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Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

Kraig Labs To Open Research Lab, Expand Operations

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc., Lansing, Mich., a developer of recombinant spider silk technologies, has leased a new genetic engineering laboratory and is expanding its research and development activities and production of its first product — Monster Silk, a hybrid silk produced by transgenic silkworms.

“Up until now, all of our research has been conducted within university laboratories,” said Kim K. Thompson, founder and CEO, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories. “We see the new laboratory as providing the opportunity for a significant expansion of our capabilities.”

Thompson said the company has increased the caterpillar population for Monster Silk production and ramped up production of transgenic silkworm eggs and fiber, and that the fiber being produced now is stronger than the fiber originally documented in a peer-reviewed article published earlier this year in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” He also reported interest from several large companies in Monster Silk’s potential for sportswear, fashion, defense and military textile applications.

In addition, the company is ramping up development of its Generation II 100-percent recombinant spider silk technology.

May/June 2012