Materials: Surprising strength of silkworm silk

  title={Materials: Surprising strength of silkworm silk},
  author={Zhengzhong Shao and Fritz Vollrath},
Commercial silkworm silk is presumed to be much weaker and less extensible than spider dragline silk, which has been hailed as a 'super-fibre'. But we show here that the mechanical properties of silkworm silks can approach those of spider dragline silk when reeled under controlled conditions. We suggest that silkworms might be able to produce threads that compare well with spider silk by changing their spinning habits, rather than by having their silk genes altered. 
9.04 – Silks
The elaborate structure of spider silk
This article focuses on the structure‑function relationship of the characterized highly repetitive spider silk spidroins and their conformational conversion from solution into fibers and is of crucial importance to understanding the intrinsic properties of spider silk.
Structure and properties of spider and silkworm silk for tissue scaffolds
Abstract: The structure and properties of silk fibers are at the root of their performance and applicability in scaffolds for tissue engineering. This chapter briefly reviews the composition and
Mechanically Reinforced Silkworm Silk Fiber by Hot Stretching
Silkworm silk, which is obtained from domesticated Bombyx mori (B. mori), can be produced in a large scale. However, the mechanical properties of silkworm silk are inferior to its counterpart, spider
Recent Advances in Development of Functional Spider Silk-Based Hybrid Materials
This review aims to provide a critical summary of up-to-date fabrication methods of spider silk-based organic-inorganic hybrid materials using both natural and bioengineered spider silk proteins blended with inorganic nanoparticles.
Silkworms with Spider Silklike Fibers Using Synthetic Silkworm Chow Containing Calcium Lignosulfonate, Carbon Nanotubes, and Graphene
Combined, this study presents evidence that mixing surfactants, in this case LGS, directly with the diet of silkworms creates a high-quality fiber product that can exceed 1 GPa in tensile strength.


Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells
The wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc–spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions showed toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity.
The effect of spinning conditions on the mechanics of a spider's dragline silk
It is argued that both trade–offs (between mechanical properties) and constraints (in the manufacturing process) have a large role in defining spider silk fibres.
Liquid crystalline spinning of spider silk
Successful copying of the spider's internal processing and precise control over protein folding, combined with knowledge of the gene sequences of its spinning dopes, could permit industrial production of silk-based fibres with unique properties under benign conditions.
Silk polymers : materials science and biotechnology
Silk: Biology, Structure, Properties, and Genetics General Properties of Some Spider Silks Silk Glands of Araneid Spiders: Selected Morphological and Physiological Aspects Molecular Map for the
Tensile properties of silkworm silk obtained by forced silking
Bave was acquired by the forced silking of three Bombyx mori silkworms, and its tensile properties were characterized. The material collected from any given silkworm yielded reproducible
Raman spectroscopic studies of silk fibroin fromBombyx mori
This study was focused on the conformational characterization of Bombyx mori silk fibroin in film, fiber and powder form by means of Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy. Native and regenerated silk