Researchers at Tufts University are reconstituting silkworm silk — boiling the cocoons and extracting the proteins — to make novel materials that have potential applications in medicine and other fields. Among the latest is the idea of using silk as the basis for metamaterials like the terahertz resonator on silk substrate, which has 2,500 elements. Metamaterials can manipulate light or other electromagnetic radiation in ways that nature ordinarily cannot.
They have also produced electrode arrays, which are printed on flexible, degradable films of silk. The arrays — so thin they can conform to the nooks and crannies of the surface of the brain — may one day be used to treat epilepsy or other conditions without producing the scarring that implanted electrodes do.
NYT: The Reinvention of Silk