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Scalable Modular Bioreactor Design for Cultured Meat Production

New Harvest Seed Grantees: Han Zhang, Yi-Fan Chen, and Kyle Manke at the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia, Canada

Project Cost: $2,700 CAD

Project Start Date: October 6, 2017

Project Duration: 4 months

Supervisors: New Harvest Research Fellow Jess Krieger and New Harvest Research Director Kate Krueger

The UBC modular bioreactor seed grantee team members Han, Yifan, and Kyle

Project Description:

This project aims to design and build a scalable, modular bioreactor prototype for cultured meat production to be used in a lab setting. This novel bioreactor will be modular in that cells can be grown on trays with self-contained fluid circuits which can easily be switched out if goals change. The bioreactor is particularly scalable because all fluid circuits are driven by a single peristaltic pump head. Thus, the number of trays can be increased simply by adding more trays, without the need for additional pumps and complex tubing circuits.

The bioreactor case, almost ready to go!

For the purposes of this project, 8 cell culture trays will be fabricated. Each tray will hold up to 4 cell tissue chips, a clean fluid reservoir, and a spent fluid reservoir. In addition, the trays must be able to survive being autoclaved at 121 degrees celsius and 1 atm gauge pressure. The bioreactor cabinet assembly will also be fabricated. The cabinet must be airtight when sealed, and house the pump, electronics for controlling internal temperature and up to 8 culture trays.

These freshly cut trays will house the cell culture chips, serum reservoirs, and drains inside the bioreactor when complete

To maximize the chances of the tissues surviving and growing, the bioreactor environment must be carefully controlled. Key bioreactor environmental parameters are temperature, CO2 levels, humidity, and fluid flow rate. For this early prototype, only flow rate and temperature control will be implemented.

When complete, the bioreactor will be shipped to New Harvest Research Fellow Jess Krieger’s lab in Kent, Ohio, for subsequent in vitro tissue experiments. Until then, the Engineering Physics Project Lab at UBC will be the primary location for project work.

The team is aiming to have their prototype complete and ready for testing by January 2018.

Project Relevance: The goals of this project are twofold:

1). to design and build a bioreactor that will accommodate modular tissue-on-a-chip devices to be implanted, serving an immediate research interest today, while 2). demonstrating a scalable property useful to the budding cultured meat industry. The team is collaborating with New Harvest Research Fellows working on bioreactor related projects. Like all New Harvest-funded research, results will be made available to the public.

 

Stay tuned for updates on this and other New Harvest research projects!