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Super-Sticky Spider Silk May Help Develop Stronger Adhesives

Stronger Adhesives to Now be Developed Using Sticky Spider Silk

Spider silk may now help develop better and more efficient biomedical and commercial adhesives that could be helpful in attaching tendons to bones or bind fractures, researchers have found.

Two Indian-origin researchers from the University of Akron have created duplicates of the sticky spider silk, which spiders usually use to attach their webs to different surfaces. These duplicates are actually nothing but attachment discs that have a staple-pin geometry, which ensures a stronger attachment force with the use of little material.

Using electrospinning- a process where an electrical charge is used to draw fine fibers from a liquid, Ali Dhinojwala, a professor of polymer science, who is the lead researcher of the project, along with his colleagues, have managed to mimic the staple-pin design.

Spider Silk Inspires Stronger Adhesives Photo Credit: Flickr

Spider Silk Inspires Stronger Adhesives
Photo Credit: Flickr

“This adhesive architecture holds promise for potential applications in the area of adhesion science, particularly in the field of biomedicine where the cost of the materials is a significant constraint,” the authors explained.

This new design could actually be used in the development of commercial adhesives in addition to medical applications, and may be stronger than conventional glue and tape. “Instead of using big globs of glue, for example, we can use this unique and efficient design of threads pinning down a fibre,” he added.

“The inspiration was right in front of us, in nature. You can learn a lot of science from nature,” Dharamdeep Jain, a graduate student and co-author of the research paper, concluded.

The results from the study are now published in the Journal of Polymer Physics.

Stronger Adhesives to Now be Developed Using Sticky Spider Silk

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Enozia Vakil is an online entrepreneur, writer, editor and an avid reader. She has been associated with some of the best names in both online and print media, and holds a degree in Alternative Medicine.