Spider silk is becoming more useful for its desired properties as more information about the nanostructure is discovered. Due to the fact that this protein is nearly impossible to mass produce directly from the spider, the protein coding gene has been duplicated from the spider genome and inserted into the E. coli, goat, alfalfa, and silkworm genomes. This has allowed us to extract the produced protein from the transgenic hosts at a larger scale than the spiders offer. Spider silk is one of the strongest and most elastic fibers found in nature and these two characteristics, along with others others, have very promising applications in many different areas. Areas including biomedical, automobile, military, and sports equipment all have products that could be benefitted by this spider silk. Considering the biomedical realm, there are encouraging results in the mechanical and chemical properties of the spider silk protein for tendon and ligament repair, tissue scaffolding, and also neural system regeneration. The aim of this project is to take the spider silk protein (M4) produced from the transgenic goat and spin it into nanofibers via electrospinning technique and analyze the properties of this fiber. Specifically, we will use FTIR (Fourier Transfer Infra Red) Spectroscopy, SEM (Scanning electro microscope) analysis, mechanical property analysis, as well as resistance testing at variable relative humidity levels (RH) to record the resistive behavior of the fiber as if it were in an actual neural system.
Steadman, Jesse; Shehata, Nader; Kandas, Ishac; hassounah, ibrahim; and Lewis, Randolph V., "Resistive behaviors of spider silk nanofibers in humidity controlled environments" (2016). Biology Posters. Paper 34.