a mechanism of fibroin degradation is proposed and the molecular weight and polydispersity is characterized as a function of extraction time. Rheological analysis reveals significant changes in the viscosity of samples while mechanical characterization of cast and drawn films shows increased moduli, extensibility, and strength upon drawing. Fifteen minutes extraction time results in degraded fibroin that generates the strongest films. Structural analysis by wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicates molecular alignment in the drawn films and shows that the drawing process converts amorphous films into the crystalline, β-sheet, secondary structure. Most interesting, by using selected extraction times, films with near-native crystallinity, alignment, and molecular weight can be achieved; yet maximal mechanical properties for the films from regenerated silk fibroin solutions are found with solutions subjected to some degree of degradation. These results suggest that the regenerated solutions and the film casting and drawing processes introduce more complexity than native spinning processes. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Hydrogel Infused Network Silk Scaffolds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshminath Kundanati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Development and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is of great importance. In recent times, silk scaffolds were developed and successfully tested in tissue engineering and drug release applications. We developed a novel composite scaffold by mechanical infusion of silk hydrogel matrix into a highly porous network silk scaffold. The mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was thoroughly examined for their possible use in load bearing applications. Firstly, unconfined compression experiments show that the denser composite scaffolds displayed significant enhancement in the elastic modulus as compared to either of the components. This effect was examined and further explained with the help of foam mechanics principles. Secondly, results from confined compression experiments that resemble loading of cartilage in confinement, showed nonlinear material responses for all scaffolds. Finally, the confined creep experiments were performed to calculate the hydraulic permeability of the scaffolds using soil mechanics principles. Our results show that composite scaffolds with some modifications can be a potential candidate for use of cartilage like applications. We hope such approaches help in developing novel scaffolds for tissue engineering by providing an understanding of the mechanics and can further be used to develop graded scaffolds by targeted infusion in specific regions.

  12. Study on antibacterial activity of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bunnak, J.; Chaisupakitsin, M.

    2001-01-01

    Hydrogels for biomedical application were prepared from solution blends of 3% silk protein and 3%, 10% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and followed with irradiation. Mixture of hydrogels were gamma irradiated at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy under N 2 atmosphere. To clarify anti-bacterial activity of hydrogels, modified of the Agar disk diffusion method and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, AATCC Test Method 90-1977, were carried out. The four kinds of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, were used. It was found that a 1:3 volume ratio of 3% silk protein and 3% PVA respectively, at 50 kGy irradiation, is suitable conditions for preparation hydrogels and trend to indicate the highest of an antibacterial activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus. However the antibacterial activity of hydrogels against S. epidermidis was not clearly. These results are very useful to expand the application of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein to the medical products. (author)

  13. Structural Analysis of Hand Drawn Bumblebee Bombus terrestris Silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea L. Woodhead

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Bombus terrestris, commonly known as the buff-tailed bumblebee, is native to Europe, parts of Africa and Asia. It is commercially bred for use as a pollinator of greenhouse crops. Larvae pupate within a silken cocoon that they construct from proteins produced in modified salivary glands. The amino acid composition and protein structure of hand drawn B. terrestris, silk fibres was investigated through the use of micro-Raman spectroscopy. Spectra were obtained from single fibres drawn from the larvae salivary gland at a rate of 0.14 cm/s. Raman spectroscopy enabled the identification of poly(alanine, poly(alanine-glycine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and methionine, which is consistent with the results of amino acid analysis. The dominant protein conformation was found to be coiled coil (73% while the β-sheet content of 10% is, as expected, lower than those reported for hornets and ants. Polarized Raman spectra revealed that the coiled coils were highly aligned along the fibre axis while the β-sheet and random coil components had their peptide carbonyl groups roughly perpendicular to the fibre axis. The protein orientation distribution is compared to those of other natural and recombinant silks. A structural model for the B. terrestris silk fibre is proposed based on these results.

  14. Anisotropic silk fibroin/gelatin scaffolds from unidirectional freezing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Asuncion, Maria Christine Tankeh, E-mail: christine.asuncion@u.nus.edu [National University of Singapore, Department of Biomedical Engineering (Singapore); Goh, James Cho-Hong [National University of Singapore, Department of Biomedical Engineering (Singapore); National University of Singapore, Department of Orthopedic Surgery (Singapore); Toh, Siew-Lok [National University of Singapore, Department of Biomedical Engineering (Singapore); National University of Singapore, Department of Mechanical Engineering (Singapore)

    2016-10-01

    Recent studies have underlined the importance of matching scaffold properties to the biological milieu. Tissue, and thus scaffold, anisotropy is one such property that is important yet sometimes overlooked. Methods that have been used to achieve anisotropic scaffolds present challenges such as complicated fabrication steps, harsh processing conditions and toxic chemicals involved. In this study, unidirectional freezing was employed to fabricate anisotropic silk fibroin/gelatin scaffolds in a simple and mild manner. Morphological, mechanical, chemical and cellular compatibility properties were investigated, as well as the effect of the addition of gelatin to certain properties of the scaffold. It was shown that scaffold properties were suitable for cell proliferation and that mesenchymal stem cells were able to align themselves along the directed fibers. The fabricated scaffolds present a platform that can be used for anisotropic tissue engineering applications such as cardiac patches. - Highlights: • Silk/gelatin scaffolds with unidirectional alignment were fabricated using a simple and scalable process • Presence of gelatin in silk resulted to lesser shrinkage, better water retention and improved cell proliferation. • Mesenchymal stem cells were shown to align themselves according to the fiber alignment.

  15. Proteome identification of the silkworm middle silk gland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-ying Li

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the functional differentiation among the anterior (A, middle (M, and posterior (P regions of silkworm middle silk gland (MSG, their proteomes were characterized by shotgun LC–MS/MS analysis with a LTQ-Orbitrap mass spectrometer. To get better proteome identification and quantification, triplicate replicates of mass spectrometry analysis were performed for each sample. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium (Vizcaíno et al., 2014 [1] via the PRIDE partner repository (Vizcaino, 2013 [2] with the dataset identifier http://www.ebi.ac.uk/pride/archive/projects/PXD003371. The peptide identifications that were further processed by PeptideProphet program in Trans-Proteomic Pipeline (TPP after database search with Mascot software were also available in .XML format files. Data presented here are related to a research article published in Journal of Proteomics by Li et al. (2015 [3]. Keywords: Bombyx mori, Middle silk gland, Silk protein synthesis, Shotgun proteomics, Label-free

  16. Interfacial Shear Strength and Adhesive Behavior of Silk Ionomer Surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sunghan; Geryak, Ren D; Zhang, Shuaidi; Ma, Ruilong; Calabrese, Rossella; Kaplan, David L; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2017-09-11

    The interfacial shear strength between different layers in multilayered structures of layer-by-layer (LbL) microcapsules is a crucial mechanical property to ensure their robustness. In this work, we investigated the interfacial shear strength of modified silk fibroin ionomers utilized in LbL shells, an ionic-cationic pair with complementary ionic pairing, (SF)-poly-l-glutamic acid (Glu) and SF-poly-l-lysine (Lys), and a complementary pair with partially screened Coulombic interactions due to the presence of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) segments and SF-Glu/SF-Lys[PEG] pair. Shearing and adhesive behavior between these silk ionomer surfaces in the swollen state were probed at different spatial scales and pressure ranges by using functionalized atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips as well as functionalized colloidal probes. The results show that both approaches were consistent in analyzing the interfacial shear strength of LbL silk ionomers at different spatial scales from a nanoscale to a fraction of a micron. Surprisingly, the interfacial shear strength between SF-Glu and SF-Lys[PEG] pair with partially screened ionic pairing was greater than the interfacial shear strength of the SF-Glu and SF-Lys pair with a high density of complementary ionic groups. The difference in interfacial shear strength and adhesive strength is suggested to be predominantly facilitated by the interlayer hydrogen bonding of complementary amino acids and overlap of highly swollen PEG segments.

  17. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Floren

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogels are an attractive class of tunable material platforms that, combined with their structural and functional likeness to biological environments, have a diversity of applications in bioengineering. Several polymers, natural and synthetic, can be used, the material selection being based on the required functional characteristics of the prepared hydrogels. Silk fibroin (SF is an attractive natural polymer for its excellent processability, biocompatibility, controlled degradation, mechanical properties and tunable formats and a good candidate for the fabrication of hydrogels. Tremendous effort has been made to control the structural and functional characteristic of silk hydrogels, integrating novel biological features with advanced processing techniques, to develop the next generation of functional SF hydrogels. Here, we review the several processing methods developed to prepare advanced SF hydrogel formats, emphasizing a bottom-up approach beginning with critical structural characteristics of silk proteins and their behavior under specific gelation environments. Additionally, the preparation of SF hydrogel blends and other advanced formats will also be discussed. We conclude with a brief description of the attractive utility of SF hydrogels in relevant bioengineering applications.

  18. Study on antibacterial activity of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunnak, J; Chaisupakitsin, M [King Mongkut' s Institute of Technology Lardkrabang, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2001-03-01

    Hydrogels for biomedical application were prepared from solution blends of 3% silk protein and 3%, 10% poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and followed with irradiation. Mixture of hydrogels were gamma irradiated at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 kGy under N{sub 2} atmosphere. To clarify anti-bacterial activity of hydrogels, modified of the Agar disk diffusion method and American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, AATCC Test Method 90-1977, were carried out. The four kinds of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, were used. It was found that a 1:3 volume ratio of 3% silk protein and 3% PVA respectively, at 50 kGy irradiation, is suitable conditions for preparation hydrogels and trend to indicate the highest of an antibacterial activity against E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus. However the antibacterial activity of hydrogels against S. epidermidis was not clearly. These results are very useful to expand the application of hydrogel from irradiated silk protein to the medical products. (author)

  19. Exploring the mechanism of microarteriogenesis in porous silk fibroin film.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Lun; Wang, Guangqian; Tan, Xiaoyan; Xu, Jianmei

    2012-01-01

    Purpose. Based on the experiment of the microarteriogenesis that is associated with angiogenesis during tissue repair process in porous silk fibroin films (PSFFs), we investigate the characteristics of micro-arteriogenesis and explore its mechanism. Methods. After the porous silk fibroin materials are implanted into the back hypodermal tissue of SD rats, the arteriole development and the morphogenesis of smooth muscle cell are histologically monitored and the micro-arteriogenesis is quantitatively analyzed. Results. 10 days after implantation, the arteriole density reaches the highest level in the junction of silk fibroin materials with tissues. Three weeks later, the arteriolar density in the materials reaches the maximum, and the arterioles in the junction of materials with tissues appear to be in a mature and upgrading state. Modeling of Microarteriogenesis. The arterioles in materials are generated after capillary angiogenesis. It is inferred that arteriolar development does not start until the network of the capillaries is formed. At first, the arterioles grow in the conjunct area of precapillaries with arterioles. Then with the extension of the arterioles, the upgrade of arterioles in connecting area is observed at a later stage. Based on the observation, the conditions and the mechanism of microarterializations as well as the upgrade of arterioles are analyzed.

  20. Construction of engineering adipose-like tissue in vivo utilizing human insulin gene-modified umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells with silk fibroin 3D scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shi-Long; Liu, Yi; Hui, Ling

    2015-12-01

    We evaluated the use of a combination of human insulin gene-modified umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (hUMSCs) with silk fibroin 3D scaffolds for adipose tissue engineering. In this study hUMSCs were isolated and cultured. HUMSCs infected with Ade-insulin-EGFP were seeded in fibroin 3D scaffolds with uniform 50-60 µm pore size. Silk fibroin scaffolds with untransfected hUMSCs were used as control. They were cultured for 4 days in adipogenic medium and transplanted under the dorsal skins of female Wistar rats after the hUMSCs had been labelled with chloromethylbenzamido-1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (CM-Dil). Macroscopical impression, fluorescence observation, histology and SEM were used for assessment after transplantation at 8 and 12 weeks. Macroscopically, newly formed adipose tissue was observed in the experimental group and control group after 8 and 12 weeks. Fluorescence observation supported that the formed adipose tissue originated from seeded hUMSCs rather than from possible infiltrating perivascular tissue. Oil red O staining of newly formed tissue showed that there was substantially more tissue regeneration in the experimental group than in the control group. SEM showed that experimental group cells had more fat-like cells, whose volume was larger than that of the control group, and degradation of the silk fibroin scaffold was greater under SEM observation. This study provides significant evidence that hUMSCs transfected by adenovirus vector have good compatibility with silk fibroin scaffold, and adenoviral transfection of the human insulin gene can be used for the construction of tissue-engineered adipose. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Value Preferences of Social Workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartakovsky, Eugene; Walsh, Sophie D

    2018-04-01

    The current study examines value preferences of social workers in Israel. Using a theoretical framework of person-environment fit paradigm and theory of values, the study compared social workers (N = 641, mean age = 37.7 years, 91 percent female) with a representative sample of Israeli Jews (N = 1,600, mean age = 44.2, 52 percent female). Questionnaires included personal value preferences and sociodemographic variables (gender, age, education, religiosity, and immigrant status). Multivariate analysis of covariance showed that value preferences of social workers differed significantly from those of the general population. Analyses of covariance showed that social workers reported a higher preference for self-transcendence and a lower preference for conservation and self-enhancement values. Results have significance for the selection, training, and supervision of social workers. They suggest that it is important to assess to what extent selection processes for social workers are primarily recruiting social workers with shared values, thus creating an overly homogenous population of social workers. An understanding of personal value motivations can help social workers in their own process of self-development and growth, and to understand how the profession can fulfill their basic motivations.

  2. Optimization of the silk scaffold sericin removal process for retention of silk fibroin protein structure and mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teh, Thomas K H; Toh, Siew-Lok; Goh, James C H

    2010-01-01

    In the process of removing sericin (degumming) from a raw silk scaffold, the fibroin structural integrity is often challenged, leading to mechanical depreciation. This study aims to identify the factors and conditions contributing to fibroin degradation during alkaline degumming and to perform an optimization study of the parameters involved to achieve preservation of fibroin structure and properties. The methodology involves degumming knitted silk scaffolds for various durations (5-90 min) and temperatures (60-100 0 C). Mechanical agitation and use of the refreshed solution during degumming are included to investigate how these factors contribute to degumming efficiency and fibroin preservation. Characterizations of silk fibroin morphology, mechanical properties and protein components are determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), single fiber tensile tests and gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), respectively. Sericin removal is ascertained via SEM imaging and a protein fractionation method involving SDS-PAGE. The results show that fibroin fibrillation, leading to reduced mechanical integrity, is mainly caused by prolonged degumming duration. Through a series of optimization, knitted scaffolds are observed to be optimally degummed and experience negligible mechanical and structural degradation when subjected to alkaline degumming with mechanical agitation for 30 min at 100 0 C.

  3. Folding behavior of four silks of giant honey bee reflects the evolutionary conservation of aculeate silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitip, Jakkrawut; Trueman, Holly E; Kaehler, Benjamin D; Huttley, Gavin A; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-04-01

    Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Preparation of Porous Scaffolds from Silk Fibroin Extracted from the Silk Gland of Bombyx mori (B. mori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liangjun Zhu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available In order to use a simple and ecofriendly method to prepare porous silk scaffolds, aqueous silk fibroin solution (ASF was extracted from silk gland of 7-day-old fifth instar larvae of Bombyx mori (B. mori. SDS-page analysis indicated that the obtained fibroin had a molecular weight higher than 200 kDa. The fabrication of porous scaffolds from ASF was achieved by using the freeze-drying method. The pore of porous scaffolds is homogenous and tends to become smaller with an increase in the concentration of ASF. Conversely, the porosity is decreased. The porous scaffolds show impressive compressive strength which can be as high as 6.9 ± 0.4 MPa. Furthermore, ASF has high cell adhesion and growth activity. It also exhibits high ALP activity. This implies that porous scaffolds prepared from ASF have biocompatibility. Therefore, the porous scaffolds prepared in this study have potential application in tissue engineering due to the impressive compressive strength and biocompatibility.

  5. Optimization of the silk scaffold sericin removal process for retention of silk fibroin protein structure and mechanical properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teh, Thomas K H; Toh, Siew-Lok; Goh, James C H, E-mail: dosgohj@nus.edu.s, E-mail: dostkh@nus.edu.s, E-mail: bietohsl@nus.edu.s [Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore (Singapore)

    2010-06-01

    In the process of removing sericin (degumming) from a raw silk scaffold, the fibroin structural integrity is often challenged, leading to mechanical depreciation. This study aims to identify the factors and conditions contributing to fibroin degradation during alkaline degumming and to perform an optimization study of the parameters involved to achieve preservation of fibroin structure and properties. The methodology involves degumming knitted silk scaffolds for various durations (5-90 min) and temperatures (60-100 {sup 0}C). Mechanical agitation and use of the refreshed solution during degumming are included to investigate how these factors contribute to degumming efficiency and fibroin preservation. Characterizations of silk fibroin morphology, mechanical properties and protein components are determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), single fiber tensile tests and gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), respectively. Sericin removal is ascertained via SEM imaging and a protein fractionation method involving SDS-PAGE. The results show that fibroin fibrillation, leading to reduced mechanical integrity, is mainly caused by prolonged degumming duration. Through a series of optimization, knitted scaffolds are observed to be optimally degummed and experience negligible mechanical and structural degradation when subjected to alkaline degumming with mechanical agitation for 30 min at 100 {sup 0}C.

  6. Institutionalizing Chineseness. The legacies of Chinese commercial hegemony in the Cambodian silk industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dahles, H.; ter Horst, J.

    2012-01-01

    The Cambodian silk weaving industry shows a remarkable pattern of ethnicised positions interlocked in processes of production and trade stretching beyond Cambodia into the Southeast Asian region and into Europe and the United States. Key commercial positions in the Cambodian silk trading networks

  7. Invited review the coiled coil silk of bees, ants, and hornets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Tara D; Weisman, Sarah; Walker, Andrew A; Mudie, Stephen T

    2012-06-01

    In this article, we review current knowledge about the silk produced by the larvae of bees, ants, and hornets [Apoidea and Vespoidea: Hymenoptera]. Different species use the silk either alone or in composites for a variety of purposes including mechanical reinforcement, thermal regulation, or humidification. The characteristic molecular structure of this silk is α-helical proteins assembled into tetrameric coiled coils. Gene sequences from seven species are available, and each species possesses a copy of each of four related silk genes that encode proteins predicted to form coiled coils. The proteins are ordered at multiple length scales within the labial gland of the final larval instar before spinning. The insects control the morphology of the silk during spinning to produce either fibers or sheets. The silk proteins are small and non repetitive and have been produced artificially at high levels by fermentation in E. coli. The artificial silk proteins can be fabricated into materials with structural and mechanical properties similar to those of native silks. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Mechanical properties of silk of the Australian golden orb weavers Nephila pilipes and Nephilaplumipes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Genevieve G; Nahrung, Helen F; Wiegand, Aaron; Kristoffersen, Joanna; Killen, Peter; Brown, Cameron; Macdonald, Joanne

    2018-02-22

    Silks from orb-weaving spiders are exceptionally tough, producing a model polymer for biomimetic fibre development. The mechanical properties of naturally spun silk threads from two species of Australian orb-weavers, Nephila pilipes and Nephila plumipes , were examined here in relation to overall thread diameter, the size and number of fibres within threads, and spider size. N. pilipes , the larger of the two species, had significantly tougher silk with higher strain capacity than its smaller congener, producing threads with average toughness of 150 MJ m -3 , despite thread diameter, mean fibre diameter and number of fibres per thread not differing significantly between the two species. Within N. pilipes , smaller silk fibres were produced by larger spiders, yielding tougher threads. In contrast, while spider size was correlated with thread diameter in N. plumipes , there were no clear patterns relating to silk toughness, which suggests that the differences in properties between the silk of the two species arise through differing molecular structure. Our results support previous studies that found that the mechanical properties of silk differ between distantly related spider species, and extends on that work to show that the mechanical and physical properties of silk from more closely related species can also differ remarkably. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Feeding Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes or Graphene to Silkworms for Reinforced Silk Fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qi; Wang, Chunya; Zhang, Mingchao; Jian, Muqiang; Zhang, Yingying

    2016-10-12

    Silkworm silk is gaining significant attention from both the textile industry and research society because of its outstanding mechanical properties and lustrous appearance. The possibility of creating tougher silks attracts particular research interest. Carbon nanotubes and graphene are widely studied for their use as reinforcement. In this work, we report mechanically enhanced silk directly collected by feeding Bombyx mori larval silkworms with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) and graphene. We found that parts of the fed carbon nanomaterials were incorporated into the as-spun silk fibers, whereas the others went into the excrement of silkworms. Spectroscopy study indicated that nanocarbon additions hindered the conformation transition of silk fibroin from random coil and α-helix to β-sheet, which may contribute to increased elongation at break and toughness modules. We further investigated the pyrolysis of modified silk, and a highly developed graphitic structure with obviously enhanced electrical conductivity was obtained through the introduction of SWNTs and graphene. The successful generation of these SWNT- or graphene-embedded silks by in vivo feeding is expected to open up possibilities for the large-scale production of high-strength silk fibers.

  10. Energy absorption and failure response of silk/epoxy composite square tubes: Experimental

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oshkovr, Simin Ataollahi; Taher, Siavash Talebi; A. Eshkoor, Rahim

    2012-01-01

    This paper focuses on natural silk/epoxy composite square tubes energy absorption and failure response. The tested specimens were featured by a material combination of different lengths and same numbers of natural silk/epoxy composite layers in form of reinforced woven fabric in thermosetting epoxy...

  11. Investigation of synthetic spider silk crystallinity and alignment via electrothermal, pyroelectric, literature XRD, and tensile techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Munro, Troy; Putzeys, Tristan; Copeland, Cameron G.; Xing, Changhu; Lewis, Randolph V.; Ban, Heng; Glorieux, Christ; Wubbenhorst, Michael

    2017-01-01

    The processes used to create synthetic spider silk greatly affect the properties of the produced fibers. This paper investigates the effect of process variations during artificial spinning on the thermal and mechanical properties of the produced silk. Property values are also compared to the ones of

  12. More than a safety line: jump-stabilizing silk of salticids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yung-Kang; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tsai, Feng-Yueh; Chi, Kai-Jung

    2013-10-06

    Salticids are diurnal hunters known for acute vision, remarkable predatory strategies and jumping ability. Like other jumpers, they strive for stability and smooth landings. Instead of using inertia from swinging appendages or aerodynamic forces by flapping wings as in other organisms, we show that salticids use a different mechanism for in-air stability by using dragline silk, which was previously believed to function solely as a safety line. Analyses from high-speed images of jumps by the salticid Hasarius adansoni demonstrate that despite being subject to rearward pitch at take-off, spiders with dragline silk can change body orientation in the air. Instantaneous drag and silk forces calculated from kinematic data further suggest a comparable contribution to deceleration and energy dissipation, and reveal that adjustments by the spider to the silk force can reverse its body pitch for a predictable and optimal landing. Without silk, upright-landing spiders would slip or even tumble, deferring completion of landing. Thus, for salticids, dragline silk is critical for dynamic stability and prey-capture efficiency. The dynamic functioning of dragline silk revealed in this study can advance the understanding of silk's physiological control over material properties and its significance to spider ecology and evolution, and also provide inspiration for future manoeuvrable robot designs.

  13. A highly divergent gene cluster in honey bees encodes a novel silk family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutherland, Tara D; Campbell, Peter M; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Wanjura, Wolfgang J; Haritos, Victoria S

    2006-11-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1-4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-rich amid low GC intergenic regions. The genes encode similar proteins that are highly helical and predicted to form unusually tight coiled coils. Despite the similarity in size, structure, and composition of the encoded proteins, the genes have low primary sequence identity. We propose that the four fiber genes have arisen from gene duplication events but have subsequently diverged significantly. The silk-associated genes encode proteins likely to act as a glue (AmelSA1) and involved in silk processing (AmelSA2). Although the silks of honey bees and silkmoths both originate in larval labial glands, the silk proteins are completely different in their primary, secondary, and tertiary structures as well as the genomic arrangement of the genes encoding them. This implies independent evolutionary origins for these functionally related proteins.

  14. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Radtke

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration.

  15. Preparation and characterization of regenerated fiber from the aqueous solution of Bombyx mori cocoon silk fibroin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhu Zhenghua [Department of Biotechnology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588 (Japan); Department of Application Engineering, ZheJiang Vocational College of Economic and Trade, HangZhou, ZheJiang 310018 (China); Imada, Takuzo [Department of Biotechnology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588 (Japan); Asakura, Tetsuo, E-mail: asakura@cc.tuat.ac.jp [Department of Biotechnology, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8588 (Japan)

    2009-10-15

    The regenerated silk fibers with high strength and high biodegradability were prepared from the aqueous solution of Bombyx mori silk fibroin from cocoons with wet spinning method. Although the tensile strength of the regenerated silk fibroin fiber, 210 MPa is still half of the strength of native silk fiber, the diameter of the fiber is about 100 {mu}m which is suitable for monofilament of suture together with high biodegradability. The high concentration (30%, w/v) of the aqueous solution of the silk fibroin which corresponds to the high concentration in the middle silkgland of silkworm was obtained. This was performed by adjusting the pH of the aqueous solution to 10.4 which corresponds to pK{sub a} value of the OH group of Tyr residues in the silk fibroin. The mixed solvent, methanol/acetic acid (7:3 in volume ratio) was used as coagulant solvent for preparing the regenerated fiber. The structural change of silk fibroin fiber by stretching was monitored with both {sup 13}C solid state NMR and X-ray diffraction methods, indicating that the high strength of the fiber is related with the long-range orientation of the silk fibroin chain with {beta}-sheet structure.

  16. Timing of autophagy and apoptosis during posterior silk gland degeneration in Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montali, Aurora; Romanelli, Davide; Cappellozza, Silvia; Grimaldi, Annalisa; de Eguileor, Magda; Tettamanti, Gianluca

    2017-07-01

    Over the years, the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been manipulated by means of chemical and genetic approaches to improve silk production both quantitatively and qualitatively. The silk is produced by the silk gland, which degenerates quickly once the larva has finished spinning the cocoon. Thus, interfering with this degeneration process could help develop new technologies aimed at ameliorating silk yield. To this end, in this work we studied the cell death processes that lead to the demise of the posterior silk gland of B. mori, directing in particular our attention to autophagy and apoptosis. We focused on this portion of the gland because it produces fibroin, the main component of the silk thread. By using multiple markers, we provide a morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of the apoptotic and autophagic processes and define their timing in this biological setting. Our data demonstrate that the activation of both autophagy and apoptosis is preceded by a transcriptional rise in key regulatory genes. Moreover, while autophagy is maintained active for several days and progressively digests silk gland cells, apoptosis is only switched on at a very late stage of silk gland demise. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Highly water-absorbing silk yarn with interpenetrating network via in situ polymerization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ka I; Wang, Xiaowen; Guo, Xia; Yung, Ka-Fu; Fei, Bin

    2017-02-01

    Silk was modified via in situ polymerization of two monomers acrylamide and sodium acrylate by swelling in an effective LiBr dissolution system. Swelling of natural silks in LiBr solutions of low concentration was clearly observed under optical microscope, and their conformational changes were revealed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Dissolution tests and FTIR spectra of these modified silks suggested the presence of interpenetrating network of polyacrylamide and poly(sodium acrylate) in the silk yarns. These modified silks exhibited superior water absorption to that of raw silk and greatly improved mechanical properties in both dry and wet states. These novel modified silks also showed low cytotoxicity towards skin keratinocytes, having potential applications in biomedical textiles. This modification method by in situ polymerization after swelling in LiBr provides a new route to highly enhance the properties and performance of silk for various applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The protective ability of Camellia meal extract on the silk protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, JZ; Cai, C.; Zhang, DY; Dai, BK

    2018-02-01

    With the enhancement of living standards, people pay more and more attention to the health. The edible oil become more and more popular, but also produced a large amount of Camellia meal which can not fully put into utilization. In this study, the extracting liquid of Camellia meal was used on the process of silk degumming. Firstly, tussah silk was treated by degumming in the Na2CO3 solution, and the preliminary condition of tussah silk degumming was obtained by orthogonal experiment: the concentration Na2CO3 was 0.1%, the degumming time was 1 hour, and the ratio of silk/water was 40:1. Then the extract of Camellia meal (GCJSY) was added before the bleaching process of tussah silk to investigate the protective ability of GCJSY on the silk protein basry on the residual ratio of the silk. While the concentration of GYJSY was 0.08%, the residual ratio of silk after degumming in the Na2CO3 solution and bleaching in the 2% H2O2 solution was 87.2%.

  19. Study on improving antioxidant and antibacterial activities of silk fibroin by irradiation treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tran Bang Diep; Nguyen Van Binh; Hoang Phuong Thao; Hoang Dang Sang; Nguyen Thuy Huong Trang

    2014-01-01

    The silk fibroin solutions were prepared in solvent system of CaCl 2 . CH 3 CH 2 OH. H 2 O (mole ratio = 1:2:8) followed dialysis against deionized water. The 3% silk fibroin solutions were irradiated under gamma Co-60 source with dose ranging from 0 to 50 kGy at Hanoi Irradiation Centre and bioactivities of the irradiated silk fibroin solutions were investigated with different radiation doses. The results indicated that the antioxidant and antibacterial activities of fibroin were much improved by gamma irradiation. Maximum value of DPPH radical scavenging activity was 70.4% for the solution of silk fibroin irradiated at 10 kGy. Silk fibroin solutions irradiated at doses higher than 10 kGy also exhibited rather high antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus. In order to estimate the applicability of our irradiated fibroin, the silk fibroin solutions were lyophilized to obtain a pure fibroin powder, then their bio-activities were compared with those of commercial silk fibroin (Proteines De Soie/ Zijdeproteine, Bioflore, Canada). Our fibroin powder revealed higher antioxidant and antibacterial activities. The amino acid compositions of our irradiated fibroin were also higher than that of the commercial product. Thus, the irradiated silk fibroin can be used for further application in cosmetic and other related fields. (author)

  20. Distinct spinning patterns gain differentiated loading tolerance of silk thread anchorages in spiders with different ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; van der Meijden, Arie; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-07-26

    Building behaviour in animals extends biological functions beyond bodies. Many studies have emphasized the role of behavioural programmes, physiology and extrinsic factors for the structure and function of buildings. Structure attachments associated with animal constructions offer yet unrealized research opportunities. Spiders build a variety of one- to three-dimensional structures from silk fibres. The evolution of economic web shapes as a key for ecological success in spiders has been related to the emergence of high performance silks and thread coating glues. However, the role of thread anchorages has been widely neglected in those models. Here, we show that orb-web (Araneidae) and hunting spiders (Sparassidae) use different silk application patterns that determine the structure and robustness of the joint in silk thread anchorages. Silk anchorages of orb-web spiders show a greater robustness against different loading situations, whereas the silk anchorages of hunting spiders have their highest pull-off resistance when loaded parallel to the substrate along the direction of dragline spinning. This suggests that the behavioural 'printing' of silk into attachment discs along with spinneret morphology was a prerequisite for the evolution of extended silk use in a three-dimensional space. This highlights the ecological role of attachments in the evolution of animal architectures. © 2017 The Author(s).

  1. Flexible, highly sensitive pressure sensor with a wide range based on graphene-silk network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ying; Tao, Lu-Qi; Wang, Dan-Yang; Zhang, Tian-Yu; Yang, Yi; Ren, Tian-Ling

    2017-03-01

    In this paper, a flexible, simple-preparation, and low-cost graphene-silk pressure sensor based on soft silk substrate through thermal reduction was demonstrated. Taking silk as the support body, the device had formed a three-dimensional structure with ordered multi-layer structure. Through a simple and low-cost process technology, graphene-silk pressure sensor can achieve the sensitivity value of 0.4 kPa - 1 , and the measurement range can be as high as 140 kPa. Besides, pressure sensor can have a good combination with knitted clothing and textile product. The signal had good reproducibility in response to different pressures. Furthermore, graphene-silk pressure sensor can not only detect pressure higher than 100 kPa, but also can measure weak body signals. The characteristics of high-sensitivity, good repeatability, flexibility, and comfort for skin provide the high possibility to fit on various wearable electronics.

  2. Research On Degradation Of Silk Fibroin By Combination Of Electron Beam Irradiation And Hydrothermal Processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen Thi Kim Lan; Dang Van Phu; Le Anh Quoc; Nguyen Quoc Hien

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibers and silk proteins have been demonstrated to be useful to apply in the textile industry, biomedical, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals. In this study, the effects of electron beam (EB) irradiation combined with hydrothermal processing to the solubility of silk fibroin and generation of soluble silk protein were investigated. The solubility of unirradiated and irradiated fibroin were greater than 80 % when hydrothermal degradation was performed in the sodium hydroxide solution at appropriate concentration of 0.05 M. However, the solubility of irradiated fibroin was greater than that of unirradiated sample. The protein content increased from 0.4617 to 0.6530 mg/mg when irradiation doses increased from 0 to 200 kGy, respectively. The molecular weight of protein was determined by SDS-PAGE method. The characteristics of silk protein were confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). (author)

  3. Morus planting and silk production in Oxus civilization (2000 BC), Transoxiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X.; Li, X.; Wang, J.

    2017-12-01

    Silk is the most important luxury in ancient trade, which promoted communications between east and west civilizations that facilitated the development of them. Currently, probably more than 99% of the silk in commerce in the world today comes from a single species called the silkworm or mulberry silk moth, Bombyx mori (L.), of the family Bombycidae. At present, a list of occurrences of unearthed early silk thread, textile and terracotta figures of China suggests that wild silk has been widely used for weave in Yangtze river and Yellow River basin at least 5000 cal yr BP. On the other hand, the earliest silk fabric out China is from the earliest civilization Harappa site (4500-4000 cal a BP) that confirmed the early use of wild silkworms in South Asia.. In addition, in the Egyptian Deir al Medina relics site, the unearthed silk also as old as nearly 3000 cal a BP, and a serials of pre-han silk also unearthed 3000-2500 cal a BP in Europe. But, the appearance of these out-China silk is usually considered to be the result of the early trade or wild silkmoth products. Here we present a synthesis study of chronology, entomology, protein group, the paleoethnobotany form three Bronze Age site (Sapalli, Jarzgudan, Molleli) concerning on the paleo environment, agriculture gardening, and the possible mulberry silkworm utilization in Bronze Age Tensoxiana 4000 cal a BP. Together with archaeobotany and chronology data from Xinjiang, Hexi corridor and the Loess Plateau in China, we analysis the status of the mulberry silk factory in Bronze Age in Transoxiana and it possible connection to ancient China.

  4. Preparation and characterization of silk fibroin as a biomaterial with potential for drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Hao

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Degummed silk fibroin from Bombyx mori (silkworm has potential carrier capabilities for drug delivery in humans; however, the processing methods have yet to be comparatively analyzed to determine the differential effects on the silk protein properties, including crystalline structure and activity. Methods In this study, we treated degummed silk with four kinds of calcium-alcohol solutions, and performed secondary structure measurements and enzyme activity test to distinguish the differences between the regenerated fibroins and degummed silk fibroin. Results Gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that Ca(NO32-methanol, Ca(NO32-ethanol, or CaCl2-methanol treatments produced more lower molecular weights of silk fibroin than CaCl2-ethanol. X-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed that CaCl2-ethanol produced a crystalline structure with more silk I (α-form, type II β-turn, while the other treatments produced more silk II (β-form, anti-parallel β-pleated sheet. Solid-State 13C cross polarization and magic angle spinning-nuclear magnetic resonance measurements suggested that regenerated fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol were nearly identical to degummed silk fibroin, while the other treatments produced fibroins with significantly different chemical shifts. Finally, enzyme activity test indicated that silk fibroins from CaCl2-ethanol had higher activity when linked to a known chemotherapeutic drug, L-asparaginase, than the fibroins from other treatments. Conclusions Collectively, these results suggest that the CaCl2-ethanol processing method produces silk fibroin with biomaterial properties that are appropriate for drug delivery.

  5. Effect of Na2CO3 degumming concentration on LiBr-formic acid-silk fibroin solution properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Salt-acid system has been proved to be of high efficiency for silk fibroin dissolution. Using salt-acid system to dissolve silk, native silk fibrils can be preserved in the regenerated solution. Increasing experiments indicate that acquirement of silk fibrils in solution is strongly associated with the degumming process. In this study, the effect of sodium carbonate degumming concentration on solution properties based on lithium bromide-formic acid dissolution system was systematically investigated. Results showed that the morphology transformation of silk fibroin in solution from nanospheres to nanofibrils is determined by sodium carbonate concentration during the degumming process. Solutions containing different silk fibroin structure exhibited different rheological behaviors and different electrospinnability, leading to different electrospun nanofibre properties. The results have guiding significance for preparation and application of silk fibroin solutions.

  6. Acylation Modification of Antheraea pernyi Silk Fibroin Using Succinic Anhydride and Its Effects on Enzymatic Degradation Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiufang Li

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The degradation rate of tissue engineering scaffolds should match the regeneration rate of new tissues. Controlling the degradation behavior of silk fibroin is an important subject for silk-based tissue engineering scaffolds. In this study, Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin was successfully modified with succinic anhydride and then characterized by zeta potential, ninhydrin method, and FTIR. In vitro, three-dimensional scaffolds prepared with modified silk fibroin were incubated in collagenase IA solution for 18 days to evaluate the impact of acylation on the degradation behavior. The results demonstrated that the degradation rate of modified silk fibroin scaffolds was more rapid than unmodified ones. The content of the β-sheet structure in silk fibroin obviously decreased after acylation, resulting in a high degradation rate. Above all, the degradation behavior of silk fibroin scaffolds could be regulated by acylation to match the requirements of various tissues regeneration.

  7. Women's Stereotypes and Consumer Preferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Velandia Morales

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available According to The Ambivalent Sexism Theory (Glick y Fiske, 1996 there are distinct stereotypes of women that men express different attitudes. Among them, the housewife, sexy women and executive women are the clearest ones. One hundred people participated in the present study in order to test the relationship between the female stereotypes, their level of influence and prestige and the level of preference for a commercial product (described in female and male terms. The results showed that sexy women is more associated with the masculine description, whereas the executive women is more associated to the feminine product description, and in both cases the housewife is the least associated with the two different descriptions. It was also found that the influence and the women prestige mediated the relationship between the stereotypes and the preference shown for the product described in feminine terms

  8. VIERS- User Preference Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of Veterans Affairs — The Preferences service provides a means to store, retrieve, and manage user preferences. The service supports definition of enterprise wide preferences, as well as...

  9. Assessing the impact of the maritime silk road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orestis Schinas

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The plans for the Maritime Silk Road affect the existing liner services. The purpose of this paper is to quantify using the terms of network theory the impact of these plans and to project the effects on the fleet, utilization, port throughput, and carbon footprint. The analysis is based on publicly available information and reasonable fleet deployment assumptions. It also considers current and alternative routing schedules from Shanghai to Europe. The impact of existing and expected emission control areas (ECAs along the port chains is also considered.

  10. Material quality assessment of silk nanofibers based on swarm intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandoli Machado, Bruno; Nunes Gonçalves, Wesley; Martinez Bruno, Odemir

    2013-02-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel approach for texture analysis based on artificial crawler model. Our method assumes that each agent can interact with the environment and each other. The evolution process converges to an equilibrium state according to the set of rules. For each textured image, the feature vector is composed by signatures of the live agents curve at each time. Experimental results revealed that combining the minimum and maximum signatures into one increase the classification rate. In addition, we pioneer the use of autonomous agents for characterizing silk fibroin scaffolds. The results strongly suggest that our approach can be successfully employed for texture analysis.

  11. NMR analysis of silk for the interpretation of ancient history

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chujo, Riichiro

    1998-01-01

    The aim of this paper is the characterization of archaeological silk with the aid of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In this paper the nucleus is confined to 13C as a stable isotope carbon which is the most basic element in organic compounds. Among the stable carbon isotopes 12C is the most abundant but it has no magnetic moment and the natural abundance of 13C is only 1.108% and this isotope is frequently used in NMR due to its non-zero magnetic moment

  12. Silk fibroin/pullulan blend films: Preparation and characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shivananda, C. S.; Rao, B. Lakshmeesha; Madhukumar, R.; Asha, S. [Department of Studies in Physics, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri – 574 199 (India); Sarojini, B. K. [Department of Industrial Chemistry, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri, Mangalore –574 199 (India); Somashekhar, R. [Department of Studies in Physics, University of Mysore, Manasagangotri, Mysore – 570 006 (India); Sangappa, Y., E-mail: syhalabhavi@yahoo.co.in [Department of Studies in Physics, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri – 574 199 (India); School of Material Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)

    2016-05-23

    In this work silk fibroin/pullulan blend films have been prepared by solution casting method. The blend films were examined for structural, and thermal properties using X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimatric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. The XRD results indicate that with the introduction of pullulan, the interaction between SF and pullulan in the blend films induced the conformation transition of SF films and amorphous phase increases with increasing pullulan ratio. The thermal properties of the blend films were improved significantly in the blend films.

  13. Color preference in red–green dichromats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvaro, Leticia; Moreira, Humberto; Lillo, Julio; Franklin, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Around 2% of males have red–green dichromacy, which is a genetic disorder of color vision where one type of cone photoreceptor is missing. Here we investigate the color preferences of dichromats. We aim (i) to establish whether the systematic and reliable color preferences of normal trichromatic observers (e.g., preference maximum at blue, minimum at yellow-green) are affected by dichromacy and (ii) to test theories of color preference with a dichromatic sample. Dichromat and normal trichromat observers named and rated how much they liked saturated, light, dark, and focal colors twice. Trichromats had the expected pattern of preference. Dichromats had a reliable pattern of preference that was different to trichromats, with a preference maximum rather than minimum at yellow and a much weaker preference for blue than trichromats. Color preference was more affected in observers who lacked the cone type sensitive to long wavelengths (protanopes) than in those who lacked the cone type sensitive to medium wavelengths (deuteranopes). Trichromats’ preferences were summarized effectively in terms of cone-contrast between color and background, and yellow-blue cone-contrast could account for dichromats’ pattern of preference, with some evidence for residual red–green activity in deuteranopes’ preference. Dichromats’ color naming also could account for their color preferences, with colors named more accurately and quickly being more preferred. This relationship between color naming and preference also was present for trichromat males but not females. Overall, the findings provide novel evidence on how dichromats experience color, advance the understanding of why humans like some colors more than others, and have implications for general theories of aesthetics. PMID:26170287

  14. Son Preference and Its Consequences (A Review) | Shah | Gender ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cultural preference for sons was evident from that fact that in Hindu\\'s traditions, ... A common perception of son\\'s preference on daughter was the ascribed ability of ... against females in the allocation of food and health care within the household. ... their-self in most of the south Asian countries preferred sons to daughters.

  15. Silk fibroin/gold nanocrystals: a new example of biopolymer-based nanocomposites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noinville, S.; Garnier, A.; Courty, A.

    2017-05-01

    The dispersion of nanoparticles in ordered polymer nanostructures can provide control over particle location and orientation, and pave the way for tailored nanomaterials that have enhanced mechanical, electrical, or optical properties. Here we used silk fibroin, a natural biopolymer, to embed gold nanocrystals (NCs), so as to obtain well-ordered structures such as nanowires and self-assembled triangular nanocomposites. Monodisperse gold NCs synthesized in organic media are mixed to silk fibroin and the obtained nanocomposites are characterized by UV-visible spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and Infrared spectroscopy. The optical properties study of gold NCs and silk-gold nanocomposites shows that the Surface Plasmon band is blue shifted compared to gold NCs. The size and shape of NCs gold superlattices can be well controlled by the presence of silk fibroin giving nanowires and also self-assembled triangular nanocomposites as characterized by TEM, FE-SEM and AFM. The strong interaction between gold NCs and silk fibroin is also revealed by the conformation change of silk protein in presence of gold NCs, as shown by FTIR analysis. The formation of such ordered nanocomposites (gold NCs/silk fibroin) will provide new nanoplasmonic devices.

  16. Introducing biomimetic shear and ion gradients to microfluidic spinning improves silk fiber strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, David; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Gyune Rim, Nae; Backman, Daniel; Kaplan, David L; Wong, Joyce Y

    2017-05-31

    Silkworm silk is an attractive biopolymer for biomedical applications due to its high mechanical strength and biocompatibility; as a result, there is increasing interest in scalable devices to spin silk and recombinant silk so as to improve and customize their properties for diverse biomedical purposes (Vepari and Kaplan 2007 Prog. Polym. Sci. 32 ). While artificial spinning of regenerated silk fibroins adds tunability to properties such as degradation rate and surface functionalization, the resulting fibers do not yet approach the mechanical strength of native silkworm silk. These drawbacks reduce the applicability and attractiveness of artificial silk (Kinahan et al 2011 Biomacromolecules 12 ). Here, we used computational fluid dynamic simulations to incorporate shear in tandem with biomimetic ion gradients by coupling a modular novel glass microfluidic device to our previous co-axial flow device. Fibers spun with this combined apparatus demonstrated a significant increase in mechanical strength compared to fibers spun with the basic apparatus alone, with a three-fold increase in Young's modulus and extensibility and a twelve-fold increase in toughness. These results thus demonstrate the critical importance of ionic milieu and shear stress in spinning strong fibers from solubilized silk fibroin.

  17. Corn silk aqueous extracts and intraocular pressure of systemic and non-systemic hypertensive subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Gladys O; Idu, Faustina K

    2015-03-01

    Hypotensive properties have been attributed to the stigma/style of Zea mays L (corn silk). Although the effect of corn silk extract on blood pressure has been documented in animal studies, we are not aware of any study on its effect on human blood pressure and intraocular pressure. A randomised study was carried out on the effect of water only, masked doses of corn silk aqueous extract (60, 130, 192.5 and 260 mg/kg body weight) on intraocular pressure and blood pressure of 20 systemic and 20 non-systemic hypertensive subjects. Intraocular pressure and blood pressure were measured at baseline and every hour for eight hours after administering water or a masked dose of corn silk aqueous extract. Each dose was administered at two-week intervals to each subject in the two study groups. The results showed that the last three doses of corn silk aqueous extract gave a statistically significant reduction (p Corn silk aqueous extract has a lowering effect on intraocular pressure in systemic and non-systemic hypertensive subjects. This may have resulted from the fall in blood pressure that is due to potassium-induced natriuresis and diuresis caused by the high potassium content in the high doses of the corn silk extract. © 2015 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2015 Optometry Australia.

  18. The effect of hirudin modification of silk fibroin on cell growth and antithrombogenicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Qiongyu; Tu, Fangfang; Liu, Yunfei; Zhang, Yujin; Li, Helei; Kang, Zhao [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren-ai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province 215123 (China); Yin, Yin [Laboratory Animal Research Center, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215123 (China); Wang, Jiannan, E-mail: wangjn@suda.edu.cn [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, No. 199 Ren-ai Road, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province 215123 (China)

    2017-06-01

    Thrombus formation remains a particular challenge for small-diameter vascular grafts. In this study, the direct thrombin inhibitor hirudin (Hir) was used to modify silk fibroin films in an attempt to enhance its antithrombogenic properties. Hir was successfully attached to silk fibroin and uniformly distributed in the regenerative material. Hir-modified films showed good cytocompatibility, and supported adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts (L929), human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). Proliferation of HAVSMCs was inhibited by increasing Hir concentration. Activated partial thrombin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) and thrombin time (TT) of Hir-modified silk fibroin tubular scaffolds (SFTSs) were all increased markedly compared with fresh rabbit blood, ethanol-treated SFTS and unmodified SFTS, demonstrating the improved antithrombogenicity of SFTSs following modification with Hir. - Highlights: • A direct thrombin inhibitor hirudin was used to modify silk fibroin. • Antithrombogenic property of Hir-modified silk fibroin films was improved. • Hir-modified silk fibroin films supported adhesion and proliferation of HUVECs and HAVSMCs. • Proliferation of HAVSMCs on silk fibroin films was inhibited by increasing Hir concentration.

  19. DNA replication events during larval silk gland development in the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chun-Dong; Li, Fang-Fang; Chen, Xiang-Yun; Huang, Mao-Hua; Zhang, Jun; Cui, Hongjuan; Pan, Min-Hui; Lu, Cheng

    2012-07-01

    The silk gland is an important organ in silkworm as it synthesizes silk proteins and is critical to spinning. The genomic DNA content of silk gland cells dramatically increases 200-400 thousand times for the larval life span through the process of endomitosis. Using in vitro culture, DNA synthesis was measured using BrdU labeling during the larval molt and intermolt periods. We found that the cell cycle of endomitosis was activated during the intermolt and was inhibited during the molt phase. The anterior silk gland, middle silk gland, and posterior silk gland cells asynchronously exit the endomitotic cycle after day 6 in 5th instar larvae, which correlated with the reduced expression of the cell cycle-related cdt1, pcna, cyclin E, cdk2 and cdk1 mRNAs in the wandering phase. Additional starvation had no effect on the initiation of silk gland DNA synthesis of the freshly ecdysed larvae. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Research on degradation of silk fibroin by combination of electron beam irradiation and hydrothermal processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen Thi Kim Lan; Dang Van Phu; Le Anh Quoc; Nguyen Quoc Hien

    2014-01-01

    Silk fibers and silk proteins have been demonstrated to be useful to apply in the textile industry, biomedical, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals. In this study, the effects of electron beam (EB) irradiation combined with hydrothermal processing to the solubility of silk fibroin and generation of soluble silk protein were investigated. The solubility of unirradiated and irradiated fibroin samples were greater than 80 % when hydrothermal degradation was performed in the sodium hydroxide solution at an appropriate concentration of 0.05 M. However, the solubility of irradiated fibroin was greater than that of unirradiated sample. The soluble silk protein content increased from 0.462 to 0.653 mg protein/mg silk fibroin when irradiation doses increased from 0 to 200 kGy, respectively. The molecular weight of protein was determined by SDS-PAGE method. The characteristics of silk protein were confirmed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). (author)

  1. The embryonic origin of the ampullate silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbrant, Maarten; Damen, Wim G M

    2015-05-01

    Silk production in spiders is considered a key innovation, and to have been vital for the diversification of the clade. The evolutionary origin of the organs involved in spider silk production, however, and in particular of the silk glands, is poorly understood. Homologies have been proposed between these and other glands found in arachnids, but lacking knowledge of the embryonic development of spider silk glands hampers an evaluation of hypotheses. This study focuses on the embryonic origin of the largest silk glands of the spider Cupiennius salei, the major and minor ampullate glands. We show how the ampullate glands originate from ectodermal invaginations on the embryonic spinneret limb buds, in relation to morphogenesis of these buds. Moreover, we visualize the subsequent growth of the ampullate glands in sections of the early postembryonic stages. The invaginations are shown to correlate with expression of the proneural gene CsASH2, which is remarkable since it has been proposed that spider silk glands and their nozzles originate from sensory bristles. Hence, by confirming the ectodermal origin of spider silk glands, and by describing the (post-)embryonic morphogenesis of the ampullate glands, this work provides a starting point for further investigating into the genetic program that underlies their development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Regulation of Silk Material Structure by Temperature-Controlled Water Vapor Annealing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Shmelev, Karen; Sun, Lin; Gil, Eun-Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    We present a simple and effective method to obtain refined control of the molecular structure of silk biomaterials through physical temperature-controlled water vapor annealing (TCWVA). The silk materials can be prepared with control of crystallinity, from a low content using conditions at 4°C (alpha-helix dominated silk I structure), to highest content of ~60% crystallinity at 100°C (beta-sheet dominated silk II structure). This new physical approach covers the range of structures previously reported to govern crystallization during the fabrication of silk materials, yet offers a simpler, green chemistry, approach with tight control of reproducibility. The transition kinetics, thermal, mechanical, and biodegradation properties of the silk films prepared at different temperatures were investigated and compared by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), uniaxial tensile studies, and enzymatic degradation studies. The results revealed that this new physical processing method accurately controls structure, in turn providing control of mechanical properties, thermal stability, enzyme degradation rate, and human mesenchymal stem cell interactions. The mechanistic basis for the control is through the temperature controlled regulation of water vapor, to control crystallization. Control of silk structure via TCWVA represents a significant improvement in the fabrication of silk-based biomaterials, where control of structure-property relationships is key to regulating material properties. This new approach to control crystallization also provides an entirely new green approach, avoiding common methods which use organic solvents (methanol, ethanol) or organic acids. The method described here for silk proteins would also be universal for many other structural proteins (and likely other biopolymers), where water controls chain interactions related to material properties. PMID:21425769

  3. Novel silk fibroin films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Liu, Zhi; Bie, Shiyu; Zhang, Feng; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-01-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin from the silkworm was firstly found to be soluble in formic acid/hydroxyapatite system. The rheological behavior of silk fibroin solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents in dissolved solution. At the same time, silk fibroin nanofibers were observed in dissolved solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. Moreover, the structure behavior of SF films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method was examined. The secondary structure of silk fibroin films was attributed to silk II structure (β-sheet), indicating that the hydroxyapatite contents in dissolved solution were not significantly affected by the structure of silk fibroin. The X-ray diffraction results exhibited obviously hydroxyapatite crystalline nature existing in silk fibroin films; however, when the hydroxyapatite content was 5.0 wt.% in dissolved solution, some hydroxyapatite crystals were converted to calcium hydrogen phosphate dehydrate in silk fibroin dissolution process. This result was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis and DSC measurement. In addition, silk fibroin films prepared by this dissolution method had higher breaking strength and extension at break. Based on these analyses, an understanding of novel SF dissolution method may provide an additional tool for designing and synthesizing advanced materials with more complex structures, which should be helpful in different fields, including biomaterial applications. - Highlights: • SF fibers were firstly successfully dissolved in FA/HAp solution. • The rheological behavior of SF solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents. • SF nanofibrils were observed in FA/HAp solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. • SF films prepared by FA/HAp dissolution method had higher mechanical properties

  4. Tunable green graphene-silk biomaterials: Mechanism of protein-based nanocomposites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fang; Jyothirmayee Aravind, S S; Wu, Hao; Forys, Joseph; Venkataraman, Venkat; Ramanujachary, Kandalam; Hu, Xiao

    2017-10-01

    Green graphene materials prepared by photoreduction of graphite oxide were first time blended with aqueous-based silk fibroin proteins to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of silk biomaterials, and their nanocomposite interaction mechanism was illustrated. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis confirmed the complete exfoliation of graphite oxide to graphene in presence of focused pulses of solar radiation. By varying the concentration of graphene (0.1wt% to 10wt%), a series of free standing graphene-silk films were prepared and were systematically characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation measurements. The homogeneity of graphene in silk as well as the thermal stability of the composite films was demonstrated by thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC). Surprisingly, silk composite film containing only 0.5wt% of graphene gives the highest Young's modulus of 1.65GPa (about 5.8 times higher than the pure silk's modulus), indicating a nano-composite to micro-composite transition of silk-graphene structure occurred around this mixing ratio. This finding provided an easy approach to improve the elastic modulus and other physical properties of silk materials by adding a tiny amount of graphene sheets. Fibroblast cells studies also proved that these graphene-silk materials can significantly improve cell adhesion, growth and proliferation. This protein nanocomposite study provided a useful model to understand how to manipulate the hydrophobic-hydrophobic and polar-polar interactions between high-surface-area inorganic nanomaterials and amphiphilic protein materials, which has many emerging applications in the material science and engineering, such as bio-device fabrication, drug storage and release, and tissue regeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Functional regeneration of ligament-bone interface using a triphasic silk-based graft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongguo; Fan, Jiabing; Sun, Liguo; Liu, Xincheng; Cheng, Pengzhen; Fan, Hongbin

    2016-11-01

    The biodegradable silk-based scaffold with unique mechanical property and biocompatibility represents a favorable ligamentous graft for tissue-engineering anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. However, the low efficiency of ligament-bone interface restoration barriers the isotropic silk graft to common ACL therapeutics. To enhance the regeneration of the silk-mediated interface, we developed a specialized stratification approach implementing a sequential modification on isotropic silk to constitute a triphasic silk-based graft in which three regions respectively referring to ligament, cartilage and bone layers of interface were divided, followed by respective biomaterial coating. Furthermore, three types of cells including bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), chondrocytes and osteoblasts were respectively seeded on the ligament, cartilage and bone region of the triphasic silk graft, and the cell/scaffold complex was rolled up as a multilayered graft mimicking the stratified structure of native ligament-bone interface. In vitro, the trilineage cells loaded on the triphasic silk scaffold revealed a high proliferative capacity as well as enhanced differentiation ability into their corresponding cell lineage. 24 weeks postoperatively after the construct was implanted to repair the ACL defect in rabbit model, the silk-based ligamentous graft exhibited the enhancement of osseointegration detected by a robust pullout force and formation of three-layered structure along with conspicuously corresponding matrix deposition via micro-CT and histological analysis. These findings potentially broaden the application of silk-based ligamentous graft for ACL reconstruction and further large animal study. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Novel silk fibroin films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ming, Jinfa, E-mail: jinfa.ming@gmail.com [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China); Liu, Zhi; Bie, Shiyu [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China); Zhang, Feng [Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Research, Medical College, Soochow University, Suzhou 215006 (China); Zuo, Baoqi, E-mail: bqzuo@suda.edu.cn [National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, Suzhou 215021 (China)

    2014-04-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibroin from the silkworm was firstly found to be soluble in formic acid/hydroxyapatite system. The rheological behavior of silk fibroin solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents in dissolved solution. At the same time, silk fibroin nanofibers were observed in dissolved solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. Moreover, the structure behavior of SF films prepared by formic acid/hydroxyapatite dissolution method was examined. The secondary structure of silk fibroin films was attributed to silk II structure (β-sheet), indicating that the hydroxyapatite contents in dissolved solution were not significantly affected by the structure of silk fibroin. The X-ray diffraction results exhibited obviously hydroxyapatite crystalline nature existing in silk fibroin films; however, when the hydroxyapatite content was 5.0 wt.% in dissolved solution, some hydroxyapatite crystals were converted to calcium hydrogen phosphate dehydrate in silk fibroin dissolution process. This result was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis and DSC measurement. In addition, silk fibroin films prepared by this dissolution method had higher breaking strength and extension at break. Based on these analyses, an understanding of novel SF dissolution method may provide an additional tool for designing and synthesizing advanced materials with more complex structures, which should be helpful in different fields, including biomaterial applications. - Highlights: • SF fibers were firstly successfully dissolved in FA/HAp solution. • The rheological behavior of SF solution was significantly influenced by HAp contents. • SF nanofibrils were observed in FA/HAp solution with 103.6 ± 20.4 nm in diameter. • SF films prepared by FA/HAp dissolution method had higher mechanical properties.

  7. Molecular and macro-scale analysis of enzyme-crosslinked silk hydrogels for rational biomaterial design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Meghan; Coburn, Jeannine M; Partlow, Benjamin P; Mu, Xuan; Kaplan, David L

    2017-11-01

    Silk fibroin-based hydrogels have exciting applications in tissue engineering and therapeutic molecule delivery; however, their utility is dependent on their diffusive properties. The present study describes a molecular and macro-scale investigation of enzymatically-crosslinked silk fibroin hydrogels, and demonstrates that these systems have tunable crosslink density and diffusivity. We developed a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) method to assess the quantity and order of covalent tyrosine crosslinks in the hydrogels. This analysis revealed between 28 and 56% conversion of tyrosine to dityrosine, which was dependent on the silk concentration and reactant concentration. The crosslink density was then correlated with storage modulus, revealing that both crosslinking and protein concentration influenced the mechanical properties of the hydrogels. The diffusive properties of the bulk material were studied by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), which revealed a non-linear relationship between silk concentration and diffusivity. As a result of this work, a model for synthesizing hydrogels with known crosslink densities and diffusive properties has been established, enabling the rational design of silk hydrogels for biomedical applications. Hydrogels from naturally-derived silk polymers offer versitile opportunities in the biomedical field, however, their design has largely been an empirical process. We present a fundamental study of the crosslink density, storage modulus, and diffusion behavior of enzymatically-crosslinked silk hydrogels to better inform scaffold design. These studies revealed unexpected non-linear trends in the crosslink density and diffusivity of silk hydrogels with respect to protein concentration and crosslink reagent concentration. This work demonstrates the tunable diffusivity and crosslinking in silk fibroin hydrogels, and enables the rational design of biomaterials. Further, the characterization methods

  8. Determination of Antimicrobial Activity of the Dyed Silk Fabrics with Some Natural Dyes

    OpenAIRE

    ALKAN, Rezan; TORGAN, Emine; AYDIN, Canan; KARADAG, Recep

    2015-01-01

    In this study, silk fabric is dyed with natural indigo. Dyed silk fabric with natural indigo was cut in the 20x20 cm2 size. Excluding a fabric, all fabrics were mordanted in the same percentage with alum metal (KAl(SO4)2.12H2O). Then, silk fabrics for green color dyeing are dyed separately with weld (Reseda luteola), gall oak (Quercus infectoria Olivier) and together weld (Reseda luteola) and gall oak (Quercus infectoria) in different percentage. Antimicrobial functionality of the twenty seve...

  9. China and megaregional integration: the New Maritime Silk Road in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel de Jesús Rocha Pino

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the China’s Belt and Road (B&R trade and investment initiative. The B&R concept is formed of two projects: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the New Maritime Silk Road. This study focusses, specifically, on the range of implementation of the New Maritime Silk Road in Africa. For this, two variables are analysed that could be decisive in this process: the current regionalism trend of establishing megaregional free trade agreements and the agenda for domestic economic reform in China.

  10. Preparation and properties of silk sericin/cellulose cross-linking films

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Kunyan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk sericin/cellulose cross-linked films were successfully prepared using glutaraldehyde as cross-linkinger. FTIR was applied to characterize the chemical structure of films. Cross-linked silk sericin film was found the peak intensity of FTIR for cross-linked film decreased markedly compared to pure silk sericin, which indicating cross-linking reaction has been occurred. The increasing value of swelling ratio also indicated the cross-linking has been happened. The cross-linking reaction increased the thermal decomposition temperature.

  11. Dissolution behavior of silk fibroin in a low concentration CaCl2-methanol solvent: From morphology to nanostructure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Tingting; Wang, Tao; Cheng, Guotao; Huang, Lan; Chen, Lei; Wu, Dayang

    2018-02-05

    Regenerated Silk biomaterials are usually pre-formed from silk fibroin solutions. However, the dissolution of silk fibroin in proper solvents by a simple and low cost way is still a challenge. Here, we employed a CaCl 2 -methanol solvent system with a very low CaCl 2 concentration of 6wt% to dissolve silk fibroin. During the dissolution process, the evaporation of methanol cause the changing of solvation sheath of ions in the solvent. The remaining solvent with the incomplete solvation sheath is absorbed by the silk fiber and interacts with fibroin chains to complete the solvation sheath, which accounts for the dissolution of silk fibroin. Silk fibroin dissolution stops as all the solvation sheaths are complete. The final CaCl 2 concentration is ca. 26% and silk fibroin is completely dissolved with a yield of about 90%. Silk fibroin is dissolved into multi-scale nanofibrils solution which is potential for producing regenerated silk fibroin materials for functional applications. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Phononic band gap and mechanical anisotropy in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulos, Periklis; Gomopoulos, Nikos; Kremer, Friedrich; Fytas, George

    2010-03-01

    Spider dragline silk is a semi-crystalline biopolymer exhibiting superior properties compared to synthetic polymers with similar chemical structure, such as polyamides. This is ascribed to the hierarchical nanostructure that is created in the spinning duct. During this process the aqueous solution of the two protein constituents of dragline silk is crystallized, while the macromolecules maintain their high orientation, leading to a high value of the Young's modulus (in the order of 10 GPa) along the fiber. We employed spontaneous Brillouin light scattering to measure the longitudinal modulus (M//,,M) along the two symmetry directions of the native fiber with increased (decreased) pre-strain created by stretching (supercontracting after hydration). A strong mechanical anisotropy is found; at about 18% strain M///M˜5. Most important, an unexpected finding is the first observation of a unidirectional hypersonic phononic band gap in biological structures. This relates to the existence of a strain-dependent correlation length of the mechanical modulus in the submicron range along the fiber axis.

  13. Nanofibrous nonmulberry silk/PVA scaffold for osteoinduction and osseointegration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Promita; Kundu, Banani; Naskar, Deboki; Maiti, Tapas K; Bhattacharya, Debasis; Kundu, Subhas C

    2015-05-01

    Poly-vinyl alcohol and nonmulberry tasar silk fibroin of Antheraea mylitta are blended to fabricate nanofibrous scaffolds for bone regeneration. Nanofibrous matrices are prepared by electrospinning the equal volume ratio blends of silk fibroin (2 and 4 wt%) with poly-vinyl alcohol solution (10 wt%) and designated as 2SF/PVA and 4SF/PVA, respectively with average nanofiber diameters of 177 ± 13 nm (2SF/PVA) and 193 ± 17 nm (4SF/PVA). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirms retention of the secondary structure of fibroin in blends indicating the structural stability of neo-matrix. Both thermal stability and contact angle of the blends decrease with increasing fibroin percentage. Conversely, fibroin imparts mechanical stability to the blends; greater tensile strength is observed with increasing fibroin concentration. Blended scaffolds are biodegradable and support well the neo-bone matrix synthesis by human osteoblast like cells. The findings indicate the potentiality of nanofibrous scaffolds of nonmulberry fibroin as bone scaffolding material. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Silk Fibroin/Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone Interpenetrating Polymer Network Hydrogels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dajiang Kuang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Silk fibroin hydrogel is an ideal model as biomaterial matrix due to its excellent biocompatibility and used in the field of medical polymer materials. Nevertheless, native fibroin hydrogels show poor transparency and resilience. To settle these drawbacks, an interpenetrating network (IPN of hydrogels are synthesized with changing ratios of silk fibroin/N-Vinyl-2-pyrrolidonemixtures that crosslink by H2O2 and horseradish peroxidase. Interpenetrating polymer network structure can shorten the gel time and the pure fibroin solution gel time for more than a week. This is mainly due to conformation from the random coil to the β-sheet structure changes of fibroin. Moreover, the light transmittance of IPN hydrogel can be as high as more than 97% and maintain a level of 90% within a week. The hydrogel, which mainly consists of random coil, the apertures inside can be up to 200 μm. Elastic modulus increases during the process of gelation. The gel has nearly 95% resilience under the compression of 70% eventually, which is much higher than native fibroin gel. The results suggest that the present IPN hydrogels have excellent mechanical properties and excellent transparency.

  15. Tears or Fears? Comparing Gender Stereotypes about Movie Preferences to Actual Preferences

    OpenAIRE

    Wühr, Peter; Lange, Benjamin P.; Schwarz, Sascha

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the accuracy of gender-specific stereotypes about movie-genre preferences for 17 genres. In Study 1, female and male participants rated the extent to which 17 movie genres are preferred by women or men. In Study 2, another sample of female and male participants rated their own preference for each genre. There were three notable results. First, Study 1 revealed the existence of gender stereotypes for the majority of genres (i.e., for 15 of 17 genres). Second, Study 2 re...

  16. Transitivity of Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regenwetter, Michel; Dana, Jason; Davis-Stober, Clintin P.

    2011-01-01

    Transitivity of preferences is a fundamental principle shared by most major contemporary rational, prescriptive, and descriptive models of decision making. To have transitive preferences, a person, group, or society that prefers choice option "x" to "y" and "y" to "z" must prefer "x" to…

  17. Electromechanical response of silk fibroin hydrogel and conductive polycarbazole/silk fibroin hydrogel composites as actuator material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srisawasdi, Thanida; Petcharoen, Karat; Sirivat, Anuvat; Jamieson, Alexander M

    2015-11-01

    Pure silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel and polycarbazole/silk fibroin (SF/PCZ) hydrogels were fabricated by solvent casting technique to evaluate electromechanical responses, dielectric properties, and cantilever deflection properties as functions of electric field strength, SF concentration, glutaraldehyde concentration, and PCZ concentration in the blends. Electromechanical properties were characterized in oscillatory shear mode at electric field strengths ranging from 0 to 600V/mm and at a temperature of 27°C. For both the pristine SF and SF/PCZ hydrogels, the storage modulus response (ΔG') and the storage modulus sensitivity (ΔG'/G'0) increased dramatically with increasing electric field strength. The pristine hydrogel possessed the highest storage modulus sensitivity value of 5.87, a relatively high value when compared with other previously studied electroactive polymers. With the addition of conductive PCZ in SF hydrogel, the storage modulus sensitivity and the relative dielectric constant decreased; the conductive polymer thus provided the softening effect under electric field. In the deflection response, the dielectrophoresis force and deflection distance increased monotonically with electric field strength, where the pure SF hydrogel showed the highest deflection distance and dielectrophoresis force. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Synthetic spider silk fibers spun from Pyriform Spidroin 2, a glue silk protein discovered in orb-weaving spider attachment discs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geurts, Paul; Zhao, Liang; Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Tang, Simon; Jeffery, Felicia; La Mattina, Coby; Franz, Andreas; Larkin, Leah; Vierra, Craig

    2010-12-13

    Spider attachment disc silk fibers are spun into a viscous liquid that rapidly solidifies, gluing dragline silk fibers to substrates for locomotion or web construction. Here we report the identification and artificial spinning of a novel attachment disc glue silk fibroin, Pyriform Spidroin 2 (PySp2), from the golden orb weaver Nephila clavipes . MS studies support PySp2 is a constituent of the pyriform gland that is spun into attachment discs. Analysis of the PySp2 protein architecture reveals sequence divergence relative to the other silk family members, including the cob weaver glue silk fibroin PySp1. PySp2 contains internal block repeats that consist of two subrepeat units: one dominated by Ser, Gln, and Ala and the other Pro-rich. Artificial spinning of recombinant PySp2 truncations shows that the Ser-Gln-Ala-rich subrepeat is sufficient for the assembly of polymeric subunits and subsequent fiber formation. These studies support that both orb- and cob-weaving spiders have evolved highly polar block-repeat sequences with the ability to self-assemble into fibers, suggesting a strategy to allow fiber fabrication in the liquid environment of the attachment discs.

  19. Drawing-induced changes in morphology and mechanical properties of hornet silk gel films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kameda, Tsunenori; Kojima, Katsura; Togawa, Eiji; Sezutsu, Hideki; Zhang, Qiang; Teramoto, Hidetoshi; Tamada, Yasushi

    2010-04-12

    Complete amino acid sequences of the four major proteins (Vssilk 1-4) of silk (hornet silk) obtained from yellow hornet ( Vespa simillima , Vespinae, Vespidae) cocoons have been determined. The native structure of the hornet silk (HS), in which Vssilk 1-4 have an alpha-helix domain with coiled-coil alpha-helices and a beta-sheet domain, is restored when hornet silk gel films (HSGFs) are formed by pressing and drying HS hydrogel. Necking occurs when dry HSGFs are drawn; however, wet HSGFs can be uniaxially drawn with a draw ratio (DR) of 2. Drawing helps obtain high-performance films with a maximum tensile strength and tensile modulus of 170 MPa and 5.5 GPa, respectively. Drawing-induced changes in the orientation and conformation of the coiled-coil structure are investigated.

  20. Conization of the cervix uteri. Complications in connection with plain catgut or silk suturing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmskov, A; Qvist, N; Møller, A

    1984-01-01

    During a retrospective study on postoperative complications in 213 patients who had undergone conization, a (non-significant) reduction in the bleeding rate from 27.9% to 18.6% was found when using silk sutures (102 patients) instead of plain catgut (111 patients) for adaption of the edges...... group and 16.6% in the silk group. On the other hand, more cases of stenosis of the cervical canal were observed, i.e., 25.5% in the silk group and 8.1% in the catgut group (p less than 0.001). The period of hospitalization was reduced on an average by 2 days when using silk (p less than 0.001)....

  1. Preparation and characterization of silk/silica hybrid biomaterials by sol-gel crosslinking process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hou Aiqin, E-mail: aiqinhou@dhu.edu.c [National Engineering Research Center for Dyeing and Finishing of Textiles, Donghua University, 3H, 2999 North Renmin Road, Songjiang, Shanghai 201620 (China); Chen Huawei [National Engineering Research Center for Dyeing and Finishing of Textiles, Donghua University, 3H, 2999 North Renmin Road, Songjiang, Shanghai 201620 (China)

    2010-03-15

    The silk/silica hybrid biomaterials are synthesized by sol-gel crosslinking process. The chemical and morphological structures of silk/silica hybrids are investigated with micro-FT-IR spectra, X-ray diffraction, SEM, AFM, and DSC. The results show that the crosslinking reactions among inorganic nano-particles, fibroin and 2,4,6-tri[(2-epihydrin-3-bimethyl-ammonium)propyl]-1,3,5-triazine chloride (Tri-EBAC) take place during sol-gel process. The silk/silica hybrids form new molecular structures containing not only organic fibroin but also inorganic nano-silica particles. The inorganic particles are bounded to the fibroin through covalent bonds. The silk/silica hybrids can form excellent film with very even nanometer particles. The thermal properties of organic/inorganic hybrid are improved.

  2. Preparation and characterization of silk/silica hybrid biomaterials by sol-gel crosslinking process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hou Aiqin; Chen Huawei

    2010-01-01

    The silk/silica hybrid biomaterials are synthesized by sol-gel crosslinking process. The chemical and morphological structures of silk/silica hybrids are investigated with micro-FT-IR spectra, X-ray diffraction, SEM, AFM, and DSC. The results show that the crosslinking reactions among inorganic nano-particles, fibroin and 2,4,6-tri[(2-epihydrin-3-bimethyl-ammonium)propyl]-1,3,5-triazine chloride (Tri-EBAC) take place during sol-gel process. The silk/silica hybrids form new molecular structures containing not only organic fibroin but also inorganic nano-silica particles. The inorganic particles are bounded to the fibroin through covalent bonds. The silk/silica hybrids can form excellent film with very even nanometer particles. The thermal properties of organic/inorganic hybrid are improved.

  3. Crystal growth of calcium carbonate in silk fibroin/sodium alginate hydrogel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2014-01-01

    As known, silk fibroin-like protein plays a pivotal role during the formation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals in the nacre sheets. Here, we have prepared silk fibroin/sodium alginate nanofiber hydrogels to serve as templates for calcium carbonate mineralization. In this experiment, we report an interesting finding of calcium carbonate crystal growth in the silk fibroin/sodium alginate nanofiber hydrogels by the vapor diffusion method. The experimental results indicate calcium carbonate crystals obtained from nanofiber hydrogels with different proportions of silk fibroin/sodium alginate are mixture of calcite and vaterite with unusual morphologies. Time-dependent growth study was carried out to investigate the crystallization process. It is believed that nanofiber hydrogels play an important role in the process of crystallization. This study would help in understanding the function of organic polymers in natural mineralization, and provide a novel pathway in the design and synthesis of new materials related unique morphology and structure.

  4. Pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects of corn silk extract on human colon cancer cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hao; Guan, Hong; Yang, Wenqin; Liu, Han; Hou, Huiling; Chen, Xue; Liu, Zhenyan; Zang, Chuangang; Liu, Yuchao; Liu, Jicheng

    2017-02-01

    Corn silk is an economically and nutritionally significant natural product as it represents a staple food for a large proportion of the world population. This study investigated the anticancer activity of corn silk extract in human colon cancer cells and human gastric cancer cells. Following treatment with corn silk extract, certain apoptosis-related events were observed, including inhibition of cell proliferation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), release of Ca2+ and release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytosol. Our results revealed that corn silk extract inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells and increased the level of apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that corn silk extract upregulated the levels of Bax, cytochrome c , caspase-3 and caspase-9, but downregulated the levels of B-cell lymphoma 2. These results suggest that corn silk extract may induce apoptosis through the mitochondria-mediated pathway.

  5. Silk Fibroin Aqueous-Based Adhesives Inspired by Mussel Adhesive Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Kelly A; Roberts, Dane C; Kaplan, David L

    2016-01-11

    Silk fibroin from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori is a naturally occurring biopolymer with charged hydrophilic terminal regions that end-cap a hydrophobic core consisting of repeating sequences of glycine, alanine, and serine residues. Taking inspiration from mussels that produce proteins rich in L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) to adhere to a variety of organic and inorganic surfaces, the silk fibroin was functionalized with catechol groups. Silk fibroin was selected for its high molecular weight, tunable mechanical and degradation properties, aqueous processability, and wide availability. The synthesis of catechol-functionalized silk fibroin polymers containing varying amounts of hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG, 5000 g/mol) side chains was carried out to balance silk hydrophobicity with PEG hydrophilicity. The efficiency of the catechol functionalization reaction did not vary with PEG conjugation over the range studied, although tuning the amount of PEG conjugated was essential for aqueous solubility. Adhesive bonding and cell compatibility of the resulting materials were investigated, where it was found that incorporating as little as 6 wt % PEG prior to catechol functionalization resulted in complete aqueous solubility of the catechol conjugates and increased adhesive strength compared with silk lacking catechol functionalization. Furthermore, PEG-silk fibroin conjugates maintained their ability to form β-sheet secondary structures, which can be exploited to reduce swelling. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) proliferated on the silks, regardless of PEG and catechol conjugation. These materials represent a protein-based approach to catechol-based adhesives, which we envision may find applicability as biodegradable adhesives and sealants.

  6. Flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance of silk fabric coated by graphene oxide

    OpenAIRE

    Ji Yi-Min; Cao Ying-Ying; Chen Guo-Qiang; Xing Tie-Ling

    2017-01-01

    Silk fabrics were coated by graphene oxide hydrosol in order to improve its flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance. In addition, montmorillonoid was doped into the graphene oxide hydrosol to further improve the flame retardancy of silk fabrics. The flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance were mainly characterized by limiting oxygen index, vertical flame test, smoke density test, and ultraviolet protection factor. The synergistic effect of graphene oxide and montmorillonoid on the the...

  7. Nephroprotective effect of Corn Silk extract on oxalic acid-induced nephrocalcinosis in rabbit model

    OpenAIRE

    Faruk Hassan Al-Jawad; Rafi Abdul Majeed Al-Razzuqi; Zainab Awaen Al-Ebady; Thulfuqar Abdul Majeed Al-Razzuqi

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Background : Nephrocalcinosis is a state of deposition of calcium phosphate or oxalate in the renal parenchyma. It may occur in patients with renal tubular acidosis, vitamin D intoxication, and hyperparathyroidism. Corn silk was used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve renal pains. Aim: To evaluate the effect of Corn silk aqueous extract in reducing calcium deposits from renal parenchyma in oxalic acid-induced nephrocalcinosis model. Materials and methods: Fourteen healthy...

  8. Silk-fibrin/hyaluronic acid composite gels for nucleus pulposus tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sang-Hyug; Cho, Hongsik; Gil, Eun Seok; Mandal, Biman B; Min, Byoung-Hyun; Kaplan, David L

    2011-12-01

    Scaffold designs are critical for in vitro culture of tissue-engineered cartilage in three-dimensional environments to enhance cellular differentiation for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In the present study we demonstrated silk and fibrin/hyaluronic acid (HA) composite gels as scaffolds for nucleus pulposus (NP) cartilage formation, providing both biochemical support for NP outcomes as well as fostering the retention of size of the scaffold during culture due to the combined features of the two proteins. Passage two (P2) human chondrocytes cultured in 10% serum were encapsulated within silk-fibrin/HA gels. Five study groups with fibrin/HA gel culture (F/H) along with varying silk concentrations (2% silk gel only, fibrin/HA gel culture with 1% silk [F/H+1S], 1.5% silk [F/H+1.5S], and 2% silk [F/H+2S]) were cultured in serum-free chondrogenic defined media (CDM) for 4 weeks. Histological examination with alcian blue showed a defined chondrogenic area at 1 week in all groups that widened homogenously until 4 weeks. In particular, chondrogenic differentiation observed in the F/H+1.5S had no reduction in size throughout the culture period. The results of biochemical and molecular biological evaluations supported observations made during histological examination. Mechanical strength measurements showed that the silk mixed gels provided stronger mechanical properties for NP tissue than fibrin/HA composite gels in CDM. This effect could potentially be useful in the study of in vitro NP tissue engineering as well as for clinical implications for NP tissue regeneration.

  9. Coating of Silk Fabric Using PVA/Ciprofloxacin Hcl Nanofibers for Biomedical Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somaye Baghersad

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, fabrication of polymeric antibacterial wound dressing has gained most attention in controlling wound infections. Silk is also a member of the broad family of protein-based polmers. The silk produced by the lepidopteran insect Bombyx mori is a highly accepted material due to its long history as a very valuable textile fiber. Recently, additional applications have been developed for silk, mainly in the field of biotechnology. Regarding its importance in wound healing, silk fabric was incorporated with ciprofloxacin, as an antibiotic, on its surface coated with electro-spun PVA/ciprofloxacin nanofibers. Before coating, degumming was carried out using autoclave technique and properties of the silk fabric, before and after degumming process, was investigated by SEM, FTIR, mechanical properties and moisture absorbance measurement. The results of all analyses showed a reduction in fibers diameter, mechanical strength and moisture absorption after degumming process. Electrospinning condition was optimized and diameter of the nanofibers, with and without drug, was measured before coating. The results showed that addition of the drug increased electrical conductivity of electrospinning solution and resulted in finer nanofibers. Antibacterial test was performed using "disk diffusion method" with Escherichia coli (EC and Staphylococcus aureus (SA bacteria to compare the antibacterial properties of degummed and non-degummed silk fabrics alone and coated with nanofibers. Measurement of bacterial inhibition zone diameter showed no antibacterial activity for degummed and non-degummed silk fabrics alone. However, the sample coated with PVA/ciprofloxacin showed antibacterial activity. The antibacterial property for SA in both cases was the same, but for EC, the antibacterial activity of degummed silk fabric was more than that of non-degummed material.

  10. The Eurasian Silk Road: Its historical roots and the Chinese imagination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sally Church

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This article takes a long historical perspective on the Silk Road, attempting to see it from a Chinese point of view. It focuses on five themes that figure in the Chinese imagination of the Silk Road, all rooted in China’s history. These include influences that came to China via the Silk Road in prehistoric and early historic times, patterns of military expansion of Chinese power in the Western regions, the threat of invasion from the northern and north-western frontiers, commercial exchanges and individual travel. Individuals journeyed across the Silk Road for diplomatic, military, commercial and sometimes religious reasons and the various themes overlap to some extent. Some myths are also dispelled: first, the Silk Road was not one route but many; second, other commodities besides silk travelled along it and third, the maritime Silk Road should also be included in the concept. Under Mongol rule, the route was at times an unbroken corridor between East and West on which many people travelled in both directions. When the Mongol empire broke up, travel overland was restricted again, which may have been why China took to the seas in the Ming. At present, China is building a New Silk Road to connect with the rest of the world in a more integrated way than ever before. The focus of this article is on establishing the patterns of the past in the hopes that it will contribute to the discussion of whether these patterns will be repeated in the present or if we are in completely uncharted territory.

  11. Nanostructure characterization of beta-sheet crystals in silk under various temperatures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Yan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper studies the nanostructure characterizations of β-sheet in silk fiber with different reaction temperatures. A molecular dynamic model is developed and simulated by Gromacs software packages. The results reveal the change rules of the number of hydrogen bonds in β-sheet under different temperatures. The best reaction temperature for the β-sheet crystals is also found. This work provides theoretical basis for the designing of materials based on silk.

  12. Characterisation of Ta-based barrier films on SiLK for Cu-metalisation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Nieuwkasteele-Bystrova, Svetlana Nikolajevna; Holleman, J.; Woerlee, P.H.; Wolters, Robertus A.M.

    2002-01-01

    Structures with Ta, TaxN1-x, Ta90C10, Ta95Si5 on SiLK were tested using in-situ 4- point probe resistance measurements during annealing up to 400oC. The change in normalized resistance by a factor of up to 2.58 was attributed to oxygen diffusion out of SiLK layer into the barriers. No direct

  13. Fibril Formation by pH and Temperature Responsive Silk-Elastin Block Copolymers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Golinska, M.D.; Pham, T.T.H.; Werten, M.W.T.; Wolf, de F.A.; Cohen Stuart, M.A.; Gucht, van der J.

    2013-01-01

    In this report, we study the self-assembly of two silk-elastin-like proteins: one is a diblock S24E40 composed of 24 silk-like (S) repeats and 40 elastin-like (E) repeats; the other is a triblock S12C4E40, in which the S and E blocks are separated by a random coil block (C4). Upon lowering the pH,

  14. Mapping domain structures in silks from insects and spiders related to protein assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bini, Elisabetta; Knight, David P; Kaplan, David L

    2004-01-02

    The exceptional solubility in vivo (20-30%, w/v) of the silk proteins of insects and spiders is dictated by both the need to produce solid fibres with a high packing fraction and the high mesogen concentration required for lyotropic liquid crystalline spinning. A further design requirement for silk proteins is a strong predominance of hydrophobic amino acid residues to provide for the hydrophobic interactions, water exclusion, and beta-crystallite formation required to produce strong insoluble threads. Thus, the domain structure of silk proteins needs to enable nanoscale phase separation to achieve high solubility of hydrophobic proteins in aqueous solutions. Additionally, silk proteins need to avoid premature precipitation as beta-sheets during storage and processing. Here we use mapping of domain types, sizes and distributions in silks to identify consistent design features that have evolved to meet these requirements. We show that silk proteins consist of conspicuously hydrophilic terminal domains flanking a very long central portion constructed from hydrophobic blocks separated by hydrophilic ones, discussing the domain structure in detail. The general rules of construction for silk proteins based on our observations should give a useful guide to the way in which Nature has solved the problem of processing hydrophobic proteins in water and how this can be copied industrially. Following these rules may also help in obtaining adequate expression, soluble products and controllable conformational switches in the production of genetically engineered or chemically synthesized silk analogues. Thus these insights have implications for structural biology and relevance to fundamental and applied questions in material science and engineering.

  15. An optically transparent, flexible, patterned and conductive silk biopolymer film (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umar, Muhammad; Min, Kyungtaek; Kim, Sunghwan

    2017-02-01

    Transparent, flexible, and conducting films are of great interest for wearable electronics. For better biotic/abiotic interface, the films to integrate the electronics components requires the patterned surface conductors with optical transparency, smoothness, good electrical conductivity, along with the biofriendly traits of films. We focus on silk fibroin, a natural biopolymer extracted from the Bombyx mori cocoons, for this bioelectronics applications. Here we report an optically transparent, flexible, and patterned surface conductor on a silk film by burying a silver nanowires (AgNW) network below the surface of the silk film. The conducting silk film reveals high optical transparency of 80% and the excellent electronic conductivity of 15 Ω/sq, along with smooth surface. The integration of light emitting diode (LED) chip on the patterned electrodes confirms that the current can flow through the transparent and patterned electrodes on the silk film, and this result shows an application for integration of functional electronic/opto-electronic devices. Additionally, we fabricate a transparent and flexible radio frequency (RF) antenna and resistor on a silk film and apply these as a food sensor by monitoring the increasing resistance by the flow of gases from the spoiled food.

  16. Review structure of silk by raman spectromicroscopy: from the spinning glands to the fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, Thierry; Paquet-Mercier, François; Rioux-Dubé, Jean-François; Pézolet, Michel

    2012-06-01

    Raman spectroscopy has long been proved to be a useful tool to study the conformation of protein-based materials such as silk. Thanks to recent developments, linearly polarized Raman spectromicroscopy has appeared very efficient to characterize the molecular structure of native single silk fibers and spinning dopes because it can provide information relative to the protein secondary structure, molecular orientation, and amino acid composition. This review will describe recent advances in the study of the structure of silk by Raman spectromicroscopy. A particular emphasis is put on the spider dragline and silkworm cocoon threads, other fibers spun by orb-weaving spiders, the spinning dope contained in their silk glands and the effect of mechanical deformation. Taken together, the results of the literature show that Raman spectromicroscopy is particularly efficient to investigate all aspects of silk structure and production. The data provided can lead to a better understanding of the structure of the silk dope, transformations occurring during the spinning process, and structure and mechanical properties of native fibers. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Role of chondroitin sulphate tethered silk scaffold in cartilaginous disc tissue regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Chawla, Shikha; Chameettachal, Shibu; Murab, Sumit; Bhavesh, Neel Sarovar; Ghosh, Sourabh

    2016-04-12

    Strategies for tissue engineering focus on scaffolds with tunable structure and morphology as well as optimum surface chemistry to simulate the anatomy and functionality of the target tissue. Silk fibroin has demonstrated its potential in supporting cartilaginous tissue formation both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigate the role of controlled lamellar organization and chemical composition of biofunctionalized silk scaffolds in replicating the structural properties of the annulus region of an intervertebral disc using articular chondrocytes. Covalent attachment of chondroitin sulfate (CS) to silk is characterized. CS-conjugated silk constructs demonstrate enhanced cellular metabolic activity and chondrogenic redifferentiation potential with significantly improved mechanical properties over silk-only constructs. A matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis and protein-protein interaction studies help to generate insights into how CS conjugation can facilitate the production of disc associated matrix proteins, compared to a silk-only based construct. An in-depth understanding of the interplay between such extra cellular matrix associated proteins should help in designing more rational scaffolds for cartilaginous disc regeneration needs.

  18. Graphene oxide from silk cocoon: a novel magnetic fluorophore for multi-photon imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Manas; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Maurya, Sandeep Kumar; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Sethy, Niroj; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Goswami, Debabrata; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Das, Mainak

    2014-02-01

    In this work, we synthesized graphene oxide from silk cocoon embarking its new dimension as a magnetic fluorophore when compared with its present technical status, which at best is for extracting silk as a biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. We produced graphene oxide by pyrolysing the silk cocoon in an inert atmosphere. The collected raw carbon is oxidized by nitric acid that readily produces multilayer graphene oxide with nano carbon particulates. Structural properties of the graphene oxide were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. The oxidized sample shows remarkable fluorescence, multi-photon imaging and magnetic properties. On increasing the excitation wavelength, the fluorescence emission intensity of the graphene oxide also increases and found maximum emission at 380 nm excitation wavelength. On studying the two photon absorption (TPA) property of aqueous graphene oxide using Z-scan technique, we found significant TPA activity at near infrared wavelength. In addition, the graphene oxide shows ferromagnetic behavior at room temperature. The observed fluorescence and magnetic property were attributed to the defects caused in the graphene oxide structure by introducing oxygen containing hydrophilic groups during the oxidation process. Previously silk cocoon has been used extensively in deriving silk-based tissue engineering materials and as gas filter. Here we show a novel application of silk cocoon by synthesizing graphene oxide based magnetic-fluorophore for bio-imaging applications.

  19. Fabrication of silk fibroin film using centrifugal casting technique for corneal tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Min Chae; Kim, Dong-Kyu; Lee, Ok Joo; Kim, Jung-Ho; Ju, Hyung Woo; Lee, Jung Min; Moon, Bo Mi; Park, Hyun Jung; Kim, Dong Wook; Kim, Su Hyeon; Park, Chan Hum

    2016-04-01

    Films prepared from silk fibroin have shown potential as biomaterials in tissue engineering applications for the eye. Here, we present a novel process for fabrication of silk fibroin films for corneal application. In this work, fabrication of silk fibroin films was simply achieved by centrifugal force. In contrast to the conventional dry casting method, we carried out the new process in a centrifuge with a rotating speed of 4000 rpm, where centrifugal force was imposed on an aluminum tube containing silk fibroin solution. In the present study, we also compared the surface roughness, mechanical properties, transparency, and cell proliferation between centrifugal and dry casting method. In terms of surface morphology, films fabricated by the centrifugal casting have less surface roughness than those by the dry casting. For elasticity and transparency, silk fibroin films obtained from the centrifugal casting had favorable results compared with those prepared by dry casting. Furthermore, primary human corneal keratocytes grew better in films prepared by the centrifugal casting. Therefore, our results suggest that this new fabrication process for silk fibroin films offers important potential benefits for corneal tissue regeneration. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Characterization and mechanical performance study of silk/PVA cryogels: towards nucleus pulposus tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neo, Puay Yong; Shi, Pujiang; Goh, James Cho-Hong; Toh, Siew Lok

    2014-10-20

    Poly (vinyl) alcohol (PVA) cryogels are reported in the literature for application in nucleus pulposus (NP) replacement strategies. However, these studies are mainly limited to acellular approaches-in part due to the high hydrophilicity of PVA gels that renders cellular adhesion difficult. Silk is a versatile biomaterial with excellent biocompatibility. We hypothesize that the incorporation of silk with PVA will (i) improve the cell-hosting abilities of PVA cryogels and (ii) allow better tailoring of physical properties of the composite cryogels for an NP tissue engineering purpose. 5% (wt/vol) PVA is blended with 5% silk fibroin (wt/vol) to investigate the effect of silk : PVA ratios on the cryogels' physical properties. Results show that the addition of silk results in composite cryogels that are able to swell to more than 10 times its original dry weight and rehydrate to at least 70% of its original wet weight. Adding at least 20% silk significantly improves surface hydrophobicity and is correlated with an improvement in cell-hosting abilities. Cell-seeded cryogels also display an increment in compressive modulus and hoop stress values. In all, adding silk to PVA creates cryogels that can be potentially used as NP replacements.

  1. Improving the mechanical properties of collagen-based membranes using silk fibroin for corneal tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Kai; Liu, Yang; Li, Weichang; Wang, Lin; Liu, Sa; Wang, Yingjun; Wang, Zhichong; Ren, Li

    2015-03-01

    Although collagen with outstanding biocompatibility has promising application in corneal tissue engineering, the mechanical properties of collagen-based scaffolds, especially suture retention strength, must be further improved to satisfy the requirements of clinical applications. This article describes a toughness reinforced collagen-based membrane using silk fibroin. The collagen-silk fibroin membranes based on collagen [silk fibroin (w/w) ratios of 100:5, 100:10, and 100:20] were prepared by using silk fibroin and cross-linking by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide. These membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and their optical property, and NaCl and tryptophan diffusivity had been tested. The water content was found to be dependent on the content of silk fibroin, and CS10 membrane (loading 10 wt % of silk fibroin) performed the optimal mechanical properties. Also the suture experiments have proved CS10 has high suture retention strength, which can be sutured in rabbit eyes integrally. Moreover, the composite membrane proved good biocompatibility for the proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Lamellar keratoplasty shows that CS10 membrane promoted complete epithelialization in 35 ± 5 days, and their transparency is restored quickly in the first month. Corneal rejection reaction, neovascularization, and keratoconus are not observed. The composite films show potential for use in the field of corneal tissue engineering. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. In vivo NMR analysis of incorporation of [2-13C] glycine into silk fibroin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asakura, Tetsuo; Nagashima, Mariko; Demura, Makoto; Osanai, Minoru.

    1990-01-01

    The biosynthetic mechanism of silk fibroin in silkworms, Bombyx mori, is unique because this fibrous protein composed mainly of glycine, alanine and serine is produced very rapidly in large quantity in the posterior silk glands. It is very meaningful to investigate into the biosynthesis of silk protein under nondestructive condition by in vivo NMR and C-13 labeling techniques. The sugar metabolism related to the production of silk fibroin was analyzed by monitoring the change in the C-13 labeled peaks in the NMR spectra for silkworms. In this paper, the monitoring of the 2-(C-13) glycine metabolism in Bombyx mori by the C-13 NMR in vivo is reported. In particular, the in vivo transport of glycine from the midgut to the posterior silk gland was measured, and the rate constants were determined with the course of the peak intensity in the C-13 NMR spectra. It is possible to discuss quantitatively the in vivo production of silk fibroin with these rate constants. The experiment and the results are reported. The in vivo C-13 NMR spectra of a 5 day old, 5th instar larva of Bombyx mori after the oral administration of 2-(C-13) glycine are shown. The significant increase of the peak intensity occurred. (K.I.)

  3. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana, E-mail: svetlana8@vin.bg.ac.rs [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Prekajski, Marija [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia); Rabasović, Mihailo [University of Belgrade, Institute of Physics (Serbia); Zarubica, Aleksandra [University of Niš, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Mathematics (Serbia); Branković, Goran [University of Belgrade, Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Department of Material Science (Serbia); Matović, Branko [University of Belgrade, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences (Serbia)

    2017-02-15

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO{sub 3}){sub 3}) and ammonium hydroxide (NH{sub 4}OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce{sup 3+} ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  4. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Different Silk Yields of Two Silkworm Strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Li

    Full Text Available Cocoon and silk yields are the most important characteristics of sericulture. However, few studies have examined the genes that modulate these features. Further studies of these genes will be useful for improving the products of sericulture. JingSong (JS and Lan10 (L10 are two strains having significantly different cocoon and silk yields. In the current study, RNA-Seq and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR were performed on both strains in order to determine divergence of the silk gland, which controls silk biosynthesis in silkworms. Compared with L10, JS had 1375 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 738 up-regulated genes and 673 down-regulated genes. Nine enriched gene ontology (GO terms were identified by GO enrichment analysis based on these DEGs. KEGG enrichment analysis results showed that the DEGs were enriched in three pathways, which were mainly associated with the processing and biosynthesis of proteins. The representative genes in the enrichment pathways and ten significant DEGs were further verified by qPCR, the results of which were consistent with the RNA-Seq data. Our study has revealed differences in silk glands between the two silkworm strains and provides a perspective for understanding the molecular mechanisms determining silk yield.

  5. Role of chondroitin sulphate tethered silk scaffold in cartilaginous disc tissue regeneration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhattacharjee, Maumita; Chawla, Shikha; Chameettachal, Shibu; Murab, Sumit; Ghosh, Sourabh; Bhavesh, Neel Sarovar

    2016-01-01

    Strategies for tissue engineering focus on scaffolds with tunable structure and morphology as well as optimum surface chemistry to simulate the anatomy and functionality of the target tissue. Silk fibroin has demonstrated its potential in supporting cartilaginous tissue formation both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigate the role of controlled lamellar organization and chemical composition of biofunctionalized silk scaffolds in replicating the structural properties of the annulus region of an intervertebral disc using articular chondrocytes. Covalent attachment of chondroitin sulfate (CS) to silk is characterized. CS-conjugated silk constructs demonstrate enhanced cellular metabolic activity and chondrogenic redifferentiation potential with significantly improved mechanical properties over silk-only constructs. A matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight analysis and protein–protein interaction studies help to generate insights into how CS conjugation can facilitate the production of disc associated matrix proteins, compared to a silk-only based construct. An in-depth understanding of the interplay between such extra cellular matrix associated proteins should help in designing more rational scaffolds for cartilaginous disc regeneration needs. (paper)

  6. Hunting with sticky tape: functional shift in silk glands of araneophagous ground spiders (Gnaphosidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolff, Jonas O; Řezáč, Milan; Krejčí, Tomáš; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2017-06-15

    Foraging is one of the main evolutionary driving forces shaping the phenotype of organisms. In predators, a significant, though understudied, cost of foraging is the risk of being injured by struggling prey. Hunting spiders that feed on dangerous prey like ants or other spiders are an extreme example of dangerous feeding, risking their own life over a meal. Here, we describe an intriguing example of the use of attachment silk (piriform silk) for prey immobilization that comes with the costs of reduced silk anchorage function, increased piriform silk production and additional modifications of the extrusion structures (spigots) to prevent their clogging. We show that the piriform silk of gnaphosids is very stretchy and tough, which is an outstanding feat for a functional glue. This is gained by the combination of an elastic central fibre and a bi-layered glue coat consisting of aligned nanofibrils. This represents the first tensile test data on the ubiquitous piriform gland silk, adding an important puzzle piece to the mechanical catalogue of silken products in spiders. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Photoluminescent properties of spider silk coated with Eu-doped nanoceria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dmitrović, Svetlana; Nikolić, Marko G.; Jelenković, Branislav; Prekajski, Marija; Rabasović, Mihailo; Zarubica, Aleksandra; Branković, Goran; Matović, Branko

    2017-01-01

    Spider dragline silk was coated with pure as well as Eu-doped ceria nanopowders at the room temperature. The treatment was done by immersion of the spider silk mesh into aqueous solutions of cerium nitrate (Ce(NO_3)_3) and ammonium hydroxide (NH_4OH). Depending on the relationship between Ce"3"+ ion and ammonium hydroxide concentration, coated fibers exhibited a different thickness. Obtained materials were studied by means of FESEM. It was found that ceria nanoparticles of average size of 3 nm were coated along spider thread. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and selected-area electron diffraction (SAED) confirmed crystal nature of nanoparticle coating of spider silk. By using Williamson-Hall plots, crystallite size and strain were estimated. EDS measurement confirmed the presence of Eu in spider-Eu-doped ceria composite, and according to FTIR analysis, the interaction between CeO2 and spider silk was proposed. The morphology of obtained composite was observed by TEM. The photoluminescence emission spectra of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria were measured with two different excitations of 385 and 466 nm. The two-photon excited auto-fluorescence of spider silk coated with Eu-doped ceria was detected using a nonlinear laser scanning microscope. Obtained composite has a potential as a fluorescent labeling material in diverse applications.

  8. Pro-apoptotic and anti-proliferative effects of corn silk extract on human colon cancer cell lines

    OpenAIRE

    Guo, Hao; Guan, Hong; Yang, Wenqin; Liu, Han; Hou, Huiling; Chen, Xue; Liu, Zhenyan; Zang, Chuangang; Liu, Yuchao; Liu, Jicheng

    2016-01-01

    Corn silk is an economically and nutritionally significant natural product as it represents a staple food for a large proportion of the world population. This study investigated the anticancer activity of corn silk extract in human colon cancer cells and human gastric cancer cells. Following treatment with corn silk extract, certain apoptosis-related events were observed, including inhibition of cell proliferation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), release of Ca2+ and release of...

  9. Antibacterial effect of silk treated with silver and copper nanoparticles synthesized by pulsed laser ablation in distilled water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruah, Prahlad K.; Raman, Moghe A.; Chakrabartty, Ishani; Rangan, Latha; Sharma, Ashwini K.; Khare, Alika

    2018-05-01

    The antibacterial activity of three kinds of silks viz. Eri, Pat and Muga treated with silver and copper nanoparticles is reported in this paper. The nanoparticles have been synthesized by pulsed laser ablation of the respective metal targets in distilled water. Treatment of the silk pellets with the synthesized nanoparticles exhibited definite antibacterial activity whereas no such activity is observed in the untreated silk pellets.

  10. Factors Influencing Parents' Preferences and Parents' Perceptions of Child Preferences of Picturebooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Laura

    2017-01-01

    This study examined factors influencing parents' preferences and their perceptions of their children's preferences for picturebooks. First, a content analysis was conducted on a set of picturebooks (N = 87) drawn from the sample described in Wagner (2013); Then, parents (N = 149) rated the books and several content properties were examined for their ability to predict parents' preferences and their perception of their children's preferences. The initial content analysis found correlated clusters of disparate measures of complexity (linguistic, cognitive, narrative) and identified a distinctive sub-genre of modern books featuring female protagonists. The experimental