Electrostatic charges instigate 'concertina-like' mechanisms of molecular toughening in MaSp1 (spider silk) proteins

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Mahdi Pahlevan, Martti Toivakka, Parvez Alam
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Materials Science and Engineering: C
Journal acronym: MAT SCI ENG C-MATER
Volume number: 41
Start page: 329
End page: 334
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0928-4931
eISSN: 1873-0191


According to a recent article authored by Ortega-Jimenez and Dudley [1], the capture success of spiders is in part due to electrostatic charges on the surfaces of insects that macroscopically deform the spider web and increase the chances of insect-web contact. In this brief communication, we further show that electrostatic charges instigate a molecular 'concertina-like' mechanism of deformation in MaSp1 protein, which effectively begins the toughening-up of dragline silk threads prior to insect-web contact.


Deformation, Interfaces, Mechanical properties, Polymers

Last updated on 2019-19-11 at 02:44