Tsuruoka City based Spiber is planning to mass-produce spider silk after developing a synthetic protein for a wide range of uses. Six years of research in collaboration with Keio University’s Institute for Advanced Biosciences and Kojima Industries has resulted to a highly resistant and flexible fibre. It also plans to build a plant this year, aiming to produce 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of synthetic spider silk every month.
According to Spiber’s website, their process starts by “producing the spider silk component using microorganisms,” which are “fed a source of nutrients of sustainable biomass, therefore not dependable on petroleum.” Spiber claims that their tactile fibre is better than the strength of steel and flexibility of nylon. According to spokesman Shinya Murata, the company aims to “step into a new era” using their fibre from spider silk.
Spiber’s idea is to establish the use of spider silk and master proteins as raw materials. Murata said that the fibre “has many applications” including car parts and heart surgery. “Many companies say they have managed to produce spider silk artificially, but we have done it in a much more productive way,” boasted Murata. The company from Yamagata Prefecture has also applied for 16 patents so it can market products using “QMONOS” as brand name. On May 26-28, its Blue Dress made of synthetic spider silk, was on display in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills.
[via The Australian]
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