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Evaluation of the Resistance of Spider Silk to Ultraviolet Irradiation


The effects of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on spider silk were studied in Nephila clavata draglines collected during different developmental stages in order to clarify the resistance of the draglines to sunlight. Electron spin resonance measurements revealed that photo-irradiation produced Cα-centered radicals of the protein molecules constituting the draglines. This was attributed to the photo-induced cleavage of chemical bonds. Greater numbers of radicals were produced in the draglines of mature spiders than in those of juveniles, and in the silks of silkworm compared with the draglines of spider. Spider silk is therefore more resistant to UV irradiation, which might be a consequence of the outside environment in which it functions. The spider silk is expected to be a useful next-generation material for textiles.


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Osaki, S., Yamamoto, K., Kajiwara, A. et al. Evaluation of the Resistance of Spider Silk to Ultraviolet Irradiation. Polym J 36, 623–627 (2004).

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  • Resistance
  • Spider Silk
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Radicals
  • ESR

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