Most stretchable spider silk reported

Feb 08, 2012

The egg sac silk of the cocoon stalk of the cave spider Meta menardi is the most stretchable egg sac silk yet tested, according to a study published Feb. 8 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Spider silk is of broad interest for its strength, extensibility and toughness and possible applications for material science and biomechanical engineering, and there are many different types of silk from many different . In the current study, the authors, led by Nicola Pugno of Politecnico di Torino in Italy, collected egg sacs from caves in Piedmont in northwest Italy and tested their response to .

They found that the egg sac silk of the cocoon stalk was more stretchable than any previously tested egg sac silk. These results may partly reflect the fact that the silk was collected from its natural habitat rather than produced in a lab, the authors write.

"This observation paves the way for better understanding super-stretchable biological materials and also for a more rational design of the related bio-inspired nanomaterials", says Dr. Pugno.

Explore further: Scientist creates automatic birdsong recognition app

More information: Lepore E, Marchioro A, Isaia M, Buehler MJ, Pugno NM (2012) Evidence of the most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta menardi. PLoS ONE 7(2): e30500. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030500

Related Stories

Silkworms spinning spider webs

Jan 03, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- A spiders silk is strong and more elastic and has a large range of possible medical applications. However, spiders have a history of being territorial and prone to cannibalism, so the idea ...

Scientists unravel the mysterious mechanics of spider silk

Mar 01, 2011

Scientists now have a better understanding of why spider silk fibers are so incredibly strong. Recent research, published by Cell Press on February 15th in Biophysical Journal, describes the architecture of silk fibers from t ...

Scientists breed goats that produce spider silk

May 31, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from the University of Wyoming have developed a way to incorporate spiders' silk-spinning genes into goats, allowing the researchers to harvest the silk protein from the goats’ ...

New thread in fabric of insect silks

Sep 10, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- The aptly named silk worms long appeared to have the monopoly on insect silk production, but now scientists are revealing that the world of insect silks is highly complex.

Recommended for you

Science casts light on sex in the orchard

16 hours ago

Persimmons are among the small club of plants with separate sexes—individual trees are either male or female. Now scientists at the University of California, Davis, and Kyoto University in Japan have discovered ...

Four new dragon millipedes found in China

17 hours ago

A team of speleobiologists from the South China Agriculture University and the Russian Academy of Sciences have described four new species of the dragon millipedes from southern China, two of which seem to ...

Scientist creates automatic birdsong recognition app

21 hours ago

Dr Dan Stowell, an EPSRC Research Fellow in QMUL's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has used a grant from Queen Mary Innovation to develop a prototype for an app that turns his research ...

New research reveals fish are smarter than we thought

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new study from researchers in our Department of Psychology with colleagues at Queen Mary University of London has reported the first evidence that fish are able to process multiple objects ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.