Polymers

Polymers

Polymers

08/31/16

“Are there chemical chains that can repeat themselves, and how do they relate to spider silk?”

 

We all know that different molecules can form bonds with one another. However, could we have a complex bonding structure that is made up of smaller, repeating, individual bits? This is the fundamental idea behind polymers. Polymers are large molecules made up of repeating units called monomers. The properties of polymers are contingent upon how their connecting-framework is built and the material that makes up the framework. For example, some polymers can be very sturdy, while others can be quite placid in nature.  Polymers can be made naturally or synthetically. For example plastics are a polymer-based material, while phenomena as fundamental as DNA is also a polymer, and even spider silk is a polymer! In fact, the polymer build of spider silk is so powerful that a single pencil-width strand of the material could stop an entire Boeing 747!

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