Modular Bioreactor Prototype
Scaling cultured meat production
Han Zhang, Yi-Fan Chen, and Kyle Manke
University of British Columbia, Canada
Who: Han Zhang, Yi-Fan Chen, and Kyle Manke, bachelor’s students in mechanical and materials engineering
When: 2017 – 2018
Institutes: University of British Columbia, Canada
Supervisors: Jess Krieger, New Harvest Research Fellow at Kent State University; Kate Krueger, research director at New Harvest
Han and his team aim to design and build a scalable and modular bioreactor prototype for cultured meat production. Their design is particularly scalable due to the way it simultaneously pumps media to multiple tissues — easily allowing for an increase or decrease in the total number of tissues growing at the same time.
In order for cultured meat to one day be available on shelves, a method of mass production has to be established. The bioreactor developed in this project could create the environment cells need to grow into meat, with the ability to scale production – knocking down one of the biggest hurdles to getting cultured meat products onto shelves.
Han and his team produced a prototype that could theoretically support the growth of up to 16 pieces of meat at once! In 2018, New Harvest provided a grant to IRNAS, a Slovenian organization specializing in rapid open-source hardware development, to continue development of this prototype. To learn more about the bioreactor and ongoing work see our blog post.