Army adds to research award into spider-silk technology for battlefield use
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Biotechnology company Kraig Biocraft Laboratories has been granted the optional phase of its contract with the U.S. Army to design, produce, and deliver recombinant spider-silk materials tailored for the protective needs of soldiers on the battlefield. With the addition of the option, the total contract is now valued at more than $1 million.
Jon Rice, COO of Kraig Biocraft, said, "We are extremely excited to continue our work with the U.S. Army to deliver revolutionary materials to support the warfighter. Under this new phase we will be working closely with our sponsor agency to match the performance of our spider silk to their specific use cases and protective applications. I would like to thank our team for the incredible amount of effort they’ve put in to make the first phase of this project a success and express my gratitude to our sponsor for the trust and confidence they’ve placed in us to deliver the next generation of spider-silk solutions."
According to company materials, Kraig believes that genetically engineered spider silk, with its superior mechanical characteristics, will surpass the current generation of high-performance fiber. For example, says the company, the ability of natural spider silk to absorb in excess of 100,000 joules of kinetic energy makes it a potentially ideal material for structural blast protection.
The additional work on the contract is scheduled to last approximately 12 months.