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Biomaterials

Periodic graphics: The chemistry of spiderwebs

Chemical educator and Compound Interest blogger Andy Brunning explains the chemistry that makes spider silk strong and elastic.

by Andy Brunning
October 10, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 41

 

To download a pdf of this article, visit cenm.ag/spiderweb.


References used to create this graphic:

Spider silk is a wonder of nature but it’s not stronger than steel

Spider silk

The elaborate structure of spider silk

Bioinspired supramolecular fibers drawn from a multiphase self-assembled hydrogel

Synthetic biology and the rise of the ‘spider-goats’

The structure and properties of spider silk


A collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest

To see more of Brunning’s work, go to compoundchem.com. To see all of C&EN’s Periodic Graphics, visit http://cenm.ag/periodicgraphics.

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Comments
nobuyuki ishibe (October 11, 2017 8:22 PM)
It looks like an interesting article, but I cannot access it.
Ivan (February 26, 2018 11:33 PM)
It's interesting that the spider webs toughness is 180 for dragline silk and 150 for the flag silk but only 50 for the Kevlar. I would have thought the Kevlar be superior in all the categories and it would be a bigger difference in strength like at least 10x stronger.

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