The evolution of complex biomaterial performance: The case of spider silk.

@article{Swanson2009TheEO,
  title={The evolution of complex biomaterial performance: The case of spider silk.},
  author={Brook O. Swanson and Stuart P Anderson and Caitlin Digiovine and Rachel N Ross and J. P. Dorsey},
  journal={Integrative and comparative biology},
  year={2009},
  volume={49 1},
  pages={
          21-31
        }
}
Spider silk is a high-performance biomaterial with exceptional mechanical properties and over half a century of research into its mechanics, structure, and biology. Recent research demonstrates that it is a highly variable class of materials that differs across species and individuals in complex and interesting ways. Here, we review recent literature on mechanical variation and evolution in spider silk. We then present new data on material properties of silk from nine species of spiders in the… 

Figures from this paper

Bioprospecting Finds the Toughest Biological Material: Extraordinary Silk from a Giant Riverine Orb Spider

TLDR
Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial, and this hypothesis predicts that rapid change in material properties of silk co-occurred with ecological shifts within the genus, and can be tested by combining material science, behavioral observations, and phylogenetics.

Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs

TLDR
Web deformation experiments and simulations identify the nonlinear response of silk threads to stress—involving softening at a yield point and substantial stiffening at large strain until failure—as being crucial to localize load-induced deformation and resulting in mechanically robust spider webs.

Structural effects of glue application in spiders-what can we learn from silk anchors?

TLDR
Understanding the function of silk anchors may trigger the development of novel industrial adhesives with embedded fibres, and methods of gaining higher bonding strength with less material consumption by smart glue application.

Production of Synthetic Spider Silk

TLDR
An attempt is made to express synthetic spider silk minifibroins heterologously in Escherichia coli, to purify the recombinant spidroins from cell lysate, and to spin them into artificial fibers through a biomimetic process.

Silk and Web Synergy: The Merging of Material and Structural Performance

Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider silks to achieve a range of functions, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. From a materials perspective, the

Artificial and natural silk materials have high mechanical property variability regardless of sample size

Silk fibres attract great interest in materials science for their biological and mechanical properties. Hitherto, the mechanical properties of the silk fibres have been explored mainly by tensile

Silkworm and spider silk electrospinning: a review

TLDR
A review of silk production by the spinning apparatus of the silkworm Bombyx mori and the spiders Aranea diadematus and Nephila Clavipes is presented, and silk’s mechanical properties in mats obtained from pure polymer dope and multi-composites are discussed.

Technical and Biomedical Uses of Nature’s Strongest Fiber: Spider Silk

TLDR
Available data so far supports the notion that spider silk is highly cytocompatible and not immunogenic which renders it interesting for biomedical applications, and increasing knowledge about the molecular nature of the fibers and their particular characteristics inspires nanotechnology.

Novel in silico analyses of repetitive spider silk sequences to understand the evolution and mechanical properties of fibrous protein materials.

TLDR
In silico, for the first time, crucial evidence that silk sequences are coevolved with spider species and the mechanical properties of their fibers to adapt to new living environments is provided.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 72 REFERENCES

Variation in the material properties of spider dragline silk across species

TLDR
It is suggested that the spectrum of dragline silk sequences and material properties that have been produced over evolutionary time provides a rich resource for the design of biomimetic silk fibers.

Spider capture silk: performance implications of variation in an exceptional biomaterial.

TLDR
A large comparative data set is presented that allows examination of capture silk properties across orb-weaving spider species, finding that material properties vary greatly across species and some material and mechanical properties are evolutionarily correlated.

SPIDER DRAGLINE SILK: CORRELATED AND MOSAIC EVOLUTION IN HIGH-PERFORMANCE BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS

TLDR
Material properties retain different levels of phylogenetic signal, suggesting that traits such as extensibility and toughness may be subject to different types or intensities of selection in several spider lineages.

SPIDER DRAGLINE SILK: CORRELATED AND MOSAIC EVOLUTION IN HIGH‐PERFORMANCE BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS

TLDR
The evolution of the material properties of dragline silk across a phylogenetically diverse sample of species in the Araneomorphae (true spiders) show that the properties of biological materials are the target of selection, and that these changes can produce evolutionarily and ecologically important diversity.

The mechanical design of spider silks: from fibroin sequence to mechanical function.

TLDR
Comparison of MA silks from Araneus diadematus and Nephila clavipes shows variation in fibroin sequence and properties between spider species provides the opportunity to investigate the design of these remarkable biomaterials.

Molecular nanosprings in spider capture-silk threads

TLDR
Pulling on molecules in capture-silk fibres from Araneus has revealed rupture peaks due to sacrificial bonds, characteristic of other self-healing biomaterials.

Silken toolkits: biomechanics of silk fibers spun by the orb web spider Argiope argentata (Fabricius 1775)

TLDR
The mechanical performance of this toolkit of silks for the silver garden spider Argiope argentata is quantitatively measured and indicates substantial potential to customize the mechanics of bioengineered silks.

Polarized Light Microscopy, Variability in Spider Silk Diameters, and the Mechanical Characterization of Spider Silk

TLDR
The ability of PLM to non-invasively characterize the diameters of each individual silk fiber used in mechanical tests can provide a crucial control for natural variation in silk diameters, both within webs and among spiders.
...