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Particulate sol route hydroxyapatite thin Film-silk protein interface interactions
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Hydroxyapatite (HAp) thin film coatings were prepared on bioinert glass slides by a particulate sol method and the effects of intermediate silk fibroin and silk sericin coatings on the HAp film formation and surface topography were examined. The films prepared with smaller crushed particle sols had a higher agglomeration tendency during the drying consolidation step of the thin film formation, and contained agglomerates larger in number and size, which was demonstrated experimentally and in accordance with the DLVO theory. In the thin films prepared on intermediate sericin and fibroin films the number and size of agglomerates were decisively reduced, forming homogeneous films of predominantly primary particles, especially for the larger particle size sols. The regular surface electrostatic potential arrangements of the β-sheet structures of the sericin and fibroin, and of hydroxyapatite crystals, gave rise to the coulombic attraction driven surface energy minimization, enhancing the hydroxyapatite thin film formation process. The positive degree of cooperativity in the hydroxyapatite particle deposition on the silk protein coatings was disrupted by the particle agglomeration tendency.