Designing Spider Silk Proteins as Novel Biomaterials

Project: Research project

Project Details


Designing Spider Silk Proteins as Novel Biomaterials Spider Silk Proteins as Nanomaterials Professor Yargers research group at Arizona State University (ASU) proposes to continue collaborative research projects with Prof. Randy Lewis group at the to characterize spider silk proteins. We propose a continuation of our existing subcontract with an addition of research funds and an extension of the subcontract to Aug. 31, 2009. The proposed extension to our existing subcontract would be used to carry out the proposed collaborative research stated in the NIH BRG award titled Designing Spider Silk Proteins as Novel Biomaterials. Specifically, subcontract funds would be used to support one undergraduate student and one graduate student. Funds are included for travel between ASU and UW as well as to national meetings. Also, funds will be used for standard materials and supplies (chemical isotopes, cryogens, spiders and other standard laboratory chemicals and solvents) and to secure instrument time on the 400 and 800 MHz high-field NMR spectrometers in the Magnetic Resonance Research Center at ASU. The total amount of additions funds for the year-2 subcontract is $80,060, which includes indirect funds. A detailed budget is attached (excel file). This subcontract and renewal is designed to continue testing two basic hypotheses and engineering concepts. 1) The elasticity of the materials will be proportional to the number of elastic motifs. 2) Varying the sequence of the elastic regions will vary elastic (Youngs) modulus. A brief work plan is described here. 1) Continue the expression and purification of the proteins. 2) Optimize the spinning and film making process to maximize desired materials properties. 3) Test mechanical properties of films and fibers. 4) Determine the structure of the protein in films and fibers by FTIR, CD and solid state NMR. 5) The elasticity and tensile strength data will be correlated with the number and sequence of each type of motif to produce a prediction algorithm for elastic and tensile strength properties. 6) Based on 5) new genes will be constructed to match the properties needed for ligament and tendons. Possible applications of spider silk range from artificial ligaments and tendons to bandages for burns to composite materials.
Effective start/end date6/1/095/31/11


  • HHS: National Institutes of Health (NIH): $131,856.00


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