Navy Scientists Create Synthetic Hagfish Slime to Protect Personnel and Vessels

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April 24, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: April 24 on

Scientists and engineers from the US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) have successfully recreated a defensive biomaterial found in hagfish to aid military personnel.

A synthetic component of hagfish slime, derived from the compound”s alpha and gamma proteins, has been developed by biochemist Dr Josh Kogot and materials engineer Dr Ryan Kincer.

Hagfish mucus is considered to be similar to spider silk…also possesses mechanical properties comparable to Kevlar, the synthetic fibre used as a reinforcing agent for rubber products and protective gear.

It is hoped the synthetic slime can be used to provide non-lethal and non-kinetic defence for naval vessels.

Kogot said: “The synthetic hagfish slime may be used for ballistics protection, firefighting, anti-fouling, diver protection, or anti-shark spray. “The possibilities are endless.”