In North Dakota, North Dakota State University researchers are finding ways to use spider silk as flexible metal conductors and in medical treatments. The research team created an entrepreneurial company called Spinthesis, which is using 3D printing devices to develop its own version of spider silk that, like the original, is biodegradable and flexible in its uses and properties. They plan on using the spider silk and its elastic properties for smart bandages that can adjust its compression based on movement, helping to ensure the bandage doesn’t fall off if too loose or limit blood circulation if on too tight.
The researchers have been modifying spider silk and analyzing its properties for potential future medical applications such as implants. Since spider silk is a biomaterial that is less likely to be rejected by human tissue, it may be a viable option for medical uses.