Everyone knows Spider-Man. He has been a comic book hero for 55 years, and has several movies based on his exploits. One of the more intriguing aspects to his persona are his web-shooters. All of his abilities were bestowed upon him by happenstance (being bitten by a radioactive spider), but he designed and manufactured his web-shooters all on his own. We discuss this amazing innovation, as well as the key ingredient: Web fluid! We reveal how several real companies trying to harness power of spider silk, and have succeeded in producing it in bacteria, goats, and silkworms.
Spider Silk Companies
Oxford Biomaterials (formerly Spinox Ltd.)
AMSilk – German company. Mail spider silk related roduct is BioSteel. Powerful fiber, and completely biodegradable.
–Teamed with Adidas to make a prototype shoe out of Biosteel called Futurecraft Biofabric
Spiber, Inc. – Japanese company creating functional proteins using Spider silk as the stepping stone.
–North Face’s Moon Parka
Spiber Technologies – Swedish (Stockholm) company – Create technology based on spider silk
–Created Spiber silk (spider silk like substance) and can create it in foam, mesh, film, fiber.
Araknitek – Utah State University
-Genetically modify goats to produce spider silk in their milk
-Since recording, I became aware of a California startup called Bolt Threads that mass produces clothing with spider silk