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Hagfish slime threads may produce high performance fibres
Apr '13
Dr. Atsuko Negishi
Dr. Atsuko Negishi
Hagfish, an ancient group of eel-like, bottom-dwelling animals, could produce high performance fibres using sustainable resources. University of Guelph researchers Dr. Atsuko Negishi and Dr. Douglas Fudge are working on developing fibres using hagfish slime thread proteins.

Dr. Atsuko Negishi told fibre2fashion, “We are inspired by the remarkable mechanical properties of hagfish slime threads and its potential to show how to make high performance fibers using sustainable resources.”

“The results of our research towards producing fibres using hagfish slime thread proteins are promising, but we are still working on optimizing the fibre,” she informs.

Hagfishes have remained relatively unchanged for more than 300 million years. When threatened, hagfishes secrete a gelatinous slime containing mucous and tens of thousands of protein threads. These threads belong to the intermediate filament family of proteins, and they have remarkable mechanical properties that rival those of spider silks.

The researchers isolated protein threads from hagfish slime and purified them before spinning them into fibres. Higher protein concentration fibres showed useful material properties. These fibres could be a first step towards using hagfish slime threads to make high-performance textiles from intermediate filament proteins.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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