New genetically engineered spider silk strain developed for the Army

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. engineers developed genetically engineered silkworms that match the physical properties required for applications in protective textiles under an ongoing U.S. Army contract.

Officials are tentatively calling the spider silk, Dragon Silk 2.0. The new strain is the next evolution in the development of protective fibers, built upon the company’s existing Dragon Silk. Through the use of its fiber performance testing capabilities, paired with a select breeding program, the company created a strain that is stronger, yet less elastic, than the original Dragon Silk.

Specifically created in response to input from the Army, based on requirements for antiballistic applications, this new strain of recombinant spider silk silkworms is the second phase of the company’s development agreement with the Army. Kraig Labs delivered shootpack panels to the Army, earlier this summer, made of its original Dragon Silk material and those panels are awaiting testing.

Over the next several months Kraig Labs plans to scale up the production of this new recombinant spider silk fiber in order to fulfil the second phase deliverables to the Army.