Silk fibers produced by Argema mittrei, the exotic insect commonly called the Madagascar moon moth had tensile properties similar to that of wool and showed good potential to be used for tissue engineering applications. Silks produced by wild insects are reported to have structure and properties that makes them suitable for medical applications. Argema mittrei belongs to the saturniidae family of silk producing insects and produces unique cocoons that are highly lustrous and have considerable amounts of perforations. In this research, we have studied the structure and properties of the silk fibers produced by Argema mittrei. Fibers extracted from A. mittrei had fineness of 12 denier (average diameter of 50 μm), breaking strength of 230 MPa and Young's modulus of 6.7 GPa, similar to that of wool. Morphologically, the fibers had a circular to ribbon-like cross-sections and fiber surfaces after degumming showed the presence of striations. The A. mittrei fibers and films made from A. mittrei silk showed excellent attachment and growth of fibroblast cells suggesting biocompatibility and potential to be used for medical applications.
- Argema mittrei
- Silk Fibers
- Wild Silk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment