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Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications
Lehrstuhl für Biomaterialien, Gebäude FAN/D, Universität Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, 95447, Bayreuth, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2010; in revised form: 12 February 2011 / Accepted: 14 March 2011 / Published: 17 March 2011
Abstract: Nature has evolved a range of materials that compete with man-made materials in physical properties; one of these is spider silk. Silk is a fibrous material that exhibits extremely high strength and toughness with regard to its low density. In this review we discuss the molecular structure of spider silk and how this understanding has allowed the development of recombinant silk proteins that mimic the properties of natural spider silks. Additionally, we will explore the material morphologies and the applications of these proteins. Finally, we will look at attempts to combine the silk structure with chemical polymers and how the structure of silk has inspired the engineering of novel polymers.
Keywords: spider silk; biopolymer; recombinant
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Humenik, M.; Smith, A.M.; Scheibel, T. Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications. Polymers 2011, 3, 640-661.
Humenik M, Smith AM, Scheibel T. Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications. Polymers. 2011; 3(1):640-661.
Humenik, Martin; Smith, Andrew M.; Scheibel, Thomas. 2011. "Recombinant Spider Silks—Biopolymers with Potential for Future Applications." Polymers 3, no. 1: 640-661.