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 that’s 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

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'

Made In Space To Manufacture Optical Fiber In Orbit
'Mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'

Dune Fans! Power Your Devices With Sweaty Shirts
Yet another power source from humans.

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

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.