Scientists have forced spiders to create bionic silk based on graphene

The purpose of the experiment was to test the technology for producing artificial materials through harmless correction of the usual process of weaving a spider's web. The result is a fiber that is stronger than carbon nanotubes and the teeth of sea saucers (the most durable material on Earth).

To achieve this result, the team of Professor Nikola Pugno from the University of Trento added some graphene flakes to the drinking water for the three spider species. With a thickness of one atom, they retain their unique properties, but do not disrupt the metabolism of insects. Then the spiders weaved a web, from which they had already woven a silk thread.

Analysis of this material showed that graphene has effectively integrated into the structure of the spider web, giving it hitherto unprecedented properties. Before the study of the structure of the teeth of seashells "sea saucers" and the invention of graphene, cobweb was considered one of the most tear-resistant substances on the planet. Now the unique material has been strengthened with the addition of graphene.

The tensile strength of bionic silk was 5.4 gigapascals (GPa), and its viscosity modulus reached 1570 joules per gram (J / g). For comparison, the indicators for a normal, unmodified web from the same spiders are 1.5 GPa and 150 J / g. At the same time, Professor Pugno declares that these are only the first, trial results on the creation of reinforced bionic silk.