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New recombinant spider silk for US Army

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is now working to create a set of new custom designed transgenic silkworms under its contract with the US Army.

30th October 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Ann Arbor, MI


The company says it is working with material performance objectives, defined by the customer, to develop entirely new genetically enhanced silkworm strains. “This project is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the incredible potential and power of engineered silk,” said COO Jon Rice. 

“Tailoring the focus of our design efforts directly to a materials performance requirements is a perfect example of the amazing flexibility, and possibilities, of engineered proteins. These new transgenics will be the beginning of our Enhanced Tactical Fiber (ETF) line of materials. While a monumental moment for the company, it is but one of many new and exciting opportunities for, spider silk, the company, and our shareholders.”

New enhanced fibres

These new silk polymers will be evaluated against defined performance requirements and the best performing materials will be scaled up to produce upwards of 100kgs of silk thread. 

The company expects the new strains to complement its Dragon Silk fibres, but, with an eye on additional targeted applications, the fibres will be designed to generate even higher tensile strength.  As a result, these new enhanced fibres should provide outstanding performance in protective textile applications.

To support this effort, the company is hiring additional research and production staff and rapidly building out its in house lab capabilities at its Michigan based research and production centre.

US Army contract

The company received a contract worth of up to US$ 1 million, for the development of high performance fibres for protective apparel applications in July 2016. Under the fully funded base effort, the company will deliver ballistic shoot packs constructed from its proprietary Dragon Silk material for performance testing.

These shoot packs will be tested and evaluated for critical soldier protective applications including ballistic impact. If awarded, the option phase will significantly expand this work with the US Army, the company reports.

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, a fully reporting biotechnology company is a leading developer of genetically engineered spider silk based fibre technologies.

The company says its genetic engineering research has succeeded in developing a practical and cost-effective technology for producing recombinant spider silk based fibres on an industrial scale. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories is moving rapidly to commercialize its spider silk technology, which it believes will have a significant impact on the global textiles industry.

At the same time, the company are continuing to work in cooperation with leading laboratories to create new stronger and more flexible spider silk based fibres with potentially broad applications for consumers and industry in the multi-billion-dollar marketplace for textiles and performance polymers.

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