Spider Super Glue

March 29th, 2016

Spider Super Glue

Professor of biological sciences at Virginia Tech Brent Opell has put together a research team to study the glue spiders create for their webs. Spiders create this glue when the glycoproteins secreted from their abdomen interact with the atmosphere. Scientists want to use this glue to create better, more environmentally friendly adhesives. But first scientists must understand how it is made, as well as it capabilities and limitations.

Opell’s research team have recently found that UVB rays play an important role in how well the spider’s webs work. After testing the webs of five different species of spiders, the team found that the webs of spiders that hunt during the day were much more resistant against UVB rays. This find is crucial to creating adhesives that are environmentally non-toxic and energy conservative. These new adhesives will be inspired by the spider thread glycoprotein. They will prove much more resistant to UV rays than current adhesives, which degrade at a much faster rate when exposed to UV rays. The chemistry of spider glue will vastly improve our ability to produce heartier adhesives.

What do you think of using spider glue as an adhesive? Do you think this is a big step towards making a superior adhesive product?

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March 2016