Scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a new method of growing synthetic meat by zapping animal cells with magnets, according to a National University of Singapore (NUS) press release issued Monday. This new technology is greener, cleaner, safer and cheaper, while reducing our dependence on animal products.

Today’s laboratory-grown methods of producing meat involve the use of other animal products, greatly defeating the purpose. Current methods of cell-based meat production require animal cells to grow and reproduce. To do so, animal cells must be fed with animal serum.

To make matters worse, this serum is usually fetal bovine serum, a mixture obtained from fetal blood taken from pregnant cows slaughtered in the dairy or meat industry. Other methods of promoting cell proliferation include the use of drugs and genetic engineering, which can be complex and unhealthy, increases the cost of meat, limits manufacturing scale, and impacts the commercial viability of cell-based meat.

To overcome this challenge, a multidisciplinary research team led by Alfredo Franco-Obregón, associate professor at the NUS Institute for Health Innovation & Technology and the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, explored the unconventional use of magnetic pulses for stimulation and developed the method.

“When exposed to a magnetic field for 10 minutes, cells release a variety of molecules with regenerative, metabolic, anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties. These substances are known as muscle ‘secretomes’ (secreted factors). It is part of the body and is necessary for the growth, survival, and development of cells into tissues. We are very excited about the possibility that secretome release by magnetic stimulation could one day replace the need for FBS in cultured meat production,” explained Franco-Obregón.

“Growth-promoting secretomes can be harvested safely, conveniently, and inexpensively in the laboratory. Generate a nutrient-rich secretome for scale culture Muscles know how to produce what they need to grow and our developed magnetic field can do that ,” adds the researcher.

The present invention can also be used for regenerative medicine applications. The research team used the secreted proteins to treat unhealthy cells with promising results. The discovery suggests that the new technology may heal damaged cells and speed up patient recovery.

This technology has been patented, and researchers are also aiming to commercialize it.

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Source: Research of bio materials

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