Spider silk is a valuable material due to its extreme strength and elasticity. However, spider silk is difficult to produce in mass quantities because of the many factors which get in the way of producing large amounts of pure protein. Harvesting the silk from spiders is not efficient. A major issue is spiders like to kill each other until they have their own web space, so storing spiders is impractical, and the silk harvested from spiders does not allow for large quantities of the pure protein. Also the protein from spiders is only useful in producing fibers. The solution to producing large amounts of a pure and practical protein is using bacteria, specifically E. coli. E. coli are a small bacteria, and the protein in spider silk is very large. To allow for such a small bacteria to be effective, a smaller version of the native silk protein is produced. This protein has been solvated in water, which allows it to be used in many applications. Most notably medical applications like coatings, adhesives, and films. Mass produced spider silk protein is very new, and the applications in the future could be limitless.
Richwine, Mitchell, "Synthesizing Spider Silk Protein from E. Coli" (2017). Biology Posters. Paper 155.