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Spiders produce a variety of silks, and the cloning of genes for silk fibroins reveals a clear link between protein sequence and structure-property relationships. The fibroins produced in the spider's major ampullate (MA) gland, which forms the dragline and web frame, contain multiple repeats of motifs that include an 8-10 residue long poly-alanine block(More)
The term 'elastic protein' applies to many structural proteins with diverse functions and mechanical properties so there is room for confusion about its meaning. Elastic implies the property of elasticity, or the ability to deform reversibly without loss of energy; so elastic proteins should have high resilience. Another meaning for elastic is 'stretchy',(More)
Silk produced from the major ampullate (MA) gland supercontracts when wet, and in this paper, we investigate the consequences of high humidity and of the added load of water droplets condensing from saturated air on the mechanical integrity of the spiders' orb web. We measured the development of the supercontraction stress (sigma(sc)) with time when fixed(More)
This study used thermoelastic measurements to investigate the role of proline in the elastic mechanism of hydrated, spider major ampullate (MA) and flagelliform (FL) silks. Experiments on hydrated MA silk from Araneus diadematus (proline content 16%) reveal that conformational entropy elasticity accounts for about 90% of the elastic force at small(More)
The silk that orb-weaving spiders produce for use as dragline and for the frame of the web is spun from the major ampullate (MA) glands, and it is renowned for its exceptional toughness. The fibroins that make up MA silk have previously been organized into two major groupings, spidroin-1 and spidroin-2, based largely on differences in amino acid sequence.(More)
news & views functionalized for sensitivity to certain gases. Further, the sustainability of fibroin is expected to play an important role, as the biodegradable SIO sensors would naturally decompose instead of requiring retrieval. Beyond fibrion, one can foresee a wealth of biologically derived raw materials, such as collagen or cellulose, with engineered(More)
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