Date of Award:

8-2018

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Biological and Irrigation Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Randolph V. Lewis

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Ronald C. Sims

Abstract

Spider silks are incredible natural materials that possess desirable combinations of strength, elasticity, weight, and robustness. Other properties such as biocompatibility and biodegradability further increase the worth of these materials. The possibility of farming spiders is impractical due to spiders’ natural behaviors. Modern biotechnologies have allowed for recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSps) to be produced without the use of spiders. However, the features responsible for spider silks impressive properties can cause difficulties with producing silk materials. A recently developed water-based and biomimetic solvation method has provided a solution to such difficulties and has also led to novel silk biomaterials. Most notable among these materials are; coatings, fibers, adhesives, films, foams, hydrogels, aerogels, capsules, and sponges. Many of these material possess specific properties that may be suitable for many commercial, industrial, and biomedical uses. This study has developed numerous spider silk biomaterials, identified their essential properties and features, provided preliminary evidence for various applications, and identified directions for future studies and uses.

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767e32e4e5b7ac9bd50121ec2de11f75

Available for download on Tuesday, August 01, 2023

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