Using mycelium as a scaffold for cultured meat
Tufts University, United States
Who: Kaili Chen, bachelor’s student in biology and international relations
When: 2019 – 2020
Institutes: Tufts University, United States
Supervisors: David Kaplan, professor and chair of biomedical engineering at Tufts University; Natalie Rubio, New Harvest research fellow and PhD student in biomedical engineering at Tufts University
Kaili is testing mycelium as a scaffold for cultured meat. Similar to a root system in plants, mycelium is made up of thread-like, branching roots called hyphae. Kaili believes the structural similarity of mycelium to a vascular system will improve the growth, structure, and texture of cultured meat.
As a natural, edible and affordable biomaterial, mycelium could be a cheap and powerful tool for supporting cell growth and improving the texture and strength of the tissue.