Fibers spun by the Bombyx mori silkworm have been used for thousands of years to produce soft, flowing fabrics to cloak the outsides of our bodies. Now researchers are working to put silk inside our bodies with surgical screws and plates made from B. mori cocoons.
Researchers from Tufts University and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) drilled 28 silken screws into the femurs of laboratory rats to test their efficacy in helping bones to heal. Some of the screws were left in for eight weeks, while others stayed in for four. In both cases the screws were biocompatible (accepted by the body); did not degrade when they came in contact with bodily fluids; and had the rats up and about without showing signs of severe pain. … Read more