Press Release, Products, R&D, Video

North Face develops coat from biotech silk

Coming from the recent SynBioBeta conference, I may not be able to understand some of the technicalities of gene modification but I do understand the potential economics on some of these technologies being churned out of the lab.

One of them is biotech spider silk that the blog mentioned in September, where California-based Bolt Threads has been collaborating with MBI for the scale-up of its bio-based Engineered Silk.

Here’s another recently-announced associated developments on engineered silk where Japanese biotech company Spiber has partnered with Goldwin Inc., which markets the North Face apparel brand in Japan. The two companies announced the development of a prototype, the Moon Parka, that uses Spiber’s QMONOS™ synthetic spider silk material in the outer material of the parka jacket and the embroidery of the jacket.  This achievement reportedly marks the world’s first successful use of synthetic spider silk materials on an actual manufacturing line.

The spider silk protein, fibroin, is generated using microorganisms.  Spiber isolated the gene responsible for the production of fibroin in spiders, and introduced it into bioengineered bacteria. The protein is then collected and spun into artificial silk.

Spiber said it has allocated Yen 9.58 billion of new third party shares to further develop the help commercialized the synthetic silk.  It is expected that the Moon Parka will be delivered to North Face customers in 2016.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.

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