Japan’s Shimadzu working to develop 3D-printed meat

Courtesy of Osaka University
3D-printed cultured meat

Kyoto-based precision instrument maker Shimadzu Corp. is planning to use 3D printing technology to produce cultured meat, which is meat made by artificially growing animal cells, in cooperation with Osaka University and Tokyo-based consultant company Sigmaxyz Inc.

According to Shimadzu’s announcement on Monday, the companies and the university are working to develop an automated machine to produce cultured meat without relying on livestock. The machine is expected to make it possible to reproduce the structure of meat by assembling cells using a 3D printer. They are hoping to be able to serve the 3D-printed meat at the Osaka-Kansai Expo 2025.

The project will use tissues such as muscle, fat and blood vessels, made with Osaka University’s 3D-printing technology, to reproduce structures similar to real meat by bundling them into fibers. It can also reproduce marbled meat, improving texture and taste.

Shimadzu plans to build a production line that will use 3D printing technology as part of a process to automatically grow cells into fiber structure and then have a machine gauge the taste and texture. The company is considering applying the technology to other fields in the future, such as regenerative medicine and drug development.