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How spiders could improve contact lenses

A new biomaterial inspired by spider silk has potential applications in wound dressings, implants and contact lenses

spider web
Pixabay/Albrecht Fietz
An antifungal and antibacterial biomaterial that fosters wound healing could lead to the creation of new contact lenses.

Described in Materials Today, the nanostructured biomaterial is based on spider silk proteins.

University of Bayreuth scientists developed the material that prevents the adhesion of pathogenic microbes.

At the same time as repelling bacteria and fungi, the material encourages the adhesion and proliferation of human cells.

The technology has potential applications for preventing the formation of biofilms on medical devices, such as prosthetics, medical implants, contact lenses, and catheters.

The authors noted that biofilms not only limit the functionality of such devices but can cause serious infections.