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JV to develop new spin process for spider silk
09
Sep '11
AMSilk and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP) join forces in the current development of a novel spin process for making high performance fibers from AMSilk's spider silk proteins.

AMSilk is the first company able to deliver sufficient spider silk material for applications development. AMSilk's spider silk is inspired by the natural silk from spiders and produced through biotechnology with an industrial production platform. To date, no industrial spinning process has delivered a fiber that can be compared to natural spider silk as found in a spider web. The present collaboration will match AMSilk's material and biochemical expertise with Fraunhofer's expertise in developing spin processes for biopolymers. The partners expect to deliver a new process for making artificial spider silk fibers for high tech applications.

“Having Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, one of the world's most renowned research institutions, as our partner in this exciting project, is a great advantage for AMSilk,” says Axel Leimer, AMSilk CEO. “We fit perfectly together, both in expertise and vision.”

“We are very proud to be involved in the development of a new generation of high performance protein fibers. In a unique way we will combine synthetic spider silk from AMSilk and biopolymer spinning technology from Fraunhofer IAP”, says Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Fink, the director of Fraunhofer IAP.

The development collaboration will run over at least two years. AMSilk will own commercial rights of the results with certain benefits for Fraunhofer IAP.

Spider silk has attracted human interest for thousands of years, mainly due to its toughness and ductility. AMSilk is the first company to produce Spidersilk biopolymers, inspired by the proteins of web-weaving spiders on an industrial scale. This makes possible a completely new set of technical products as well as major improvements for already existing products. AMSilk is a registered trademark of AMSilk GmbH.

Fraunhofer IAP offers a wide range of services that include material and process development of bio-based and synthetic polymers on a laboratory and pilot plant scale. The product range includes fibers, films, materials and functional materials, as well as additives, fine chemicals and processing auxiliaries. One main focus of Fraunhofer IAP activities consists in biopolymer research ranging from the characterization, synthesis, and modification of raw materials to the development of new products and processes. Fraunhofer is very well prepared to meet the challenges of the development of optimized processing routes for the spinning of AMSilk's Spidersilk proteins into high performance artificial silk fibers.

AMSilk GmbH

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