Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

UConn researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Silk fibers could be high-tech 'natural metamaterials'

New research has demonstrated how the nano-architecture of a silkworm's fiber causes "Anderson localization of light," a discovery that could lead to various innovations and a better understanding of light transport and heat ...

Strange silk: Why rappelling spiders don't spin out of control

The last time you watched a spider drop from the ceiling on a line of silk, it likely descended gracefully on its dragline instead of spiraling uncontrollably, because spider silk has an unusual ability to resist twisting ...

3-D printing spiders

Spiders build webs, shelters and egg sacs from fine tough silk fibers. To apply these fibers, they must be properly attached to substrates or other threads and must cope with loading in highly-variable directions.

Amino acid sequences are key to the properties of silks

Although mankind has been using silk for millennia, many aspects of its properties and molecular structure remain unknown. Now, a new study from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan reveals that ...

'Milking' brown recluse spiders for silk

(Phys.org) —Rabbit, a brown-recluse spider, is fastened to the proverbial treadmill in Hannes Schniepp's Nanomaterials & Imaging lab. She is restrained but relaxed. Her spinnerets are churning out exquisite ribbons of silk. ...

A silky spin on protective armor

At seven times the toughness of Kevlar, a silk produced by the Caerostris darwini spider of Madagascar is more robust than any other material—synthetic or natural. Most spider silks are about two times tougher than Kevlar, ...

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