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Proceedings Paper

Smart assembly of polymer fibers: lessons from major ampullate spider silk
Author(s): Christopher Viney
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Paper Abstract

Studies of major ampullate silk (MAS), especially the secretions and fibers produced by the spider Nephila clavipes (golden orb weaver), have yielded several results of potential value to the materials scientist/engineer. There are lessons to be learned about synthesis, processing and microstructural design of high-tensile polymer fibers. The 'smart' aspect of silk production in nature concerns the ability of the spider to rapidly process a concentrated, viscous aqueous solution of silk protein (stored in the gland) into water-insoluble fiber on demand. This process centers on the assembly of a shear-sensitive supramolecular liquid crystalline phase by aggregation of the solubilized globular protein molecules.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 1996
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 2716, Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Materials Technologies and Biomimetics, (9 February 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.232153
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher Viney, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2716:
Smart Structures and Materials 1996: Smart Materials Technologies and Biomimetics
Andrew Crowson, Editor(s)

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