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Liquid Wire Acting Like A Spider Silk, Invented

May 19, 2016 10:00 PM EDT
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Man-made liquid wire fibers possessing the characteristics of a spider web has recently been unveiled as experts from different universities studied the spider's catching silk and decided to make their own version of one of the nature's extraordinary material.

University of Oxford and Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris experts conducted a study on why spider's web remains rigid and does not easily break in spite of repetitive stretching to multiple length from its original size.

They discovered that loose threads from the web are immediately rolled back into the tiny drops of sticky type of water. The said substance originally covers the small fibers of the web's capture spiral.

'The thousands of tiny droplets of glue that cover the capture spiral of the spider's orb web do much more than make the silk sticky and catch the fly,' said Professor Fritz Vollrath, from the Department of Zoology of Oxford Silk Group, according to The Daily Mail.

 Gizmodo reports that spider web is much tougher than Nylon and Kevlar, some of the named strongest synthetics; with its strength comparable to steel and its elasticity to that of a rubber. Not to mention its acidity level preventing fungi and bacteria from consuming its stored essential proteins.

The finding which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences inspired scientists to come up with this really interesting hybrid material having the solid-like extension and the liquid-like compression.

Before the unveiling of this science breakthrough known as the liquid wire, efforts were exerted in trying to come up with materials that would match up with the spider silk.

Goats were attempted to lactate silk while others tried to grow spider silk out of plants. But none of the above mentioned measured up to the spider silk's complex molecular components.

Experts believe that this liquid wire invention is just an opening of an even greater door of discovery.

"These new insights could lead to a wide range of applications, such as microfabrication of complex structures, reversible micro-motors, or self-tensioned stretchable systems," said Dr Hervé Elettro, an author from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, as per Popular Mechanics.

This video shows more of the invention.

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