LARAMIE, Wyo., Oct. 26 (UPI) — U.S. scientists have analyzed the sticky substance in spider webs and say their findings might lead to development of a new generation of bio-based adhesives.
The University of Wyoming researchers say their findings are an advance toward bio-based “green” adhesives and glues that could replace existing petroleum-based products for a range of uses.
Omer Choresh and colleagues note much research has been done on spider web silk, but scientists know comparatively little about the glue that coats the silk threads and is among the world’s strongest biological glues. Past studies revealed that spiders make web glue from glycoproteins, or proteins with bits of sugar attached.
The new study identified two new glycoproteins in the glue and showed that domains of those proteins were produced from opposite strands of the same DNA.
“Once the cloned genes are over expressed in systems such as insect or bacterial cell cultures, large-scale production of the glycoprotein can be used to develop a new bio-based glue for a variety of purposes,” the researchers said.
A report on the study appears in the journal Biomacromolecules.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International