MeaTech Ltd. the Israeli startup that is developing technology for bioprinting meat using stem cells announced on Monday that it had reached a substantial product milestone. The company said its scientists had successfully printed a layer of meat combining both muscle and fat cells that successfully fused.
MeaTech added that reaching the strategic milestone ahead of its pre-set schedule means they are well on their way to hit the next milestone, which is printing a 100-gram (quarter pound) steak, without harming any animals.
As part of the experiment, dubbed “Project Carpaccio,” MeaTech researchers were able to print a thin slice of meat consisting of muscle and fat cells extracted from stem cells. The company developed the entire growth process of the tissue components and then performed the 3D printing using a dedicated printer, developed in house.
Reaching the milestone meant that the team had to overcome three main challenges: sorting the stem cells into muscle and fat cells necessary to make the meaty tissue, producing the biological ink needed to print the right texture, and combining the fat and meat cells in a way that they will fuse together, simulating animal-sourced meat.
"We are excited to announce a significant milestone in line with the company's work plan, which brings us one step closer to developing groundbreaking technology. This is another step on the path to meeting the company's vision of building a plant for the growing and manufacturing of 3D-printed cuts of meat without needing to slaughter or harm any animals, a technology which could dramatically reduce air pollution, loss of energy sources and the loss of vast areas currently used for raising livestock for slaughter," Sharon Fima, CEO and co-founder of MeaTech said in a statement.