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Cultured Meat Bioprocess Design

New Harvest Research Fellow: Scott Allan, MEng Chemical Engineering, University of Bath

Project Cost: $95,000

Project Start Date: October 2, 2017

Project Duration: Four years full time for a MRes (Masters of Research) and PhD

Supervisors: Dr. Marianne Ellis (Senior lecturer in Biochemical Engineering; University of Bath), Dr. Paul De Bank (Senior lecturer in Pharmacy & Pharmacology; University of Bath), & Mr. Illtud Dunsford (Farmer, Agri-Food Consultant and owner of Charcutier Ltd)

 

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Project Description: Bioreactor design and control are well established in engineering disciplines like pharmaceuticals and medicine but are completely new for cultured meat. To date, the bioreactors used for cultured meat production have been of a lab scale, typically culture flasks and small scale bioreactors up to 10L. To reach industrial scale production of cultured meat, larger bioreactors must be designed.

Certain parameters must be understood to design an appropriate bioreactor. These fundamental parameters include, but are not limited to:

  • reaction kinetics (how quickly muscle cells will grow, divide, and mature),
  • transport phenomena (how nutrients will enter the cells, how waste products exit),
  • mass transfer limitations (the efficient flow of media over cells)
  • metabolic stoichiometric requirements (what the inputs (food) and outputs (waste products) of cultured meat production will be)

This is important research because no such data for muscle cell cultures for meat is currently publicly available.

This project will determine these parameters for cultured meat production, becoming the crucial basis for large scale cultured meat production.

Project Relevance: This research is the necessary first step in scaling cultured meat production. All results will remain open access for use in research and industry.

Fun Facts: Scott is a certified scuba diver, is originally from South Africa, worked as a Distillation Technical Engineer at ExxonMobil, and is in the triathlon and boxing clubs at Bath.