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Title: Untangled : species identification of silks by protein mass spectrometry
Author: Lee, Boyoung
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3295
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Historical records and archaeological findings suggest the commercial use of wild silks in the ancient Middle East and Europe before the dissemination of Chinese silk. However, scientific analysis of archaeological textiles is often hindered by their physical durability and the analytical capacity of conventional microscopic methods, and thus limitations of accurate identification have resulted in many controversies. This research aims to promote the comprehensive understanding of silk, by providing literature reviews in the entomological, historical and physico-chemical aspects of the material. On this foundation, the experimental works were designed to establish the potential methods of protein mass spectrometry of silk fibroins. The objectives of the experiments were to distinguish and to identify the different species of silk. Firstly, a study on the solubilisation of silk fibroins using domesticated and wild silk species was implemented. Then the development of analytical protocols for the protein mass spectrometry of silk fibroins followed, employing peptide sequencing using tandem mass spectrometry as the primary tool of analysis. The resulting analytical protocol enabled the identification and distinction between seven different types of fresh silk samples of Bombyx, Antheraea and Samia silks. Furthermore, it was also effective in the identification of silks in severely degraded archaeological textiles. Although in its emerging stages, this research could offer a new, accurate and reliable approach to the identification of silks, and a way to resolve past and future disputes of archaeological textile attributions.
Supervisor: Pollard, Alan Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available