Using Computer Modeling to Advance Clean Meat
01 APR 2020
One of the major challenges for traditional research is that conducting experiments in the lab is time-consuming and expensive. Complementing lab experiments with virtual ones allows biologists to reach insights faster and more efficiently.
One of the major challenges for traditional research is that conducting experiments in the lab is time-consuming and expensive. It may take weeks to get results, with mistakes and delays having a big impact on limited budgets. Virtual experimentation can address this challenge by running simulations in the cloud which in theory has almost unlimited capacity. In short: Complementing lab experiments with virtual ones allows biologists to reach insights faster and more efficiently.
Especially in new areas of research, such as clean meat, where many technical challenges still need to be resolved, using computer modeling can accelerate research and fast-track the time to market. That’s why Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is one of the founding partners of the collaborative Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium (CMMC) which aims to leverage virtual experimentation by creating a foundational platform for computer modeling and simulation tailored to the field of clean meat.
First project to develop computational models
To further advance the mission of the CMMC, we are sponsoring a Proof of Concept (PoC) to showcase the benefits of computational modeling for clean meat. The 6-month PoC will focus on the integration of agent-based three-dimensional biophysical cell models with computational fluid dynamics to predict behaviors of individual clusters of cells while proliferating within bioreactors – an instrumental processing step in the future clean meat production.
This PoC is the first official work package from the consortium and an important step toward creating a clean meat modeling platform. The project was kicked off in February 2020, and will be realized with partners from the CMMC.
Further, the CMMC has just been awarded with a two-year research grant from the Good Food Institute to develop whole-system models of proliferation in innovative bioreactor designs that will very likely use results from the PoC as well.
Open access for future development
The project artifacts will be open-sourced to ease access for interested groups and stimulate future development. In 2020, the deliverables will be used to show tangible progress in applying computational modeling to the field of clean meat. Longer term, the model will form the basis of myriad modeling efforts, including differentiation, media optimization, and tissue formation in scaffolds.
Join the community!
The CMMC was launched in June 2019 and consists of representatives from startups, academia, non-profits and corporates. The strength of the CMMC is its community – and the team is open for new partners, collaborators and experts. Are you interested? Get in touch here.