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Bolt Technology

MEET
B-SILKTM PROTEIN

Silk proteins are renowned for their biocompatibility and regenerative properties. Traditionally, silk protein solutions are fragmented into smaller pieces in a process called molecular hydrolysis, which can compromise the protein’s valuable properties.

We developed a scalable process to produce and isolate unhydrolyzed silk protein and preserve more of its useful properties without compromising its structure.

B-silk protein is produced via fermentation and has the ability to biodegrade.

Silk proteins are renowned for their biocompatibility and regenerative properties. Traditionally, silk protein solutions are fragmented into smaller pieces in a process called molecular hydrolysis, which can compromise the protein’s valuable properties.

We developed a scalable process to produce and isolate unhydrolyzed silk protein and preserve more of its useful properties without compromising its structure.

B-silk protein is produced via fermentation and has the ability to biodegrade.

We study silk proteins spun by spiders to determine what gives them their incredible properties.
We develop proteins inspired by these natural silks by bioengineering genes into yeast.
We produce the protein in large quantities through fermentation using yeast, sugar, and water.
We isolate and purify the silk protein powder to use in a variety of applications.

Bolt Product

EIGHTEEN B

In March 2019, Bolt launched Eighteen B, a skincare brand featuring b-silk protein. Our proprietary ingredient protects and supports the barrier function, giving results in as little as 4 weeks. Shop Eighteen B.

In July 2020, Eighteen B launched the Beebe Lab, a beta testing program that harnesses the power of b-silk protein in addition to new, sustainably-produced technologies. Learn more and sign up.

In March 2019, Bolt launched Eighteen B, a skincare brand featuring b-silk protein. Our proprietary ingredient protects and supports the barrier function, giving results in as little as 4 weeks. Shop Eighteen B.

In July 2020, Eighteen B launched the Beebe Lab, a beta testing program that harnesses the power of b-silk protein in addition to new, sustainably-produced technologies. Learn more and sign up.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are spiders involved in your process?

No spiders are harmed in the making of b-silk protein! In fact, there are no spiders at all in the process. We originally studied real spider silk to understand the relationship between the spider DNA and the characteristics of the fibers they make. Today’s technology allows us to make those proteins without using spiders, which is a big relief to the arachnophobes among our team.

Is this the same technology used to make Microsilk?

B-silk protein is the output of our fermentation process and the starting raw ingredient for our high-tech fiber. We study silk proteins and bioengineer yeast to produce silk protein using fermentation. We can use silk protein to make Microsilk fiber or we can collect the protein powder to be used in other applications, such as beauty.

Why silk protein?

Silk is an amazing material that has been used in textiles for 5,000 years and utilized in sutures and wound healing for centuries. It is well known for its tunability and allows for the fabrication of a diverse range of structures, such as powders, films, hydrogels, scaffolds, fibers, and solids to name a few. Scientists can infuse silk with new material features, resulting in tunable, biodegradable, robust biomaterials for a range of applications in biomedicine, textiles, beauty, and more.

Why does it matter that b-silk protein is unhydrolyzed?

Proteins are some of the most structurally complex and functionally sophisticated molecules known. In the case of silk, one of its attributes that makes it so special is that it has a very high molecular weight. When silk protein is extracted from silkworm cocoons, it is frequently broken down using a process called molecular hydrolysis. This process degrades the high molecular weight protein into smaller pieces. This can compromise its valuable properties, like tunability and strength. We have developed a scalable process to make unhydrolyzed silk proteins that retain all of their valuable properties and can deliver them to various applications.

How are silk proteins going to be less impactful on the environment than other materials?

Silk proteins are inherently biodegradable and can be produced in a sustainable, closed-loop process. We are hoping that by helping companies move away from petroleum-based materials and chemicals, we can start to write a better future for our planet.

Do your materials contain GMOs?

No. Our Microsilk fibers do not contain any genetically modified organisms. The process we use to make our fibers does utilize genetically modified yeast. After fermentation is complete, the silk protein is purified from the yeast, and the remaining yeast cells are destroyed by heat via the same methods used to pasteurize milk. There are no GMO yeast present in the final material. The sugar we use as feedstock is made from corn, and 88% of all corn produced in the US is genetically modified. The technology we’re using is not new; in fact, genetically engineered organisms have been fermented to make recombinant products, insulin, and vaccines for decades, safely.

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For press inquiries: press@boltthreads.com

For career inquiries: careers@boltthreads.com

Disclaimer: We know learning about the potential of biomaterials can inspire a wealth of ideas and we love your creativity. Before you send us your awesome ideas, please know that we don't want to accidentally come up with an idea similar to yours, so any concept you email us will become the property of Bolt Threads Inc.