Spider silks could become the intelligent materials of the future, according to a review article published this month in the journal Microbial Cell Factories. The characteristics of spider silk could have applications in areas ranging from medicine to ballistics.
The distinctive toughness of spider silk could allow manufacturers to improve wound-closure systems and plasters, and to produce artificial ligaments and tendons for durable surgical implants. The silk could also be woven into strong textiles to make parachutes, body armour, ropes and fishing nets. A whole range of ecological materials could emerge from the industrial production of spider silk.
Thomas Scheibel, from the Department of Chemistry of the Technische Universität in München explains that there are currently over 34,000 described species of spider, each with a specific tool-kit of silks with different mechanical properties serving specific purposes.
Juliette Savin | alfa
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