Key patents and yarns from spider silk

US-based Kraig Biocraft Laboratories has recently registered two US patents with reference to the development of recombinant spider silk. In its patent entitled ‘Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Proteins Using Inteins’, the company reinvents the manufacture of large-format spider silk protein with new technology. In that way, automated self-assembly of target proteins within the silkworm is to be created. This new approach should create the opportunity to develop plug-and-play blends of numerous spider silk proteins.

The second patent – ‘Synthesis of Non-Native Proteins in Bombyx Mori by Modifying Sericin Expression ‘ is to create opportunities for the co-production of non-fibrous proteins within sericin. Sericin is the stick glue-like protein holding the silk fibres together, making up roughly 20% of the cocoon, and is widely considered a waste product. This invention is aimed at influencing the untapped resource to increase the production of target proteins.

Target materials include a range of possible applications, including therapeutic and pharmacological proteins. The current production systems for these proteins are inefficient and expensive. This new process opens the possibility for large-scale production materials such as elastin, keratin, human collagen and many more at comparatively very low costs.