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
One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
15.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences