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Chris Holland, Fritz Vollrath, Anthony J. Ryan and Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk Polymer Fibers: Silk and Synthetic Polymers: Reconciling 100 Degrees of Separation (Adv. Mater. 1/2012) Advanced Materials 24

Version of Record online: 29 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1002/adma.201190198

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The image shows a sketch of a Chinese silkworm spinning a silk fiber. Using shear-induced polarization light imaging, Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk and co-workers at Sheffield and Oxford Universities demonstrate on page 105 that the work required to produce natural silk fibers is at least ten times less than that required for a typical synthetic polymer. They also (re)define the concept of polymer crys-tallization and class silks as a new nanocomposite state of biological matter: “aquamelts”.

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