Spider silk has many applications including human health (sutures, vaccine encapsulations, i.e.) and military usage (underwater Velcro-type fasteners). In order to test these applications, we need large quantities of spider silk protein to use in our experiments. One way to make spider silk is by using Escherichia coli (E. Coli) to produce the protein. E. Coli has many advantages: it can be produced in larger amounts, it is inexpensive to grow, and it can be easily transported. We usually start with a culture mass weighing 4 kg but we are scaling up to produce even greater amounts of product. The process of making spider silk from E. Coli is a continuous research experiment because we are always asking ourselves questions, for example: how can we make more product? Or how can make the product cleaner (only spider silk protein left).
Lewis, Randolph V.; Jones, Justin; and Brown, Todd, "Purification of Recombinant Spider Silk Protein from Escherichia coli." (2016). Biology Posters. Paper 25.