Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Robust Assembly of Cross-Linked Protein Nanofibrils into Hierarchically Structured Microfibers

Ye, Xinchen; Capezza, Antonio J.; Davoodi, Saeed; Wei, Xin-Feng; Andersson, Richard L.; Chumakov, Andrei; Roth, Stephan V.; Langton, Maud; Lundell, Fredrik; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Lendel, Christofer;

Abstract

Natural, high-performance fibers generally have hierarchically organized nanosized building blocks. Inspired by this, whey protein nanofibrils (PNFs) are assembled into microfibers, using flow-focusing. By adding genipin as a nontoxic cross-linker to the PNF suspension before spinning, significantly improved mechanical properties of the final fiber are obtained. For curved PNFs, with a low content of cross-linker (2%) the fiber is almost 3 times stronger and 4 times stiffer than the fiber without a cross-linker. At higher content of genipin (10%), the elongation at break increases by a factor of 2 and the energy at break increases by a factor of 5. The cross-linking also enables the spinning of microfibers from long straight PNFs, which has not been achieved before. These microfibers have higher stiffness and strength but lower ductility and toughness than those made from curved PNFs. The fibers spun from the two classes of nanofibrils show clear morphological differences. The study demonstrates the production of protein-based microfibers with mechanical properties similar to natural protein-based fibers and provides insights about the role of the nanostructure in the assembly process.

Keywords

protein nanofibrils; amyloid; hierarchal assembly; cross-linking; flow-focusing

Published in

ACS Nano

2022, volume: 16, number: 8, pages: 12471-12479
Publisher: AMER CHEMICAL SOC

Authors' information

Ye, Xinchen
Royal Institute of Technology
Capezza, Antonio J.
Royal Institute of Technology
Davoodi, Saeed
Royal Institute of Technology
Wei, Xin-Feng
Royal Institute of Technology
Andersson, Richard L.
Royal Institute of Technology
Chumakov, Andrei
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Roth, Stephan V.
Royal Institute of Technology
Roth, Stephan V.
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Molecular Sciences
Lundell, Fredrik
Royal Institute of Technology
Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
Royal Institute of Technology
Lendel, Christofer
Royal Institute of Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Polymer Chemistry
Nano-technology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.2c03790

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/118569