Saturday 28 November 2009

Bioengineering Spider silk

Spider silk is an interesting bio-material because it has a very high elasticity and toughness. Professor Albert Abbott is attempting to engineer materials made or based upon spider silk type gene structure by studying and remaking it with the bacterial microbes.

" You know from our stand point, we really cant silk spiders to get this material like you can silk worms and so what were doing is engineering simple cellular systems like yeast or bacteria to actually produce the proteins for us in great big bioreactors, and then we harvest that material and then we use that to try to spin new materials from it"

The Geneticists and Biochemists researching the possibilities are planning to make a whole range of new kinds of materials that would be important for say arterial graphs in tissue reconstruction, as well as a number of other industrial products and applications.

Notwithstanding, I imagine the textile industry would also be interested in being able to produce novel materials.
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