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

Mahdi Pahlevan, Martti Toivakka, Parvez Alam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    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.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)329–334
    Number of pages6
    JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Deformation
    • Interfaces
    • Mechanical properties
    • Polymers

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