Spider Silk Could be Used to Manufacture Biodegradable Microchips

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A silk fiber integrated into a photonic chip, connecting three disks that can hold light. Light is injected into one of the disks and propagates along the silk to the other two. (Image courtesy of Nolwenn Huby)

Silk is used by some insects and spiders to spin webs and cocoons, and now researchers have discovered a way to harness this supermaterial into electronic microchips. The silk is stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar, yet incredibly malleable and flexible. However that’s not all it can do.

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European Cave Spiders Produce Extremely Stretchable Silk

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Researchers have discovered that the European cave spider (Meta menardi) has some of the most stretchable spider silk, which can elongate up to 7.5 times its length. The reason why their silk needs to be so elastic is that M. menardi produces silk to protect egg sacs that will eventually protect their young.

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Smart Spider Silk Might Lead to Carbon Nanotubes Strong Enough for Space Elevators

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It’s a well-known fact that spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar, yet flexible enough to be made into a variety of different shapes. A new study has also shown that the material is also smart.

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