Spider Silk Technology Advancing
Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a University of Wyoming technology partner, is on the verge of mass production of the world’s first recombinant spider silk. Currently the only other known spider silk textiles are extremely expensive and timely to make. Kraig, using genetically engineered silkworms, is able to make spider silk with low price points similar to that of traditional silk.
Kraig announced today that the first textiles using their genetically engineered spider silk, Monster Silk™, were created by Warwick Mills, a leader in the engineering and development of advanced technical textiles and protective materials. The first textiles made with Monster Silk™ are knitted gloves. They are the first of what is expected to be many textiles created.
Your university pioneered some of the early work in identifying spider silk proteins and determining their DNA sequences. Essentially all roads led out of Laramie for this technology.
Kim Thompson, company founder and CEO, says this is the first step in becoming a commercial business that provides Monster Silk™ in mass quantities. He says it is a huge step for the technology of spider silk.
“After years of work in the laboratory, we are very excited to see this huge jump out from the laboratory and into the real world,” says Thompson.
Kraig is still in the beginning stages of testing the textile and different weaves. Once test textiles are created and tested, the company will begin to market the Monster Silk™ in a variety of different ways.
Spider silk is considered a great addition to the field of technical fibers for many reasons. The silk has potential for very lightweight and comfortable bulletproof clothing and garments that can protect our troops and law enforcement. Spider silk can be used in a number of fields because it has a much higher tensile strength and elasticity than traditional silk. The company hopes to create textiles for the traditional silk market, in athletic wear and apparel, armor and industrial applications.
According to Thompson, the University of Wyoming pioneered some of the early work in identifying spider silk proteins and determining their DNA sequences.
"Essentially all roads led out of Laramie for this technology," says Thompson.
He says UW truly helped in laying the foundation to make this technology possible, and the company approached the university to work with them because they had the required gene sequences and even held patents on them.
For more information on Kraig Biocraft Laboratories and spider silk, visit their website by clicking here.