Bioprocess development for scalable production of cultivated meat
Traditional farm-based products based on livestock are one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. Cultivated meat is an alternative that mimics animal meat, being produced in a bioreactor under controlled conditions rather than through the slaughtering of animals. The first step in the production of cultivated meat is the generation of sufficient reserves of starting cells. In this study, bovine adipose-derived stem cells (bASCs) were used as starting cells due to their ability to differentiate towards both fat and muscle, two cell types found in meat. A bioprocess for the expansion of these cells on microcarriers in spinner flasks was developed. Different cell seeding densities (1,500, 3,000, and 6,000 cells/cm2) and feeding strategies (80%, 65%, 50%, and combined 80%/50% medium exchanges) were investigated. Cell characterization was assessed pre- and postbioprocessing to ensure that bioprocessing did not negatively affect bASC quality. The best growth was obtained with the lowest cell seeding density (1,500 cells/cm2) with an 80% medium exchange performed (p < .0001) which yielded a 28-fold expansion. The ability to differentiate towards adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic lineages was retained postbioprocessing and no significant difference (p > .5) was found in clonogenicity pre- or postbioprocessing in any of the feeding regimes tested.