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Interfacial water and its potential role in the function of sericin against biofouling.

Authors
  • Pedregal-Cortés, Ricardo1
  • Toriz, Guillermo2
  • Delgado, Ezequiel1
  • Pollack, Gerald H3
  • 1 Departamento de Madera, Celulosa y Papel, Universidad de Guadalajara , Zapopan , Jalisco , Mexico. , (Mexico)
  • 2 Instituto Transdiciplinar de Investigación y Servicios/Departamento de Madera, Celulosa y Papel, Universidad de Guadalajara , Zapopan , Jalisco , México.
  • 3 Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington , Seattle , WA , USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biofouling
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2019
Volume
35
Issue
7
Pages
732–741
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/08927014.2019.1653863
PMID: 31468985
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Silk sericin is a globular protein whose resistance against fouling is important for applications in biomaterials and water-purification membranes. Here it is shown how sericin generates a water-exclusion zone that may facilitate antifouling behavior. Negatively charged microspheres were used to mimic the surface charge and hydrophobic domains in bacteria. Immersed in water, regenerated silk sericin formed a 100-µm-sized exclusion zone (for micron-size foulants), along with a proton gradient with a decrease of >2 pH-units. Thus, when in contact with sericin, water molecules near the surface restructure to form a physical exclusionary barrier that might prevent biofouling. The decreased pH turns the aqueous medium unviable for neutrophilic bacteria. Therefore, resistance to biofouling seems explainable, among other factors, on the basis of water-exclusionary phenomena. Furthermore, sericin may play a role in triggering the fibroin assembly process by lowering the pH to the required value.

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