Engineering Animal Meat
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The global market for meat has increased as the economies of developing countries advance. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be more than 9 billion people in the world to feed. With the increase in population and the decrease in natural resources and less arable land, alternate methods of food production must be found in order to increase the worldwide food supply and sustain the global population. The current invention is potentially an economically attractive method to address this increasing market. Additionally, an invention that can provide sustainable high quality protein for the growing population while decreasing the need for additional land and animals is likely to be highly marketable and commercially attractive. The current invention developed by researchers at the University of Missouri is a method which uses bioprinting as its core technology. Bioprinting allows the rapid construction of living three dimensional structures of desired topology. The type of cells used to prepare the multicellular rods, which serve as bioink in this technology, determines the cellular composition of the construct. Using appropriate animal cells allows the fabrication of constructs with meat-like texture. For this method, cells obtained from animals by biopsy are subsequently grown to the needed numbers in vitro. The meat produced by this method has the potential to have the same or higher nutritional value, texture, taste and a richer variety than conventional meat. Potential Areas of Applications: Global food industry. Patent Status: Provisional patent application filed. Inventor(s): Gabor Forgacs, Francoise Marga. This presentation was an elevator pitch at the Missouri Technology Expo 2011.