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Most stretchable spider silk reported: Study conducted with egg sacs collected from natural environment

Date:
February 8, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
The egg sac silk of the cocoon stalk of the cave spider Meta menardi is the most stretchable egg sac silk yet tested, according to a new study.

FESEM characterization of the silk stalk at different magnifications.
Credit: Emiliano Lepore, Andrea Marchioro, Marco Isaia, Markus J. Buehler, Nicola M. Pugno. Evidence of the Most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta menardi. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (2): e30500 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030500

The egg sac silk of the cocoon stalk of the cave spider Meta menardi is the most stretchable egg sac silk yet tested, according to a study published Feb. 8 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Spider silk is of broad interest for its strength, extensibility and toughness and possible applications for material science and biomechanical engineering, and there are many different types of silk from many different spider species. In the current study, the authors, led by Nicola Pugno of Politecnico di Torino in Italy, collected egg sacs from caves in Piedmont in northwest Italy and tested their response to mechanical strain. They found that the egg sac silk of the cocoon stalk was more stretchable than any previously tested egg sac silk.

These results may partly reflect the fact that the silk was collected from its natural habitat rather than produced in a lab, the authors write.

"This observation paves the way for better understanding super-stretchable biological materials and also for a more rational design of the related bio-inspired nanomaterials," says Dr. Pugno


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emiliano Lepore, Andrea Marchioro, Marco Isaia, Markus J. Buehler, Nicola M. Pugno. Evidence of the Most Stretchable Egg Sac Silk Stalk, of the European Spider of the Year Meta menardi. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (2): e30500 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030500

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Most stretchable spider silk reported: Study conducted with egg sacs collected from natural environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208180245.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, February 8). Most stretchable spider silk reported: Study conducted with egg sacs collected from natural environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208180245.htm
Public Library of Science. "Most stretchable spider silk reported: Study conducted with egg sacs collected from natural environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120208180245.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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