bulletproof skin made from spider silk proteins and human skin cells
original content
mar 04, 2013
bulletproof skin made from spider silk proteins and human skin cells


‘2.6g 329m/s’ – bulletproof skin by jalila essaïdi  in collaboration with the forensic genomics consortium netherlands
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 

in collaboration with the forensic genomics consortium netherlands (FGCN), dutch artist jalila essaïdi has developed a material able to repel a moving bullet –
dubbed ‘bulletproof skin’. through seeding spider silk – proportionately many times stronger than steel and made by transgenic goats and worms –
with human skin cells, essaïdi created a new tissue able to stop ammunition fired at a reduced speed. the title of the project – ‘2.6g 329m/s’ –
references the maximum weight (2.6g) and velocity (329m/s) of a .22 calibre long rifle bullet from which a type 1 bulletproof vest should protect you.
though the experiments fell short of surviving a shot at normal speed from the .22 caliber rifle, the project prompts dialogue not only on the future
advantages of exploring new knowledge and materials within biotechnological research, but also the social, political, ethical and cultural issues
surrounding the concept of safety.

 

for essaïdi, the result of the ‘bulletproof’-skin being pierced or not was not the most important issue.

 

with this work I want to show that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept, and hence the term bulletproof. even with the ‘bulletproof’-skin
being pierced by the faster bullet the experiment is in my view still a success. the art project is based on and leads to a debate on the question
‘which forms of safety are socially important? and last but not least the project leads to aesthetically very impressing and fascinating results.

 

 


the material was created through seeding spider silk – proportionately many times stronger than steel and made by transgenic goats and worms - with human skin cells
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


the project title ‘2.6g 329m/s’ references the maximum weight (2.6g) and velocity (329m/s) of a .22 calibre long rifle bullet from which a type 1 bulletproof vest should protect you
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


the university of utah provided the spider silk and in vitro human skin was created by the leiden university medical center
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


though experiments fell short of surviving a shot at normal speed from the .22 caliber rifle, the project prompts dialogue on the social, political, ethical and cultural issues surrounding the concept of safety
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 


with this work I want to show that safety in its broadest sense is a relative concept, and hence the term bulletproof’
image courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 

 


a video describing the project
video courtesy jalila essaidi

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