Xampla: Making strong, low-cost biodegradable plastic from peas

© Xampla

Inspired by the strength of spider silk, the Cambridge University spinoff has produced a plant-based, completely compostable alternative to microplastics

Spiders' silk is highly elastic, yet weight-for-weight stronger than steel. This seeming contradiction has long fascinated scientists, but a biophysicist went one step further, proposing that the silken threads would be a potentially ideal substitute for plastic, if its properties and production could be mimicked and scaled. “Spiders can form a high-performance material with minimal external energy input; there is almost no weight, and the processing happens at room temperature without using harmful solvents,” Cambridge University Professor of Physical Chemistry and Biophysics Tuomas Know...
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Edited by Selva Kumar, Bernice Tang

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