News and Stories

Prototype of Air Silk protein fiber successfully produced in project with Spiber’s participation

May 30, 2022

Spiber, along with Symbiobe Inc., are happy to announce the completion of a prototype of Air Silk, a “zero-carbon protein fiber” based on marine purple photosynthetic bacteria that is anticipated to be the basis for the creation of a zero-carbon bio-industry. This result comes through participation in a project led by Professor Keiji Numata of the Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, and was supported by JST’s innovative platform for co-creation COI-NEXT and NEDO’s NEDO Entrepreneurs Program (NEP)/Commercialization Support for Seed-stage Technology-based Startups (STS).

Purple photosynthetic bacteria have the ability to sequester carbon dioxide and nitrogen from the atmosphere. We successfully created a type of marine purple photosynthetic bacteria that synthesizes spider silk protein using gene-recombination technology and established an efficient fermentation method. Furthermore, by using high-purity protein extracted and purified from the bacteria, mixing it with structural protein fibers developed by Spiber, and using our spinning equipment, we have succeeded in producing a bacterial-derived protein fiber from carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the atmosphere.

We will continue to focus on basic research and explore further possibilities for structural protein materials, while taking advantage of opportunities for collaboration between industry, academia, and government, so that we can contribute to building a better foundation for society through the research and development of diverse and attractive materials.

Details can be found here. (Japanese only)