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Proceedings Paper

Towards a new generation of fibre optic chemical sensors based on spider silk threads
Author(s): Kenny Hey Tow; Desmond M. Chow; Fritz Vollrath; Isabelle Dicaire; Tom Gheysens; Luc Thévenaz
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Paper Abstract

A spider uses up to seven different types of silk, all having specific functions, to build its web. For scientists, native silk - directly extracted from spiders - is a tough, biodegradable and biocompatible thread used mainly for tissue engineering and textile applications. Blessed with outstanding optical properties, this protein strand can also be used as an optical fibre and is, moreover, intrinsically sensitive to chemical compounds. In this communication, a pioneering proof-of-concept experiment using spider silk, in its pristine condition, as a new type of fibre-optic relative humidity sensor will be demonstrated and its potential for future applications discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 April 2017
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 10323, 25th International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors, 103231E (23 April 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2264438
Show Author Affiliations
Kenny Hey Tow, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Desmond M. Chow, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Fritz Vollrath, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Isabelle Dicaire, CCTT Optech (Canada)
European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Tom Gheysens, Ghent Univ. (Belgium)
European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Luc Thévenaz, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10323:
25th International Conference on Optical Fiber Sensors
Youngjoo Chung; Wei Jin; Byoungho Lee; John Canning; Kentaro Nakamura; Libo Yuan, Editor(s)

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