Model-guided optimization of alt protein

2024 – 2026

This project will develop and optimize low-cost serum-free culture media for cultivated chicken meat, using metabolic modeling and spent media analysis.

Production platform: Cultivated

Technology sector: Cell culture media, Computational modeling

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Project aims

Meat production through industrial livestock farming is associated with several sustainability issues including high greenhouse gas emissions, land overuse, deforestation, a large freshwater footprint, and ethical concerns regarding the well-being and treatment of animals. Cultivated meat is an attractive alternative to overcome these limitations and simultaneously provide a sustainable protein source to consumers. However, the high cost of cell culture media, use of animal-origin components, and lower productivity make cultivated meat expensive. The current project focuses on developing and optimizing low-cost serum-free media for cultivating chicken cells, employing a metabolic modeling approach. The following are the specific aims of the project:

  • To gain a detailed understanding of the metabolism of chicken muscle cells and develop as well as refine the genome-scale metabolic model. The model will be subsequently used to simulate the effect of diverse media compositions on cell growth and proliferation, which will expedite the screening process.
  • To replace the recombinant growth factors or serum proteins in culture media with plant-origin homologs
  • To optimize serum-free media formulations using spent media analysis and dynamic flux balance analysis in combination with the computational GEM framework
  • To reduce the overall time and cost of serum-free media development for chicken cell culture.

Principal researchers

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Pramod Prabhakar Wangikar


Clarity Bio Systems India Pvt. Ltd., India

Dr. Wangikar is an Institute Chair Professor in Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay with expertise in metabolomics, bioprocess optimization, and metabolic modeling. He founded Clarity Bio Systems to develop metabolomics-based solutions for biopharma manufacturing and precision diagnostics.

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