Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is growing its operations by opening a new laboratory to expand its technical textiles research and development program and accelerating the ramp up of its spider silk product toward industrial scale production.
"We are currently in the process of moving into the laboratory and expanding our research and development capabilities," said company founder and CEO, Kim K Thompson.
"This is a real milestone event for the company. Up until now, all of our research has been conducted within university laboratories. The company has grown and developed to the point where we are excited to seize this opportunity and expand into a state of the art research centre. We see the new laboratory as providing the opportunity for a significant expansion of our capabilities."
Thompson announced the opening of the new laboratory, and provided additional updates, during a shareholder conference call on Friday, 30 March 2012.
In October 2010 Kraig announced that a research and development effort between itself, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Wyoming had succeeded in producing transgenic silkworms capable of spinning artificial spider silks.
"This research represents a significant breakthrough in the development of superior silk fibres for both medical and non-medical applications," said Malcolm J. Fraser Jr., a Notre Dame Professor of biological sciences at the time. "The generation of silk fibres having the properties of spider silks has been one of the important goals in materials science."
Natural spider silks have a number of unusual physical properties, including significantly higher tensile strength and elasticity than naturally spun silkworm fibres. The artificial spider silks produced in the new transgenic silkworms are said to have similar properties of strength and flexibility to native spider silk.
Author: Billy Hunter