The goal of this study was to demonstrate that it is possible to formulate an electrically conductive, stretchable and environmentally friendly ink or coating. This is made possible by harnessing the properties of biomimetic spider silk obtained from transgenic goats. In this experiment we formulated four inks using spider silk, silver trifluoroacetate and carbon nanotubes (CNT). We utilized Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), spider silk, natural rubber (Latex) and polystyrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene(SIS) as substrates to demonstrate the flexible nature of the ink/coating. We then conducted surface characterization using FTIR and SEM to verify the presence of our coating and quantified the thickness of our coatings. We measured the conductivity of the ink using an Ohm meter. Our preliminary results indicate successful formulation of an ink that meets the parameters described above. Inks formulated using spider silk and AgTFA are in fact more stable and conductive than other inks tested in this experiment. We also found little or no success with the other three inks described in the experiment. This study serves as a proof of concept and starting point for optimization of such inks for use in the bio medical and technology sectors.
Tabatabaei, Amir Ghazi; Merrill, Jay; Lewis, Randolph V.; and Hassounah, Ibrahim, "An Environmentally Friendly Conductive Ink Made Using Transgenic Spider Silk Protein and Silver Salts" (2016). Biology Posters. Paper 41.