Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Scientists unravel mystery behind strength of spider silk
Scientists unravel mystery behind strength of spider silk
29
Jan '13
Scientists at ASU are celebrating their recent success on the path to understanding what makes the fiber that spider’s spin – weight for weight – at least five times as strong as piano wire. They have found a way to obtain a wide variety of elastic properties of the silk of several intact spiders’ webs using a sophisticated but non-invasive laser light scattering technique.

“Spider silk has a unique combination of mechanical strength and elasticity that make it one of the toughest materials we know,” said Jeffery Yarger, a professor in ASU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and lead researcher of the study. “This work represents the most complete understanding we have of the underlying mechanical properties of spider silks.”

Spider silk is an exceptional biological polymer, related to collagen (the stuff of skin and bones) but much more complex in its structure. The ASU team of chemists is studying its molecular structure in an effort to produce materials ranging from bulletproof vests to artificial tendons.

The extensive array of elastic and mechanical properties of spider silks in situ, obtained by the ASU team, is the first of its kind and will greatly facilitate future modeling efforts aimed at understanding the interplay of the mechanical properties and the molecular structure of silk used to produce spider webs.

The team published their results in today’s advanced online issue of Nature materials and their paper is titled “Non-invasive determination of the complete elastic moduli of spider silks.”

“This information should help provide a blueprint for structural engineering of an abundant array of bio-inspired materials, such as precise materials engineering of synthetic fibers to create stronger, stretchier and more elastic materials,” explained Yarger.

Other members of Yarger’s team, in ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, included Kristie Koski, at the time a postdoctoral researcher and currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, and ASU undergraduate students Paul Akhenblit and Keri McKiernan.

The Brillouin light scattering technique used an extremely low power laser, less than 3.5 milliwatts, which is significantly less than the average laser pointer. Recording what happened to this laser beam as it passed through the intact spider webs enabled the researchers to spatially map the elastic stiffness of each web without deforming or disrupting it.

This non-invasive, non-contact measurement produced findings showing variations among discrete fibers, junctions and glue spots.

Four different types of spider webs were studied. They included Nephila clavipes (pictured), A. aurantia (“gilded silver face”-common to the contiguous United States), L. Hesperus, the western black widow and P. viridans, the green lynx spider, the only spider included that does not build a web for catching prey but has major silk elastic properties similar to those of the other species studied.

Must ReadView All

Textiles | On 25th May 2017

Huntsman and Clariant to have merger of equals

Huntsman Corporation and Clariant have announced that their boards of ...

Courtesy: CBRE

Apparel/Garments | On 25th May 2017

European cities preferred for retailer expansion: CBRE

European cities were the preferred new destination for international...

Apparel/Garments | On 25th May 2017

Guess records $458.6 million revenue for Q1 2018

For the first quarter of fiscal 2018, the net revenue of American...

Interviews View All

Milind Khandwe
Hindoostan Innovation Centre

‘Modern technical textile is an indispensable tool for science and...

Kaizad Hansotia
GetNatty

Competition is the best thing that can happen to a startup

Nuno Venda
ROQ

‘There has been an increase in demand for water based inks, rather than...

Johan Berlin
InvestKonsult Sweden AB

Investkonsult Sweden AB has been buying and selling second-hand textile...

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Prathyusha Garimella
Prathyusha Garimella

Hyderabad-based designer <b>Prathyusha Garimella</b> is known for blending ...

Ritu Kumar
Label Ritu Kumar

‘Classics will return’ "There are a lot of people wearing western clothes ...

Bani Batra

Bani Batra’s couture wedding collection is inspired by traditional Indian...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

news category


Related Categories:
May 2017

May 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

SUBSCRIBE


Browse Our Archives

GO


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search