ICNF 2019 - 4th International Conference on Natural Fibers

Thomas Scheibel

Processing and Applications of Biomimetic Spider Silk


Thomas Scheibel – Department of Biomaterials Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany


Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel is a professor of Biomaterials at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, and co-founder of the biotech company AMSilk. Professor Scheibel holds a postdoc from University of Chicago and received various awards during his career, including the Karl-Heinz-Beckurts Award, the Dechema-Award of the Max-Buchener Stiftung, and the Innovation Award awarded by the Bavarian Prime Minister.

Professor Scheibel is the Founder and Consultant of AMSilk GmbH in Germany, and is an Editorial Board Member of several scientific journals including “BioNanoScience” and “Scientific Reports”. In 2016, Professor Scheibel was appointed the Vice President position of the University of Beyreuth for Internationalization, while also leading the “Biomaterials” NMB group. His interdisciplinary research focuses on biogenic materials. Professor Scheibel is mostly known for his work on spider silk.


Spider dragline silk exhibits extraordinary mechanical properties combining a moderate strength with good extensibility resulting in a toughness exceeding that of all other natural or synthetic fibers [1]. Although it has been in focus of research since decades, the mechanical properties of reconstituted man-made fibers have never reached those of natural spider silk. The properties are based on the underlying spider silk proteins (spidroins), their self-assembly and their explicit processing [2, 3]. We have tackled two out of three pre-requisites for tough fibers; the contribution of individual spidroin domains to assembly has been analyzed, and processing of recombinant spidroins into fibers is shown. Fiber toughness upon biomimetic processing equals and even slightly exceeds that of natural ones dependent on both the underlying proteins and preparation (self-assembly) of the silk dope [4]. Further, we have established several applications in the field of technical textiles as well as biomedicine [5, 6].


[1]        M. Heim, D. Keerl, T. Scheibel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.48 (2009) 3584
[2]        F. Hagn, L. Eisoldt, J. G. Hardy, C. Vendrely, M. Coles, T. Scheibel, H. Kessler, Nature 465 (2010) 239
[3]        L. Eisoldt, A. Smith, T. Scheibel, Materials Today14 (2011) 80
[4]        A. Heidebrecht, L. Eisoldt, J. Diehl, A. Schmidt, M. Geffers, G. Lang, T. Scheibel,Advanced Materials 27(2015) 2189
[5]        E. Doblhofer, A. Heidebrecht, T. Scheibel, Appl.Microbiol. Biotechnol. 99(2015) 9361
[6]        T.B. Aigner, E. DeSimone, T. Scheibel, Advanced Materials30(2018)1704636





  • - Application form (docpdf)
  • - Cond. of entry (pdf)



Abstract submission

15th February 2019

Communication of acceptance

15th March 2019

Early Bird registration

22nd April 2019

Award Application

31th May 2019