Applications for Solubilized Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions

Technical Summary

•  With their previously developed method for solubilizing spider silk proteins in aqueous solutions, Dr. Randy Lewis and his team at Utah State University have discovered further applications for recombinant spider silk proteins (rSSP) in films and other compounds.

•  To produce rSSP films, the rSSP is dissolved in a sufficient quantity of water, the solution is mixed with a cross-linking agent, antibiotic, nanoparticle solution, surfactant, or a combination thereof. The resulting solution is then manipulated to yield the final film.

•  To produce rSSP foams, similar methods employing a vacuum chamber may also be applied. Additives to the dopes, such as surfactants, influence final cell size and further treatment of the foam allow a change to its final properties.

•  To produce rSSP hydrogels, aqueous rSSP solutions are cooled and cured under controlled parameters. Additives to the dope such as acetic or formic acid can delay the formation of the hydrogel to allow the rSSP to be transferred to a mold prior to gelation. Additives may also be used to tune the mechanical properties of the resulting hydrogel.

•  To produce rSSP fibers, aqueous solutions of rSSP are extruded into a coagulation bath and stretched to form a fiber.


Commercial Applications

•  rSSP films, foams, gels, and fibers have widespread uses and can be use in numerous applications, including: cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medical compositions, drug delivery systems, artificial cells, contact lens coatings, artificial skin grafts, automotive parts, aeronautic components, computer or data storage devices, building materials, textiles, filter materials, membrane materials, nanomaterials, and electronic components.


Competitive Advantages

•  Variety of shapes that can be generated is theoretically limitless

•  Cost-effective

•  Environmentally friendly

•  Films, foams, hydrogels, and fibers can all be produced in aqueous solutions



•  US 2015/0202651


Related Technologies

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

•  Method for Solubilizing Spider Silk Proteins in Aqueous Solutions (P13025)

•  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 Chauncey Tucker
Biotechnology Medicine Spider Silk