Fusebox EPFL

Weave like a spider!

There are many applications in which the need to transmit and distribute forces is fulfilled with cables and ropes. This is especially true when the distances to cover are large or there is a need for elasticity and flexibility of the system.

In mechanical and civil engineering, this is practically tackled with steel cables, which do a remarkable job in many suspended bridges, etc. 

In nature a different survival need has brought spiders to an incredible success of evolution: the spider net.

The outstanding performances of this material have been long known now. Not only this material has high tensile strengths, but it is also very light and very elastic. This has allowed spiders to prosper, but it is hard to neglect the technological consequences that would such a material bring.

The idea is here todevelop an understanding of the properties of spider silk and mimic its performances.

Sachiko Nov 30, 2014

Spider's webs are fascinating indeed. From your entry, it is not clear if you are interested in the weaving mechanism, or the pattern of the web, or the material itself --- or other aspects. Spider silk proteins have been engineered to be expressed in mammalian cells (2002) and secreted into goat's milk -"BioSteel". It would be great if this can be clarified.