Future of silk could give us wearable sensors, smart fabrics and ‘rubber’ as strong as steel

kaist elastic silk gppu cvstojkbhx r f
Silk-based wearable electronic device.

Tucked away near a freight elevator along the clinical corridors of an upper floor is a solid black door, plain except for a stylized logo that reads simply: silklab. Inside is an impressive suite of laboratories filled with high-tech machinery.

Some creations are still too secret to photograph; others, encased for display like museum exhibits: bio-inks, wearable sensors, smart fabrics, mysterious vials of materials that look perhaps like rubber but with the strength of high-tensile engineering steel, biodegradable architecture, a skull that looks like it was made of sponge, prism-like light-reflecting mirrors, and transparent, iridescent films.

Whether from spiders or from worms, by learning from nature, [physicist Fiorenzo] Omenetto sees what he calls infinite scalable technology that we haven’t yet harnessed. Among materials from nature, including the natural nanotechnology used by plants his lab now studies, silk is central to a range of future technologies. Using this to reinvent electronic-human interfaces that can sense what is going on in the body is set to be the next big thing. “The fact that we start from a naturally based material drives us to put tech where tech normally doesn’t go,” he says. “It really brings biology and technology together.”

Related article:  Taming immune system after stroke could reduce risk of brain damage

Read full, original post: The Future of Silk

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend