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2nd February 2018, Ann Arbor, MI

Kraig Biocraft expands materials performance testing procedures

The efforts are already underway to improve the company’s testing and selective breeding. © Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a leading developer of spider silk-based fibres, has implemented an expanded material performance testing procedure for its recombinant spider silk technology. With this new expanded testing, the company has already identified variances in material properties for its transgenic silkworm lines, which fall outside of the company’s target ranges. This variance is believed to be the result of genetic drift within the company’s silkworm strains.

In response to this new discovery, the company has implemented an intensive selective breeding programme to leverage the results of the newly established testing procedure. The company has also begun a cross breeding project to reinvigorate its transgenic lines with commercial silk genetics.

Combined, the expanded testing and selective breeding efforts are designed to allow Kraig Biocraft Laboratories to more tightly control silk properties, while at the same time, creating the necessary genetic diversity within each line.

More opportunities

The increased throughput and capacity for material testing, enabled by the company’s new facilities and new testing protocol, is expected to identify even more opportunities for material and process improvements over the coming quarters. The company intends to use these discoveries to improve its operations and its products.

“The expanded capacity for testing, which resulted from our decision to insource a major portion of our research operations, has already proven its significant value to the Company,” said Jon Rice, COO. “The results from performance testing, under the new testing protocol, have already been translated into an action plan. The ability to quickly translate those results into an action plan is a great example of the value in consolidating our research and production into a single facility.”

Future plans

“The efforts already underway to improve our testing and selective breeding should result in an improved process and more uniform final product,” added Mr Rice.

“Our plan is to improve quality back to our target range before spooling up for mass production. This could cause a delay in commercialisation if the other parts of our commercialisation plan fall into place earlier. Uniform materials, improved quality control, and minimising the performance variance will play an important part in our work to commercialise spider silk. The information gained from this program will continue to inform our drive for continuous improvement.”


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