SP.20.017 – In-Silico Myogenesis for Cultivated Meat

Route: Sustainable production of safe and healthy food

Cluster question: 015 How can we make agricultural production systems more sustainable as the worldwide demand for healthy, safe food continues to grow?

Cultivated meat promises to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems, including feeding ten-billion people by 2050, reducing animal agriculture’s impact on the climate and ecosystems and removing some of the current ethical issues surrounding meat production. Given the sensitivity and complexity of cultivating skeletal muscle cells, designing a large scale production process for cultivated meat is not trivial. Muscle cells are very sensitive to various types of stresses, often resulting in apoptosis (regulated cell death), differentiation or detachment of their surrounding. Many of the mechanisms governing the growth of skeletal muscle cells, also known as myogenesis, are still unknown or only qualitatively explored. To optimize the production process, a detailed and quantitative understanding of relevant cellular mechanisms is necessary. In this project we will increase fundamental knowledge on myogenesis with respect to the internal and external mechanisms that drive the cell cycle. We will perform experiments to determine the mechanisms and their governing parameters. However since wet-lab experiments are costly in time and money, we need other methods to arrive at quantitative descriptions. Therefore we will develop a computational agent based model that contains the mechanisms of proliferation, differentiation and cell-fusion. This model will include relevant biological, chemical and biomechanical interactions amongst the cells and between cells and their environment. The model will be calibrated using the newly achieved data from the experimental project partners and other labs that we are connected with through the Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium (www.thecmmc.org). After experimental validation, we will use the model to explore and optimize the parameter space. Ultimately, the combination of the software and experimental pipelines in this project will generate novel fundamental understanding of myogenesis that will force a breakthrough in the design of cultured meat bioreactors by companies dedicated to bringing cultured meat to the market.


computational modeling, cultivated meat, in-silico experiments, myogenesis, skeletal muscle

Other organisations

Cultivated Meat Modeling Consortium, Maastricht University (UM), Mosa Meat, Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC)


Organisation University of Amsterdam (UVA)
Name Dr. J.A. (Jaap) Kaandorp
E-mail J.A.Kaandorp@uva.nl
Website https://staff.fnwi.uva.nl/j.a.kaandorp/