Can you imagine a rechargeable battery with spider silk as one of its components? The research was awarded with the “2014 Colombian Inventor National Award” (Premio Nacional al Inventor Colombiano 2014) and the “World Intellectual Property Organization Award” to the best inventor
The results of the research, developed by Professor Gladis Miriam Aparicio Rojas, might end up in every home through a new synthetic material derived from the spider silk of the Nephila Clavipes species. This material can be applied in the production of rechargeable batteries with better performance and environmentally friendlier.
“Since it has excellent mechanical properties, the spider silk is a good candidate from which synthetic materials can be obtained, with the same properties of the silk. In the case of this spider, its silk is characterized for its golden color and is much more resistant than steel and more flexible than nylon”, states Professor Aparicio, physicist, Master’s Degree in physics and candidate to Ph.D. in physics.
This material is already being used in research related to the textile industry and with bullet-proof vests, However, this is the first time that it is used in a project aiming at producing energy from itself, although it is not a conductor material. Gladis Aparicio is a researcher professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente in Cali, Colombia. She coordinates the research group in new solids with industrial application (Ginsai for its acronym in Spanish) at the same University.
The technological impact of the research, granted with the 2014 Colombian Inventor National Award, contributes to solve a problem of worldwide interest: the renewable energy. It was awarded, first of all, for using a unique biomaterial due to its mechanical properties, the spider’s silk, which is considered as waste in many cases. In addition, it generates other materials which are much more resistant and more flexible with better environmental effects and fewer complications in its final life cycle.
The research was honored with the ‘2014 Colombian Inventor National Award’ and the “World Intellectual Property Organization Award”– WIPO (for its acronym in English), to the Best Inventor’. These prizes were given by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, SIC, in collaboration with the Colombian Association for the Advance of Science, ACAC (for its acronym in Spanish), and with the support and evaluation of the World Intellectual Property Organization, in an effort aimed at the promotion of science, technology, and innovation in Colombia.
Interview to profesor Miriam Aparicio
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