Top-Level Publications
Directional water collection on wetted spider silks
Release time:December 4, 2020

Beihang's scholars collaborated with scientists from Institute of Chemistry Chinese Academy of Sciences to reveal the directional water-collecting ability of cribellate spider silks by analyzing the collection of water drops around their spindle-knots. The research results were published in Nature (2010, 463, 640-643), and appeared at the front cover of the journal.

The research finds that the water-collecting ability of the capture silk of the cribellate spider Uloborus walckenaerius is the result of a unique fibre structure that forms after wetting, with the 'wet-rebuilt' fibres characterized by periodic spindle-knots made of random nanofibrils and separated by joints made of aligned nanofibrils. The research finding provides a feasible design model for new materials with directional water-collecting ability.