Discovery of new substance that dramatically improves the mechanical properties of artificial spider silk

July 28, 2021

Development of new materials expected

Keio University, in collaboration with RIKEN CSRS, Kyoto University, and Spiber Inc., determined the genomes of four Nephilinae spiders and conducted multi-omics analyses. They found that the spider dragline silk is a more complex composite material than previously thought.
In addition, they discovered “SpiCE-NMa1,” a protein contained in newly identified spider silk, which can improve, as an additive, the mechanical properties of the spider silk material.

These results should greatly contribute to the material design and development of artificial protein materials.


Original article
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America (PNAS)
N. Kono, H. Nakamura, M. Mori, Y. Yoshida, R. Ohtoshi, A.D. Malay, D. A. Pedrazzoli Moran, M. Tomita, K. Numata, K. Arakawa,
"Multicomponent nature underlies the extraordinary mechanical properties of spider dragline silk".

Keiji Numata
Team Leader
Biomacromolecules Research Team