Professor Paul Mozdziak and his team at North Carolina State University are growing turkey breast meat from stem cells. By manipulating stem cells into muscle fibers and cultivating them in a “warm broth” of amino acids and glucose, the cells are able to grow into turkey meat. The stem cells are activated to produce protein and fat cells, which add flavor and succulence to the meat, making it very similar to traditional meat.
Researchers from Harvard University have developed a new growth medium which facilitates the transfer of intact stem cell sheets. Stem cell transplantation is most effective as a coherent surface, rather than a matrix of freely floating cells. Previous attempts to release intact cell sheets have relied on thermal denaturation, which affect transplant efficiency. Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) circumvent this problem by reversibly inducing slipperiness in a cell culture.
As the world’s population grows and emerging economies continue to develop, our agricultural environment is changing. Meats are a valuable source of protein and nutritional requirements, but the current methods of producing meat are wildly inefficient—from both an economic and environmental standpoint. Several start-up companies are combatting this problem by using stem cells to produce meat products for human consumption.
The therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapy has been extensively demonstrated and studied, leading to promising successes. Current applications include: immunosuppression of T-cells, the regeneration of blood vessels, assisting in skin wound healing, and suppressing chronic airway inflammation in asthma cases. However, when MSCs are being prepared for therapeutic application, they are often cultured in fetal bovine serum—which may result in unknown biochemical effects, which can lead to inconsistent outcomes. Now, a team of researchers from Singapore has developed a serum-free cell culture, which supports cellular growth, enhances consistency and increases the potential for greater efficacy in mesenchymal stem cell therapy.