Next Article in Journal
Hydrogel as a Biomaterial for Bone Tissue Engineering: A Review
Next Article in Special Issue
Failure Analysis of Ultra High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete Structures Enhanced with Nanomaterials by Using a Diffuse Cohesive Interface Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Facile Fabrication of a Superhydrophobic Surface with Robust Micro-/Nanoscale Hierarchical Structures on Titanium Substrate
Previous Article in Special Issue
Remarkable Physical and Thermal Properties of Hydrothermal Carbonized Nanoscale Cellulose Observed from Citric Acid Catalysis and Acetone Rinsing
Article

Tensegrity Modelling and the High Toughness of Spider Dragline Silk

1
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy
2
Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sir Robert Hadfield Building, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
3
Centre for Biomedical and Chemical Science School of Science, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(8), 1510; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081510
Received: 22 June 2020 / Revised: 28 July 2020 / Accepted: 29 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiscale Innovative Materials and Structures)
This work establishes a tensegrity model of spider dragline silk. Tensegrity systems are ubiquitous in nature, being able to capture the mechanics of biological shapes through simple and effective modes of deformation via extension and contraction. Guided by quantitative microstructural characterization via air plasma etching and low voltage scanning electron microscopy, we report that this model is able to capture experimentally observed phenomena such as the Poisson effect, tensile stress-strain response, and fibre toughness. This is achieved by accounting for spider silks’ hierarchical organization into microfibrils with radially variable properties. Each fibril is described as a chain of polypeptide tensegrity units formed by crystalline granules operating under compression, which are connected to each other by amorphous links acting under tension. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that a radial variability in the ductility of tensegrity chains is responsible for high fibre toughness, a defining and desirable feature of spider silk. Based on this model, a discussion about the use of graded tensegrity structures for the optimal design of next-generation biomimetic fibres is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: spider silk; scanning electron microscopy; plasma etching; mesoscale modelling; tensegrity systems; biomimetic fibres spider silk; scanning electron microscopy; plasma etching; mesoscale modelling; tensegrity systems; biomimetic fibres
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Fraternali, F.; Stehling, N.; Amendola, A.; Tiban Anrango, B.A.; Holland, C.; Rodenburg, C. Tensegrity Modelling and the High Toughness of Spider Dragline Silk. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1510. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081510

AMA Style

Fraternali F, Stehling N, Amendola A, Tiban Anrango BA, Holland C, Rodenburg C. Tensegrity Modelling and the High Toughness of Spider Dragline Silk. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(8):1510. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081510

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fraternali, Fernando, Nicola Stehling, Ada Amendola, Bryan A. Tiban Anrango, Chris Holland, and Cornelia Rodenburg. 2020. "Tensegrity Modelling and the High Toughness of Spider Dragline Silk" Nanomaterials 10, no. 8: 1510. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10081510

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop