A team around LU Zunfeng at Nankai University in Tianjin has prepared an artificial spider silk made from polyacrylic acid and silica nanoparticles. It consists of hierarchical core-sheath structured hydrogel fibers, which are reinforced by Zn ion doping and twist insertion. The fiber exhibits a tensile strength of 895 MPa and a stretchability of 44.3%, achieving mechanical properties comparable to spider silk. The material also presents a high toughness of 370 MJ m−3 and a damping capacity of 95%.
Nat Commun 10, 5293 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13257-4