1989/02/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
The basis of the characteristics of this substance is found in the arrangement of its molecules. The thread is formed by the chaining of single large protein molecules. In some regions of the thread, in the crystalline zones, the molecules are ordered, while in others (amorphous areas) they are disordered. The crystalline parts give it solidity and amorphous elasticity.
The English biologist Nick Ashley has managed to determine the chemical structure of the molecule. On the other hand, he has managed to know which spider gene governs the production of silk and, finally, its introduction into a bacterium. This bacterium makes silk pellets. The balls are immersed in a solution to acquire thread shape.
Due to its characteristics, the silk obtained could be used to reinforce composites structures.