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The spiders have the answer

Silk is an extraordinary material with several amazing properties. It can provide excellent ballistic protection and has been used extensively in the past and perhaps slightly more surprsingly is part of the current issue of kit for British soldiers.

Silk is an extraordinary material with several amazing properties. It can provide excellent ballistic protection and has been used extensively in the past and perhaps slightly more surprsingly is part of the current issue of kit for British soldiers. Here at Thread we know that silk (both silkworm and spider) can do these suprising things and yet we were still impressed to hear of screws for pinning broken bones being made of silk. The screws are created by moulding and baking a silk fibroin (an insoluble protein created by spiders) material. These screws are self-tapping and reduce stress shielding (where pins and implants can reduce the stress on a bone which can in turn reduce its density and strength) and promote bone remodelling.

Website link: The use of silk-based devices for fracture fixation, Nature Communications, 4th March 2014