Sunday, December 10, 2023

Researchers made artificial spider silk, which is stronger than steel and Kevlar

Steel and kevlar are two materials that come to mind when you think of strength, durability, and strength. Lastly, the bulletproof vest and cut-resistant clothing have made of Kevlar. It has also used in some sports venues as it is durable and lightweight at the same time.
However, it seems the researchers could have done something better. Engineer at the University of Washington at St. Louis has developed artificial spider silk that is said to be stronger than steel, even stronger than Kevlar. And in some cases even tougher than some naturally made spiders.

Engineers had previously worked with artificial spider silk, but they wondered whether they might improve the technique by utilizing synthetic biology. One of the problems they ran into from the start was making beta nanocrystals, something that the spider instinctively knows how much to add during the spinning process.

However, the team later found a solution by introducing amyloid sequences, which have a higher tendency to form beta nanocrystals. As a result, when introduced into bacteria, it produces a hybrid amyloid-polymer protein with 128 repeat units, resulting in fibers with an average maximum tensile strength of 1000 megapascals.

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