Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, the developer of spider silk based fibres, has been trialling a faster way to create larger and more complex spider silk proteins that will give improved silk strength, toughness and elasticity.

The company says it has completed more than 2,500 microinjections using the new spider silk DNA synthesis method – and that the improved recombinant spider silk fibres will allow the firm to target wider applications.

It also says it is looking forward to creating new transgenic silkworms incorporating spider silk proteins at its US R&D headquarters, with an abridged development cycle and enhanced materials performance. The transgenics created using the new protocols are expected to be transitioned into the commercial production process at Prodigy Textiles, the company's recently announced Vietnamese subsidiary.

"Thanks to our lab and production teams' considerable collaborative effort, this new methodology has already demonstrated the potential to significantly reduce our development timelines. To see it put into practice so quickly and to have already completed the first 2,500 test microinjections is very impressive," said Jon Rice, COO. "I look forward to seeing this capability enable the next generation of recombinant spider silk fibres."

Last month, the firm outlined the next steps in its new Vietnamese subsidiary's spider silk commercialisation programme, including preparing silkworm eggs for shipment.