Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Comparative silk research has begun to provide us with valuable insights into a class of biopolymers that have evolved an enormous range of material performance based on highly adapted structure-property interactions. As outlined in this article, such insights cover the analysis of biological and bioinspired spinning technologies, the discovery of a novel type of melt spinning at ambient temperatures, and an advanced predictive modeling framework that uses ab initio calculations. Importantly, the huge diversity and extensive range of material properties found in natural silks is providing a fertile field for discoveries that could change the polymer paradigm and our approach to using proteins as structural materials. For example, highly relevant to both sustainability and engineering properties is the role of water in silk processing and function, as this article will explore in some detail. © 2013 Materials Research Society.

Original publication




Journal article


MRS Bulletin

Publication Date





73 - 80