A gloved hand placing a test tube within a plate

Cellular Agriculture & Biofabricated Foods (Lecture Course, BME-173) – Catalyzed by the coronavirus pandemic, the lab course was adapted to a remote lecture-based course to cover technical and non-technical aspects of cellular agriculture technology, such as: the history of food biotechnology, fundamentals of cellular agriculture (cell biology, bioprocess scale-up and scaffolding system design), consumer research, conventional meat science and novel food regulatory frameworks. The class is now a permanent course in the Biomedical Engineering Department and will be taught each Fall semester. Together with the Lab Course, this will offer a year-long comprehensive introduction to the technical aspects of cellular agriculture, along with social, environmental, and regulatory considerations.

Undergraduate students work in the lab during BME 174 course.
Undergraduate students work in the lab during a session of BME 174.

Cellular Agriculture & Cultured Meat Lab (Lab Course, BME-174) – Through the Tufts Experimental College, Tufts students designed and taught the first undergraduate lab course for cellular agriculture techniques in Spring 2020. The class is now a permanent course in the Biomedical Engineering Department and will be taught each Spring semester. The course covers the entire process of making cultured meat, from the initial animal muscle and fat precursor cell isolations, to the generation of muscle and adipose constructs using 3D tissue engineering techniques, to the final food and meat science evaluations of the students’ in-house produced cultured meat. Through the process, students pick up cell/tissue culture skills while exploring scaffold fabrication and biomaterials engineering, as well as methods of protein fermentation.

Value Creation in Cell Ag (BME193-03) – This course explores the concept of value creation in the emerging field of cellular agriculture, a field that has the potential to revolutionize how humans relate to food. Students will examine the fundamental questions and unmet needs in this rapidly evolving industry. Each week will be split into two complementary classes: a discussion-based lecture to explore a key topic in cellular agriculture and an active-learning workshop to practice design of impactful solutions. Students will be exposed to topics including ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of cellular agriculture, technical opportunities, and market considerations. Course assignments will emphasize teamwork, discussion, and design philosophy.