Silkworm silk is mainly known as a luxurious textile.

Spider silk is an alternative to silkworm silk fibers and has much more outstanding properties. Silk diversity ensures variation in its application in nature and industry. Artificial spider silk is a new

This review aims to provide a critical summary of up-to-date fabrication methods of artificial spider silk-based organic-inorganic hybrid materials. This paper focuses on the relationship between the molecular structure of spider silk and its mechanical properties. Such knowledge is essential for understanding the innate properties of spider silk as it provides insight into the sophisticated assembly processes of silk proteins into the distinct polymers as a basis for novel products.

In this context, we describe the development of hybrids using both natural and bioengineered proteins blended with inorganic nanoparticles. The following topics are also covered: the diversity of spider silk, its composition and architecture, the differences between it and silkworm silk, and the biosynthesis of natural silk. Referencing biochemical data and processes, this paper outlines the existing challenges and future outcomes.

Hybrid Materials

Within the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of natural fibers to create new hybrid materials (Lau and Cheung, 2017). Recent advances in natural fiber development, composite science, and genetic engineering have presented remarkable opportunities for novel high-performance functional materials (Wang F. et al., 2014). There is a growing interest in high-performance spider silk-based functional materials, while silkworm silk is widely accepted and used. 

hybrid formation using genetic fusion and biomineralization - spider silk artificial fiber
Illustration of the hybrid formation using genetic fusion and biomineralization –

The range of applications is extremely broad due to its unsurpassed physicochemical properties and a high degree of adaptability. Spider silk provides a good basis for the formation of hybrid functional materials with many uses—an option already being explored. However, it is clear that this field is only at its first stages of development based on the presented approaches for the synthesis of …-based organic-inorganic hybrid materials.

Moreover, large-scale industrial production of these materials is currently challenging due to some unavoidable difficulties related to natural spider silk fabrication. Commercially available artificial fibers are still far from natural as the structure and properties of the natural version.

Furthermore, in comparison with more available silkworm silk, the nanostructure and macro-properties of spider silk vary significantly. The architecture and properties of natural spider silk fibers are still not fully researched. Therefore, further understanding of structure at both the molecular and supra-molecular levels, as well as its formation process is crucial for the development of more successful material modification and manipulation protocols.


Based on these ideas, more accessible and durable advanced fibrous materials with tunable mechanical and biological properties can be generated. New evidence of hierarchical architecture within fiber contributes to a better understanding of the possible integration of inorganic components within silk fibers to produce biopolymer hybrids with considerably improved functional properties.

This could be a fiber that will greatly impact sustainability in the future in many positive ways.


Recent Advances in Development of Functional Spider Silk-Based Hybrid Materials

Enhancing the Mechanical Toughness of Epoxy-Resin Composites Using Natural Silk Reinforcements

In the spirit of Sir Tim’s vision, Grant for the Web – a collaborative partnership between MozillaCreative Commons, and Coil – was launched to champion a web that provides openness and opportunity for everyone. Mozilla’s mission is to protect the open web and advance internet health, Creative Commons maintains an open licensing infrastructure to enable the wide availability and use of intellectual and creative works, and Coil is leading the charge to use open standards to create alternative business models for the web that respect our privacy and support creators and publishers.

We are excited to release our first open Call For Proposals on a day of great historical significance. Twenty-seven years ago today, CERN, home of the web’s inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, released software that powered the early web into the public domain. By making the web’s foundational technology free and easily accessible, CERN and Sir Tim created ideal conditions for the World Wide Web to thrive and expand into the vital public resource we depend upon today.

With $100 million to distribute globally over five years, Grant for the Web will seed an online monetization and payment ecosystem to challenge the web’s most urgent issues: loss of privacy, centralization of power, and inequalities in online participation.

It’s time for the business models on the web to evolve.

For that to happen in a global way with real, lasting impact, we need organizations, companies, and people ready to experiment and build using open standards – technology designed to promote consensus, fairness, public accountability, and quality. We also need creators and publishers ready to connect with fans and audiences in brand new ways. No longer can earn revenue online be tied to proprietary platforms, companies that abuse our privacy, and 20th-century revenue models. We’re ready to start building what’s next.

This initial public Call for Proposals will fund projects that contribute to an ecosystem of web monetized content, users, tools, and infrastructure. Through two distinct award tracks, the grant will support technology, tools, and infrastructure that innovate around the Web Monetization standard and the Interledger protocol, as well as experiments in the creation, distribution, and discoverability of monetized content. Grant for the Web will award variable amounts for projects up to six months in duration.  Learn more. 

How to participate:

  • Learn about Grant for the Web’s public Call for Proposals
  • Join upcoming community calls and activities (dates & times coming soon)
  • Connect with others in the Community Forum
  • Stay tuned to our blog for related opportunities
  • Sign up for email updates


Grant for the Web is a fund dedicated to promoting open, fair, and inclusive web monetization standards and innovation.

Better business models

Grant for the Web will help to create a healthy internet based on open standards by allowing people greater autonomy and control over how they distribute and commercialize content, as well as better web business models.

Open standards

By integrating monetization directly into the web using open protocols and standards, content producers and supporters gain access, control, and choice.

Better monetization for content creators

We envision a world where creators and publishers may be compensated for their work without having to rely on intrusive ads, paywalls, or the misuse of personal data.

Supporting a healthy ecosystem

Grant for the Web is based on the notion that a healthy internet requires openness and opportunity, and that it cannot be built on the security and privacy of individuals.

These resources will contribute to building an ecosystem that will address the web’s most pressing challenges, such as loss of privacy, power centralization, and online participation disparities.

To learn more, go to

What is AV1?

AV1 is a new video codec that promises to help companies and individuals transmit high-quality video over the internet efficiently, without paying royalty fees.

AV1 is the first project to come out of the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia), a consortium that promotes media codecs, formats, and technologies for the public web. Mozilla joined AOMedia in 2015 as a founding member. Mozilla sponsors open media codecs like AV1 because they have the potential to remove technical and financial barriers for people who want to create and share high-quality media experiences on the open web platform.

How is AV1 different? What will it replace or change?

The most popular video format in use today is AVC/H.264. That technology was introduced in 2003 and is owned by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

AV1 is different from AVC/H.264 because it:

  • Uses next-generation compression technology that is nearly twice as efficient
  • Can transmit high-quality video faster over the internet
  • Has no licensing fees; anyone can compress and decode video files without paying royalties
  • Can deliver higher-quality experiences to end users, even when bandwidth is constrained

MPEG has created a successor to AVC/H.264, known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) or H.265, which has improved compression. However, uncertainty around HEVC’s licensing fees make it untenable for both web browsers and content creators.

The goal of the AV1 project is to replace AVC/H.264 as the predominant video format for the web and to compete with the HEVC codec, so high-quality video can be shared freely and efficiently on the open web platform.

Why are open media codecs important? >>

Where did AV1 come from?

During the last six years, a number of companies launched projects to create viable alternatives to patented video codecs. Mozilla started work on the Daala Project, Google released VP9, and Cisco created Thor for low-complexity video conferencing. All these efforts had the same goal: to create a next-generation video compression format that would make sharing high-quality video over the internet faster, easier, and cheaper.

In 2015, Mozilla, Google, and Cisco, and others joined with Amazon and Netflix and hardware vendors AMD, ARM, Intel, and NVIDIA to form AOMedia. As AOMedia grew, efforts to create an open video format coalesced around a new codec: AV1. AV1 is based largely on Google’s VP9 and incorporates tools and technologies from Daala, Thor, and VP10.

Where can I find the AV1? >>

How do media codecs work? >>

What’s at stake?

The current AVC/H.264 video codec cannot efficiently support higher-quality video on the web. HEVC/H.265 promises better efficiency for streaming video on demand. However, the many patent holders in HEVC/H.265 could drive costs up, making it prohibitively expensive for many companies to actually use this next-generation codec. Content creators would also need to license HEVC, which could limit its use to a select few.

What’s next?

Browser vendors are expected to begin adding support for AV1 to desktop browsers in 2018, for use with popular websites. News articles predict AV1 may appear in game consoles, set-top boxes, and other devices in 2019. Hardware companies may start embedding AV1 technology into processors and graphics cards in 2020, enabling broader decoding of AV1 video files in a wide variety of devices.