Multiscale structural gradients enhance the biomechanical functionality of the spider fang

Benny Bar-On, Friedrich G. Barth, Peter Fratzl, Yael Politi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The spider fang is a natural injection needle, hierarchically built from a complex composite material comprising multiscale architectural gradients. Considering its biomechanical function, the spider fang has to sustain significant mechanical loads. Here we apply experiment-based structural modelling of the fang, followed by analytical mechanical description and Finite-Element simulations, the results of which indicate that the naturally evolved fang architecture results in highly adapted effective structural stiffness and damage resilience. The analysis methods and physical insights of this work are potentially important for investigating and understanding the architecture and structural motifs of sharp-edge biological elements such as stingers, teeth, claws and more.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3894
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 27 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


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