Spider silk could well be one of nature’s strongest materials, while also being highly elastic and sometimes even sticky. This combination of properties renders a product with boundless possibilities. It’s about time that we start using this true natural innovation to our advantage.
Spider silk is a protein fibre spun by spiders to make their web and catch their prey. This fascinating material is stronger than steel, more flexible than nylon, and very adaptable to temperature. The combination of these properties renders a product with boundless possibilities, making it interesting for medical, textile and military industries .
The special character of spider silk has been known for years as it was used by ancient Greeks for the healing of wounds and used as fishing lines by indigenous people. In the current time, spider silk has become an interesting topic as it has great commercial value in several fields. It is used for example as fibers for textiles, in cosmetics for smoothing the substance, or for wound patches due to its antimicrobial properties.
Harvesting large amounts of spider silk from spiders is a difficult exercise, as spiders are carnivores and they don’t like to live in group formations meaning they cannot be raised in large quantities . Additionally, one may state that it is also rather cruel, as the spider is pinned down and the silk is pulled out, up to 80 meters per harvest.
At EV Biotech we are developing a less difficult and non-cruel way of spider silk production, via fermentation. We have developed a basic spider-silk-producing microorganism that can be used as it is, or fine tuned to specific wishes for material properties, such as more strength, more or less elasticity, or reduced or enhanced stickiness.
Are you interested in producing spider silk with us, or want more information on how this product might be suited for your company?