Spider web

Spider Silk or Electrical Conductor?

Image Credit: Flickr User quinn.anya, via CC

Spider silk is astonishingly strong and sturdy. No wonder Spiderman roams around the city using the spider silk as steel bars. It is finer than a human hair and five times stronger than the steel wire of the same diameter. It is extremely stretchable, and some kind of spider silk can also transmit light.

Looking at these exceptional strengths that the silk possesses it is hardly a surprise that researchers at Florida State University’s National High MagneticField Lab have used it and changed the Spider silk to conduct electricity. How did they do that?  They coated spider silk with a very thin layer of carbon nanotubes, which are also stretchable and flexible but conduct electricity as well as a copper wire.

They successfully used electrical circuits made by this coated spider silk and used it in monitoring heart pulse. It can also be used for monitoring relative humidity changes.

Such tiny electrical conductors, huh!

Sometimes the best materials are natural, you only have to look around.


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