Material (above) created in Paula Hammonds MIT lab by graduate students LaShanda James-Korley and Greg Pollock (below) will be spun into a spiderweb-like substance.
PHOTO / DONNA COVENEY
As a fiber, spider silk is so desirable that scientists have spent decades trying to find a way to mimic it. A team at MIT has been tackling the problem from two directions.
“The main goal is to be able to reproduce the enormous energy absorption and strength-bearing properties of spider silk," said Paula T. Hammond, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering. "[We want] to be able to obtain a material in large quantities and cheaply … without DNA techniques, which are expensive."
Hammond’s graduate students Greg Pollock and LaShanda James-Korley presented papers on the research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society on March 23-27. The work is part of a collaborative effort between Hammond and Professor Gareth McKinley of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Elizabeth Thomson | MIT
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