Identifying Key Lipid Components of Fetal Bovine Serum

Identifying Key Lipid Components of Fetal Bovine Serum 

New Harvest Seed Grantees: Matthew Anderson-Baron 

Project Start Date: July, 2018

Project End Date: February, 2019

Institutes: University of Alberta

Supervisors:  Dr. Andrew Simmonds, Associate Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Alberta


Project Abstract: 

Any practical development of an in vitro meat (IVM) product will occur via directed growth of animal cells in culture. Traditional cell culture techniques require animal derived serum (fetal bovine serum, FBS) as a media supplement to foster robust growth. The reliance on an animal-derived product in this process is clearly problematic, and does not align with the fundamental rationale for developing IVM products. As such, it is imperative to develop serum-free conditions that will support robust growth of animal cells in culture. As serum-free media formulations do exist for some cell types, it should be possible to devise such conditions. However, there has been little directed research in this area in terms of IVM development. Lipids are a major component of FBS and these are known to be critical to support cell growth in culture. This project aims to determine which lipid species within FBS are critical as a cell culture supplement for turkey myoblast cells. Our work will provide critical information in the development of a suitable FBS alternative for myoblast cell culture applications. 

Matt is now CSO at Future Fields, a cellular agriculture company he co-founded while at University of Alberta that is developing inexpensive, serum-free growth media for cultured meat.