Cultivated muscle cells living on computers
Scaling up is one of the biggest challenges for the cultivated meat industry. Simon Kahan is developing a computer modelling project to simulate the proliferation of cells in bioreactors. This project will enable innovators to test their bioreactors
Computer modelling offers solutions for cultivated meat industry
Experiments on living organisms, as commonly seen in the field of medicine, are far from ideal. They are time- and resource-consuming; they create waste and pollution; and often, they cause distress or even death for live animals. Computer modeling and simulations have yielded better outcomes and efficiency in the automotive and aerospace industries as well as many other sectors. Scientists hope that simulations of living systems can have a similar impact in the life sciences. Dr. Simon Kahan is one of the scientists in the CMMC (thecmmc.org) who are working on the use of computer modeling to help solve the many challenges facing the cultured meat industry.
“Our technology appears to be very well suited for dealing with challenges in the cultivated meat industry,” Kahan says. “In healthcare, every patient is different. There, it is the drugs and therapy programs that are the products, rather than the cells and tissue. In the cultivated meat industry, the products are the very elements that we are simulating – the muscle cells and bioreactors. In industrial production, the aim is to identify the ideal cell line and the ideal growth medium, and to optimize processes to get the same great results every single time. That is what modeling and simulation are used for.”
The first cultivated meat computer modeling project will be open to public
Kahan’s first computer modeling project simulates the proliferation of cells in bioreactors. When it comes to lab-grown meat, most cultured meat companies can make cells proliferate in small bioreactors. However, this process needs to be scaled up without compromising on production efficiency. Kahan is trying to help meet this challenge by modeling different parameters in computer simulations. Once this project is completed Kahan says, he will make the model available to innovators in the public domain: “This will enable innovators who have the right ideas, but lack the funding, to commercialize their product.” With financial backing from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and the Good Food Institute, Kahan is carrying out this research to help the culture meat community grow. He has a bigger vision that computer modeling will increase productivity throughout life science R&D while also reducing its impact on living systems and the environment.
Download the Supertrends app to find out when the computer modelling project will be available to help innovators to test their bioreactors.