HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Tufts University bioengineers discover secret of spider, silkworm fiber strength

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. Tufts University bioengineers have discovered how spiders and silkworms are able to spin webs and cocoons made of incredibly strong fibers. The answer lies in how they control the silk protein solubility and structural organization in their glands.

"This finding could lead to the development of processing methods resulting in new high-strength and high-performance materials used for biomedical applications, and protective apparel for military and police forces," said David Kaplan, professor and chair of biomedical engineering, and director of Tufts' Bioengineering Center.

"We identified key aspects of the process that should provide a roadmap for others to optimize artificial spinning of silks as well as in improved production of silks in genetically engineered host systems such as bacteria and transgenic animals," said Kaplan, also a professor of chemical and biological engineering.

He and former postdoctoral fellow Hyoung-Joon Jin published their findings, "Mechanism of Processing of Silks in Insects and Spiders," in the Aug. 28 issue of the international science journal Nature.

The research was funded with $1 million from the National Institutes of Health Dental Institute and $200,000 from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Kaplan collaborated with Tufts colleagues across the University from chemical, biological and biomedical to the veterinary and dental schools.

Silk is the strongest natural fiber known, but its strength has yet to be replicated in a laboratory. One reason may be the previous lack of understanding how spiders and silkworm process the silk.

The Tufts team has identified the way that spiders and silkworms control the solubility, concentration and structure of the proteins in their glands that spin the silk.

According to Kaplan, silk proteins are organized into pseudo-micelle or soap-like structures that form globular and gel states during processi
'"/>

Contact: Craig LeMoult
craig.lemoult@tufts.edu
617-627-4317
Tufts University
27-Aug-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Tufts University establishes $4 million dollar tissue engineering resource center
2. Study by Tufts biologist provides window into progression of some degenerative diseases
3. Tufts researchers identify a novel target for cancer therapy
4. Tufts University groundbreaking research on caterpillar locomotion
5. Research news from Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy: February 2004
6. Highlights of Tufts University nutrition research: January 2004
7. Tufts University wins $25-million NIH contract
8. Tufts scientist named one of worlds 100 top young innovators by Technology Review Magazine
9. Tufts researchers find new cost-effective catalyst for hydrogen production for fuel cells
10. Tufts University biologists unveil more mysteries of fireflies flash
11. Tufts environmental engineers tackle destructive nutrients in nations waterways

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , ... recognition technologies, today announced the release of the ... which provides improved facial recognition using up to ... a single computer. The new version uses deep ... accuracy, and it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Vigilant Solutions , a vehicle ... agencies, announced today the appointment of retired FBI special ... safety business development. Mr. Sheridan brings more ... a focus on the aviation transportation sector, to his ... Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation Liaison Agent Coordinator ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... , March 20, 2017 PMD Healthcare ... personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a remote, ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical Device, ... a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that empower ... With that intent focus, PMD developed the first ever ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Agricultural Chelates Market is poised ... decade to reach approximately $825.4 million by 2025. ... the given segments on global as well as regional levels presented ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017 The Global Microfluidic Chips Market ... a specialized and comprehensive study on the existing state of the ... , Europe and Asia-Pacific ... and Africa . ... Browse 172 Tables and Figures, 13 ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 ... ... Johnston, spoke at a Marketing Roundtable on March 22 in Philadelphia. The event ... WHYY. , The Marketing Roundtable featured breakout groups and interaction ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 Volition America, Inc., ... today announced the engagement of Deborah Vollmer Dahlke , ... strategic consultant. Dr. Vollmer Dahlke,s role will be ... in the State of Texas and ... Vollmer Dahlke has significant experience over the past ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: