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Designing Spider Silk Proteins for Materials Applications
Final rept. Jun 2006-Oct 2009
WYOMING UNIV LARAMIE DEPT OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
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Spider silks have the potential to provide new bio-based materials for numerous military applications ranging from protective clothing to parachute cords to composite materials in aircraft. Specific amino acid motifs have been identified which have been conserved for over 125 million years in all spiders using their silk to physically trap their prey. No one has systematically varied the sequence motifs in the spider silk proteins and determined how this influences the mechanical properties of the resulting fibers. These experiments will provide the predictive knowledge enabling the design of materials with very specific elastic and strength properties for each military application. Specific Aims 1 The properties of dragline silk are the result of the combining both proteins MaSp 1 and 2. 2 The elasticity of the individual molecules and the materials will be proportional to the number of elastic motifs they contain and varying the amount of the non-elastic regions will vary the tensile strength.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE