UCLAiGEM:Protocols/LiBr solubilization

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Dissolving Silk in LiBr

Reference: <a href = "http://www.nature.com/nprot/journal/v6/n10/full/nprot.2011.379.html">"Materials fabrication from Bombyx mori silk fibroin," Kaplan 2011 </a>


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  1. Prepare 9.3 M LiBr
  1. molecular weight of LiBr: 86.85 g/mol
  2. Important: The LiBr will increase the volume of solution significantly, so fill up the container with 60% of your volume of water, then add the weighed LiBr, then fill the remainder of the water up to your desired volume.
  3. Important: LiBr is extremely hygroscopic (absorbs moisture), so do not let it sit out uncovered for too long.
  4. Important: LiBr dissolving in water is very exothermic. If dissolving large quantities of LiBr, it might be a good idea to have some ice on hand to cool down the container
  1. Mix silk and LiBr according to the ratio (1 g silk : 4 mL LiBr (9.3M))
  1. Use as small of a container as possible
  2. Fluff the silk as much as possible before placing into container
  3. Put silk in the container before the LiBr
  1. Bake at 60 celcius for 4 hours
  1. May take longer, depending on various factors.
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