Abstract of the chapter

Biomimetic production of fiber from regenerated silk

José Pérez Rigueiro

Silks produced by spiders and silkworms are notable materials in a number of respects, including their processing under environmentally friendly conditions, remarkable biocom-patibility and outstanding mechanical properties. Consequently, there is a steady research work devoted to try to reproduce those singular properties in a process that can lead to the massive production of artificial fibers with properties comparable to those of their natural counterparts. As explained below, the application of the biomimetic principles has been found to be a fruitful approach to fulfil this objective. In this regard, the basic understand-ing of the natural spinning process and on the essential microstructural features of silks has allowed the identification of a number of critical elements on which the biomimetic artificial spinning techniques can be built. This work presents one of the most versatile techniques for the biomimetic production of silk-based fibers: straining flow spinning (SFS). The main principles on which the technique is based are discussed and some of the achievements obtained with this process are presented.