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BOLT THREADS TECHNOLOGY

B-SILK PROTEIN

Silk proteins are well known for their tunability, biocompatibility, and strength. Traditionally, silk protein solutions are made from silkworm cocoons in a process that degrades the proteins.

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 well known for their tunability, biocompatibility, and strength. Traditionally, silk protein solutions are made from silkworm cocoons in a process that degrades the proteins.

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 THREADS PRODUCT

EIGHTEEN B

In March 2019, Bolt Threads launched Eighteen B, a skincare brand featuring our proprietary ingredient, b-silk protein. By forming a lightweight, breathable barrier on the surface of skin, b-silk protein protects and supports the barrier function, giving results in as little as 4 weeks. Shop Eighteen B.

In March 2019, Bolt Threads launched Eighteen B, a skincare brand featuring our proprietary ingredient, b-silk protein. By forming a lightweight, breathable barrier on the surface of skin, b-silk protein protects and supports the barrier function, giving results in as little as 4 weeks. Shop Eighteen B.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are spiders involved in your process?

No spiders are harmed in the making of Bolt Threads’ 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.

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. B-silk protein does not contain any genetically modified organisms. The process we use to make it does utilize genetically modified yeast. After fermentation is complete, the silk protein is separated from the yeast, and then the remaining yeast cells are destroyed by heat. There are no GMOs present in the final product. This is the same technology that has been used for decades to safely produce cheese, along with insulin and many vaccines. The sugar that we are using in the fermentation process comes from genetically modified corn. At this time, all large fermentation facilities in the US use sugar from GMO corn because of the abundant supply.

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Contact Us


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.