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Unravelling Spider Silks

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18:30 – 21:00 23 Jan 2013
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Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London, W1B 1NT

Speakers: Professor Fritz Vollrath (Department of Zoology, Oxford)

Spider silks, like the silks of other arthropods, use proteins are the structural components and water as the solvent.
Protein and water combine and separate - under ambient pressures and temperatures - to make the silk thread, which can be so tough that it outperforms even the best man-made fibres.
So far, our studies of spider silks and webs have lead us to a number of important discoveries ranging from tunable nano-scale composite structures (that absorb energy hydro-electrically) to complex self-assembling micro-machines (that absorb energy mechanically) all the way to the building of complex webs cleverly engineered to absorb energy aerodynamically.
All these ways-and-means are the works Nature’s 'Design by Evolution', which is a powerful albeit rather time consuming process, to create and fabricate highly functional - and energy efficient - materials, devices and systems.
Importantly, silks are not only interesting as highly evolved natural materials but seem to have a bright future both as models to guide our understanding of energy efficient bio-polymers but also as prototype models to guide the design of totally novel polymer systems be it for medicine or engineering.
Tea/Coffee from 18:00 and afterwards.

Event type: Lecture/Talk
Organised by: IOP London and South East Branch
Contact details: London Centre Organiser,
Email: londonsoutheast@physics.org

http://www.oxfordsilkgroup.com/


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Location icon
Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London, W1B 1NT
Clock icon
18:30 – 21:00 23 Jan 2013
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Invite friends
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