Scaffolds for cultured meat from decellularized plants
University of Ottawa, Canada
Who: Santiago Campuzano, master’s student in biology
When: 2017 – 2020
Institutes: University of Ottawa, Canada
Supervisors: Andrew Pelling, professor of physics and biology at the University of Ottawa
Santiago is testing a variety of cellulose-based scaffolds for cultured meat. Cellulose provides structure for most plants, so Santiago will be decellularizing and growing cells on a variety of plants – including celery, apples, asparagus, and rose petals.
Cellulose is a completely edible material, meaning it could be safely eaten right along with the cells. It is also a cheap alternative to other plastic scaffolds, and it occurs in plants in a structure that could support cell growth – no 3D printing or other fancy techniques needed to build it!
Special thanks to InVivo Foundation and Donors Trust for their generous support of Santiago’s research. We rely on philanthropic partners to help projects like this one get off the ground. To learn more about how you can support New Harvest’s research program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Santiago’s work led to the publication of a review article in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems titled “Scaffolds for 3D Cell Culture and Cellular Agriculture Applications Derived From Non-animal Sources”. In addition, his research found that the grooved structure of decellularized celery is ideal for muscle cells to align in a similar way to muscle tissue. A preprint of this work is available, titled “Decellularized Plant-Based Scaffolds for Guided Alignment of Myoblast Cells”.