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BioSteel is a trademark name for a high-strength based fiber material made of the recombinant spider silk-like protein extracted from the milk of transgenic goats, made by Nexia Biotechnologies.

The company has successfully generated distinct lines of goats that produce in their milk recombinant versions of either the MaSpI or MaSpII dragline silk proteins, respectively.[1] When the female goats lactate, the milk, containing the recombinant silk, it is harvested and subjected to traditional chromatographic techniques in order to purify the corresponding recombinant silk proteins to homogeneity.

The purified silk proteins are then dried, dissolved using appropriate solvents (DOPE formation) and transformed into microfibers using wet-spinning fiber production methodologies. The spun fibers so far have tenacities in the range of 2 - 3 grams/denier and elongation range of 25-45%. Furthermore, the "Biosteel biopolymer" has been transformed into nanofibers and nano-meshes using the electrospinning technique.[2]

Biosteel and other biopolymers are being researched to provide lightweight, strong, and versatile materials for a variety of medical and industrial applications.

Nexia Biotechnologies plans to use the spider silk from the milk of transgenic goats for bullet proof vests and anti-ballistic missile systems.

References

  1. ^ Biopolymer, Volume 8 Polyamides and Complex Proteinaceous Materials II, edited by S.R. Fahnestock & A. Steinbuchel, 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag, pages 97-117
  2. ^ Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Drexel University by Milind Ramesh Gandhi, December 2006, CHAPTER 7

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