Controllable nano-fishnet formation significantly strengthens fibers
World’s first method of controlling nano-fishnet formation by changing Arginine density

New possibilities in the development of promising fiber materials
Study by Professor Na Sung-soo ’s team published in leading journal 

Acta Biomaterialia



나성수 교수팀연구진(왼쪽부터 나성수교수, 최현성 박사, 김윤중 학생)



A research team led by Professor Na Sung-soo of the Department of Mechanical Engineering under the College of Engineering unveiled the mechanism behind nano-fishnet structures, known to strengthen protein fibers by 1.8 times or more, and the methods of controlling such structures.

Protein fibers are recognized as promising materials for artificial joints and muscles as well as flexible electronic devices due to their outstanding physical properties, biocompatibility, and eco-friendly processing. Nano-fishnets are the characteristic functional nanostructure of silk fibers, which can withstand heavier loads than other existing fibers and facilitate cross-linking when external forces are applied. By effectively dispersing external forces away from the targeted area, this structure allows fibers to withstand heavy loads. While the characteristics of nano-fishnet structures are well-known, the mechanism and conditions of their formation have yet to be examined.

The team revealed for the first time in the world that nano-fishnet formation can be controlled by changing Arginine density through sequence mutation. The proposed method of controlling functional nanostructures significantly enhances the toughness of silk fibers, paving the way for the development of advanced fiber materials.

Supported by the Mid-career Researcher Program of the Ministry of Science and ICT, and the Creative Transformative Research Program of the Ministry of Education, the study was published online in the leading journal Acta Biomaterialia (IF=7.24) on April 13.