bulletproof skin made from spider silk proteins and human skin cells bulletproof skin made from spider silk proteins and human skin cells
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 netherlandsimage 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 cellsimage 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 youimage courtesy jalila essaïdi

 

 

the university of utah provided the spider silk and in vitro human skin was created by the leiden university medical centerimage 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 safetyimage 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
  • However admirable this attempt to create bullet repelling skin is, I fail to understand why this is categorized as art. For the same reason many lab results of failed research to cure diseases could be categorized art. One could argue they also deal with important issues like environment, nutrition and health care, which have social, political, ethical and cultural implications.

    Airborne says:
  • Een bewonderenswaardige poging om een kogelvrije huid te cre-eren. Maar is dit kunst? Het in mijn ogen meer wetenschap. In die categorie zijn legio voorbeelden te vinden van esthetisch interessant onderzoeksresultaten. En voor dezelfde redenen als hierboven beschreven kan men een hele lijst maken van wetenschapsonderzoek dat sociologische en maatschappelijke implicaties ter discussie stelt.

    Airborne says:
  • Art isn’t experienced by everyone the same. For me this obviously is art. Perhaps you should read your own comment again once more because according to your line of thought a lot of great art from the 20th century shouldn’t be categorized as art.

    H.Bloom says:
  • Art isn’t experienced by everyone the same? That one of the most hollow phrases ever used. Everything isn’t experienced by everyone the same. Yet, is a society we have set out criteria for what falls in certain categories. These criteria are not set in stone. This space of this comment falls short to discuss what’s art and what not. But most agree that a tool is needed to create an artwork and that the tool itself is not the artwork.
    I cannot suppress the feeling that the artist in question was looking for a tool (the bullet repelling skin) to create an artwork. She failed and then tried to rescue the whole thing by showing some aesthetically pleasing photo’s of what is essential the tool and not the artwork itself. The debate what’s safe in a society can be followed every day on the diverse media and doesn’t need support from a tissue that repels a bullet from a toy gun.

    Airborne says:
  • If one can define art, please, go ahead. The artist may have not followed the ”traditional” guidelines of what art is, but she developed a material as an impetus for further thought, on the idea of safety. She used science as a palette rather than paint, this may seem black and white but I do not think the work should be reprimanded as NOT being art, it is a complex project and perhaps cannot be categorized in itself, it is open-minded and embraces many disciplines. The fact that it challenges the status quo is in itself a success.

    Ingrid says:
  • (A)rt is anything that someone is presumptuous enough to label as such

    dbkii says:
  • Hello to anyone reading this, if you have any info on the spider silk proteins or just know the math and formula behind it. I am a young inventor and i have up with a life changing & world changing idea. PLEASE contact me if you know how not get in contact or know a good amount of info on the spider webs. alisamariekotvas@ gmail.com

    Alisa kotvas says:

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