A material produced by most spiders which has higher tensile strength than steel, and is equal to that of commercial polyaramid filaments—e.g., Twaron or Kevlar. It is extremely lightweight and ductile, can stretch up to 140% of its length without breaking and holds its strength to -40ºC Composition Complex proteins rich in alternating glycine and alanine, or alanine alone, that self-assemble into a beta sheet conformation
He explained, "We use our eardrums, which pick up the direction of sound based on pressure, but most insects actually hear with their hairs and the spider silk is able to pick up the velocity of the air instead of the pressure of the air.
Since spider silk is sensitive to a very wide range of sounds, from infrasound to ultrasound (below and above the human range of hearing), the microphone created by Miles and Zhou is superior than existing technology in "directional sensing across a wide variety of frequencies," some of which are too faint to be picked up present-day microphones.
Despite being "promptly laughed out of every scientific room [and by] every venture capitalist saying, 'This idea could never be,'" researchers at the company teamed up with the University of Notre Dame to create a "recipe" for a spider silk protein, he said.
US Patent 8,729,238 (May 20, 2014), "Method of Producing Nano- and Microcapsules of Spider Silk Protein," Thomas Scheibel, Daniel Huemmerich, Andreas Bausch, and Kevin Hermanson (Amsilk GmbH, Munich, Germany).