Increasing worldwide demand for meat is driving the growth of environmentally detrimental factory farming. Cultivated meat is a potentially more sustainable alternative to factory farming practices that could mitigate land use, disease spread, greenhouse gas emissions, and animal suffering.
Producing large numbers of animal muscle cells efficiently is a prerequisite to delivering affordable cultivated meat. Existing bioreactor designs used in biopharma have so far proven inadequate to scale up production. Numerous innovative designs have been proposed to overcome their limitations. Repeated prototyping is needed to evaluate and optimize these designs. However, physical prototyping is expensive and time-consuming. Virtual prototyping using computational modeling can help in getting cultivated meat to the market sooner. To capture all relevant processes that govern cell growth in the bioreactor, a new modeling methodology that integrates biology with fluid mechanics is required. The goal of this project is to develop such a whole-system modeling methodology serving those who are innovating new bioreactor designs.