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Insilico Biotechnology brings its AI platform and expertise in metabolic modeling to the Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium (CMMC). Insilico’s technology aims at reducing the high cost of culture media used to produce meat in cell culture.
To date, the largest cost burden in the cultivating meat industry is the culture media used to grow meat cells. The goal of the recently formed CMMC from industry and academia is to address challenges in cultivated meat industry through the application of computer modeling and simulation. Insilico brings its Digital Twins technology to the CMMC to optimize culture media composition and feeding strategies, thus reducing these costs and making commercial production of clean meat economically feasible.
There are many challenges impeding commercial production of clean meat. One major challenge is a need to balance the cells’ consumption of expensive nutrients to produce meat at a competitive price. This requires the smart design of nutrient composition in the culture media to just meet the needs of the cells. Thus, growth is maximized without accumulation of excess nutrients in the media.
Another challenge is the need to create large quantities of meat. In most laboratories, only small-scale experiments are performed to demonstrate feasibility. On the much larger scale required for commercial production, the mixing behavior of media and cell culture differ drastically, which can lead to cells becoming detached from carrier materials and a local shortage of vital oxygen. Creating large quantities requires translating laboratory successes to this different environment, yet physical experimentation is cost-prohibitive. Computer models of behavior at laboratory scale are simulated and validated. Running many small-scale simulations then generates data that can be used to estimate larger-scale behaviors using model components that form digital twins.
Insilico Biotechnology brings in its many years of expertise in metabolic modeling to determine the most efficient growth conditions while other partners contribute complementary components as needed to model large production facilities. The overall system is intended to optimize the feeding of the cells, the nature of the cellular carrier material, and the cultivation mixing through millions of simulation studies.
Klaus Mauch, the CEO of Insilico, says: “We anticipate that cultivated meat production on a commercial scale would be a promising solution to meet the increasing demand for proteins by the growing world population”, and adds: “We are pleased to use our experience in cell culture feeding and media design to contribute along with the CMMC to overcome the high production cost of cultivated meat making it affordable.”
Image provided by, Computer simulation of cells attached to microcarriers in a stirred tank bioreactor. © The CMMC LLC, 2020