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New “Big Red” spider silks offer superior strength

What's New? | June 28, 2013 | By:

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. has announced that researchers, working pursuant to Kraig’s collaborative research program utilizing customized spider silk genetic engineering sequences, have succeeded in creating a new type of recombinant spider silk. The silk, which has an unusual red color, has been designated “Big Red” by the company.

“Big Red is a composite fiber,” says company CEO Kim Thompson. “This new type of fiber was designed to be a combination of spider silk proteins, silkworm silk proteins and protein from an unrelated species. From a genetic perspective, what significantly differentiates this material from our Monster Silk® is the unique spider silk genetic sequence that we used, which we designed to increase strength-to-weight ratios. Another important difference is the incorporation of a unique protein, which gives the new fiber its designation as ‘red.’”

The new fiber was designed to place more emphasis on tensile strength and slightly less emphasis on elongation, says Thompson. “The hope is that it will find its own significant niche in the technical textiles marketplace. Preparation for mechanical testing of the new fiber is currently taking place.”

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