Recycled Cellulose Scaffolds
Repurposing agricultural waste into scaffolds for cultured meat
Tufts University, United States
Who: Julian Cohen, bachelor’s student in biophysics
When: 2020 – 2021
Institutes: Tufts University, United States
Supervisors: David Kaplan, professor and chair of biomedical engineering at Tufts University
Julian is creating scaffolds for cultured meat using cellulose, a common agricultural waste product. To increase the attachment of cells to his scaffold, Julian will also be coating the scaffolds with a two-sided protein: one side will have a cellulose binding domain (CBD) to attach to the cellulose scaffolds, the other side will have the binding motif RGD, which cells love to attach to.
Repurposing agricultural waste to create scaffolds helps to offset the environmental impact of cultured meat even further. However, these materials are not always ideal for cell attachment. The addition of the protein coating will make the scaffolds more effective, anchoring the cells securely to the scaffold to grow and differentiate more easily.