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Summer Science Exhibition 2016 | Monday 4 July - Sunday 10 July | London

Spider webs and silks

Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Play ‘NetSpinner’; a game of fly and spider web co-evolution. 
  • Probe a big model spider web with vibrations, and ‘listen’ to the web responding to this artificial prey. 
  • Explore the behaviour of the non-Newtonian material from which silk is spun.

Find out more

Naturally strong and energy efficient; spider silk is informing the creation of sustainable and biocompatible materials. Visit our exhibit to discover the fascinating properties and evolution of silk and silk-spinning invertebrates , and how they’re inspiring the fibres and technologies of the future.

Full integration of diverse research disciplines is helping to  unravel the molecular structure of silks, the properties it gives them, and how they’re used in nature. Silks are energy-efficiently spun from proteins at ambient temperatures and pressures in a watery environment , yet their material performance compares well with the best man-made polymers. Furthermore, silks are biocompatible – they are accepted into the human body – and we’ll reveal current clinical trials that are testing silk implants for the regeneration of human knee cartilage.

Find out more about the Oxford Silk Group.

Presented by: University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, STFC, Orthox Ltd, Oxford Biomaterials Ltd