Tufts University invents process for silk lenses

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/08/20/silk-lens-optics.html

I usually report on the silk stuff that I’m doing, myself – but this one is too cool not to mention!

If I’m reading it right, they’re using an aqueous solution of sericin. If so, it might even be possible to extract the stuff, and still have the silk for textile (or other) use.

14 replies
  1. admin
    admin says:

    Well, they didn’t say that part. I’m just extrapolating from what they *did* explain – if they take off the aqueous solution (which is the sericin) the nonsoluble part (the fibroin) should still be OK

  2. not_justagirl
    not_justagirl says:

    still a faboo hypothesis… unless they do something stupid like mash it… you’d have to spin it then right? Just makes sense that they’d try to use a by product for something useful…

  3. carbon_scoring
    carbon_scoring says:

    Hey, that’s my department! Dr. Kaplan is my PhD advisor 🙂

    For the drug delivery work I do, we actually boil the cocoons to remove the sericin then dissolve the fibery fibroin in lithium bromide. So it’s the same stuff as is used for textiles…just essentially melted.

    Small world 🙂

  4. admin
    admin says:

    I had to try one, just to say that I had. Tasted like it smells.

    I really do want to find some excellent cook who knows how to dress them up right – I know that I’ve eaten some horrible things in delicious sauces, and it seems like there’s got to be some way.

    I always display a can of bondaegi, from Korea, when I do my talks – they eat them as a salty snack, like we do peanuts.

  5. labrys6
    labrys6 says:

    That IS neat, but in a completely off topic way, I have a question for you. I often shop for gifts at the Greater Good network, and they recently had some silk objects produced “non-cruelty” as they put it. Apparently, the items are made in a village of very observant sorts who harvest the cocoons AFTER they hatch. Does this impact the silk in any unfavorable way, or is it usually not done this way just for speed and convenience?

  6. admin
    admin says:

    Hmm.

    Did you see my page on Peace Silk:
    http://www.wormspit.com/peacesilk.htm
    ?

    This silk has pretty much always been used – it’s just that now people are making a point that they’re using this particular variety of waste because the moth emerged alive.

    Of course, they’re not mentioning that it emerged alive to be immediately bred, and its eggs (if female) hatched to create silkworms who would be killed in the typical manner…

  7. labrys6
    labrys6 says:

    No, I didn’t see it, thanks for the link. It was exactly this sort of kind of commercialized cynicism I was wondering about…thus why I didn’t buy any of the offered items. Thank you so much for the answers I needed. Now, I can answer those who question ME!

  8. teleselskaber
    teleselskaber says:

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which
    blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m
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