Keratin micro-tubes were obtained by heating medullated keratin fibres to temperatures above 230 °C under nitrogen atmosphere, when, as documented by microscopy, the cortex (the core of the fibre) melts from the medulla outwards, followed by pyrolysis of the material through the remaining solid cuticle (shell) layer. The resulted hollow tubes from fibres void of cortical material keep the external cuticle structure, as shown by AFM investigation, and the moisture sorption properties of the initial keratin fibre. Despite similar amino-acid compositions of cuticle and cortex the two morphological components differ significantly in their thermal behaviour, which appears to be a "cortex-cuticle thermal stability paradox".
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Biological Macromolecules|
|Early online date||11 May 2016|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2016|
- Keratin fibre
- Thermal stability