Fiorenzo Omenetto investigates nanostructured materials such as silk for novel applications

Fiorenzo Omenetto

Silk-based coating for extending shelf life of perishables optioned to Tufts start-up Cambridge Crops


  • Transparent, tasteless, and odorless coatings extend freshness of food without the need for refrigeration
  • Biocompatible and biodegradable silk-based coatings help prevent decay by acting as a protective shield that reduces the exchange of gases and water
  • Promising alternative approach for preservation of delicate foods built on a naturally derived material and a water-based manufacturing process

Why it matters

  • Reduces global food waste by extending shelf life
  • Mitigates greenhouse gas emissions and wastewater produced by the food supply chain
  • Decreases reliance on nonbiodegradable plastic packaging
  • Improves food quality

Lead inventors

  • David Kaplan, Benedetto Marelli, Fiorenzo Omenetto

How it happened

  • Funding from Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Office of Naval Research


  • Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Catalyst Program award, 2019
  • Raised over $1M in seed financing through 1Q2019
  • Venture funding from The Engine (launched by MIT in 2016 to invest in Tough Tech companies)