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Spider-webs to turn into surgical threads
Dec '10
Usefulness of spider-web is less known. Sparing some fictional cartoonists who contributed the super-hero Spider Man's stories woven around strength of his spider-strands doing wonders. However, some researchers, possibly inspired by these cartoonists, think differently what generally we do. Since years scientists are engaged in finding out possibilities of various applications of these spider-strands and gradually they have found these strands to be strong enough even to resist bullet shots, thus, making performance fabrics to be one of the viable application areas for spider strands. Matresses, cloth for army people, helmet are some other areas of application for these mighty threads.

Dr GN Vankhede of Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University is working on developing surgical threads from the spiders' silk fibres. News team at Fibre2fashion joined him for a talk on his research area to discover more about this.

Amazed by advantages of this crawler to human beings, Mr Vankhede praises that Spiders are humble pest controllers who kill enemy of crops-pests modestly by feeding on them without damaging crop. Thereby, benefiting both way- saving money on pesticides expenses and making farmer proud of walking in green shoes too.

Our team, aware of biodiversity issue that is currently bothering industry leaders about numbers of species and natural resources, made an effort to know from Mr Vankhede, if, this issue shall affect his subject too incase interferences are made on huge scale to manufacture products on industrial base. He informed - "Today, in the forest of Melghat, where I am located, I have seen thousands of nebula having huge web. There are around 250 species of the spiders, from which since last eight months, we have been researching only on the silk of the Giant Wood spider, which is commonly found in Melghat. So I think there is no problem in regarding to biomaterial which is abundantly available in nature right from July to January."

Explaining more about business opportunities, the scientist also told – “Manufacturing spider silk is already in practice in USA. Some units manufacture silk of spider, but they just make silk by extracting the spider silk gene then introducing it in goat milk and then silk threads are separated later on. Whereas, we are focusing on its immunological properties and to see how best adaptive it is to human body, then only it is useful from medicinal view. It would be then far economical compared to conventional surgical threads.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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