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      Biomimetic Silk Architectures Outperform Animal Horns in Strength and Toughness


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          Structural biomimicry is an intelligent approach for developing lightweight, strong, and tough materials (LSTMs). Current fabrication technologies, such as 3D printing and two‐photon lithography often face challenges in constructing complex interlaced structures, such as the sinusoidal crossed herringbone structure that contributes to the ultrahigh strength and fracture toughness of the dactyl club of peacock mantis shrimps. Herein, bioinspired LSTMs with laminated or herringbone structures is reported, by combining textile processing and silk fiber “welding” techniques. The resulting biomimetic silk LSTMs (BS‐LSTMs) exhibit a remarkable combination of lightweight with a density of 0.6–0.9 g cm −3, while also being 1.5 times stronger and 16 times more durable than animal horns. These findings demonstrate that BS‐LSTMs are among the toughest natural materials made from silk proteins. Finite element simulations further reveal that the fortification and hardening of BS‐LSTMs arise primarily from the hierarchical organization of silk fibers and mechanically transferable meso‐interfaces. This study highlights the rational, cost‐effective, controllable mesostructure, and transferable strategy of integrating textile processing and fiber “welding” techniques for the fabrication of BS‐LSTMs with advantageous structural and mechanical properties. These findings have significant implications for a wide range of applications in biomedicine, mechanical engineering, intelligent textiles, aerospace industries, and beyond.


          Inspired by the intricate interwoven mesostructures of peacock mantis shrimp, the biomimetic silk LSTMs (BS‐LSTMs) are designed and fabricated via combined textile processing techniques with fiber “welding”. The resulting BS‐LSTMs exhibit a remarkable combination of lightweight (density of 0.6–0.9 g cm −3) and strength (1.5 times stronger) and durability (16 times more durable) than animal horns.

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          Handbook of Technical Textiles

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            Chinese Silk: A Cultural History

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              Structural Biomaterials


                Author and article information

                Adv Sci (Weinh)
                Adv Sci (Weinh)
                Advanced Science
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                18 August 2023
                October 2023
                : 10
                : 29 ( doiID: 10.1002/advs.v10.29 )
                : 2303058
                [ 1 ] Frontiers Science Center for Transformative Molecules School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes National Center for Translational Medicine Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai 200240 China
                [ 2 ] School of Physical Science and Technology ShanghaiTech University 393 Middle Huaxia Road Shanghai 201210 China
                [ 3 ] Laboratory for Multiscale Mechanics and Medical Science SV LAB School of Aerospace Xi'an Jiaotong University Xi'an 710049 China
                [ 4 ] Shanghai Clinical Research and Trial Center Shanghai 201210 China
                [ 5 ] World Laureates Association (WLA) Laboratories Shanghai 201203 China
                Author notes
                Author information
                © 2023 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley‐VCH GmbH

                This is an open access article under the terms of the http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 16 July 2023
                : 12 May 2023
                Page count
                Figures: 9, Tables: 1, Pages: 11, Words: 7554
                Funded by: National Key Research and Development Program of China , doi 10.13039/501100012166;
                Award ID: 2022YFB3203801
                Award ID: 2022YFB3203804
                Award ID: 2022YFB3203800
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China , doi 10.13039/501100001809;
                Award ID: 21935002
                Award ID: 51973116
                Award ID: 52003156
                Award ID: 32071374
                Funded by: ShanghaiTech University , doi 10.13039/501100012600;
                Funded by: “Ten Thousand Plan”‐National High‐Level Talents Special Support Plan, Program of Shanghai Academic Research Leader
                Funded by: Science and Technology Innovation Action Plan
                Award ID: 21XD1422100
                Funded by: Program of Shanghai Science and Technology Development
                Award ID: 22TS1400700
                Funded by: Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: LR22C100001
                Funded by: Innovative Research Team of High‐Level Local Universities in Shanghai
                Award ID: SHSMU‐ZDCX20210900
                Funded by: CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team
                Award ID: JCTD‐2020‐08
                Funded by: Start‐up Funds from Shanghai Jiao Tong University
                Award ID: 22X010201631
                Research Article
                Research Articles
                Custom metadata
                October 17, 2023
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:6.3.4 mode:remove_FC converted:18.10.2023

                biomaterials,biomimetic silks,light, strong, and tough materials (lstms),mesostructures,textile processing


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