Spider silk is an organic protein fiber made by spiders. Many of these fibers have special properties, such as high durability, elasticity, flexibility… While the silk produced by silkworms does not have the same advantages as spider silk, it is easier to harvest. and many more.
According to a study published in the journal Matter, using gene editing tools, scientists at Donghua University (China) have successfully used silkworms to create a special type of spider silk: stronger than steel and similar to Kevlar fiber ( Type of fiber) used to make bulletproof vests 6 times stronger than ).
The research team’s method is to edit silkworm genes so that they contain spider silk protein genes, then inject them into fertilized silkworm eggs. He also made some modifications to the spider silk protein to make it compatible with the silk gland, so that spider silk could be successfully spun.
Junpeng Mi, co-author of the study, told Newsweek, “This allows the production of spider silk using silkworms instead of spiders. This type of silk can be used in medical, textile and even aerospace technology.” Can also be implemented in the field.”
Junpeng Mi particularly emphasized the usefulness of the new type of silk in medicine: it is used as a surgical thread that can disintegrate on its own. “At least 300 million surgeries are performed globally every year. Using non-biodegradable stitches causes difficulties for patients as they have to waste time and money removing the stitches.”
The research is said to pave the way for a future in which fewer synthetic fibers like nylon will be used, as they release microplastics and are produced from fossil fuels.
“There is no difference in the breeding of traditional silkworms and genetically modified silkworms, and the costs have not increased. China produces thousands of tons of silk every year, so I believe it will be commercialized in the future. “
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