The fine structure of Bombyx mori silk fibroin was investigated by electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques. Examination of silk fibers fragmented with ultrasonic radiation and negatively stained revealed the presence of ribbon-like filaments of well-defined lateral dimensions. Analysis of the breadths of the equatorial reflections in the X-ray diffraction pattern of fibroin yielded similar dimensions for the lateral extent of the crystallites. It is concluded that the crystalline material in B. mori silk fibroin is in the form of ribbon-like filaments of considerable length parallel to the fiber axis and of lateral dimensions approximately 20 x 60 A.

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