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Serum-free bioprinted meat - Development of a serum-free co-culture medium, bioinks and a simplified CAD-model for meat printing

This project is funded by the Non-Profit Organisation New Harvest and contains four main work packages. Our aims in this project are:

  1. Establishment of the isolation and culture of animal derived progenitors of myocytes and adipocytes as well as their coculture
  2. Development of serum-free medium for muscle and adipose cells
  3. Development of muscle and adipose cell containing bioinks
  4. CAD model and printing of simplified 3D units of natural meat structure

Here the approach is pursued to 3D print a meat similar model to imitate the native structure and texture of meat. For the construction of the meat model fat (adipocytes) and muscle cells (myocytes) should be used as basic unit. Therefore, the required and divisible progenitor cells (Adipose derived stem cells (ASCs) and satellite cells) will be isolated from porcine or bovine tissue. Afterwards these both cell types will be stimulated to differentiate into mature adipocytes (from ASCs) and muscle cells (from satellite cells). In the next steps a co-culture medium for both cell types should be developed. For the whole project it is important that all involved materials besides the used cells should be low-cost and from non-animal sources. So, new meat production approaches can be as independent as possible from livestock farming. In detail, it is necessary to exchange commonly applied animal-derived products (like fetal bovine serum, FBS) from culture media with non-animal alternatives. This media adaption helps to further standardize and raise the quality of the product. Beyond that, feasible bioinks based on non-animal materials has to be identified and adapted. These developed “muscle” and “fat” bioinks will be proceeded inside a 3D-bioprinter to fabricate simplified functional 3D-units of meat mimicking the form and texture of native meat tissue. Considering that, computer-aided design (CAD) models, which provide a simplified geometric information regarding shape and composition of muscle and adipose compartment in meat, have to be designed and tested. The claimed results of this project (low-cost defined media, animal-free bioinks, CAD models and printed functional units of meat) will be the basis for bioprinting of meat.

Project duration: 09/2019 until 12/2022

Funding:  New Harvest

Contact:  Petra Kluger and Jannis Wollschlaeger