Growing beef on spinach leaves
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States
Boston College, United States
Who: Jordan Jones, Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering
When: 2019 – Present
Institutes: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, United States; Boston College, United States
Supervisors: Glenn Gaudette, professor and chair of engineering at Boston College; Tanja Dominko, professor of biological science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
What do animal tissue and plant tissue have something in common? Veins. Jordan is taking advantage of this similarity by using leaves as a natural scaffold to grow meat in a lab. He does this first by removing the plant cells from the leaves through a process called decellularization. Once this is complete, the veiny leaf resembles the structure of blood vessels that feed cells within animal tissue. The bovine cells are then free to grow in place of the plant cells.
Jordan’s pioneering work using plants allows him to create edible, vascularized scaffolds for growing meat with relatively little effort. This could pave the way for many future innovations in the field of cellular agriculture.
Special thanks to InVivo Foundation for their generous support of Jordan’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.
To find out more about this project, listen to our podcast where we talk to Jordan about how to construct 3D meat on decellularized spinach leaves.Listen Now