For super-tough spider silk, just add titanium


By Paul Marks SPIDER silk is already one of the toughest fibres known, and now it can be made even more resilient with an injection of metal. By infiltrating the protein structure of the silk, the metal makes each strand 10 times as hard to snap. The same technique might beef up other biomaterials for a host of applications such as making artificial tendons from collagen. The inspiration comes from the many creatures that have tissues in jaws, stingers and claws strengthened and stiffened by metals. For instance, the mandibles of leaf-cutter ants and locusts are peppered with zinc,
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