RESEARCH ARTICLE


Layer-by-Layer Structured Membranes of Silk Fibroin and Polyethylenimine on Electrospun Silk Fibroin Nanofibers



Zhou Weitao*, 1, Huang Haitao2, Du Shan3, Huo Yingdong1, He Jianxin1, Cui JianxinShizhong1
P.O. Box 110, College of Textiles, Zhongyuan University of Technology, 41 Zhongyuan Road, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, 450007 P.R. China.


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© 2014 Zhou et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the P.O. Box 110, College of Textiles, Zhongyuan University of Technology, 41 Zhongyuan Road, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, 450007 P.R. China; Tel: +86 13783699675; Fax: +86 0371 62506970; E-mail: snowballer@163.com, weitao_zhou@yahoo.com


Abstract

Self-assembled silk fibroin (SF)-polyethylenimine (PEI) multilayered films were fabricated on ethanol treated electrospun SF nanofibrous substrates via the electrostatic layer-by-layer (LBL) adsorption. The film coated membranes were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectrophotometer (XPS). The SEM images showed that the multilayers of SF-PEI were formed on the surface of the ethanol treated SF nanofibres. The characteristics such as the fiber shape and porous structure were well maintained as the number of the coated SF-PEI bilayers was less than five. However, obvious adhesive substances and blocked pores were observed on the surface of the fibers as the number of bilayers of SF-PEI increased to six. Furthermore, the obvious core-shell structures were observed by TEM. The thickness of five SF-PEI bilayers was approximately 80nm. Additionally, the XPS results also revealed that the SF-PEI multilayer composite membranes formed. The adsorption mainly depended on a simple electrostatic interaction between the layers of SF and PEI. These SF-PEI multilayer assembled nanofibrous membranes could be a promising material for use as a sensor, gene delivery agent and scaffolds.

Keywords: Electrostatic adsorption, morphology, polyethylenimine, self-assembly, silk fibroin.