475259 Making Silk without Silkworms: Using Industrial Biotechnology to Make Performance Protein-Based Fibers

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 9:48 AM
Continental 6 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
David N. Breslauer, Bolt Threads, Inc., Emeryville, CA

Bolt Threads is a Bay Area startup that believes that the combination of molecular biology and materials science can revolutionize how people think about and use natural materials. Bolt's materials can dramatically improve the performance and environmental impact of a broad range of consumer and industrial materials. Specifically, Bolt is developing the next generation of sustainable performance apparel by leveraging the latest advances in industrial biotechnology, automation, and materials science. Derived from our knowledge of spider silk protein, the company has developed a high-throughput platform to generate thousands of different silk proteins, all from a scalable microorganism host. Using industrial biotechnology processes and fiber spinning, Bolt is able to make commercial volumes of protein and fiber. Precision control from primary protein sequence through fiber extrusion allows the company to produce materials that combine the benefits of both natural and synthetic fibers, and to go beyond even what is currently available in nature and the marketplace. Leveraging the unique properties of its fibers, Bolt Threads will be delivering its own line of consumer apparel made with its Engineered Silk(TM) as well as working with partners across industry verticals.

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