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Web Date: October 5, 2016

Silkworms that eat carbon nanotubes and graphene spin tougher silk

Strong, conductive carbon-reinforced silk could be suitable for wearable electronics, biodegradable sensors, and medical implants
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Materials SCENE, Nano SCENE
Keywords: biobased materials, silk, biodegradable electronics, silkworm, medical implants, carbon nanotubes, graphene

Silk—the stuff of lustrous, glamorous clothing—is very strong. Researchers now report a clever way to make the gossamer threads even stronger and tougher: by feeding silkworms graphene or single-walled carbon nanotubes (Nano Lett. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b03597). The reinforced silk produced by the silkworms could be used in applications such as durable protective fabrics, biodegradable medical implants, and ecofriendly wearable electronics, they say.

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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