SPIDER SILK: An Intriguing Web of Biomaterials!
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Spiders are considered to be nature's engineers. Often misunderstood as poisonous creatures, not all of them are harmful. On the contrary, spiders are more likely to save our lives than to harm us. Found in abandoned areas and in deep forests, spider webs have been fascinating the scientific communities for over a century. In plain sight what seems to be a sticky net to trap other animals, or as nests or cocoons to protect their offspring, spider silk is hailed as the “holy grail of mechanical engineering”. Spider silk is a protein fiber spun by spiders. Evolved over billions of years, these expert weavers are now being studied by scientists to create biomaterials of the future: for bulletproof clothing, artificial skin for burn victims, etc. This biodegradable, smart material is so strong that its thumb-thick strand can pull a jumbo jet without even breaking. Although synthetic spider silk has been notoriously difficult to create, researchers hope their efforts will soon reveal one of the toughest materials of the natural world. In this module, explore the intriguing web of this smart material that soon will be the future of the biomedical industry, fashion industry, cosmetic industry, and many more…

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