Scientist Web-Spinners Could Just Ask Spiderman

A team of scientists in Germany are making progress in understanding how spiders spin webs of great strength. Spider silk has been used for a long time because it has great tensile strength, which rivals that of high-grade steel, despite being much less dense.

Industrial quantities of artificial spider silk would be of great value; it could be used in bullet-proof vests, strong ropes and fishing nets. Spider silk has an additional property; it is biodegradable; it could be used as sutures that would just degrade over time in the body.

Natural spider silk has also been used as a folk remedy; when used to cover wounds it seems to improve the healing process.

Professor Andreas Bausch and his team claim to have solved one of the major problems; they've created an artificial spinning duct that mimics the spinneret of the spider. The spinneret is an organ which converts a liquid solution of stored protein into a strong, silken thread.

Professor Bausch said that the artificial spinning duct he and his colleagues have created brings together the unfolded proteins dissolved in the storage solution. That is done by squeezing them through a smaller and smaller hole until they emerge as a folded, insoluble sheet of proteins which form the solid fibre of silk.

Now, hasn't Spiderman already solved that problem? Bausch and his colleagues could have just googled it like I did.


(Spinneret Nozzle Closeup (via Marvel Universe))

The web fluid used by Spiderman is a shear-thickening fluid that is related to nylon.

Via Scientists succeed in mimicking the way spiders spin their super-strength webs; thanks to Moira for the tip (find out more about how Spidey does it at Marvel Universe Spider-Man's Web-Shooters).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/1/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat
Writing with light, erasing with heat.

Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

Ancient Ocean On Ceres?
'We sailed gently forward, hull down to the asteroid's surface... A little sea was now beneath us.'

SmileCloud Bubloons Are Custom Clouds
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...'

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

Musk Tweets A Boring Tunnel Pic
'We hit the sub-basement and went at once to the express tubes...'

Shelley.ai AI Terrifies Thanks To Reddit's Nosleep
'How can you compete with IBM?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.