New York, New York April 4, 2018 While our imaginations have been ready to take us to the stars, the fact is that material sciences have held us back; that is, until now.
Scientists are working on the next generation of exciting breakthroughs, which, only a few years ago, were inconceivable; like artificial skin, gentler airbags, and superior bulletproof clothing. The nexus of all these advances is a biomaterial that took over 300 million years of evolution for nature to perfect.
Mankind has tried to harness the benefits of this super fiber for thousands of years, but, due to spider’s cannibalistic nature, it was in very short supply. So, when Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (OTCQB: KBLB) became the first to invent an effective process to mass produce spider silk protein based fibers, the leap forward made international headlines.
While some of aforementioned breakthroughs are, probably, a few years away, the commercialization of spider silk should benefit wearable technology producers.
Wearable technologies have come a long way since Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) debuted its first watches. In fact, the Apple Watch Series 3 not only includes built-in cellular capability, Apple stated that they’re working with the Food and Drug Administration and Stanford University to expand the Apple Watch capabilities into monitoring for additional health benefits, including heart conditions.
Another wearable technology pioneer, DexCom (NASDAQ: DXCM), the leader in continuous glucose monitoring for diabetes management, showcased a technology at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, as DexCom is teamed up with UnitedHealthcare to develop “an individualized glucose management pilot program driven by wearable technology to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition in real time.”
Spider silk fibers’ tensile strength is said to be 10 times stronger than steel and some silks are nearly as elastic as rubber. Few fibers excel in just one of the two properties, but toughness is the unique combination of both of these properties and spider silks can be two to three times tougher than even Kevlar. However, spider silk is much more, because it’s also antimicrobial, biocompatible, hypoallergenic and totally biodegradable, just to name a few of spider silks’ intrinsic properties.
Others touted their ability to create a synthetic version in the lab and may be headed to $multi-billion valuations, but there’s no comparison in quality and price. One of Kraig Labs’ technologies, Dragon Silk™, was featured in Wearable Technology Insights.
Don’t take my word for it, check out KBLB’s cost/benefit analysis matrix that compares Spider Silk technologies and their estimated costs; nothing comes close.
This is a key metric, because, while the global E-textiles developers are focused on product innovation, wearable technologies must also maintain competitive price points, and Kraig’s ingenious approach of employing worms to cocoon this “Super Fiber”, as of now, uniquely positions it to produce the fibers at similar economics as traditional silk, which provides Kraig the realistic ability to corner the market.
Since Kraig has the only peer reviewed technology and is the most ecofriendly mass production method in this space, the “competition” will have to bank on $400 spider silk/poly blend hats, but, let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t about novelty T-shirts, jackets, or ski hats. We’re yearning for Natural Spider Silk to provide the building blocks for the next generation of possibilities, like biofeedback athletic gear, biomechanical space suits and other fascinating inventions.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised to create synthetic spider silk, with Bolt Technologies, nearly $200 million, raising the most, but the fact remains that Kraig can produce better fibers at a fraction of the cost and, by fraction, I mean over 100 times cheaper than its synthetic peers.
Scientists tested natural and synthetic spider silk and only the natural Spider Silk had the ability to transfer energy, almost like a fiber optic cable, as the spider silk absorbed the energy and distributed it to the other end.
In addition to strengthening laser power, spider silk acts as fiber-optic molecular detector and, because silk is biodegradable, it is ideal for biosensors that could be implanted in a living body without needing to be removed later on.
Since conducting and semiconducting fibers could be readily woven into fabrics to make so-called smart textiles, such as shirts that sense temperature or other environmental changes, it’s obvious that wearable technology companies like GOOG, APPLE, DXCM and FIT should take notice, and consider implementing this technology into biodegradable patches and skins that can be used for internet, biometric readings, and many other uses.
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