Why Is Spider Silk An Important Breakthrough For Various Industries?

It is interesting to note that out of all the scary creatures out there in the world, most of us tend to be the most afraid of tiny eight-legged creatures called Spiders. Yeah, it makes sense that I am more afraid of the spider hanging down my ceiling than the bear growling somewhere in the woods.  Since, the bear is not coming for me anytime soon, obviously.

Still, no matter how tiny a spider is, it is very scary and creepy. Feel me?

But, let’s put our fears aside for a minute and focus on how fascinating spiders actually are.

Via Source: Animalcorner.co.uk

Uh, fascinating spiders, really? Maybe after reading this article, you’ll change your mind. For this article, we will just be focussing on a very powerful thing produced by the spiders, the spider silk.

Spider silk is really powerful. For thousands of years, humans have used this silk for creating various useful objects. Apparently, nothing that humans have created in all these years is as amazing as the spider silk. It has excellent strength, durability, and elasticity. It is one of the toughest objects in the world which is able to stretch up to 40% of its original length. It is extremely weightless too.

Via Source: look.com.ua

Another interesting fact is that one spider is capable of producing 2-8 different types of silk. These different silks have different purposes like capturing prey, adherence, defense etc. Spider Silk has various applications in medicine and construction.

But, nobody has been able to extract enough quantity of spider silk to even create the prototypes. But, recent advancements suggest certain techniques that might be able to produce genetically engineered spider-silk in large quantities. Here’s a list of interesting objects that can be created using spider silk:

1. Bulletproof Vest:

Via Source: Knowscience.org

A prototype for this bulletproof vest was created in 2011. Scientists created this vest using layers of artificial spider-silk fibers grafted with the human epidermis. The resultant bulletproof vest was thrice as strong as the standard Kevlar vests.

2. Surgical Bandages:

Via Source: Pinterest

Spider-silk can be used to create better bandages. Spider-silk contains Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which help in preventing infections. Ancient Greeks and Romans have used spider-silk before to create bandages that would stop bleeding and help recover faster.

3. Spider-silk used for scientific observations:

Via Source: Us Government, Wikimedia commons

In the 17th Century, Spider-silk was used extensively for various scientific observations. Spider silk was used as crosshairs for telescopes and guns. The thin thread would not get into the way of the observation. These threads were also used as grids since they provided accurate measurements.

4. Ropes and Nets:

Via Source: Colourbox

Spider silk is a versatile material. It is very strong and has high elasticity. It could be used to create better nets, ropes, parachutes and also biodegradable bottles.

5. Spider-silk Airbags:

Via Source: Indian Autos blog

Airbags are supposed to prevent injuries but that’s not always the case.  A lot of automobile industries have shown interest in creating spider-silk airbags. Airbags created using spider silk will completely absorb the shock and will gently envelop your face like a spider web.

6. Artificial Tendons and Ligaments:

Via Source: Corin

This can be a very important breakthrough for the medical industry. If there’s any severe tear in the ligaments, a surgery needs to be performed immediately. If spider silk proteins could be successfully spun into artificial ligaments, the surgery would become a lot easier.

7. Sutures for Eye Surgeries:

Via Source: Premier1supplies

Silkworm silk and other threads are used as surgical sutures for most of the wounds. Spider-silk is way thinner and stronger and it could be used to stitch together wounds for eye and nerve surgeries.

8. To repair broken bones:

Via Source: Phys.org

 Healing broken bones is a very difficult task. Installing metal plates to fuse the bones is one way to go but at times, this metal can leach ions into other tissues. Sometimes, this would cause severe complications. Hence, scientists have crafted a strong and stiff composite using spider-silk. This bone-setting could be used to repair and fuse together load-bearing bones.

That’s not it, folks. There are various other objects that have been created and will be created using spider silk. In recent times, scientists have managed to engineer spider-silk proteins from genetically engineered goat’s milk. If this technique could be put to use, it might be able to revolutionize construction, medicine, engineering and who knows what.

Read Also: All You Need To Know About Entomophagy- The Practice of Eating Insects

Random Post

Staying In The World’s Quietest Room Would Make You Insane!

Often, we require peace and tranquillity to stay in mind, or in other words, stay sane. Apparently, silence is the most powerful scream. But...

Here Are The Traits Of A Good Boss And A Bad Boss

It’s better to choose a Bad Job with a Good Boss rather than a Good Job with a Bad Boss. Below are the traits of...

All There Is To Know About The First Dinosaur Fossil

The research for finding dinosaur fossils is still going on. People have been finding dinosaur fossils for hundreds of years, probably even thousands of...

Latest article

Top 30 Ways To Change Your Mindset

Changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset may seem daunting, but anyone can do it by taking baby steps. Thinking about it...

Understanding How The Way You Sit Effects Your Back Muscles

Your body is an incredibly complex machine. There are still plenty of secrets regarding how some parts work, and research into these things is...

Mukbang And ASMR: 2 Popular Social Trends

Mukbang and ASMR eating has been the ongoing trend of this "new generation," which is usually on the phone screen, scrolling through social media...

Related Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.