Rutgers University and Atelier Meats Corp. have signed a multi-year research agreement to develop lab-cultivated textured meats. Developing lab-cultivated meats has gained tremendous momentum in recent years due to its potential to alleviate the environmental burden associated with conventional cattle meat production and its potential to optimize the nutritional benefits of meats. Atelier Meats has pioneered unique technology to harness the versatility and biologic activities of extracellular matrix (ECM) along with a unique source of bovine stem cells. Using this proprietary ECM as scaffolding material, in combination with the bovine stem cells, using advanced high density cell culture technologies, Rutgers will help in the development of the textured lab-cultivated meats.
Dr. Yong Mao, an Associate Research Professor at Department Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Dr. Joseph Freeman, a Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering are co-principal investigators for this collaboration. Dr. Mao brings her expertise in ECM and cell biology, and Dr. Freeman brings his expertise in tissue engineering of muscle and ligament to this project. Together with Atelier Meats, three research goals are set 1) optimization of a unique ECM that would serve as the scaffold for cultivated meat, 2) development of novel and proprietary lines of bovine stem cells that are easily culture expanded and differentiated, and 3) development of technology to populate the scaffold with cells to create the textured cultivated meats. This multi-year collaboration will put Rutgers University on the map, among a dozen prestigious research universities in the USA, tackling this challenging yet exciting field.
Dr. Mao states, "Working with Atelier, we will find innovative ways and bring our expertise in biomaterials and cell technology for the creation of unique cell-scaffold constructs to produce cultivated meats suitable for human consumption."