Making cells feel crowded to speed up cultured meat production
Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Who: Ricardo Gouveia, Postdoctoral scholar
When: 2020 – Present
Institutes: Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Supervisors: Che Connon, professor of tissue engineering at Newcastle University
Ricardo is growing meat using the concept of macromolecular crowding (MMC), the addition of media ingredients that create a sense of crowdedness for the cells. In the body of an animal, cells are very crowded, which has an impact on their growth and behavior. These crowded conditions encourage cells to form tissues more rapidly—in just days instead of weeks. Ricardo is testing MMC on animal muscle and fat cells to accelerate meat production in the lab.
Ricardo is showing how adding inexpensive media ingredients to culture in a lab setting helps recreate the growing conditions within an animal. Using MMC along with the output of his previous project, Ricardo’s work could dramatically decrease the cost to produce a cultured meat product.
To find out more about this project, listen to our podcast where we talk to Ricardo about his discoveries relevant to areas as diverse as healthcare, bio-manufacture and food.Listen Now