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SBIR Phase II: Targeted Production of Spider Silk Fibroins in Plant Trichomes

Award Information

Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
1230075
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
BC
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
PhylloTech
505 S ROSA RD, STE 102 MADISON, WI 53719-1262
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase II: Targeted Production of Spider Silk Fibroins in Plant Trichomes
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1230075
Award Amount: $499,910.00
 

Abstract:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project proposes to develop a platform for the production of spider silk fibroins in plant trichomes. Synthetic spider silk has great potential as an environmentally-friendly biomaterial because it is very flexible yet has a tensile strength greater than steel. A great need exists for a scalable strategy for spider silk fibroin production in a renewable heterologous system that will allow efficient harvest and recovery. The platform is a natural mechanism for protein production and purification in the plant Nicotiana tabacum. The technological innovation is the targeted expression of spider silk fibroins within the gland cells of leaf surface structures called glandular secreting trichomes. The research objectives will be to optimize the production of spider silk fibroins and generate fibers from harvested proteins. The goal is to drive the expression of different spider silk fibroins in trichomes using patented promoters, and refine methods of fibroin recovery, so that fibers with differing physical properties can be generated and tested. This work will demonstrate further that spider silk fibroins can be produced by plant trichomes in a cost-effective manner, and will allow the large-scale, photosynthetic production of next-generation biomaterials. What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? The broader impact/commercial potential of this project, if successful, will be to demonstrate that a variety of synthetic spider silk fibroins can be produced in a plant-based system, and to better understanding the biosynthetic hardware of the specialized plant structures called glandular secreting trichomes. This work will allow the development of novel ways of achieving industrial biomaterial production without the use of toxic chemicals, and will thus have great societal impact by decreasing the necessity of utilizing large amounts of hazardous compounds in industrial processes. The commercial impact of this project will implement a platform for the photosynthetic production of environmentally-friendly biomaterials.

Principal Investigator:

Ryan W. Shepherd
6084412782
ryan.shepherd@phyllotech.com

Business Contact:

Ryan W. Shepherd
6084412782
ryan.shepherd@phyllotech.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

PhylloTech
505 S. Rosa Road, Ste. 102 Madison, WI 53719-0000

EIN/Tax ID: 371496667
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No