Nature-Inspired Media Recycling
Creating a micro-ecosystem for growing cultured meat
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States
Who: Jake Marko, bachelor’s student in biomedical engineering
When: 2020 – Present
Institutes: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States
Supervisors: Glenn Gaudette, professor and chair of engineering at Boston College; Tanja Dominko, professor of biological science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jake is designing a media recycling system inspired by the natural relationship between plants and animals. In nature, plant cells use light to convert animal waste products into oxygen and nutrients. Jake is using this idea to create a synergistic micro-ecosystem that integrates media waste, which could help support self-sustaining cell culture.
Media recycling has the potential to help the field deliver on its promise of environmental sustainability by making it less resource intensive. Jake’s work could reduce the cost and environmental impact of large-scale cell culture by reducing the water and transportation needed for fresh media.