Bulletproof Skin

Dutch researcher Jalila Essaidi has bio-engineered a bullet proof material using spider silk, grown from goat milk, and human skin. They tested it with a reduced velocity .22 caliber bullet. This is all well and good, but it does not help with trauma transferred. Sort of like bullet proof vests will help stop a bullet but you still get the force of the bullet transferred into your body and can cause internal damage.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • gunslinger

    that’s pretty cool

    but, yes. energy is energy. if there was another way to dissipate the energy, that would be best

    • Matrix3692

      having the bullet to ricochet is a good way to dissipate the energy.

      • S O

        That would still transfer impulse, and thus energy.
        KE is harmless if transferred over a large-enough area, though. This requires some more stiffness than soft body armour has.

        • Matrix3692

          but, aren’t suppose by ricocheting, the bullet had failed to transfered the bulk of it’s kinetic energy to the target?

          • S O

            It’s got some KE left obviously, but it has transferred some impulse and thus KE to the obstacle. Newton’s 3rd law of motion allows no free ride.

    • noob

      have a big layer of blubber covering your entire body under the bulletproof skin to soak up the shock?

    • Chrome Dragon

      Reinforce your ribcage with graphene or buckytubes?

  • Dan

    Am I the only one wondering where they got human skin? Did it involve putting the lotion in the basket?

    • Avery

      If I recall from the art project’s website (it’s hard to explain what bio-art is, but this is an art project), the skin was cultured-grown in a petri dish that would naturally thread itself with the spider silk.

      • SnJohnson

        Am I the only wondering why this video is 3 years old??

    • kev

      If you listen closely you can faintly hear good bye horses in the background.

  • iksnilol

    Old news, just surprised it took so long to make armor out of it. For you who don’t know; spider silk is one of the strongest materials that we know about. Spider silk as thick as a pencil is strong enough to hold back an airplane.

    • ColaBox

      Pics or it didn’t happen.

    • Fiveseven

      Then how come Tobey Maguire needed a dozen strands of it to stop that speeding subway in Spider-man 2? Well??

      • Avery

        When you can produce that much of it, you want to be damn sure it’s enough.

      • FourString


  • Hebizuka Jinkou

    Sarif Industries Dermal Armor: How it begins.

  • Scott Tuttle

    they’ve been talking about spider-silk-goat-milk since I was a kid. bout time they made something from it.

    • Burst

      SpiderGoat, SpiderGoat, does whatever a SpiderGoat does…

  • AnoSynum

    I’m still waiting for my non-Newtonian fluid armour…

  • Black_Viper

    The article shows/explains a reduced velocity .22, yet the rifle showed is a P90 (not the PS90 civilian type) rifle similar to that of the secret service. The round fired from a P90 is a 5.7mm high velocity round, often said to be Kevlar piercing which is why they chose it to protect the President. This is just rhetoric coming from the far left loonies however as only specific Armor Piercing rounds have this ability. With that and other inconsistencies this makes me believe that CNN is once again creating fake news so that people give a damn about a failing news agency. I’m surprised no one else from TFB noticed this…

    • David Sharpe

      She’s just posing with the rifle. She states that it was a .22 LR calibre.

      • Avery

        It’s also pretty clear from the dimensions in the video that the bullet shown is not a spitzer bullet like that seen on the 5.7x28mm.

  • J.J

    Better blunt trauma than a bullet wound.

    • noob

      if you cracked your skull taking backface trauma from the shot the surgeon would have to somehow cut through your bulletproof skin to fix you.

      • Jim

        Bullet proof skin wouldn’t be difficult to cut through, only difficult to tear through. A bullet does not cut, it smashes into your body, that’s why kevlar and this skin stuff stops it, because it’s tear-resistant.

  • Marc

    I’ll take a nasty bruise over a penetrating wound any day. It takes a lot of force to cause significant internal damage, but even a tiny hole in the right (or wrong) spot can be fatal.

  • Edohiguma

    While interesting, it’s a step into the wrong direction.

    What we need is power armor and bolters. And chainswords.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      walk softly and carry a big gun

      Ok, I played too much warhammer 40k dawn of war when I was younger and have played even more of it now its just been patched on steam. For the emporer

    • Chrome Dragon


      Space Marines had slatted, armored ribs and bulletproof skins, too – not just power armor.

    • valorius

      Damn, my bolter jammed! Ezekial has fallen…..many foes died with him.

  • Avery

    I was typing something into my toolbar and realized I bookmarked this woman’s site and the specific project back in 2011. It is definitely a .22 Long Rifle, weighing at 2.6 grams and propelled to a velocity of 329m/s, the details of which is what she named the project. The round is also what’s used to be used to classify Class I body armor by the National Institute of Justice (which has since deprecated the class). The actual gun used was a Ruger Mark II, judging from the picture posted on the additional data page.


  • Mr Potato Head

    Hey, way to post a video from 2011…

  • Doc

    “Sort of like bullet proof vests will help stop a bullet but you still get the force of the bullet transferred into your body and can cause internal damage.”

    “Energy transfer” isn’t what kills people. Holes in organs and blood vessels are what kill people. I will happily put up with the ouchy of a bruise in return for only having a shallow backface wound, especially if the armor now weighs only a couple grams per square inch and will stop a 12ga.

    • Dan

      All fine and dandy until that ouchy little bruise covers a ruptured spleen or the force is centered over your heart. Granted that is rare but bullet holes alone are not the only killers.

  • 101nomad

    Rule 1: Do not get shot.

    • Chrome Dragon

      Rule 2: If you get shot, be bulletproof.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    In the late 19th century, a priest named Casimir Zeglen made a ballistic vest using spider silk.

  • Michael Blum

    “Bullet-proof” armor made of many layers of (regular ol’) silkworm silk were issued by the British Army in the Great War: about 2″ thick, and only covering the shoulders and neck. It was expensive, and deteriorated quickly in trench conditions. A vest, involving silk and other fabrics bonded in resin, was sold commercially; it could stop a .45 cal bullet at 300′ per second (probably not a service round), and was about an inch thick. Images at http://www.nam.ac.uk/online-collection/detail.php?acc=1983-07-93-1

  • maodeedee

    Only problem with ballistic armor is when do you wear it? Every day of your life, or only on those days when you think your life might be in danger?
    But if any of us could ever know which days those were, we could stay home in on those days and wear a Glock 20 in a holster around the house.
    Same thing with carrying a gun. Your best bet is to carry one 24-7-365 because none of us have any way of knowing when we’re going to need one. When I’m at home, I’m still carrying unless I’m in the shower or in bed and even then there is something within reach in case I need to repel boarders from my domicile.
    Being paranoid means never having to say Oh Sh!t.