Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Malvern rheometer in continuing search for perfect silk

Jumping spider devouring tropical caterpillar

PHOTO CREDIT: 2007 Oxford Silk Group
Jumping spider devouring tropical caterpillar PHOTO CREDIT: 2007 Oxford Silk Group

Abstract:
In work published in the journal Polymer (June 2007) Oxford researchers have taken an important step towards understanding why it has been impossible to artificially spin protein fibres with the superb material properties of their natural models, the silks of spiders and silkworms.

Malvern rheometer in continuing search for perfect silk

Malvern, UK | Posted on June 7th, 2007

Using a Bohlin Gemini HR Nano rheometer from Malvern Instruments, Chris Holland and Professor Fritz Vollrath, together with Dr Ann Terry and Dr David Porter, took unspun natural silk dope and compared it to artificial silk dope under shear forces similar to those encountered in a natural spinning duct. Optimized for the control of ultra-low torques, the Gemini HR nano is ideal for probing sensitive material structures and allowing measurement of low volume samples. The research group discovered fundamental differences in kind, not just in degree, between the natural and artificial silk dopes.

This research builds on previous work by the Oxford group, which demonstrated that the flow characteristics of native spider and silkworm dopes are very similar despite the independent evolution of the two silks. Such convergence of the two distinct materials towards an identical flow behaviour strongly suggests that dope rheology is a key to the production of high-performance protein fibres

Native silk dope taken straight from the gland can easily be drawn into strong fibres, but the fibres from artificial dope cannot be spun into any type of serious filament without unnatural treatment using strong chemicals. Clearly, native silk dopes have the innate ability to form into a fibre, which is lost in translation when attempting to create artificial silk dope. Discovering the mechanisms behind this seemingly effortless process will be a crucial step towards the biomimetic spinning of artificial silk fibres using the animal's own technology. For further details of the research work visit:
http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/po/070601a.shtml and http://www.oxfordsilkgroup.com

Research paper reference: Holland, C., Terry, A.E., Porter, D. & Vollrath .F. Natural and Unnatural Silks. Polymer 48, 3388 - 3392 (2007)

Author contact: Chris Holland (University of Oxford, UK) Tel: +44 1865 271216; E-mail

####

About Malvern Instruments
Malvern Instruments is a global company that develops, manufactures and markets advanced analytical systems used in characterizing a wide variety of materials, from bulk powders to the latest nanomaterials and delicate macromolecules. Innovative technologies and powerful software produce systems that deliver industrially relevant data enabling customers to make the connection between micro (eg particle size) and macro (bulk) material properties (rheology) and chemical composition (chemical imaging). Malvern laboratory, on-line and in-line solutions are proven in sectors from cement to pharmaceuticals and support the understanding, improvement and optimization of many industrial processes.

Headquartered in Malvern, UK, the company has subsidiary organizations in all major European markets, North America, China, Korea and Japan, key partnerships in India, a global distributor network and a number of applications laboratories around the world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Trish Appleton
Kapler Communications
Suite 2, Cressner House
12 Huntingdon Street
St Neots, Cambs PE19 1BD UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1480 471117
Fax: +44 (0) 1480 471118

USA contact:
Marisa Fraser
Malvern Instruments Inc
10 Southville Road
Southborough, MA 01772, USA
Tel: +1 508 480 0200
Fax: +1 508 460 9692

Please send sales enquiries to:
Alison Vines
Malvern Instruments Ltd
Enigma Business Park, Grovewood Road
Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 1XZ UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1684 892456
Fax: +44 (0) 1684 892789

Copyright © Malvern Instruments

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Materials/Metamaterials

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Alloying materials of different structures offers new tool for controlling properties June 19th, 2017

Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water, Penn chemists report June 16th, 2017

Announcements

Atomic imperfections move quantum communication network closer to reality June 25th, 2017

Research accelerates quest for quicker, longer-lasting electronics: UC Riverside-led research makes topological insulators magnetic well above room temperatures June 25th, 2017

U.S. Air Force Research Lab Taps IBM to Build Brain-Inspired AI Supercomputing System: Equal to 64 million neurons, new neurosynaptic supercomputing system will power complex AI tasks at unprecedented speed and energy efficiency June 23rd, 2017

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Tools

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments congratulates Lancaster University for inaugurating the IsoLab, built for studying quantum systems June 20th, 2017

Changing the color of laser light on the femtosecond time scale: How BiCoO3 achieves second harmonic generation June 14th, 2017

Leti Announces Two New Tools for Improving Transportation Comfort, Safety and Efficiency: Wearable Device Measures Stress Responses for Travelers, Pilots and Truck Drivers, While Smartphone App Provides Transit Agencies Broad Data on Transport Modes June 13th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project