Properties and potential medical applications of silk fibers produced by Rothischildia lebeau

Narendra Reddy, Qiuran Jiang, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rothischildia lebeau which belongs to the Saturniidae family of silk-producing insects secretes protein fibers with properties between that of the Bombyx mori and the common wild silks. Traditionally, wild silks produced by insects such as Antheraea mylitta are considerably coarser and have inferior tensile properties than the domesticated and most commonly used silk produced by B. mori. Recently, it has been demonstrated that some of the wild silks have unique properties and preferable for medical applications. Wild silks are comparatively easier to rear, produce larger cocoons, and could have unique properties. In this research, the structure and properties of the silk fibers produced by R. lebeau were studied and the potential of using the fibers for medical applications was investigated. Fibers produced by R. lebeau had average tensile strength of 3.3 g/den, similar to that of wild silks but lower than that of the B. mori silk. R. lebeau fibers were biocompatible and showed potential to be useful for tissue engineering and other medical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-830
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • Rothischildia lebeau
  • protein fibers
  • tissue engineering
  • wild silk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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