Method for Solubilizing Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions

Technical Summary

•  Dr. Randy Lewis and team at Utah State University have developed a method of solubilizing spider silk proteins in an aqueous solution.

•  Until now, solubilizing spider silk proteins required expensive and relatively hazardous solvents like hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). With a specific combination of temperature and pressure, the spider silk proteins can now be dissolved into an aqueous solution.


Commercial Applications

•  Medical additives (i.e. antibiotics, anticoagulants, cell growth factors, etc.) may be included with spider silk        proteins in aqueous solutions

•  Can now make fibers, films, gels, foams, sponges, coatings, and adhesives with aqueous solution

•  Inclusion of carbon nanotubes or metal nanospheres for stiffness or electrical conductivity

•  Potential uses for spider silk:

•  High performance fabrics

•   Medical applications

•   Cosmetics

•   Advanced coatings

•   Surface treatments

•   Optical enhancement

•   Bioadhesive materials

•   Advanced composites

•   Lightweight and strong yarns and ropes


Competitive Advantages

•  Water solution instead of toxic organic chemical

•   Easier and safer to manufacture

•  Cost-effective

•  Environmentally friendly

•  Use of additives is possible in aqueous solution but not in organic solutions

•  Applicable to all recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSP) samples tested to date.



•  US 2015/0047532


Related Technologies

•  Method for Upregulation of Synthetic Spider Silk Production in E. coli (P13014)

•  Applications for Solubilized Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions (P14002)

•  Apparatus for Synthetic Spider Silk Fiber Formation (P14036)

•  Method for Producing Spider Silk Proteins in E. coli (P15011)

•  Blending of Recombinant Spider Silk with Nylon 6,6 for Improved Mechanical Properties (P15018)

•  Recombinant Spider Silk Protein Coating for Intravenous Catheters (P16025)




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Christian Iverson
Utah State University
Justin Jones Randolph Lewis