Spider silk proteins can be created synthetically and are highly valued for their strength, durability, and flexibility. By altering the genome of goats, silk worms, and the bacteria E. coli we are able to manufacture spider silk products in lab. The production and manipulation of these ‘recombinant spider silk proteins’ along with the process of aqueous solubilization can yield many useful spider silk materials such as films, fibers, gels, coatings, and more. Conductive ink is a recent and popular scientific discovery that let’s you create flexible working circuits. This product has many applications including RFID tags, circuit boards, and printers. However, most conductive inks contain a highly toxic organic compound known as butanone along with a conductive salt. Our research is to prove that replacing butanone with spider silk proteins in conductive inks will still create a flexible and durable circuit without the toxicity. This non-toxic conductive ink could prove useful when applying the circuit directly into living systems. We also think that using spider silk proteins in our circuits will improve the durability and elasticity of the circuits created.
Merrill, Jay; Ghazi, Amir; Harris, Thomas I.; Hassounah, Ibrahim; and Lewis, Randolph V., "Conductive Ink Meets Spider Silk" (2016). Biology Posters. Paper 26.