Cell Cultured Meat

Scale up lab-grown meat production using cell line development techniques

What is cell-cultured meat?

Cell cultured meat, also known as cultivated, cultured, or lab-grown meat, is a product of cellular agriculture, that uses tissue samples from living animals to grow sustainable, humane meat in a bioreactor. Cultured meat (CM) is an emerging technology, an alternative to the traditional farming industry, and crucial to supply the increasing meat demand while being more environmentally and animal friendly. Because cell-cultured meat is made with animal cells, many processes for developing and scaling a cell-cultured meat product will mirror those in biologics production, specifically cell line development.

Molecular Devices has a history of success in scaling biologics for regulatory approval and commercialization with life science groups worldwide, and can leverage that expertise with food manufacturers growing animal cell lines in new industries.

Is cell-cultured meat approved?

In June 2023, the USDA FSIS granted label approval and grant of inspection to two U.S. companies manufacturing cell-cultured meat: Upside Foods and Good Meat. This was the final step in the U.S. regulatory process, opening the door for the California-based companies to sell their cultivated chicken products commercially in restaurants.

Justin Dranschak, director of BioPharma, says the USDA ruling “not only legitimizes this new kind of food production but also creates a visible regulatory pathway for other companies in the field. It encourages scaling up production, attracting more investment, and thus expansion of facilities,” he says. “With other companies like BlueNalu and WildType developing some unique products, this will help push the industry into approvals for other models like fish.”

Cell Cultured Meats

Scale cultured meat production with monoclonal cell lines

Animal cells are usually engineered to produce different biologics, including growth factors, hormones, and antibodies that are commonly used as therapies today. Cell line development workflows consist of a multistep process involving single-cell cloning, formation and isolation of these discrete colonies, and the phenotypic characterization of these colonies. Monoclonality verification is crucial from a quality and regulatory perspective to ensure that the desired characteristics from the colony of cells originate from a single cell.

Once the desired traits are isolated and cloned, the growth or scale-up process becomes crucial for sustainability. During the scale-up process, it is important to maintain productivity and genetic stability, and robustness of the cells, which requires optimization of culture conditions. Once you have established composition, specificity, and a detailed manufacturing process, safety tests must be conducted before approval and commercialization. The entire process of going from animal tissues to cultured meat products described above is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to error if done in a manual fashion.

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Learn more about our research methods

Here, we highlight various applications and research methods using our CloneSelect Imager and Single-Cell Printer, ImageXpress Cellular Imaging System, and SpectraMax® microplate reader to help scale your cell line development workflow.

Resources for Cell Cultured Meat