A new spin-out from Oxford University, Spinox, is aiming to devise novel ways to copy spiders` ability to spin silks. The new silks may be used for sutures or woven material for surgical implants, protective clothing and in sports equipment.
Spinox has been set up to fully develop a spinning process to create high performance fibres from natural or artificial proteins based on the principles used by spiders and insects to create natural silk fibres. This approach - biomimetic (mimicking biology) spinning - is based on patents and expertise from leading spider and silk experts Professor Fritz Vollrath and Dr David Knight at Oxford`s Department of Zoology, who together published an authoritative overview of natural silk spinning in the leading science journal Nature last year.
High performance silk fibres are amazingly tough and may eventually out-compete oil-based polymer fibres, and illustrate how future materials can be based on sustainable, non-polluting processes inspired by nature. Natural spinning processes are highly energy efficient and do not require high temperatures, strongly acidic solutions or toxic organic solvents. They show excellent properties over a wide range of temperatures and can be made magnetic or conducting. A wide range of feedstocks might be used for biomimetic spinning including artificially synthesised or genetically engineered protein analogues and natural `silk-like` proteins obtained from wheat or rice grains. The company will seek to exploit its understanding of the underlying processing of molecular self-assembly to address other materials markets.
Dr Knight said: "Spinox is an excellent example of how we can use nature`s ingenuity to help us develop new processes and materials with quite exceptional properties in an eco-friendly way."
Nicola Old | alphagalileo
Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics
06.12.2016 | Georgia Institute of Technology
InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light
05.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering