|Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally hard, that is they are able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41.000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200.000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties.
Such bioprospecting of silks promises to reveal new fibers that have different combinations of material properties. However, blindly fishing for such silks by picking species at random, or systematically sampling all silks of all species are both inefficient.
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