Study on the microstructure of African wild silk cocoon shells and fibers.
Teshome A., Vollrath F., Raina SK., Kabaru JM., Onyari J.
Silk fibers and cocoon shells from four African wild silkmoths Gonometa postica, Anaphe panda, Argema mimosae and Epiphora bauhiniae-were studied to gain insight into the structure-property-function relations and potential commercial application. The surface and cross-section of cocoon shells and fibers revealed the presence of prominent structural variations. Cocoon shells were multilayered and porous structures constructed from highly cross-linked fibers that are densely packed within the sericin/gum. Fibers had fibrillar sub-structures running along the fiber axis and with greater number and size of voids. The ecological significance and implication of these structures for further application are discussed.