Future BRH and University of Manchester scientists have successfully produced synthetic spider silk to create a new biodegradable glue alternative. The synthetic spider silk glue works as well as commercially available adhesives without being environmentally harmful.
The glue was made by coaxing harmless bacteria to produce spider silk in addition to their normal proteins. The bacteria could then be fed sugar and nutrients to produce the spider silk glue through fermentation. The process is similar to the fermentation of beer but with spider silk glue being made instead of alcohol.
The new breakthrough, which is detailed in a recent Materials Today Bio publication, opens the door to a range of sustainable alternatives to an industry which is worth billions of dollars annually.
For more details see the University of Manchester news story.