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Shinshu University faculty to develop Spider Silk thread
01
Dec '14
The government of the Japanese city of Ueda in collaboration with the Shinshu University has launched an academic project to develop high-performance silk with threads derived from genetically engineered spiders and silkworms.

According to a report in Asahi daily newspaper, the mayor of Kyotango, Yasushi Nakayama, and the university’s Faculty of Textile Science and Technology department’s dean, Kunihiro Hamada, have signed on an agreement to produce a special kind of thread known as Spider Silk.

Under the five-year research and development program, the city government and the university will collaboratively engage in industrial development, personnel training and academic research activities to commercially develop Spider Silk.

The project also plans to install silkworm breeding equipment by next spring to facilitate the development process.

Considered as much stronger and softer than normal silkworm derived silks, Spider Silk was first developed in 2007 by the university professor, Masao Nakagaki.

Nakagaki implanted spider genes into silkworms and produced silk containing components found in spider webs. Later researches resulted in silk containing nearly 20 per cent of spider web components which was later used to make prototype socks.

Apart from textiles, the Spider Silk can also be utilized in making surgical threads and synthetic blood vessels.

Founded some 104 years ago, the Shinshu University's Faculty of Textile Science and Technology is the only textile science centric academic department in the country. (PB)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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