Biomimicry
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Get Excited – Spider Silk Finally Looks Ready for Commercialization

Get Excited – Spider Silk Finally Looks Ready for Commercialization | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Materials scientists have been eyeing spider silk as a potential supermaterial for years, but the stuff is notoriously difficult to produce in quantities. Now, recent breakthroughs in the production of synthetic spider silk could see this remarkable substance commercialized, and publicly available, sooner than expected.
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Look out! Here Comes the Spider Web! Behind the Quest to Recreate This Powerful Silk.

Look out! Here Comes the Spider Web! Behind the Quest to Recreate This Powerful Silk. | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A Japanese startup called Spiber said it has produced an artificial spider thread that it claims is equal to steel in tensile strength yet as flexible as rubber."

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Bioinspired Fibers Change Color When Stretched

Bioinspired Fibers Change Color When Stretched | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A team of materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter, UK, have invented a new fiber that changes color when stretched. Inspired by nature, the researchers identified and replicated the unique structural elements that create the bright iridescent blue color of a tropical plant’s fruit."

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Biomimetic Nano-Machines Mimic Muscle Fibers

Biomimetic Nano-Machines Mimic Muscle Fibers | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

An assembly of thousands of nano-machines has produced a coordinated contraction movement - like that of muscle fibers, and it even extended to around ten micrometers, like the movements of muscular fibers.The work provides an experimental validation of a biomimetic approach that has been conceptualized for years in nanoscience and the researchers believe this broadens applications in robotics, information storage and obviously artificial muscles themselves.

 

Photo details: Skeletal muscle. GNU Free Documentation License, 2006, Department of Histology, Jagiellonian University Medical College. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skeletal_muscle_-_longitudinal_section.jpg

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Engineering Spider Silk

Engineering Spider Silk | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Spider silk has drawn much attention from engineers in the past 20 years for its toughness and elasticity, properties which may be utilized in applications such as suspension bridge wires, bulletproof vests, and medical adhesives. There remains, however, a mystery behind the production of spider silk. Scientists are intensively studying this process in order for engineers to replicate the silk in synthetic form. 

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Spider Silk Makes Plucky Violin Strings : Discovery News

Spider Silk Makes Plucky Violin Strings : Discovery News | Biomimicry | Scoop.it
Violin strings made of spider silk are stronger than conventional strings made from aluminum and nylon.
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Biomimetics: Smart Geometry at Work

Biomimetics: Smart Geometry at Work | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"[...] Compared to many engineering materials, the substances/materials of biology do not have any especially outstanding characteristic. They are successful not so much because of what they are but because of the way in which they are put together. The bulk of mechanical loads in biology are carried by polymer fibres such as cellulose (plants), collagen (animals), chitin (insects, crustaceans) and silks (spiders's webs). The fibres are bonded together by various substances (polysaccharrides, polyphenols, etc.), sometimes in combination with minerals such as calcium carbonate (mollusk shells) and hydroxyapatite (bone). Their geometrical organization and the degree of interaction between them provide the means of tailoring properties for specific requirements, meeting the necessary functional performance."

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From Spiders, a Material to Rival Kevlar

From Spiders, a Material to Rival Kevlar | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"A Japanese startup claims it has cracked the knotty problem of commercializing the production of spider thread, which, gram for gram, is stronger than nylon and even many metals. As one of nature's super-substances -- tougher than Kevlar yet significantly more elastic -- scientists have been trying to recreate it in significant quantities in labs but failed for over a decade. By using synthetic biology techniques and a new spinning technology, Spiber Inc. says it is now able to produce many hundreds of grams of synthetic spider silk protein where past efforts have produced less than a few grams over a day. One gram of the special protein produces about 9,000 meters (29,527 feet) of silk."

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Hagfish Slime as a Model for Tomorrow's Natural Fabrics

Hagfish Slime as a Model for Tomorrow's Natural Fabrics | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Nylon, Kevlar and other synthetic fabrics: Step aside. If new scientific research pans out, people may be sporting shirts, blouses and other garments made from fibers modeled after those in the icky, super-strong slime from a creature called the hagfish.

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Morpho Butterflies Inspire Dye-Free Colored Fibers-Morphotex

Morpho Butterflies  Inspire Dye-Free Colored Fibers-Morphotex | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

Morphotex is the world’s first optical coloring fiber, inspired by the chromogenic principle of Morpho butterflies that inhabit areas along the Amazon in South Africa. Called “living jewels,” the cobalt-blue wings of Morpho butterflies impart vivid color although they have no pigmentation.

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Creating Artificial Muscles More Powerful Than Anything In Nature

Creating Artificial Muscles More Powerful Than Anything In Nature | Biomimicry | Scoop.it

"By observing the inner workings of an octopus's leg or an elephant's trunk, scientists have created muscles from carbon nanotubes that could one day power machines."

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