By feeding silkworms a mulberry mixture containing fluorescent dye, scientists are able to harvest brightly coloured silk.
The environmentalists like it cause it cuts back on the water use and harsh chemicals needed for the dyeing process. Scientists like it for the potential to create silk with antibacterial, anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory properties that could be used in wound dressing or even as biomedical frameworks for repairing damaged tissues. We like for both those reasons. Plus, we especially like it because of how colorful they are.
Here's some silkworm color love inspired by science and these 'intrinsically colored and luminescent silk worms'.
By feeding them mixtures containing dyes, researchers have helped silkworms spin fluorescent, coloured silk.
By feeding silkworms a mulberry mixture containing fluorescent dye, Natalia's team was able to harvest brightly coloured silk that is structurally unaffected, but which also has luminescent, or glowing, properties. The dye molecules are ingrained within the silk filaments to create permanent colour.
Image credits: Institute of Materials Research and Engineering
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