Hagfish-inspired "slime" to beef up U.S. defense

Feb 01, 2017, 5:57 AM EST
Hagfish slime is a super biomaterial that can find application in naval defense.
(Source: dirtsailor2003/flickr)

In yet another fine example of biomimicry, a team of scientists and researchers in the U.S. Navy is developing a super-material inspired by the tough, expandable slime that hagfish expels at predators. According to a statement issued by the Navy, the synthetic slime may find a range of applications such as in ballistics protection, firefighting, anti-fouling, diver protection or anti-shark spray.

Hagfish slime is a unique biomaterial that can expand up to 10,000 times of its natural size, a property that the U.S. Navy considers can be used to add another layer of defense on warships, notes Science Alert.

The U.S. Navy has replicated the slime's distinctive alpha and gamma proteins and now emphasizes on refining the synthetic slime and mass producing it, reports Live Science.