With the Paris and London fashion weeks happening just a couple of months ago, and the Pakistan fashion week commencing in November, it’s not only designers and fashionista gurus interested in fabric design and specifications.
Scientists are now turning to silkworms to produce super strong, conductive, carbon reinforced silk, not only suitable for the textile industry, but for potential use in electronics, medical implants and biodegradable sensors:
A recent publication in Nano Lett 2016. DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.6603597 describes how, by feeding silkworms graphene or single-walled nanotubes, the gossamer silk produced have up to fifty percent higher reinforced strength.
Material scientist Yaopeng Zhang, of Songhua University, placed silk worms on a diet of titanium dioxide nanoparticles creating super strength silk resistant to ultraviolet degradation. Creating silk fibres that can also conduct electricity through, carbon reinforced materials, could also make silk suitable for reading nerve signals when entwined with smart textile technology.
I wonder what it will be next? Spider webs?
(Dr Kerry Elgie)