Nylons from Nature: Synthetic Analogs to Spider Silk



The biosynthesis of structural materials in the form of fibers and biocomposites is unsurpassed—complex multicomponent composite structures can be made through seamless integration of polymer synthesis, mineralization, and self-assembly. The results of multidisciplinary research to understand structure/property relationships in natural silk and to prepare synthetic analogs to spider draglines (see Figure for a schematic representation) are reviewed.