Terahertz science is a new and growing field, and several research groups are investigating specific protein "T-ray" signatures. A silk metamaterial antenna could someday pick up these specific signals and then send a wireless signal to a computer, to report on chemical levels and monitor disease.
To engineer the responsive end of such an antenna, the team first created a biocompatible base by boiling down silk and pouring the liquid solution into a centimeter-square film. The researchers then sprayed gold onto the silk film, using tiny stencils to create different patterns all along the film. Each area of the film responds to a different terahertz frequency depending on the shape of the gold pattern. The team then wrapped the patterned film around a capsule to form an antenna."