Biomimetic Insights: Structure-Toughness Relations in Spider Silk Nanocrystals


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This brief communication proposes reasons for why larger β-sheet nanocrystals in spider silk exhibit lowered toughness as a function of increasing lateral size, but higher toughness as the β-strands are lengthened. Herein, this phenomenon is understood to be due to β-sheet stacking and the non-linear decreases in the electrostatic forces of attraction between β-sheets as more sheets are conjoined to form the crystal. Lengthening the β-strands raises the crystal toughness as a result of heightened electrostatic forces of attraction between the sheets. The extent of β-sheet nanocrystal toughness is a fractional balance between inter- and intramolecular bond strengths.



Advanced Materials Research (Volumes 622-623)

Edited by:

R. Sivakumar




P. Alam, "Biomimetic Insights: Structure-Toughness Relations in Spider Silk Nanocrystals", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 622-623, pp. 1799-1802, 2013

Online since:

December 2012





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